I felt like watching a movie this weekend, and there were several choices: There was Hancock, but I can't stand Will Smith, who seems to play the same role over and over again in all of his movies, so that was out. Then there's Mamma Mia!, but I hate musicals, and never liked ABBA, so watching a movie with 2 hours of ABBA songs is a fate worse than death--I might end up vomiting in the theater, so that was definitely out.
In the end, I settled for Journey to the Center of the Earth; not the regular version showing in most theaters, but the 3D version showing in only one theater in Metro Manila--the SM Digital Cinema at The Block, located in SM City North EDSA.
Tickets were priced at P 301.00 for the 3D version; a bit expensive and more than double the price of regular movie tickets. Upon entering, we were given glasses, and they were a surprise--I was expecting those cardboard glasses with the red and blue plastic tints, but these glasses were the polarized type with an all-plastic frame; they fit more like goggles, as your eyes are somewhat far away from the lenses.
Unlike some recent films which had selected 3D scenes, Journey to the Center of the Earth was filmed entirely in 3D using Real D Cinema technology, which uses a single high resolution digital projector instead of the two-projector analog system used by most IMAX theaters.
As the film started, we were prompted to wear the glasses, and I immediately noticed how sharp and clear the 3D effects were--since it was digital, there were hardly any scratches or smudges, and the D Cinema's awesome sound system only made the viewing experience better.
Turns out the film wasn't a remake of the Jules Verne novel; it used the novel mainly as a reference for the movie's plot. To make a long story short, a volcanologist (Brendan Fraser) discovers his missing brother's notes scrawled along the pages of Verne's novel and seeing the uncanny similarities to his work data, sets out for Iceland with his nephew to investigate further. There they meet another volcanologist's daughter (the lovely Anita Briem), who guides them to a nearby mountain. Eventually the trio is forced inside the mountain, and their adventure begins.
The film is just mostly okay, with a so-so storyline, but the 3D effects make it work--overall, the entire movie can be compared to something like a 90-minute amusement park ride. Don't even bother to watch this if it's not the 3D version.