The 3D Backlash Isn’t Just From MovieGoers

by on August 3, 2010

in Entertainment

3D goggles for 3D moviesThe NY Times article that inspired this commentary starts out, “If you can’t make it good, make it 3-D.” I think that pretty much says it all for the slew of 3D movies that have come out and the 60 odd movies that are planned for 3D distribution over the next few years. I am sure there are some flicks that are OK with the 3D, but all I see are movies that jam scenes directly at the viewer, one of the cheesiest 3D stunts in the book.

I didn’t see the Johnny Depp starrer, “Alice in Wonderland,” but the previews for that movie had blatant jump “in your face” scenes. For the upcoming “Resident Evil” movie that won’t have the cheap 3D post-processing applied, but will be filmed properly in 3D using James Cameron‘s tech, it too has almost all sad and gimmicky scenes with things and people coming at the viewer. That’s a shame. I’ve enjoyed the “Resident Evil” franchise to date.

Do I even want to go down the inflated box-office butt stomping that “Avatar” brought to the coffers of Cameron due to the over-priced 3D screenings? Nah, it’s obvious, but suffice it to say that the extra cost for 3D adds approximately 20% to the coffers.

3D goggles for 3D moviesMost folks I’ve been talking to aren’t impressed with the 3D that they’ve seen in the various movies they’ve seen and many online communities poo-poo the post-processing affect, despite studios desperately trying to convince us that 3D is just as good in post-processed products as they are when shot in 3D. Sure. If you say so.

We’re even getting strangely pummeled by the television sales industry as they start shoving 3D TV’s in our faces, telling us to buy them. I don’t know about you, but I NEVER buy a new technology when it first comes out. No way. I patiently lie in wait until people, the consumer, say yay or nay to the product and other ancillary products created for the platform.

Is There Hope That 2D Will Survive?

3D goggles for 3D moviesBut some of Hollywood’s bigger or more recognized names are starting to demonstrate they’re not in favor of the application of 3D.  At Comic Con, when Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams shared the stage for a panel, 3D came up.

J.J. Abrams said “When you put the glasses on, everything gets dim.”

Joss Whedon, I feel became a victim to Hollywood (Yet again) when he fell prey to the 3D convulsion coming from Hollywood when MGM delayed “The Cabin in the Woods” movie release date to apply post processed 3D to the monster flick. Now, who knows if we’ll ever get to see Joss’s movie while MGM thrashes around on the beach-head of financial floundering?

But what Joss did say, was typical dry-wit Whedon: “What we’re hoping to do, is to be the only horror movie coming out that is not in 3-D.” This after making it clear he is opposed to the conversion of his movie.

Jon Favreau is not interested in doing “Cowboys & Aliens” in 3D either. Jon had an almost Whedonesque reply about not seeing movies in 3D: “Use the money you save to see it twice.”

Right now Marvel Entertainment is in flux as to whether they’ll make “The Avengers” in 3D. Ug. Please, no.

Studios want it, I don’t. And if you think just because “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland” did great because of 3D, the sales of their 2D brethren, DVD & Blu-ray discs, are doing just fine without the additional dimension.

3D goggles for 3D moviesTo be honest, what exactly does a 3D movie experience give the viewer? Is it purely about the visuals from a movie then and filmmakers can do away with quality stories? For me, I don’t need a 3rd dimension to be wowed by a well written movie or TV show. If the story is good, the movie will be good. The movie will then succeed on its own merits.

Plus 3D makes it harder for the filmmakers to shoot a movie. I’m not sure if you noticed but action scenes in Avatar are very grand in nature, with acceleration and action slightly slowed down so the 3D cameras can properly catch the action. Think about it. Are there any lightning fast scenes in the movie? Sure, there are scenes with implied speed, and when there are things moving fast, they get up that visual representation in a slow acceleration. (And I can’t find my own dang article where I talk about the challenge of filming action scenes in 3D! Urgh… Argh.

Hell, even Imax Filmed Entertainment admits that some films are just better off staying in 2D.

As noted in a closing statement in the article, of the 450 people that were surveyed, asking if they’d like “The Hobbit” in 3D, 450 said no.

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It seemed that once James Cameron heralded the 3D era, everyone else jumped on board the train. Like when Cameron introduced a love story to the background of “Titanic,” that a ton more movies started piling out of the production till with love stories as their focus behind the action. (Maybe I’m a bit skewed and just never noticed the amorous intent in movies before then… )

At the moment, until we have a majority vote with a mass of nodding heads from the movie goer, I’m not seriously tempted by 3D. In fact, when I will be interested in 3D is when a product comes out that gives us something like the message that R2-D2 played for Obi-Wan, in true 3D fashion… “Help me Obi-Wan…” in “Star Wars.” But just a bit better than that shoddy quality.

Until then, I’d rather filmmakers and film writers focus on great story content and wow my mind and make me think about what I’ve just experienced rather than pummel me with visuals.

[NY Times]

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

paul forcey August 3, 2010 at 8:33 pm

I am practically blind in one eye so I can’t wear 3d glasses, well I can wear them they just don’t work!

I watched Avatar in 2d and I can see why he had to make it 3d, there was a thin storyline there to say the least.

3d will never fix a movie that is poor and it can push a movie that is on the line over it into financial doom I would think. Can we please just have good acting and story lines be the focus of Hollywood for a change?

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