James Cameron is to 3D what Lyle Lanley is to monorails (sort of). Okay, he’s not a total huckster per se. But is it just me, or is it semi-amusing that Cameron always surfaces in support of his beloved 3D when there’s a good movie in theaters that uses the technology well (i.e. the last time he did this was when Scorsese did “Hugo“)? I’m being glib and facetious, but Cameron isn’t just going to endorse any old mediocre cash-grab 3D conversion (he hasn’t been around to advocate Marvel films for example), but he’ll always stop what he’s doing to help get the word out when a real artisan is using the sterescopic tool — hence appearing in this new featurette for Ang Lee’s dazzling “Life of Pi.”
It’s really one thing to be blown away by the majestic visuals of the film (which are rapturous and immersive), but man, then you watch some of these behind-the-scenes clips about how they did it and the 3D, in-tandem with the ambitious CGI and effects, is just astounding. Richard Parker, the mostly-CGI-created Bengal tiger gets his own featurette and like most critics have already noted, the animal in the films is perhaps one of the best, fully realized digital versions of a real living animal we’ve seen to date on screen.
In our review from the New York Film Festival earlier this year, we called “Life of Pi” a “visually stunning” film and one that “creates an engrossing cinematic experience that is ultimately emotionally involving and rich.” Oscars are bound to be gobbled up by this one, and at the very least during the nomination stage. We’ve also got five new photos from the film has it heads into wide release (2,700 screens) next Wednesday. Starring newcomer Suraj Sharma with supporting turns by Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall and (in a brief cameo) Gérard Depardieu, “Life of Pi” roars into theaters on November 21st. Check out the two featurettes and photos below.