Over the past year or so, we’ve started to see a rise in the re-release of classic films into theaters. Thanks to digital projection, it is a lot easier, and more importantly to the studios cheaper, to screen a classic like Raiders Of The Lost Ark or Lawrence Of Arabia for a special one-day or one-week only run. Of course, there are sometimes other incentives to get people to come into theaters to see something that they could watch at home and Warner Brothers is looking to go the same route that George Lucas and James Cameron have for one of their catalog classics and will be doing a 3D conversion of the 1939 classic The Wizard Of Oz.
Now, I am not a fan of these upconversions for a couple of reasons. The films were never shot with an eye towards 3D to begin with, so their composition won’t be ideally suited for the format. Sure, there may be some moments that will look good, like shots of Dorothy and company skipping down the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City, but that is just luck rather than design.
And let’s face it, we all pretty much know by now that the ticket price upcharge for 3D movies is pretty much a scam. Since there’s no creative reason to do this, it is pretty much a cynical cash grab. But since there are plenty of fans of the film as well as parents looking for entertainment options for their youngsters, the move will still net the studio a nice little sum.
The film won’t be hitting theaters until 2014, in order to celebrate its 75th anniversary. In the meantime, we always have Sam Raimi’s Oz, The Great And Powerful, an Oz movie purposely shot in 3D, to look forward to on March 8, 2013.