“A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” earned most of its box office dollars over the weekend from 3D screenings. That’s correct — a comedy that often mocks multidimensional multiplex fare made $13 million by becoming another example of that multidimensional multiplex fare.
When Kal Penn and John Cho recently visited Washington, D.C. on one of the many stops in their “Harold & Kumar” promotional tour, we talked a bit about 3D films and whether they truly have, as Harold contends in the film and its trailer, jumped the shark. (Not surprisingly under the circumstances, the actors did not totally criticize 3D.)
I’d love to hear your thoughts, too: have 3D movies indeed jumped the shark? Do you find them too gimmicky? Or do you, like Penn and Cho, still think 3D is a medium that works when applied to the right kind of movie and executed properly (i.e. not a conversion)?
Read the “Harold & Kumar” stars’ opinions below, then share your own in the comments section.
Did you know off the bat that this would be a 3D movie?
Penn: I think they told us when they said we were doing a third one. Probably right around the time they sent the script, I think was when we found out it was in 3D.
Cho: Which I thought was terrific, you know. My only thing was, we gotta get it out fast because I don’t want this 3D thing to, you know, jump the shark. But it had, which kind of works out great for us in a way. I guess it could be argued that it’s jumped the shark. I don’t know if everybody agrees...
Penn: Yes, of course it’s jumped the shark.
Cho: We got an opportunity to make fun of it. It’s also fun that — are we the first comedy [in 3D]? No, we’re not the first comedy.
Penn: We’re not the first comedy to do it. That’s why I kind of joke about the jumping the shark with you because we’re not the first comedy to do it but I think we’re the first comedy that has both the elements of heart with the characters — what the audience loves about Harold and Kumar is they’re the underdog, they’re the everyman. So seeing them in 3D makes them feel like they’re part of the movie, not just in an audience. But then, I mean, when has a penis been stuck to a pole in 3D? You know what I mean? Like there are some really graphic things that our core fans would enjoy.
Cho: I’m trying to think back to my Italian film class...
Penn: [Laughs] It’s not a big-budget action movie, it’s a T&A-joke type of a comedy and I don’t think we’ve seen that in 3D yet.
As movie fans, how do you feel about 3D?
Penn: I feel like at this point, it’s a little gimmicky, which is good. Because you know what you want to see in 3D and what you don’t. For example, I went to go see “Final Destination 5” in 3D. I was not anticipating that movie to be a hugely emotional, arc-filled extravaganza, I was expecting to see the insane stunts and special effects and horror in 3D, and those were the best parts of the 3D. Something like — my understanding is “The Lion King” in 3D, a lot of people liked it because of the emotional arc, as opposed to any insane special effects.
My hope with our movie — and having seen it in 3D — I feel like it’s those unique gags that you only get in 3D, as well as the emotional arc from having liked the characters. I was happy with that based on how I am as an audience member.
Cho: What’s there to think about it? It’s technological advancement. I think that if you’re a fan of 3D, you don’t have to be against 2D. I think there are many films that are more appropriate in 2D and many films that are more appropriate in 3D. “Avatar” was enhanced by the 3D, I thought. Depending on the movie, I’m thumb’s up on the whole thing.