Please Sir, may I have another D?

I must say, I quite dislike 3D. Not the universe, I mean – reality is fine in 3D, I have no problem with that at all. Not much anyway. Euclidean space (most of it) can rest easy.

No I mean 3D movies. I am, quite simply, getting sick to the teeth of them. The problem is that a 3D movie is built to be not a movie, but a 3D movie. This means that less time is put on things like plot and characters and more is put on the finding of new ways to thrown spinny objects towards the camera.

It’s getting to the point where the “in 3D!” tag-line is making me avoid movies completely as I know I will prefer to see them in flat-o-vision. And I know they won’t be as good as a regular flat movie, so what’s the point?

Plus I dislike the paraphernalia. The red and green glasses didn’t really cut it, and the new polarised glasses are not much better. For one thing, they make the image too dark and I always end up squinting and removing the things to make out any details.

The only movie I’ve seen worth a damn in 3D was Avatar, and that because it was an awesome movie. The 3D definitely added to it, but it would be just as good in 2D, and I know because I spent most of the movie with my glasses off, trying to see what the hell was going on. I mean, seriously, do we need long 3D scenes of people sitting around in labs and taking? Why, exactly?

There are of course many reasons for the sudden flood of 3D movies these days. I can think of a few:

1) To get us to pay more for cinema tickets.

2) To cut down on piracy.

3) To allows studios to tart up otherwise mediocre movies.

Note that nowhere in this list does “improve the customers’ experience” appear because we all know that is bollox. If the studios are giving us movies in 3D it’s because some cunt somewhere is making a sackful of money from it. And that sure as hell isn’t us, and it never will be us.

To prove my point, I ask you all to go see Alice in Wonderland in 3D. Then go and see it in 2D. You see? It’s just as shit both ways. And you didn’t even have to get a headache.

/ paddy (who, when the 3D porn starts coming, will probably just have to leave the planet entirely)


9 thoughts on “Please Sir, may I have another D?

  1. 3D has had its fifteen seconds of glory several times through history. I doubt it will ever be a big or long-term hit. Doing away with the 3D-glasses and making films with well executed plot and characters might help some, but my guess is that the real revolutionary change might come when they perfect Virtual Reality.

    VR, giving you a chance to “participate” in the movie, plus feeding the images at a rate high enough to make the brain believe it’s for real might do the thing. Especially if plot, characterisation et c are handled well. On the other hand, an image rate high enough to be experienced as real would give the viewers a lot of heart attacks… Making the films that much more sought after.


  2. I actually like 3D when it’s done well, but I’m in agreement with pretty much everything you say. It’s always been a gimmick right through the 50s, 60s and 70s and it’s nothing much more than that now. The main problem is that it doesn’t add anything to the storytelling except 3D. Of course that was a primary objection to colour when it was first introduced to the movies too, but at least with colour there was no added paraphernalia and no down-side (although I have my suspicion that there were probably the odd complaints about ‘headaches and nausea’ back then too).

    My forecast: a few more attempts throughout 2011 and then a realisation by the studios that no-one cares enough. Until it becomes a seamlessly integrated part of the movie experience, 3D will continue to be a novelty.

  3. dear paddy,
    where did you get that photo? we’ve found it on your website and we’re interested in buying it and publishing in a magazine but we’ve no idea who owns copyrights.
    thanks a lot,

    • The image is very famous in 3D land. It was taken in 1952 by LIFE photographer JR Eyerman at the premiere screening of ‘Bwana Devil’, the first colour 3D feature movie.

      ‘Bwana Devil’ was the 1950s equivalent of Avatar’ in that it was the big technical instigator of a (short lived) 3D craze.

      I imagine Time/LIFE will own the copyright to the image. Or whoever owns them these days.

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