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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Coming right at you!

I detest 3D. Not the normal kind, mind you. I have no problem with the fact that I have depth perception in my day to day life, that some things appear closer than others, or that I am capable to seeing that speeding bus come roaring down towards me without slowing. A 3D world makes sense and is perfectly comfortable.
3D movies are not. First of all, it’s a gimmick. It reminds me of performance art, where you might expect to be shot with a water gun as part of the drama, or suddenly snared in a spotlight when all you wanted was to remain blessedly anonymous in the crowd. 3D movies use technology as a way of overcoming flaws in other areas. Avatar, for all that it won a silly number of awards and made more money than Canada, was a bad movie. Terrible. It was an expensive version of Fern Gully or Dances with Wolves, only much worse. Everyone who went to see it in the theatre said the same thing: “You’ve got to see it on the big screen for the visual effects.” When you took that blockbuster and transferred it to TV, it blew. Without the glitz, you could see that the characters lacked depth, the plot was paper-thin, and the aliens were basically having sex with animals whenever they rode anywhere. 3D was a trick to make the audience’s eyes bug out in awe while the actual movie sucks.
Second, it’s expensive. Costly to shoot, that translates into more money paid at the box office. Sure, it’s only a couple bucks, but it’s still a kick in the junk. Movies are expensive enough. In an age where the movie industry is on the ropes, suffering from piracy, cheap DVD/Blue Ray prices, and kick-ass home entertainment systems is charging us more really the way to go? When I was a kid, “see it on the big screen” was a phrase with real impact. Our TV at home was 25” and the cinema’s was about five hundred feet (well, it seemed that way to a kid). Now people have five-foot wide TVs, surround sound, and comfortable sofas to sit on to boot. I guess 3D is their way of competing, but 3D TVs are already available, so good luck with that, Hollywood.
Third, I hate the glasses. I already wear glasses. Putting on a second pair to watch your silly “oh wow, look what’s coming right at my face” movie is annoying. They don’t fit right, they are awkward, and I have no faith that the last guy that wore them didn’t have head lice, syphilis, mange, and/or weeping sores. Maybe they clean the glasses, maybe they don’t. Either way, ew.
And finally, 3D sucks. This is the one that really gets me. I could probably forgive the rest of it if only they were using better effects. Anyone who has ever played catch knows that a ball coming to your face in real life looks completely different from the 3D they show in the movies. In the movie the ball (or whatever the 3D effect is) looks entirely divorced from its surroundings, as though its been badly Photoshopped in. It’s jarring and obvious, and anything that takes a person out of the movie, even for a second, should be avoided. You don’t read a novel and suddenly hit, “Okay, there’s a good part coming up where you probably won’t want to leave, so maybe you should go and empty your bladder - the scene runs long.” The fourth wall is there for a reason, so quit throwing things through it, 3D!
Sure, you may say that 3D technology will improve. Probably it will. But they had 3D in the 70s, and it looked pretty much the same as it does now. So either no improvements can be made, or they’ve stopped trying because the cattle are all complacently lining up to moo approvingly at how wonderful everything looks when it’s coming right at you. I’ve just stopped going to the 3D crap, no matter how tempting the movie itself looks. I’ll still watch the movies; I’ll just wait for the DVD and watch them at home, where popcorn doesn’t cost a day’s wages, there’s no gum under the seats, and I can pause it whenever I want.
There has been one positive aspect to 3D, though: it is saving me a ton of money on movie tickets.

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