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September 11, 2009


I'm over the 3D

Final Destination 3D

2009: the year everyone got into 3D, and the year everyone got sick of 3D. Back in January, someone put together a list of all the 3D releases scheduled for the year. It had 13 movies on it, like Coraline, Up, G-Force, and Monsters vs Aliens, and since then we've had a few more surprise 3D releases, including a few extra kids' movies and--this is when you know the 3D trend has peaked--a Jonas Brothers 3D concert movie. We're now up to 17 3D movies this year.

I've seen My Bloody Valentine, Coraline, and The Final Destination 3D, and let me tell you, I'm over it. 3D is worthwhile when it's used for horror movies, especially when a big spike, crossbeam, or pickaxe is thrust through a victim's head toward the screen, and its pointy end pops an eyeball out at you, or something gross (and obvious) like that. Frankly, I don't know why ALL the Final Destination movies weren't in 3D, because the only thing better than a spinning ceiling fan blade that breaks off and hurtles toward an unsuspecting doomed teen is one that flies out of the screen like it's going to decapitate you. Gross-out horror movies are probably always better in three dimensions, especially when characters get impaled by flying objects while watching a 3D movie (see above).

Coraline was pretty good, but by the end it felt like the 3D effects were primarily for the trippy scenes of evil gardens coming to life or the scene with the old acrobatic ladies doing their crazy routine, and those felt sort of like filler. I went out of my way to see Up in 2D, and the flat version was just fine.

Those 3D glasses are distracting even during the most engrossing movies, and I keep getting pulled out of the flow of the action by noticing all that insistent 3D imagery coming at me. "Wow, look at that cool 3D" is a good conscious thought to have over and over again only when the movie is basically nothing but cool effects and flashy shockers to begin with.

Plus it bugs me that you have to pay $5 extra for 3D movies even if you bring your own glasses from the last one you saw, then the theater asks you to recycle them after the show, presumably so the ushers can wipe them off on their pant leg, encase them in plastic, and resell them.

Toy Story 3 looks pretty good, but A Christmas Carol and, sorry, Avatar, both look like they use 3D as a crutch instead of as an enhancement of a movie that would be just as good in 2D. Those pores on Jim Carrey's Scrooge nose--do we want to see those in three dimensions? Ew.

categories: Movies
posted by amy at 4:18 PM | #

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Yeah, I think you're exactly right about the constant, distracting "Oooh, lookit th' extra dimension!" I think it's largely because a film screen really is a 2D plane, and anything that tries to make it look 3D is basically going to be a trick (unlike say color, or 'scope ratios, which actually are what they purport to be).

The other thing that bugs me about the current 3D technology is how much it sacrifices vivid color for the sake of light polarization. I also went to Up in 2D, and was glad I did, not least because the rainbow of balloons, and the incredible colors on the bird, would have been terribly reduced in brilliance if I had to look at them through giant sunglasses.

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastarrd at September 14, 2009 1:30 PM

Here's an idea: Inglourious Basterds should have been in 3D. Discuss.

Posted by: amy at September 14, 2009 5:26 PM

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