Tuesday, December 06, 2011

3D (Un) Ending

During a long and busy day, this caught my eye:

Ever since ... Avatar squatted its bloated, blue, Na'vi ass on American cinema, every film that comes out with some semblance of special effects has "3D" pasted on top of it.

Most people know the drill by now: you go to a 3D movie, pay a little extra, chuckle at how stupid everyone looks wearing those glasses, and the film starts. For the first two minutes, it's impressive. Stuff pops out of the screen and it's pretty neat. For the remaining 118 minutes, however, you either forget you're watching a 3D movie or simply stop giving a shit.

And it only really works once ...

3-D appears to in decline across the fruited plain. The rest of the world still appears to love it, so maybe they are behind us ... or know something we don't.

I can take the Moving View Master or leave it alone. I've enjoyed the stereo versions of some DreamWorks movies; Jeffrey K.'s place seems to push the medium in entertaining directions. Still in all, as a DreamWorks animator remarked to me today:

"... I was watching a 3-D feature a couple of weeks ago, and the glasses everyone was wearing were really thick. Halfway through the movie I took mine off a minute and the colors were a lot more intense. Those goggles really subdue the brightness and colors ..."

3-D does, on occasion, add value. But generally not three or five bucks worth. And with some features, there is almost none at all. The "3-D" is so tepid, and the trade-off in screen brightness so pronounced, that it's really better to stare at the flat-screen version.

(When I saw a flat-screen version of Avatar, I liked it fine. This probably makes me some kind of visual Luddite. Sue me.)


Anonymous said...

Why anyone would pay more money for less quality is beyond me. Even the best Stereoscopic projection (and I've seen the best) loses 15% of brightness and contrast, and the colors dim as well. Under MOST Stereoscopic projection (the average), it's up to 30% los of brightness, color, and contrast.

It's a fraud.

And now Disney and Sony are pulling funding to pay for the glasses--so tickets will be going up $2.00 next year to cover the cost.

Anonymous said...

3D.....as long as we have to wear those ridiculous Buddy Holly Wedling Goggles... IS CRAP. It darkens up the image so much, I feel like I'm only watching 1/2 the movie.

And its Bullshit that they charge close to DOUBLE the ticket price... There's really not much extra cost in making the films 3D with all the render power thats floating around out there....

Its a gimmick by the studios to CHARGE MORE MONEY per ticket.
Dont fall for it.

I'll have mine 2D please.

Anonymous said...

I always find it interesting to see TAG members who rail against one of the main reasons that animated films have stayed as profitable as they have in this economic downturn.

They hate 3D more than they hate layoffs.

Anonymous said...

Yes. What's your point?

Anonymous said...

The fact is, if the movie is engaging, you won't even care if you're watching it at home.

el diablo said...


4K resolution. ed...no glasses.

No word on quality of plotlines though....

Steve Hulett said...

I always find it interesting to see TAG members who rail against one of the main reasons that animated films have stayed as profitable as they have in this economic downturn.

They hate 3D more than they hate layoffs.

Animation was profitable way before the advent of 3-D.

You might be right, 3-D has goosed animation employment. But there is no real way of knowing, because we can't run a double blind experiment and see what the employment situation would be like WITHOUT 3-D.

But yours is an interesting hypothesis: 3-D means more animation employment.

Anonymous said...

there are 2 things I really dont like about 3d movies.
1. the 3d gives me eye strain, and for me, doesn't line up well and I feel like I am cross eyed the whole time.

2. They throw in gimicky shots to show off the 3d, like throwing stuff at the audience. This pointing at the 3d is really distracting from the movie and makes it more of an interactive ride than traditional cinema. I think they can keep it subtle and it would be really good.

cmsattler said...

Instead of spending more for 3d -- spend more for the writers! Do we REALLY need to see another "ALVIN AND THE CHIPMONKS"? in 3d? Or a lame-ass remake of a bad '70's/'80's television show?

The fact is 3d IS a scam -- just like HD was... Remember the big push for all of television to be in HD? Station had to spend BILLIONS; manufactures created expensive tv's; Post production facilities had to upgrade... but now everyone watches these big ass movies on their cell phone.... compressed and cropped. The ticket buying public could care less about 3D. What we want is CONTENT -- HIGH QUALITY CONTENT PERIOD.

el diablo said...

To those that complain about 3d: Nobody is putting a fucking gun to your head and forcing you to watch it in 3d!!

I'll agree with some of the points about bad storylines and lame characters. But those issues are irrelevant to the issue of 3d. Take 3d out of the picture, we still have bad stories and lame characters.

Maybe the 3d thing will go away, maybe it won't...

Either way, some people will complain!


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