Make a reference to something from The Wizard of Oz – ruby slippers, Emerald City, flying monkeys, and so on – and chances are, whomever you’re talking to will immediately understand what you mean (even Steve Rogers). That’s a solid testament to the staying power of MGM and director Victor Fleming’s Technicolor musical adaptation of the L. Frank Baum Oz story, which opened in theaters some 74 years ago.
WB will re-release Wizard of Oz in theaters this September, albeit only on IMAX 3D screens around the U.S. The limited theatrical run is meant to build-up momentum for a subsequent home video release of a 5-disc anniversary edition, which is going to include Fleming’s motion picture in DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and UltraViolet versions (in addition to bonus features, like a new documentary about the making of the movie).
IMAX Entertainment chairman and president Greg Foster promises that a post-converted stereoscopic (re: 3D) treatment – in combination with the original print being “stretched” to fit the IMAX standard – will help present-day audiences to better understand how people felt watching the film for the first time back in 1939, since “It was one of the first movies that truly came out at you with an explosion of color.”
Many a person’s initial reaction to a classic 2D film being post-converted to 3D is – understandably – wary at best; at worst, they consider it blasphemy. However, the recent 3D/IMAX re-releases for Titanic and Jurassic Park have demonstrated that a meticulous post-conversion can enhance the viewing experience, in addition to bringing out more depth in these blockbuster’s visuals. (That was also the case with last year’s IMAX re-release of Raiders of the Lost Ark.)
Wizard of Oz could benefit from the 3D/IMAX post-conversion process, which may help to make the film’s bright colors all the more striking; not to mention, highlight the details of the hand-crafted sets and costumes in Fleming’s movie. Similarly, film buffs might want to consider giving this theatrical re-release a look, if only for the bragging rights that come with having watched famous Hollywood moments – like Dorothy arriving in Oz or any of the film’s musical numbers – play out on the big screen.
The Wizard of Oz will get a one-week stint in 3D/IMAX theaters around the U.S., beginning on September 20th, 2013; it will later receive a limited international release. Meanwhile, the latest home video anniversary edition – which includes the Blu-ray 3D version – will be released a couple weeks later, on October 1st.
Source: USA Today
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