I watched the 2D to 3D conversion of Top Gun, presented in IMAX 3D.
Digital IMAX is not real IMAX for those of us who used to see the big screen IMAX. Digital IMAX 3D is a tiny screen with a really, really, really loud sound system. So loud that I wore ear plugs through the entire movie (I often carry earplugs with me to protect my hearing).
The only meaningful difference between IMAX 3D and Real 3D theaters is IMAX 3D is really, really, really loud. Yeah, the IMAX 3D sound system is “better” and goes to at least 11. Maybe 111.
The 2D to 3D conversion mostly works well. Many of the original scenes used narrow depth of field to convey depth so that in this 3D conversion, those out of focus section are still out of focus. Not my preference for out of focus to convey depth in 3D when actual depth can convey the same idea.
There were several scenes that probably work better as 2D-to-3D conversion than if they had been shot in 3D. During the conversion process, depth maps are created and they can be used to position subjects where ever needed. The aerial combat scenes are an example where this works well – in real life, it would have been tough to capture the deep 3D effects due to the need for very wide lens spacing in a true 3D camera. Another example was a brief clip of an air terminal building, and one of planes on the flight lane, where a 3D camera probably would not have captured depth so well due to the placement of subjects from near to far.
This was the first full length 2D-to-3D conversion that I have watched and I thought the conversion was done well and worked out well and I will go see other converted movies in the future.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. My recollection was that I liked the movie when it first came out long ago due to the fact that I liked the flying scenes (even if somethings were a little goofy – I have a pilot’s license and I can be picky about such things), but had remembered not liking the cocky, arrogant attitude of the young pilots portrayed in the movie. (I’ve known a few military pilots and they were neither cocky nor arrogant but professionals.)
In the final assessment, I’ll pay a premium for 3D – but I would not pay a premium for digital IMAX. Today, the IMAX brand means its really loud and the screen size in digital IMAX is not the giant IMAX screens of the past. May as well see the same movie, if available, on Sony 4K/RealD 3D instead for a bit less money.
That out of the way, the U.S. Navy rocks and anyone who watches the movie will want to enlist immediately afterwards 🙂