If 3D gets a bad rap, it’s often for good reason. Done badly, 3D drives up ticket prices while adding nothing to the experience; done very badly, it robs you blind while destroying the picture. But every so often, a movie comes along that reminds you of how powerful the technology can be when wielded by a master craftsman. Ang Lee‘s stunning, vibrant Life of Pi is one of those cases.

After receiving strong early buzz thanks to some alluring clips and teasers, Life of Pi had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival this week. Lee cautioned us ahead of time that he was still putting the final touches on the movie, so the version that hits theaters may differ slightly from the one we saw. But whether he makes a few last tweaks or not, it’s clear that Life of Pi will be a worthwhile cinematic experience.

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‘Life of Pi’ Gets a New Release Date

Briefly: Now that Peter Jackson’s next film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, has a firm release date of December 14, 2012, it is time for other studios to start reworking their December schedules to get out of the way of the Middle-Earth juggernaut. The first project to scramble out of the way is Life of Pi, Ang Lee‘s adaptation of Yann Martel‘s novel. Fox has just moved the film to December 21, 2012, which is still a pretty damn good date for the film.

The project has taken a long time to come together, with several directors trying to get the adaptation going. It is finally moving forward as Ang Lee was able to come up with a plan to make a 3D film that met with Fox’s approval. Suraj Sharma, a high schooler from Delhi and newcomer to acting, has been cast as the film’s title character Pi Patel — the teen who, after a shipwreck, is left floating in the middle of the sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, zebra, hyena and orangutan. Gerard Depardieu will play Chef, a pivotal character; Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Spider-Man) will play the adult Pi; and Adil Hussain will play Pi’s father. Bollywood star Tabu will play Pi’s mother. Tobey Maguire will play a journalist who interviews Pi about his experience. [THR]

After a couple years of stalls, Ang Lee‘s big screen 3D adaptation of Yann Martel‘s novel Life of Pi is finally moving forward. The director recently cast newcomer Surej Sharma as the title character, and has now added three more names to the cast. Gerard Depardieu will play Chef, a pivotal character; Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Spider-Man) will play the adult Pi; and Adil Hussain will play Pi’s father. Bollywood star Tabu is in talks to take the role of Pi’s mother. [Variety]

After the break I’ve dropped a refresher synopsis of Life of Pi along with the details we know about the production. Read More »

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