I don't know the last time I felt like a kid at the movies, but while watching Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D this past week, I honestly reverted to my 8-year-old self. That isn't to say the movie is necessarily as good as the movies that astonished me as a kid -- because of the subject matter, I'd think about comparing it to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies, both of which came out when I was around that age, and neither to which this film holds up in terms of originality or storytelling craft. But as far as holding onto my sense of wonder, Journey is up there.
Of course, it's necessary to point out that Journey would be nothing without the digital 3-D factor. It's actually the first live-action narrative feature to be shot and released in the new format (the non-fiction concert films, U2 3D and Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour were technically the first live-action 3-D features), and while it's far from perfect, it is a terrific pioneer. I shall continue favoring the look of animated 3-D films, especially those directed as well as Monster House, and I anticipate that James Cameron's Avatar will blow away all live-action 3-D films released prior to its arrival. For now, though, I'm telling you, with the utmost cinemaphilic urgency: you need to see this ASAP.