The 5 best 3D films

With Channel 4's announcement that its broadcasts are to go 3D for a whole week this autumn, it's had our minds racing about what content the company has planned. As well as Derren Brown's spectacular and footage from the Queen's coronation we've also been promised "3D movies". Most will give you a pretty good taste of what the medium is all about but if you really want to enjoy it at its best, these are the top five gems to watch out for:

5) U2 3D
Shot in Buenos Aires during the band's Vertigo tour of 2006, this was the first live-action digital 3D film ever recorded and, although some music critics say that it wasn't a particularly good performance for the band, the camera work and digital audio quality is superb. The film captures the noise of the crowd and all the notes, both rough and smooth, to perfection. Give it a big enough home cinema set up and it's probably better than actually being at one of their gigs. It might not be your first port of call if you don't like U2 but, for 3D concerts, it's that or Hannah Montana.

4) Beowulf
If you saw this one in 2D, give it another try with the added dimension. It's still not going to capture the full emphasis of this classic 8th century tale but it turns it into one hell of a good action flick. The gruesome fight with swishing swordplay at the beginning becomes a wide-eyed seat grabber and the chase scene towards the end with its rain of arrows coming right at at you is a sight few can't help but flinch at. Naturally, Angeline Jolie's performance as the temptress is also somewhat enhanced.

3) The Polar Express
Another film that pulled up few trees until it hit IMAX screens in 3D was The Polar Express. Robert Zemeckis's picture about this magical train was released in 2004 and enjoyed staggering success as the only major motion picture available at the time in this format. That said, the movie has been re-released each year in time for Christmas ever since and, although lifelessness of the eyes of the characters has been heavily criticised, the 3D effects add a fantastically magical feeling to the affair.

2) Up
This latest Pixar adventure has yet to make it to UK cinema screens, so, unless C4 really has something special up its sleeve, you'll probably have to fork out for a few IMAX tickets for now. From what the critics have said in the States, though, Up is supposed to be well worth the cash. Many have called this tale of a man constructing a makeshift zeppelin of 10,000 helium balloons Pixar's best and it tells a fantastic story regardless of the 3D effects that take it to the next level.

1) Coraline
What makes Coraline top of the list is that it doesn't use the 3D effects merely as gimmicks. In fact, there aren't as many screen popping moments in this fairytale as there are with many you'll see. Instead, the medium is used to enhance the storytelling rather than wow the audience novelty tricks. If 3D is really to succeed as the next big thing, it'll take filmmaking like this to do it. With the release of the film in the UK back in May, there's a very good chance that Channel 4 might choose to air it come autumn. It has a quirkiness that would suit the company and doesn't rely on having to see it at the cinema. Get your glasses in, open the popcornand enjoy.

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