Sunday, May 20, 2012

"For Suckers"

Sometimes I wonder if the right hand of Rupert M.'s empire (20th Century-Fox) knows what the left hand is doing, because there is this morsel in the Wall Street Journal's Smart Money:

... "3-D is for suckers."

So what are moviemakers doing to bring more bodies into theaters? They're revisiting an innovation of decades past: 3-D. And not everyone who tracks Hollywood is wild about the trend, saying it's a passing fad. Plus, action films don't always translate well to 3-D.

Boston Globe film writer Ty Burr recently carped about the "sins against the visual cortex" perpetrated by 3-D releases Clash of the Titans, Gulliver's Travels and Green Lantern: They "aren't just terribly written, they're terrible to look at, with actors' faces separated from the backs of their heads," he wrote.

Of course, Hollywood doesn't quite see it that way. In a 2010 interview, Clash of the Titans director Louis Leterrier praised today's 3-D, saying what viewers see on the screen is "exactly what it looked like on set." But either way, consumers are paying the price for the new-old technology: Admission to a 3-D flick is generally $3 extra.

I've seen six or eight stereoscopic productions, and I feel the same way about the 3-D now that I have over the last three or four years:

1) 3-D is occasionally entertaining, but the entertainment is usually parceled out sparingly over the length of the movie.

2) DreamWorks Animation makes the best use of the format.

3) The format isn't worth the elevated price of admission, because it's essentially Moving View-Master, and I was never crazy about View Master when I squinted at it as a kid. So why should I endure it now?


Chris Sobieniak said...

Why do we go on living? That's my question!

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