3D Cinema: Why We Don’t Actually Need It

26/10/2010 at 10:50 pm (Movies)


This isn’t going to be just some reactionary comment about distrusting new technologies. Without great developments in cinema we wouldn’t have talkies, or colour, or quality processing, stunning colours and sumptuous sound.

That’s all well and good. However, I’m kind of sick of 3D. Avatar was an okay movie that was made with 3D technology in mind. It was pretty clear that, without seen this increased forced-perspective, the film would have been quite ordinary. That might sound harsh, but we have seen some magnificent visual effects now, and Avatar took these to a rather impressive conclusion.

But that’s big budget movies, and without seeming in some way ungracious for seeing these spectacles, it’s kind of what we expect. It’s been proven that when a movie hasn’t been made for the 3D process doesn’t really work. Oh, I know, I know, I’m being a naysayer, but hear me out.

Take for example, Clash Of The Titans. I’m not bringing this up as a critique of, what is essentially a piss-poor movie, but to point out that within about 10 minutes of the film you didn’t actually notice any 3D. Toy Story 3, the polar opposite of quality to Clash Of The Titans, doesn’t really benefit either. The movie begins, the characters are engaging, the film is entertaining. Again, I forgot about the 3D.

If the price wasn't enough, now you have to contend with the eye strain.

If the price wasn't enough, now you have to contend with the eye strain.

Maybe that’s what 3D is supposed to do? I do remember a few more “oohs” and “aahs” in Avatar though. I have to confess, while I haven’t been the strongest advocate of 3D cinema anyway, it was news of George Lucas’ desire to re-release Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and its subsequent adventures in 3D that inspired this post. I was already aware of his desire to do this with Star Wars, and thought that was bad enough.  Of course, I shouldn’t be too surprised.  It is money in the bank afterall.

Recently, a classic movie was re-released (on an all too short run): Back To The Future. Not remade – a whole other kettle of nasty little fish I’m not going to get into here – and not in 3D. Just cleaned up to be enjoyed on the big screen. That was a smart idea. There are films out there that are already watchable! There’s no need to mess them around. Just give them a polish up and send them out on their rounds now and again.

Imagine all the wonderful movies we could do that with? Instead, we don’t only have a current fashion for new films being chundered into theatres in 3D, old ones are set to be watched that way. At the moment, there is an understandable concern about potential customers downloading a film for free. Is 3D really that much of an added incentive to go to the pictures?  Is it really the time to add further costs onto the price of an already expensive night at the movies?

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