Encounter In The Third Dimension

on March 31, 1999 by Annlee Ellingson
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   nWave makes its first foray into large-format filmmaking, a genre dominated by IMAX, with this 3-D adventure through the history of--what else?--3-D. A supposedly brilliant but bumbling professor (Stuart Pankin) has gathered an audience to witness the premiere of his new invention, Real-O-Vision, which will recreate a virtual Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. The experiment flops, however, and while he attempts to fix the problem, he asks his flying robotic assistant M.A.X. to fill the time with a history of 3-D.
   A wanting storyline, granted, but it serves as a catalyst to show off the medium, beginning with a montage of mid-19th century stereoscopic images and continuing through the theme park rides of today. Then the footwork gets really fancy, as the Professor sends M.A.X.--and us--on an extended roller coaster ride to the center of the earth, and M.A.X. plays around with perspective, making commuters on the Pasadena freeway look like model cars.
   Unfortunately, the climax of the film, when the Professor finally gets his Real-O-Vision to work, is relatively disappointing, consisting merely of Elvira singing "Haunted House," a performance both too sexy and too scary for the kids whom the film is mostly targeting. Starring Stuart Pankin and Elvira. Directed by Ben Stassen. Written by Kurt Frey and Ben Stassen. Produced by Charlotte Clay Huggins. An nWave release. Large format. Unrated. Running time: 35 min
Tags: Stuart Pankin, Elvira, Ben Stassen, Kurt Frey, Charlotte Clay Huggins. An nWave release
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