‘Rescue 3D’ Makes Spectacular Use of IMAX

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – With the tenth anniversary of September 11th on the horizon, “Rescue 3D” is a nice reminder of the first responders who step into the disasters, and the film itself is an incredible use of the 3D technology, best utilized on the IMAX screen.

The documentary profiles four “rescue” operatives, covering the land (firefighter), sea (naval vessel) and air (pilots) as they go about the endless hours of training for the just-in-case scenario. The technology of 3D is a literal front row seat to this action, with the “popping out of the screen’ effect finally utilized in a way to enhance scenery and action, rather than wearing the glasses for no apparent reason. In essence, this must be seen in 3D and IMAX to be fully appreciated.

The rescuers are Peter Crain, the captain of a Canadian Navy Destroyer, whose life has been dedicated to the sea and his role in protecting the coast. Lauren Ross is in training as an Air Force pilot, learning the subtleties of a huge C-17 Globemaster transport jet. Steven Heicklen is a blue collar contractor who volunteers for his local firefighting brigade. And Matt Jonkey is the crucial helicopter pilot in the Nevada National Guard. His search and rescue skills are crucial for missions large and small.

Transport: The C-17 Globemaster Jet in  ‘Rescue 3D’’
Safe Transport: The C-17 Globemaster Jet in ‘Rescue 3D’
Photo credit: K2 Communications

All the of skills of these brave men and women are challenged when Haiti experiences a 7.0 earthquake and needs the world to come to its rescue. Boats, planes, helicopters and experience are necessary to save a basically destroyed country. The expertise of the four profiled specialists is put on high alert, with all the training exercises paying off to rescue Haitians in dire need.

Oftentimes, 3D technology in the film business has a cynical air about it. Many of the narrative movies of the last several years are not shot using 3D cameras, but manipulated in post production to coerce the effect (and add the box office dollars for the additional fee). This is a true 3D film, shot with the wide format IMAX cameras, capturing the images of the rescuers in vivid and appropriate detail. The pictures actually thrill rather than annoy and there is no loss of story or field of reference. This film is why the current 3D format was invented. The large screen IMAX format is perfect to really show the film off, it is the only way to go if available.

In the age of information, truly brave souls are shuffled behind celebrities and Trump-like greed merchants. The profiles of the various rescue specialists have a just-the-facts quality, and within their various modes of transport the special cameras take us right next to them. This type of document lends truth to the cinema experience, but more importantly focuses on the effort and perspective that is necessary to go into “combat,’ whether taking an injured hiker off a cliff or maintain an aircraft balance when transporting a 10 tons of motor vehicles.

The Haiti part of the story is a slap in the face. No one is prepared for such a disaster, and the operations to quell such a situation most likely need to be invented on the fly. The four experts are all challenged when facing the injured and mounds of endless rubble. But calmly, assuredly, they take their role on the humanitarian stage. The most wonderful element was the charts and graphs that illustrated the worldwide response. We hear so much of “response” in regard to war, shock-and-awe or however the machine wants to spin it, but the worldwide cooperative effort to aid in a disaster is a true use of strength.

The Mission: Haitians Await the Arrival of Aid in  ‘Rescue 3D’’
The Mission: Haitians Await the Arrival of Aid in ‘Rescue 3D’
Photo credit: K2 Communications

If there is any criticism, the film is too short (it is categorized as a “short film,” clocking in at 45 minutes). Although the compact size of the film narrows the focus and allows for complete attention and detail, it might have been interesting to follow the individual Haitian missions of the four experts a little more closely, to see how their response adds to the overall soul of the country’s recovery.

As we live as part of a 24/7 information machine, there is such an emphasis on negativity and the sorrow associated with it. If you need an uplift or some hope for the future, spend some time with Rescue 3D and these true heroes of society, there when we need them.

“Rescue 3D” continues its limited release in Chicago on August 19th. See listings for 3D and IMAX showings. Featuring Peter Crain, Lauren Ross, Steven Heicklen and Matt Jonkey. Directed by Stephen Low. Not Rated.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2011 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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