3D movies are big business. In cinema houses around the country, 3D movies rake in more cash at the box office than their 2D counterparts do. This may be, in part, a result of fact that 3D tickets are a good deal more expensive. However, if the films were consistently bad, nobody would buy tickets to see them.
We've compiled a list of our favorite 3D Movies, from today's big releases to the pioneers of the technology in days gone by. Pop these movies into your new 3D Blu-ray player and enjoy the ride.
Avatar - We would be remiss if we didn't mention this film, not just because it is the current standard-bearer of 3D technology, but also because it did over 2 billion dollars in business at the box office. Most filmmakers and studios dance in the street if a film does a hundred million dollars in box office receipts. More than 2 billion dollars is almost unheard of in the movie world; in fact, it is unheard of because Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time.
Toy Story 3 – The third, and some argue the best, installment of the Toy Story franchise deals with themes of aging, changes and the excitement of finding new and exciting things in life. This is very appropriate because the children that loved this show in the '90s are now grown-ups finding their place in the world. The story ends with our favorite Toys finding a new home in the playground of a new child. The show is exciting, funny, sad and ultimately uplifting.
Hugo – Most of the film takes place in a train station. It starts out as a story about an orphan boy who lives in clock and a miserly old man who runs the toy stand. While at first the story focuses on the boy, you soon discover that the plot really belongs to the old man – and he turns out to be French film pioneer Georges Méliès. Georges discovers new meaning in life after losing everything that he held dear after his movies started failing at the beginning of World War I.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – We can only imagine the pitch for this movie to the executives at Sony pictures. "OK, we want to make a movie about a guy who invents a machine that makes it rain food!" Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? However, we have to hand it to the writer (Phil Lord) and directors (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller) who adapted this popular children's book into a film that is remarkably powerful for viewers of all ages. We generally view films with more than one director with a wary eye, but while sitting in the theater we forgot all about that concern when bread and fried chicken wings started falling from the sky.
Creature from the Black Lagoon – Speaking of film pioneers, this film is not only one of the first Hollywood movies filmed in 3D, but it is also a trailblazer in the monster movie genre. While it may look and feel tame by Avatar's standards, at the time this quest into the Amazonian jungle was terrifying to audiences. The 3D technology contained in this film is basic, but it enhanced the show for audiences whose 3D experiences were previously nonexistent.
Dial M for Murder – This film was released in the same year as Creature from the Black Lagoon. While this film was technically a horror at the time, it was a very different animal from Creature. Dial M is a compelling murder plot gone wrong in classic Hitchcock fashion. This film is required viewing for any film buff or would-be filmmaker who wishes to cut his teeth in the thriller genre. Again, the 3D feels hackneyed by today's standards, but sixty years ago, it was state of the art.
Friday the 13th Part III – For a while it seemed like 3D would forever be the exclusive property of horror films, but today 3D lends itself more to the sci-fi genre. For moviegoers who were born after 1965, their first exposure to 3D films in the theater would likely have been watching Jason Voorhees slash teenagers to death in the summer of 1982. This movie was intended to be the franchise's finale. However, the film was so profitable, Paramount had no choice but to continue the carnage at Camp Crystal Lake for two more decades.
All of these films are the type of content 3D players were made for. Some of the films that our staff suggested that didn't make this list, but they're still are worth watching. Honorable mentions include Tron: Legacy, How to Train Your Dragon and Jaws 3D. We actually had a lot of internal debate about that last one, so watch it, but keep your expectations low.
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