2D Movies That I Want to See in 3D

With Hollywood cranking out one 3D movie after another, quite a few older 2D movies are hopping on the bandwagon through post-production conversion to 3D. George Lucas plans to re-release all six of the Star Wars movies in 3D, and James Cameron will do the same for Titanic. With that in mind, here is a chronological list of films that, if possible, I would like to see converted into high-quality 3D movies. Read on...

War of the Worlds (1953 and/or 2005)

I'm flexible regarding this title, since both of these adaptations of H.G. Wells' classic novel would be wonderful to see in 3D. If you convert George Pal's version, you get the golden, ominous manta ray-like alien war machines trashing Los Angeles in 3D. If you convert Steven Spielberg's version, you get the towering, jellyfish-like alien tripods and close-ups of people being vaporized into dust, with nothing but their clothing left behind, in 3D. It's a win-win situation in my book. In fact, if the 3D conversion of Pal's movie follows Spielberg's opinion regarding the digital remastering of movies for high-definition release, you'll get to see both the floating war machines AND the piano wires that supported them in glorious 3D!

Them! (1954)

According to various sources, this classic big bug movie was originally supposed to be both in color and in 3D. Unfortunately, as the movie's fictitious mutant ants got bigger its real-life budget got smaller, resulting in a 2D, black and white movie that only has a few seconds of color footage in its beginning. Being a big bug movie fan, I'd love to see how this film would've looked had its original budget permitted color and 3D. (While I'm strictly against colorization of black and white movies, I'll make an exception in this case if it is done well and in 3D.)

The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

This may not be the best sequel to Creature from the Black Lagoon, but it's the only film in the Creature trilogy that's not in 3D. Converting this movie to 3D--as well as converting its two predecessors from anaglyph 3D to a modern 3D format--would make for a great 3D Creature triple feature and/or a fantastic 3D Blu-ray box set.

Tron (1982)

Disney, if you are seeing this post, please read the following three step plan very carefully. First, approach George Lucas. (Don't say that you don't know him because I know that you've worked with him before--you just re-launched his Star Tours ride in your theme parks, OK?) Then, ask if you can borrow whatever thingamajig or doodad he's using to convert his Star Wars movies to 3D. Finally, use this device to convert the original Tron and re-release it in the theaters and/or on Blu-ray. With the bajillion dollars of money you have stashed away, don't expect me to believe that you can't do this.

Gremlins and Gremlins 2 (1984 and 1990)

There are just too many scenes of inspired slapstick mayhem in both of Joe Dante's Gremlins movies that I can't imagine them not being converted into 3D. Because Dante's first award-winning foray into 3D cinema, The Hole (2009), has yet to be released in the US in its original 3D format (the only available version of this movie so far is the 2D DVD that was released in the UK, Scandinavia and Hong Kong), re-releasing his Gremlins movies in 3D would be one way to compensate for such an egregious injustice.

Ghostbusters (1984)

Given the number of nifty special effects that were used in this blockbuster movie, it would be the perfect candidate for 3D conversion. Ghosts, demon dogs, and nuclear-powered positronic energy beams that trash a classy hotel, all in 3D? Count me in! Furthermore, with Ghostbusters 3 stuck in pre-production limbo, a 3D re-release of the first film would be a more than adequate substitute.

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Yet another example of humorous, absurd horror that would benefit greatly by being converted into the third dimension. I suppose that the other two Evil Dead movies should get the 3D treatment too, but I think the middle movie would make the best usage of the 3D format with its dynamic selection of camera tricks, special effects and feats of "splatstick" comedy. Groovy!

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

There are plenty of other examples where live-action actors have co-mingled with hand-drawn, 2D characters, but this film by Robert Zemeckis is one of the most ambitious. Converting this film to 3D would enhance the film's already impressive visual illusion of flesh and blood characters interacting with those made of ink and paint. Furthermore, where else would you be able to see both Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse in 3D?

Arachnophobia (1990)

Somewhere out there, movie gimmick master William Castle is looking at our new CGI and 3D technology and wondering why nobody has made a 3D CGI film about a horde of tiny, killer bugs. This could be a film about a swarm of flying killer insects, which appear to fly out of the screen and into the audience (along with a surround sound audio track of buzzing to make the audience feel immersed inside of the swarm), or a film about a swarm of creepy, crawly killer insects that appear to scurry out of the screen (along with carefully placed buzzers hidden in seats throughout the theater and activated randomly during these scenes). Until this kind of movie is made, someone might as well convert Arachnophobia from 2D to 3D.

The Spider-Man trilogy (2002-2007)

There are plenty of superhero movies out there that would probably look great in 3D. Marvel has taken notice: Both Thor and Captain America are being released in both 2D and 3D versions. Yet I think that the superhero movies that would look the most spectacular in 3D would be Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies. Spidey's mid-air acrobatics and high-flying duels with villains such as the Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus are perfect for the 3D format. (Case in point: The Universal Studio Theme Park's The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man 3D simulator ride.) If Sony refuses 3D conversions to be made of the Spider-Man films that they own, Marvel could always do it for the Iron Man movies, The Incredible Hulk, or the short-lived computer animated Spider-Man TV series.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)

As pulp sci-fi films go, Sky Captain has to be the most underrated. Even though Star Wars and its countless knockoffs modeled their narratives after pulp sci-fi from the 30s, 40s and 50s, they utilized a dirty, gritty "used universe" look. In contrast, Sky Captain took the sleek and shiny pulp sci-fi art from the same era and gleefully made sweet, sweet cinematic love to it on the silver screen. Thus, to see such artwork get both the high-def CGI treatment AND high-quality 3D conversion would be every pulp sci-fi aficionado's dream come true.

Anything by Ray Harryhausen

When Tim Burton and Henry Selick's The Nightmare Before Christmas movie was re-released in 3D, it proved that 2D stop-motion animation could be successfully converted to 3D. Thus, why not perform 3D conversions for the work done by one of the most influential stop-motion pioneers, Ray Harryhausen? Jason and the Argonauts, Mysterious Island, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, 20 Million Miles to Earth ... the list goes on and on of works that he created that are excellent candidates for conversion to 3D.


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