3-D Effects Take Audience on a Journey to the Center of the Earth (Movie Review)

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Eric Brevig’s first major film project, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D is not the most innovative script nor is it filled with the most breath-taking acting, but the 3-D special effects he brings to the screen are so spectacular, that the decent plot and cast are hoisted above mediocre to make this new take on Verne’s classic entertaining and exciting.

Brevig is not new to film-making despite this being his first mainstream presentation with his name at the top of director’s list. He has taken unit directorial roles on films such as Shaymaylan’s The Village and the recent version of Wild Wild West starring Will Smith. Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D is not a straight forward unfolding of the Verne story and the directing, therefore, needed to take a new approach as well. Brevig did not have a lot with which to work, but he had enough to allow him to make the film a success.

The main cast was good enough, Brendan Fraser being the “big” name, and they accomplished what they needed to do; that being propel the story forward to make room for the special effects. There really is not much to say about the acting. It is sufficient and convincing enough for what it is. The writing is superficial at times and what do most audience members expect? Nothing more, I suspect. Most people are there to see things in depth and jump out of their seats when objects and creatures spring from the screen!

With that purpose in mind, no one will be disappointed by this film. Typical and expected 3-D effects are used and many simple objects usually overlooked in a film are given new attention through cinematographic choices enhancing the 3-D feel of the movie. The film uses the latest polarized glasses technique to make the illusion work and as long as the film is in focus, it works wondrously! Magical landscapes, unknown beasts, drastic and sudden movement, even a few classic fair-ride type thrills are thrown in just to keep the third dimension in the forefront of the viewers’ minds. No time for worrying about the suspension of disbelief in this film: the plot, writing, and acting are all secondary to the optical fun that awaits the audience. Even most of the trailers where in 3-D, probably to get you ready for the film as much as to show off the effects for other upcoming 3-D movies.

Overall, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D is fun and exciting for all. Nothing ridiculously scary or violent, while still holding the chills, thrills, and spills one hopes for in good 3-D film. The effect has come a long way since the original version of The Mask and The Thirteen Ghosts, Gorilla at Large, and the Kikaida Movie. Science at work, boys and girls, and that means entertainment galore! Bravo, Brevig! Journey is well worth experiencing on the big silver screen!

write by Howard Malan

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