Mission: Impossible – Fallout in 3D

Rewatchathon 2020 #14
Christopher McQuarrie | 147 mins | download | 2.39:1 + 1.90:1 | USA, China, France, Norway & UK / English & French | 12 / PG-13

Mission: Impossible - Fallout 3D

Despite Paramount’s best efforts to screw over 3D fans by not releasing it on Blu-ray anywhere in the world, there is a copy of Fallout in 3D out there if you know where to look (and you do have to hunt for it a bit, because it’s not on the best-known torrent sites).

Like so many modern blockbusters, Fallout was not shot in 3D but was converted during post-production, at the request of the filmmakers (including director Chris McQuarrie) to tap into the box office potential of that format in certain markets (I believe 3D remains very popular in Asia, primarily). Paramount agreed to that, but didn’t think there was enough market to bother releasing it on 3D Blu-ray (a view clearly not held by other studios, who continue to release 3D discs in some countries (although which countries varies by studio, strangely)). However, the 3D version was quietly released for streaming rentals in some places, which is the source of the copy I found.

Most streaming rental services don’t offer 3D, and those that do tend to be TV-based and stuck on older, lower quality standards. So the original source for this was probably 720p, which was then ripped, squashed (to what’s known as half side-by-side 3D), and recompressed. It’s wound up looking almost DVD-ish in resolution. But it’s better than literally nothing, which (given Paramount’s irritating refusal to release it on disc) is the only alternative. And it’s watchable, so long as your focus is on the 3D rather than the overall PQ. (The thing that really amazed me while watching this is that there are people who think such DVD-like levels of quality are perfectly acceptable on their 4K TVs, and they see no need to upgrade to Blu-ray / an HD Netflix subscription / etc. Those people really should’ve gone to Specsavers.)

It's even more vertiginous in three dimensions

As a 3D fan, it’s worth enduring the lower resolution, because the 3D itself is superb. It may be a post-conversion (and, at that, one the director not only didn’t supervise but has never even watched) but it’s really well done, in particular during the action sequences — which, in fairness, is most of the movie. The skydive; the Paris bike chase; the helicopter stuff; perhaps most of all the clifftop fight — they all gain something from the third dimension. In some it’s a sense of scale — Hunt and Walker suspended in space as they freefall; an almost similar sensation during their climactic fight on the cliff, which now feels so high up. Other times, it puts you right in the heart of the action — the low-angle shots and speeding camerawork during the car chases mean that surrounding traffic whooshes at and past you in 3D, like being on some sort of rollercoaster. There’s not much poking-out-of-the-screen action (though I rarely notice it in home 3D viewing even when others praise a film for it, so I won’t swear to there being none), but at appropriate times you can feel bullets or debris flying out of the screen at you. It’s a literally engrossing experience.

I’m thrilled I finally managed to find and watch it. Though that’s a mixed blessing, because while the 3D didn’t disappoint, the lack of disc release still does. If the 3D had been a bit rubbish, I could’ve written this viewing off to experience and been happy to never see the film in that format again. But as it’s great, I’m now even more disappointed by the lack of a 3D Blu-ray. I’m going to find it frustrating to go back to watching some of the action scenes in boring old 2D. Whenever I next watch Fallout it’ll be in 4K, and I’ll console myself with the fact that’s how it was actually shot, and I’m sure it’ll look great because it’s a very well-shot film… but the third dimension will be sorely missed.

5 out of 5

My full review of Mission: Impossible – Fallout is here.

2 thoughts on “Mission: Impossible – Fallout in 3D

  1. I watched Judy on a DVD borrowed from Claire’s mom the other night and was pretty shocked at how it looked on my OLED (on a 4K player which is up-rezzing things best it can anyway). I really cannot fathom why people have stuck with DVD and not moved to HD, especially as panels have gotten bigger and their DVDs just look so much worse. You’d think HD streaming via Netflix or Amazon etc would be enough to sway them towards the Blu-ray route, but maybe that’s just it- streaming actually leaves people less inclined to stay physical or upgrade their DVD player. God knows you can buy a Blu-Ray player dirt cheap these days but that ship has sailed, I guess (we actually bought one for Claire’s mom for Christmas, if only so she could watch some of our Blu-Ray discs).

    Although I do have some consolation that if the Internet goes kaput I’ll still have a library of films to pass the time while the mass public riot in the streets in blind panic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tried to watch The Platform on Netflix the other night, and they were affording it so little bandwidth (I presume due to the speed-limiting they’ve been reported to be doing in Europe) that it looked absolutely terrible. But, a bright side: since that experience I’ve turned to watching discs more than streaming, so I’m finally making a dent in my unwatched pile. Well, less a dent, more a slight blemish, but every little helps.

      And having said all this, I watched a Hammer film on DVD the other night and was surprised by how OK it looked. It was a bit of a ropey old print anyway, so I would in no way say it looked great, but it was perfectly watchable. A restored Blu-ray would unquestionably look much better, but it did make me see how laypeople can still think DVD is alright, especially if they haven’t seen a proper comparison.

      Liked by 1 person

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