The surge in 3D productions need not always be a sly way for the film studios to generate more dosh (*cough*ClashOfTheTitans*splutter*). For the recent advances in computer generated imagery can really help the audience to feel immersed in the events they witness unfold on the big screen, courtesy of a pair of special specs. Here are the Digital Spy Movie Awards
nominees for the finest cinematic purveyors of all things three dimensional over the past year...> Click here to cast your vote at the DS Movie Awards
"It is especially beautiful at night when the flora and fauna catch the light of a nearby gas planet and the rainforest glows like a giant lava lamp. All this gorgeous scenery is realised with a maniacal attention to detail, right down to the dandelion-like seed pods that are almost constantly floating between the trees." [SP]> Review: 'Avatar'
Alice In Wonderland
"[Tim Burton's] unique brand of Technicolor gothic feels native to this bizarre place (ditto Johnny Depp's Hatter) and the sheer density of the imagery and use of 3D does make it feel as if the enchanted forest might just swallow you up. But you might also feel you cannot see the forest for the trees because being constantly bombarded with sparkly CGI means less room to appreciate the heart's journey." [SP]> Review: 'Alice In Wonderland'
A Christmas Carol
"[The impressive cast's] mannerisms often push through the pixels, lending their characters expressiveness and, in Scrooge's case, pathos. The detail on the computer renderings is often remarkable - you can spot the individual hairs on the tip of Scrooge's nose and glide over and around the streets of 19th century London." [SR]> Review: 'A Christmas Carol'
How To Train Your Dragon
"It's a rites of passage tale that has more in common with the fantasy-adventure fun of the Harry Potter
series than any other CG toon from recent times. Of course, it's all presented in 3D to make the most of the epic scenery and the exotic creatures. The incredible design and visual spectacle of Dragon
is its biggest asset; the soaring flight sequences rival the Avatar
banshee rides for airborne thrills." [SR]> Review: 'How To Train Your Dragon'
"[Directors] Giwa and Pasquini's background is in music videos and during the set pieces at a dingy nightclub and the final street dance contest, they come into their own with some nifty quickfire camerawork that matches the breathtaking dance moves. As one long advert for UK dance, the film works well, capturing the energy and diversity of the underground and overground scenes." [AF]> Review: 'StreetDance'
Shrek Forever After
"A sole criticism is the now-obligatory money-making exercise of the movie being in 3D. It's used infrequently enough here to be pretty pointless and even when it's deployed it does very little, apart from sapping the colour from the screen. But that minor quibble aside, Shrek Forever After
is a fairy tale ending for the series." [MN]> Review: 'Shrek Forever After'
Toy Story 3
"Toy Story 3
feels more dynamic and gag-loaded than its predecessors, but still has sight of Pixar's patented emotional core. The opening sequence - a pulpy Indiana Jones-style set piece as imagined by a young Andy - sets the tone for the caper, which takes the form of a jailbreak film in the mould of The Great Escape
." [SR]> Review: 'Toy Story 3'
"The film's 3D is eye-popping and convincing, with director Pete Docter using a lush colour palette for the tropical surroundings and its weird and wonderful inhabitants. With its pulpy and fantastical plot, postcard-perfect scenery and cranky leading man, Up
is in certain ways the film the last Indiana Jones
could have been. " [SR]> Review: 'Up'
Review excerpts by Stella Papamichael, Alex Fletcher, Mayer Nissim and Simon Reynolds