Posted: 03/16/2011

 

Ultimate G’s: Zac’s Flying Dream 3D

(2000)

by Jef Burnham



Available March 29, 2011 on IMAX Blu-ray 3D from Image Entertainment.


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Ultimate G’s: Zac’s Flying Dream is certainly the most curious entry in Image Entertainment’s line of IMAX 3D Blu-rays. After all, I imagine the long-term draw of the film will not be the 3D gimmick, but the presence of an incredibly young Michael Cera as the titular Zac throughout the opening 17 minutes of the film. While Zac would grow up to be a full-fledged pilot, it seems the 11-year-old Zac is something of a young Brewster McCloud building a set of wings in his parents’ shed. When he dons the flying contraption for the first time and sets out to test it in a field, it’s truly like a scene out of Arrested Development, recalling George Michael’s jetpack flight. Although Cera is incredibly young here, it’s interesting to note that he’s already developed the nervous chuckle that would define his later roles, and is costumed much the same as he would be in Arrested Development and Superbad, minus the backwards baseball cap.

The movie itself is a bore, playing more like an after school special about the importance of following your dreams than a visually arresting IMAX event. Even the climactic airplane “battle” (which is more akin to laser tag than an actual dogfight) is dull with the airplanes sullying what might otherwise be breath-taking views of the Grand Canyon. What’s more, the acting is incredibly painful and the screenplay is trite and predictable. At least it’s only 37 minutes long.

The film is presented here in both 3D and 2D formats to accommodate those without 3D capabilities, and it is the 2D version that I looked at. Given that the visuals are incredibly dull, I can’t imagine Ultimate G’s being much of a 3D experience at all. In fact, the picture almost appears to have been created for 2D presentation rather than 3D, save for the titles which swoop toward the foreground of the screen. The only special features are trailers for other IMAX films.

Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.



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