Finally, a proper 3D video presentation of the film that made Hollywood bring back 3D
Granskad i USA den 3 februari 2016
The 1980's 3D resurgence should have taken place in 1969, after the release of The Stewardesses, a film which at the time of its release became the highest grossing 3D film ever made, up until the current 3D releases, that is. Hollywood should have taken notice because of its success, but with it being a soft core adult film with a self applied 'X' rating, Hollywood basicly said 'ehhh'.
But in 1981, Comin' at Ya! was released, and even though it had an advertising campaign that didn't show a single clip from the movie at all, the film was a surprise hit. This time, however, Hollywood did take notice and started production on 3D films, due to the innovations in 3D filmmaking that took place since the 50's 3D boom, most notably Chris Condon's StereoVision process, first used on The Stewardesses.
Comin' at Ya!, a spaghetti western released at a time when the genre had, for lack of a better term, gone the way of the old west, is a straight forward quest story. Our hero, H.H. Hart, played by Tony Anthony, is seeking revenge towards a pair of desperados who displayed the bad manners of attacking him during his wedding day, leaving him for dead and kidnapping his bride, who he must now save before she is sold into slavery.
Comin' at Ya! is an very aptly named film, because the filmmakers do not shy away from using the 3D process, and shows you exactly, from the minute the film opens, what to expect: objects comin at ya from off the screen every chance they get, and I do mean every chance they get. But the more noticeable 3D moments, in my opinion, were the scenes that showed off depth perception, which were awesome and a nice break from the barrage of pop out effects this film is best known for.
But let's get to a problem that may cause some to not get the Blu-ray: Noir 3D. I was afraid that this "visual reimaging" of the film would be majorly annoying, but after seeing the film, it's not as terrible as I had previously imagined. There's not that much of this in the Blu-ray release, only around three minutes or so (not counting the end credit sequence), which is a good thing. I can't tell you if the 2013 re-release of the film had more of this compared to the Blu-ray release because I wasn't lucky enough to live by a Alamo Drafthouse, where the re-release was shown and I was unable to see that version. If you want to see what the Blu-ray could have looked like with more of the Noir 3D, just watch the 3D "sizzle reel" that's shown during the end credits, which has been re-edited from the original release so that technical credits could be added for this new version. I'm still of the opinion that Noir 3D shouldn't have been added to the film at all, to give it a "Sin City" kind of feel, but with Sin City, that was the way that that film was from the beginning and is that film's director's stylish approach to the film, not an after thought like Noir 3D was in relation with Comin' at Ya!
Video: Of course, there are some that are going to say "Restored version? There are black spots on the screen during some of the scenes. It's not restored!", but I take it as more of a conversion than anything else. Tony Anthony's main goal probably was just to get the film back out there in 3D, and nothing else. I contribute the black spots in the film to the movie's filming conditions, which weren't the best in the world, and some things couldn't be helped. At least the black spots wasn't as distracting as the Noir 3D scenes. In my opinion, this is the best this film is going to look, despite not having gone through an all out restoration.
Audio: This is a new all 5.1 surround mix, apparently not based on the Dolby Stereo soundtrack of the original release, but it is a enjoyable sound mix, all the same. A 2 channel audio track is also on the disc.
3D: Like reactions by other viewers, I had a slight problem with ghosting, but it wasn't that noticeable because the ghosting was very, very light. The pop out effects and depth perception of the film are top notch and I wouldn't be wrong in saying that people are probably going to get this, if not for any other reason, to use as a demo disc for their home 3D setup.
Bonus Features: The extended Noir 3D trailer (6:00) from the 2013 re-release, titled 'Promo' on the disc, and a trailer (2:00) from the 2015 re-release are the only bonus materials on the disc. It would have been nice to see at least a retrospective interview with Tony Anthony or the original 1981 trailer and TV advertising spots for the film though.
Overall opinion: I was satisfied to finally see Comin' at Ya! in real stereoscopic 3D, as it is one of the missed 3D movie going experiences of my youth. Despite the alterations to the film, which are slight compared to what could have been, this is a Blu-ray that deserves a place in everyone's Blu-ray 3D collection.
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