"As Chris went on through the movie, I didn't want her to be a wimp.
I wanted her to be someone who could survive."
- Dana Kimmell
Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Lisa, fed up with the BS of big business, launched a crusade to bring down Malibu Stacy? She put thought and effort into her Lisa Lionheart doll, but as the masses charged the toy store, they were distracted by something:
Giddy Girl #1: "They changed Malibu Stacy!"
Giddy Girl #2: "She is better than ever!"
Lisa: "Wait! Don't be fooled! She's just a regular Malibu Stacy with a stupid cheap hat! She still embodies all the awful stereotypes she did before!"
Smithers: "...but she's got a new hat!!!"
Sigh, what a bunch of saps, huh? And that brings me to Paramount's third DVD release of Friday the 13th Part 3, now available in a brand new "3-D Deluxe Edition". So all of us horror freaks (the giddy girls in my analogy) are faced with another decision: Do we make due with our 2000 DVD and our 2004 "From Crystal Lake to Manhattan" box set, or do we buy this new version with minimal improvements: a new transfer, a 5.1 track and an average-at-best 3-D version of the film? (If you want extras, you'll have to make due with the measly theatrical trailer we've seen before.) Are we that desperate for even the mildest upgrade? Let's find out.
It's been mere hours since poor Ginny was carted into an ambulance after her counselor friends were hacked to pieces by boy-beast Jason Voorhees. That makes it a little hard for continuity buffs to swallow a few developments in the third installment of horror's longest running franchise: Why does the authentic East Coast camp suddenly look like a California studio ranch, with a "lake" about as big as the oil puddle under my car? And how has the average-sized Jason suddenly lost all his hair, grown a foot taller and bulked up? Was there a Curves nestled somewhere in the woods with a quick weight-machine circuit for slashers on the go!?
Oh, who cares! We still love you, Friday the 13th! Just 15 months after Part 2 hit theaters, director Steve Miner (the only man to helm more than one installment) returned with an achingly familiar plot. He figured that would be forgiven in light of the film's technical fireworks: Part 3 arrived during the early '80s 3-D craze, and this installment was all about the stunts (sadly, my 9-year-old butt wasn't able to sneak into the theaters for this; I did get to see Spacehunter and Jaws 3-D the next year, but it just wasn't the same). This is also the only Friday filmed in the wider 2.35:1 ratio. (Miner has a few nice shots with Jason lurking on the edges, but he doesn't take enough advantage of the scope--many shots could easily drop the sides without compromising the image).
Watching Part 3 shortly after Parts 1 and 2 makes it impossible to ignore the similarities, which reach ridiculous proportions. Characters, kills and plot developments are lifted directly out of both predecessors: there's another prankster, another dullard to bounce off the leading lady, another loopy harbinger of doom (Crazy Ralph, we barely knew ye!), a Kevin Bacon-inspired stab from below (yeah, I know it's intentional, but still...), a familiar canoe climax and a horny woman stopping manly competition with a not-so-subtle promise of sex (in Part 2, Sandra interrupts Jeff and Mark's arm wrestling: "Jeff, don't wear yourself out! If you wanna wrestle, come with me!"; in Part 3, Debbie interrupts Andy and Shelly's juggling: "Andy, I can think of much better things for you to be doing with your hands!"). I guess if it ain't broke...
But none of that might bother you, especially because a few other problems make Part 3 stick out like a sore slasher: The acting takes a dip after somewhat natural performances in the first and (to a lesser degree) second installments, with a script and performances that just feel so gosh-darn high school (what's with the constant name repetition?):
Debbie: "Chris, what's wrong?"
Chris: "It's that creep, Shelly! What a sick sense of humor!"
Debbie: "That's just his way of getting attention. He doesn't know what happened."
Chris: "I know it, Deb!"
Too many of the characters here reach cartoonish levels, like sad Shelly (although you gotta love Larry Zerner's super-tight pants!) and the annoying opening-kill couple ("God damn it, Harrrrold!"). Then there's the out-of place stoners (really?!) who apparently showed up for the wrong film, and the trio of supposedly tough bikers (Ali? Fox?! Loco?!!!) who look like understudies in a poor man's production of West Side Story: "Hey, we gotta even the score, don't we?!"
And after the requisite 6-minute flashback opener and the disco-tastic opening theme (I actually remember a gymnast using that as her floor exercise music!), we meet the fresh meat: Chris (Dana Kimmell), a good girl trying to overcome the anguish of a violent attack from her past (guess who!) by visiting her parents' lakeside home; Rick (Paul Kratka), a down-home country boy and her former flame; Debbie (Tracey Savage), who is pregnant (why, writers, why?!) with baby daddy Andy (Jeffrey Rogers); Shelly (Zerner), an overweight schlub with a box of pranks; his blind date Vera (the underused Catherine Parks is the most natural of the group), who looks an awful lot like Chris and Debbie (is Jason afraid of blonds?); and potheads Chuck (David Katims) and Chili (Rachel Howard), who look a lot older than everyone else. (The supposed friendships between everyone in this installment are some of the hardest to accept in the whole franchise.)
As night falls and the gang splits up, Jason works his way through the group. And if you can overlook the inexplicable growth spurt, Richard Brooker does an unforgettable job as our beloved killer. Jason is much more imposing, and he has a smoother stride this time. And there's something about his slightly short jacket sleeves that creep me out, those beastly arms dangling alongside him like a maniacal Neanderthal.
But most significantly, this is the debut of the hockey mask, which Jason steals from Shelly's box of tricks (how Shelly managed to squeeze a spear gun and a wet suit in there, I'll never know). Seeing Jason stroll down the dock with the mask on for the first time gives me chills--this is cinema history, people! Who knew it would become so iconic?
The kills here aren't all as outlandish as I'd like: Fireplace poker through the stomach? Yawn. Two pitchfork kills? Double yawn. And the electrocution via fuse box could go down as the lamest Friday kill ever (at least in the films that matter). But there are still good ones--the face squeeze was the most-talked about one at the time, but it always looked far too phony (hello, wires!), especially compared to a similar gag in the recent My Bloody Valentine reboot. I much prefer the spear gun and (my favorite) the halving of Andy (ouch!), seen later perched atop a ceiling beam.
Much of the film is used as a vehicle to dazzle you with 3-D wizardry, with shots that would otherwise be a waste of time: popcorn, apples, a TV antenna, a yo-yo, a snake (hello again, wires!), a rat on a plank, a baseball bat and about a billion tool handles don't exactly send you reeling from the screen. But some work, including Jason's hand extending out before he muffles Edna's mouth ("Now where's that other needle?"), Harold's laundry pole and the spear. (But hey, I loved the shark breaking through the glass and into my face in Jaws 3-D, so what the hell do I know?!)
As down as I may seem on Part 3, it makes up for it with a kickass end chase (where the requisite rain is replaced by a fierce wind, a nice touch). Kimmell may not be the best actress (not only did her attack story not make much sense, it was a tad cheesy), but she injects Chris with a toughness that invigorate the last 20 minutes. She puts up one hell of a fight: bookshelf, knife, log, shovel, noose, ax...pardon my tragic un-hipness, but you go, girl! There are plenty of spirited moments in the cat-and-mouse game, where Chris makes some smart--and not so smart--decisions (I understand the scream, but why did you hesitate and look back when you got that bedroom door open?!)
There's also another body slam through a window, an instant staple of the series. The final barn standoff is full of crowd-rousing moments, and it has one of my all-time favorite sequences--the shove off the ledge and opening of the doors ("He can't be alive!"). I also love how Kimmell has Chris going a little looney tunes (wouldn't we all?!), and some of the final images--including a possible hallucination and the final shot in the barn--are chilling.
But I have to admit chuckling now when Chris shouts "It's you!" after she gets a brief glimpse of Jason's face--she really hadn't figured that out yet?! It reminds me of the exact same line in The Wrong Trousers, when Wallace finally realizes the rooster thief is really his penguin tenant:
Part 3 may not be in the top tier of Friday films, but even with the flaws it's still a fun time. And with that groovy van (one word: shag!), all is forgiven!
To help put my thoughts on the series and each film into perspective, let's take a look at my quality rankings (subject to shuffling within their groups at my leisure):
A Cut Above: The Top Tier
1. Friday the 13th (1980)
director: Sean S. Cunningham
leading lady: Adrienne King; Jason: Ari Lehman
The original and still the best, this low-budget indie started a slasher craze that hijacked horror in the early '80s. Singlehandedly giving summer camps a bad name, it's a perfectly crafted campfire tale with great gore from FX legend Tom Savini and a genuine sense of tension in its creepy, isolated setting. The only franchise film presented (a little deceptively) as a mystery, it's strengthened by likeable characters and natural performances--something none of its sequels (and very few slasher films) can claim. Adrienne King puts up a great fight, etching her name as one of the best "final girl" scream queens--and two iconic villains make a mark on horror history. The film owes a lot to Halloween, but still has its own flavor.
2. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
director: Joseph Zito
leading lady: Kimberly Beck; Jason: Ted White
Three years after directing The Prowler, Joseph Zito stepped in to inject a little nastiness back into the franchise. Savini also returned to up the gore quotient, topping his work on Part 1. The result is one of the leaner and meaner entries in the series, with some of my favorite kills (normally I'd love to hop in the shower with Peter Barton; not so much this time). While Parts 2 and 6 are stronger from a story perspective, there's something so attractive about this installment--it's just vicious (I have equal enthusiasm for all three of these top sequels, by far the best ones). The Final Chapter introduced Tommy Jarvis to the fold, tampering with the "one female survivor" formula, but the film still has one of the best end chases and "final girls"--Kimberly Beck was undoubtedly the strongest of all the Friday women at acting genuinely scared (listen to her voice crack: "Tommy! You were supposed to leave!"). On the bad side, a dog dies (oh, poor Gordon!), and the off-camera exit of mom is a little annoying. On the plus side: If you're annoyed by Crispin Glover, he gets it real good. And hey, it's those twins from Days of Our Lives!
3. Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
director: Tom McLoughlin
leading lady: Jennifer Cooke; Jason: C.J. Graham
Some diehards dislike this installment because it strays from the formula; it's probably one of the more enjoyable for casual fans, and critics were slightly kinder to it. That's because Tom McLoughlin (whose first film, One Dark Night, still holds a fond place in my heart) decided to inject a few laughs, making this one of the first genre films to successfully blend horror and humor. He does a damn good job--in many ways, this is the strongest film in the franchise, and is easily the strongest from a production standpoint. The self-awareness holds up well today, never hurting the fright factor. I also love the look and sound--Jason Lives is smooth and slick, the most professional of the first nine entries. Jason's resurrection is given a supernatural element for the first time--and it's the only time it works for me. But best of all is C.J. Graham, my favorite Jason ever--he has a commanding presence, and adds a few slight yet masterful touches (he was hired shortly after filming began; the paintball sequence is the only one without him). Add in a great opener with a memorable title sequence featuring a reinvigorated Harry Manfredini score (and the closing credits with that rockin' Alice Cooper theme song!) and this one always puts a smile on my face.
4. Friday the 13th (2009)
director: Marcus Nispel
leading lady: Danielle Panabaker; Jason: Derek Mears
No film in the franchise was put under the microscope like this one: With the series derailed long ago, hopes were high--with many fans holding expectations unheard of for the 11 previous films. Nonetheless, everyone was thrilled Friday finally got back to basics. Not a remake and not a re-imagining, this version takes place after the events in Part 1 (given quick reference during the opening credits) and uses pieces from the other films, most notably Parts 2 through 4. After a long opening sequence sets the tone--five campers meet a grisly fate--the film has a familiar set-up: a group of young horny friends visit a cabin for the weekend. Along comes Clay (Jared Padalecki) looking for sister Whitney (Amanda Righetti), who disappeared six weeks earlier in a spooky part of the woods near the long-abandoned Camp Crystal Lake. He gets help from Jenna (Danielle Panabaker), who sympathizes with his plight. What follows is the slickest entry in the series, with a number of killer sequences--I loved the opening, the lake stalking, the unfortunate fate of Lawrence and the last two set pieces. Director Marcus Nispel (also responsible for 2003's Texas Chainsaw reboot) throws in a few neat touches of his own (love the underground!), and he also messes with one of the formula's staples. The only thing that bothered me (and to a large degree) was the large number of highly annoying characters, primarily four of the supposed "friends" (led by Travis Van Winkle's Trent, who ruins every scene he's in). But this is easily the best sequel since Jason Lives, and one of the most re-watchable of the bunch. Not the perfection many were unfairly hoping for, but still a bloody good time--especially with Derek Mears' awesome Jason (the potato sack and the hockey mask both make appearances!) and Righetti's awesome lungs (damn that woman can scream!) leading the way. For now, I'll place this fourth--let's see how future viewings alter its legacy.
5. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
director: Steve Miner
leading lady: Amy Steel; Jason: Steve Dash/Warrington Gillette
Part 1 producer/production manager Steve Miner steps up to the director's chair for his first feature, which faithfully follows the original's framework (translation: it's pretty similar). A little time has passed since the original, and a nearby camp is set to open with new counselors. This is the first full role for Jason, and the only time he seems human and vulnerable, which I love. He's got a smaller frame, and Steve Dash (Warrington Gillette gets all the credit, but Dash did more work) does a great job. And screw the hockey mask--that sack is way creepier. Some gore cuts hurt the fun, but there are still some effective kills (my heart aches for Mark!) and a great location (like Part 1, this was shot on a real camp in the East Coast, not in California). And while it's a close call, I think I'd name Amy Steel as my favorite heroine of them all--Ginny is one smart, tough cookie. This film has a similar vibe as the first, with some scares that still hold up ("Paul, I think there's someone in this room..."). On the down side, what happened to Paul? And why the hell did you have to do that to Adrienne King?!
The Middle of the Machete
6. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
director: Steve Miner
leading lady: Dana Kimmell; Jason: Richard Brooker
Miner is the only director to helm two entries in the series, and this one was all about capitalizing on the 3-D craze. The production headed to California (it shows), and while I'd never count acting as a franchise strength, the performances here are worse than usual. This picks up immediately after Part 2, making Jason's sudden growth spurt an issue for continuity sticklers. But I'll suspend my disbelief because Richard Brooker does a great job of scaring the hell out of me (his Jason is visually the creepiest). His presence helps offset some of this entry's oddities, like those ridiculous bikers who are so not badass. Dana Kimmell may not be the best actress, but she makes up for it with a fun final chase--including one of my favorite sequences of the whole series (when those barn doors open, I still get the chills: "He can't be alive!"). But I'm not a fan of the jump scare that follows, a Part 1 rip-off that has another jarring continuity error. The gore is built around the 3-D effects, which don't hold up very well (the eyeball isn't anywhere close to realistic), and that opening funky new wave theme is sooo '80s. But with the debut of the hockey mask, Part 3 still holds significance.
7. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
director: Danny Steinmann
leading lady: Melanie Kinnaman; Jason: Tom Morga
Like Part 3, the fifth installment has some not-so-nuanced acting from a lot of the cast--but considering they're loony bin residents, it's not as jarring. Danny Steinmann was a year removed from directing the Linda Blair exploitation classic Savage Streets, and like The Final Chapter this entry is a little nasty. In retrospect, I love the idea behind the story--but it could have been done better, and the characters have zero connection with each other. The ending has a neat twist, and one murder makes me cringe (watch out for that ax!). John Shepherd does a good job as the brooding, disturbed Tommy, and Melanie Kinnaman has some good moments in the end (although the barn standoff is too similar to Part 3). Otherwise, the stalk sequences aren't very inspired, and the kills seem more flashy than frightening. I also loathe over-the-top Ethel and her dimwitted son, and there's something weird about watching Dudley from Diff'rent Strokes run around and scream in a red sweat suit. But this entry gets bonus points for the best Friday song ever: Psuedo Echo's "His Eyes", used to great effect during Violet's dance with death.
8. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
director: John Carl Buechler
leading lady: Lar Park-Lincoln; Jason: Kane Hodder
For a while, this was one of my favorites--but it hasn't aged well. The first gimmick film in the franchise, The New Blood pits a resurrected Jason (now looking more monster-like than before) against Tina, a Carrie in training. Lar Park-Lincoln pits her telekinetic powers against the villain, who stalks a cabin full of mostly annoying teenagers (the set-up is identical to The Final Chapter). It's hard to care about most of the stereotyped kids save for Tina and hunky Nick (Kevin Blair/Spirtas), but you will cheer for the demise of bitchy Melissa (Susan Jennifer Sullivan). Kane Hodder is the only man to play Jason more than once--this was his first of four consecutive appearances behind the mask. He never stood out much for me, probably because he was weighed down in heavy makeup and costumes. This installment is the most butchered of the entire series, and fans have long been clamoring for the restored gore (seen in very rough form as an extra in Paramount's 2004 box set), which would help the choppy feel of the kills. But you have to admit the sleeping bag slam is still pretty cool!
Bottom of the Bloody Barrel
9. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
director: Ronny Yu
leading lady: Monica Keena; Jason: Ken Kirzinger
In theory, this is the film I should hate the most: 60 years after Frankenstein squared off with The Wolf Man, the genre's two modern icons finally met after years of speculation. I was never really a Freddy Kruger fan--after the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, he just became a wisecracking clown (Wes Craven's New Nightmare was the only other entry I really liked, although Dream Warriors had cheesy appeal at the time). This film is far better (and immensely more watchable) than the three travesties that preceded it--but it's not really a Friday film. This is a Freddy showcase with Jason as a sideshow, but at least it has a decent structure and is played relatively straight. Yes, the final showdown is super lame, but there are still some cool moments and a few good (intended) laughs...and that Destiny's Child chick cusses! (Note: This is the only film in the series that doesn't have a Harry Manfredini score.)
10. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
director: Rob Hedden
leading lady: Jensen Daggett; Jason: Kane Hodder
This is where things started to go really, really wrong. Convinced it needed to do something crazy, Paramount let director Rob Hedden (who helmed a few episodes of the TV show) send Jason to New York. But Manhattan looks an awful lot like Vancouver, and the first hour is set on a boat with the seniors of Crystal Lake High on their class trip. It's all ridiculous, starting with the sound of "The Darkest Side of the Night" by Metropolis playing over the glossier opening credits (and continuing with yet another underwater resurrection...shame on Parts 7 and 8 for zero creativity!). The kills are uninspired (why the hell is that poser playing a guitar in the ship's stairwell?!), and the "chases" are lame--so many victims just cower. Things get even worse when the survivors make it to land (followed by a Michael Phelps-like Jason, who now apparently swims very well). And if you can't shake Jason in Manhattan, you deserve to die. Jensen Daggett is lifeless as the heroine, and her silly back story (connecting her to Crystal Lake) just makes you wish for the good ol' days. The ending is perhaps my most hated of them all; the only thing I liked about this film was its "controversial" poster, which got some New Yorkers all up in arms. These last three films are equally awful; trying to rank them just gives me a headache.
11. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
director: Adam Marcus
leading lady: Kari Keegan; Jason: Kane Hodder
The first Friday under New Line's watch, this is also the first to completely ignore its predecessor (but with Part 8's awful ending, what choice did they have?). Long gone are camps, counselors and horny teenagers, abandoned in favor of a supernatural twist. After an explosive opening sequence (one of the few decent parts of the film), Jason's possessed innards attack the coroner. The Alien-esque plot has Jason's evil essence traveling from host to host, each doing his dirty deeds until he can be "reborn" through the body of another Voorhees. How the hell they got Erin Gray to do this, I have no idea. She's far too good for the material, and is wasted in a throwaway role (did they really have to have alien Jason crawl up her dead cooch?!). Save for Grey's class, a few bloody sequences (like the cool tent kill) and a badass waitress (Allison Smith), this feels like a long episode from Friday the 13th: The Series (fittingly, John D. LeMay has a role here). The film is a misguided mess, just like Halloween 5 and Halloween 6--it's like a bad comic book come to life (don't get me started on the bounty hunter). And yes, that is Beverly Leslie from Will & Grace (are you kidding me?!)--Leslie Jordan is cast alongside Rusty Schwimmer as a cartoonish redneck couple. Need I say more?
12. Jason X (2001)
director: James Isaac
leading lady: Lexa Doig; Jason: Kane Hodder
I keep telling myself, "Just accept the concept and have fun." But I can't...despite the fact that this entry is more similar in structure to the early efforts--with a spaceship in place of a camp and stupid horny space students in place of stupid horny counselors--it's astronomically asinine. It's also cheap in every way, including the costumes (apparently the '80s are back in style). Jason X is a slap in the face to Jason and franchise fans. Like Jason Goes to Hell, it ignores what came before it, starting with our madman locked up in the Crystal Lake Research Facility (?!), which looks like a giant empty warehouse with one light (way to stretch that budget!). He winds up frozen and on a cargo ship 455 years in the future, where he wakes up and stalks the utterly inept crew (if you thought the "soldiers" in 2007's The Hills Have Eyes 2 were bad, get ready for a new low). A few virtual reality scenes are snoozers (one even copies The New Blood's sleeping bag gag), and Jason also gets a ridiculous makeover before another dumb ending collapses on us like a giant turd. Yeah, I know it's supposed to be cheesy and stupid, but that doesn't excuse its excruciating awfulness--including Kay-Em 14 (she's the talking severed android head) and the nipple clamp scene ("Daddy likes it hard?!").
The film is presented in an anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen transfer. The 2-D version is a lot cleaner than the 2004 disc, with a lot of specks gone. It's still relatively dark and has grain, but is noticeably better than the two discs that came before (the improvement here is more noticeable than it is in Part 2's Deluxe Edition).
But what you really care about is the 3-D version, right? I'm far from a 3-D expert, but Part 3 was filmed using the polarized format. You needed clear glasses to see it, not the cheesy red and blue ones we're familiar with. This DVD release switches to an anaglyphic version (required for standard DVD presentations on your TV), so you need those red and blue lenses to watch it (this release includes two very uncomfortable cardboard glasses; I highly recommend a sturdier, more roomy pair if you can invest in them).
After seeing the new My Bloody Valentine in theaters so recently, I knew I was in for a disappointment here. This disc has no chance of standing up to current theatrical technology, so don't get your hopes up. It's an underwhelming presentation, but not completely disappointing. Many of the effects just don't translate on this disc (the snake, the TV antenna, the popcorn, Ali's window punch, Jason's extended arms at the end), but some do--the opening laundry curtains and pole are pretty cool, and a few of the scenes have nice depth, like the clothesline, the convenience store scene and the final shot of the lake. Colors are a lot duller in this version, and I constantly saw ghosting in some scenes, whether I was watching with my glasses or contacts (that may have something to do with my own eyes; results may vary for each viewer). Overall, the 3-D image isn't awful, but it isn't very good: sometimes I noticed it, sometimes I didn't. It's the same feeling I had as a kid watching Creature from the Black Lagoon on a special 3-D TV broadcast: much ado about nothing.
New to this edition is a 5.1 track that, as with the new "deluxe" editions of Part 1 and Part 2, isn't as powerful as I hoped for. I jumped a little one time (watch out, Chuck!), but mostly I was disappointed at the missed opportunities to use the rear channels (the wind should have been far more powerful). The original mono track is available in English, French and Spanish, along with subtitles for each language (also available in Portuguese).
Paramount clearly thinks the 3-D version is incentive enough for fans to buy this "deluxe" edition, because the only other extra we get is the theatrical trailer (included on both previous releases). No interviews, no behind-the-scenes footage and certainly not the infamous alternate endings that were filmed (damn it!!!). They don't even include the audio commentary from the 2004 release, which is a great listen: Friday expert/author Peter M. Bracke hosted an entertaining track with Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Larry Zerner and Richard Brooker that was full of fun stories (and to my knowledge, it's the only time Kimmell and Kratka leant their time to a Friday bonus feature). It's one of few audio commentaries that I've enjoyed. Shame on you, Paramount!
Flawed and familiar, Friday the 13th Part 3 is still fun. Despite a dip in acting quality and the severely recycled story, it's got the debut of the hockey mask, a creepy turn from Richard Brooker and a great final chase invigorated by Dana Kimmell's tenacity. This new edition has a slightly better 2-D transfer and an okay 5.1 track, neither of which warrant a purchase. Paramount is banking on your 3-D bloodlust to move this--and while there is a little excitement to be had, the effects here aren't spectacular enough to blow you away. I'd advise you to Rent It first, and if you dig it so much, add it to your collection. I wouldn't be surprised to see this title revisited again, and who knows what home theater 3-D advances await us (and how about those alternate endings, Paramount?).