Tuesday, 8 July 2014

3D movies and why we don't need them anymore

This week, I managed to get bitter about something in general instead of a specific film. This week, I attack 3D movie technology.

I remember my first experience with this new 3D. Like most, it came while watching James Cameron's Avatar and it was glorious. Rich, vibrant colours and a deep, compelling landscape in a movie that was a blatant ripoff of Pochahontas, I was excited. I thought we were seeing the birth of a new era of movie watching greatness. 

I was wrong. 

While a few films have managed to get close to that same level of awesome spectacle (Tron: Legacy, Oz The Great and Powerful), most have failed to utilize the 3D tech to enhance the film. In fact, in most cases, they've accomplished the exact opposite. 

The 3D glasses themselves are shaded. I'm sure there's an awesome, technical reason for this, but it means you're watching your movie through a pair of sunglasses. So what happens when a darker, dimmer part of the movie starts to unwind on the screen? You can't see what's happening, that's what. A good example of a recent film that really suffers from this is Godzilla. I could barely see anything during the 3rd act. 

Theatre owners aren't helping matters either. The bulbs required to show these movies on large screens are incredibly expensive. They have a finite amount of life in them before they must be replaced. These owners have realized that turning the brightness down on the films extends the life of these bulbs and saves money.

Less brightness + sunglasses = what the hell is going on, I can't see anything.

Then there's the uncomfortableness of the glasses themselves. Especially if, like me, you already wear glasses. I spend entirely too much time trying to adjust both pairs to make something that's sorta comfortable and I fail every damned time. 

All in all, this technology is starting to seem like more of a cash grab than something that actually makes a movie better to watch. The sad thing here is, most of the major tent pole movies coming out are utilizing this tech. Theatres are showing these movies in 3D with no option for a 2D viewing save a matinee showing here and there. It's to the point now where, if I want to see the latest summer blockbuster on a big screen with amazing sound, I have to put on a pair of stupid shades and squint my way through the darkness. Or go see the movie in a shoebox. 

If this technology must stick around, fine. But make it so there are viable 2D options for people that wish to see the movie without the glasses and the bother. 

1 comment:

  1. My pet peeve with the 3D movies is that so many of the kids shows are in 3D, and kids have zero tolerance for the glasses. So you spend more money to take them to a movie and they take the glasses off and then lose interest beause the whole thing is fuzzy. Blah. I do think the 3D can be used to good effect sometimes though, it's just not always my preference.