Watch: Lyrical First Trailer For Ang Lee's 3D High Seas Adventure 'Life Of Pi'

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by Oliver Lyttelton
July 25, 2012 4:30 AM
10 Comments
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20th Century Fox has been taking an unconventional approach to themarketing for "Life Of Pi" so far. After a showing at CinemaCon that wowed delegates and press alike, the studio chose to eschew more traditional trailers in favor of showing three brief clips from Ang Lee's much-anticipated adaptation of Yann Martel's beloved best-seller in front of their big 3D summer releases, to emphasize the dimensionalized aspect of the picture. And so footage was shown in front of "Prometheus," "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and "Ice Age: Continental Drift." But they had to release something for a broader audience at some point, and unheralded, the first proper trailer for the film arrived online early this morning via Apple.

And from the off, it's clear we're in the hands of a master. Lee might be coming off one of the least successful films of his career, critically and commercially, with "Taking Woodstock," but one should never give up on the director, and the promo has a number of glorious shots early on -- the titular Pi (newcomer Suraj Sharma) diving through a sunken ship, passing a stricken zebra trying to swim to safety; the boy watching from underwater as the boat sinks; the calm after the storm the next morning, as Pi peeks under the canvas of the boat to find the tiger that'll be his companion on the adventure. It's strikingly composed stuff, and Lee's clearly got an excellent handle on how to shoot for 3D -- we bet some of this looks spectacular with an added dimension.

But while the shots are stunningly composed, are we alone in kind of hating the look of the thing? From the obviously digital vibe of those night-time scenes to the "Lovely Bones"-esque color palette of the morning after, to the cheap UV glow of the blue whale, we're far from sold on some of DoP Claudio Miranda ("The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," "Tron: Legacy")'s aesthetic choices here. We hope that it's simply an effect of watching it in on a computer screen, and that it's more impressive in a theater with 3D glasses on, but we're not quite doing backflips over the look of the thing in the way that some commentators are.

Still, we'd follow Lee to the ends of the earth (even his failures are interesting), and the source material is a good yarn, if not quite the family-friendly adventure that Fox is selling it as, so we're looking forward to seeing more. But what do you think? Are you more sold than we are? Let us know in the comments section. Irffan Khan, Gerard Depardieu and Tabu co-star in the film, which will hit theaters on November 21st, and you can watch the trailer below, or in HD over at Apple.

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10 Comments

  • Lucy | July 26, 2012 6:06 PMReply

    I didn't really like the book but this is beautiful.

  • Thomas | July 25, 2012 11:18 AMReply

    Glorious. Can't wait to see how this looks in 3D.

    It'll be interesting to see how the occasionally quite dark subject matter is treated, given - as you said Oliver - it's not exactly the inspiring family-friendly tale it's being pitched as here.

  • mike_m | July 25, 2012 10:02 AMReply

    Hmm, didnt really dig this at all, Hopefully it will look better on the screen. I liked the glow of whale... its seems to me like it was supposed to be bio-luminescent plankton in the water making it glow, looks very cool in person and got the same effect from this trailer.

  • Lorenzo | July 25, 2012 9:58 AMReply

    It looks great.

  • Edward Davis | July 25, 2012 8:26 AMReply

    So the third entry in cinema that has actually truly worked in 3D? (Avatar, Hugo) Looks incredible.

  • oogle monster | July 25, 2012 12:00 PM

    I would leave a slot for The Great Gatsby :)

  • Amardeep | July 25, 2012 5:36 AMReply

    Amazing.

  • Q | July 25, 2012 4:47 AMReply

    Oh no...

  • James | July 25, 2012 4:40 AMReply

    Sorry mate. That looks f*cking amazing.

  • tristan eldritch | July 25, 2012 4:52 AM

    Yeah, thought that looked incredible. Parts of that already felt like I was looking at 3D - it looks like Lee has really done something special with the medium.

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