Sunday, September 4, 2011

3D: On Epic Blunders

In the last five years we've seen a major resurgence of Films shot in 3D. One of my friends had this to say, "3D should be restricted solely to 'event films'." After this claim he went on to recognize that the greatest Event Films were the ones that came out of left field. So this leads to a dilemma in conscience. Can Hollywood plan an actual legit Event Film? And if so, how will they know to make that particular piece with 3D technology? I sigh.

I am amongst the vast majority of moviegoers who find 3D to be a total crapshoot money-grab. Now it's not that 3D can't work... it's more like, it doesn't in most situations. Here's what's odd about it all, I've only seen three movies that have taken advantage of the technology of 3D and given me a reason to care...

1. Avatar
A film I find rather pointless aside from the scope of new technology used.

2. Jackass 3D
When you have a stunt based series, why not try to shoot the stunts in a way so the audience sees the full stunt in action. Depth plays such an important role in understanding just how stupid what these guys are doing really is.

3. Cave Of Forgotten Dreams
Here's a rare example, and it may never happen again. Herzog found a real thing that most people will never be able to see in their lifetimes. And the art being shown here is honestly in need of a third dimension. The action of the animals, etc. I really like this film.

Look, even Cameron (who is very much responsible for the trend) says the technology is not being used to its potential. That being said, the main complaint I hear about 3D technology to date is the glasses. Those clunky, dark, awful glasses. For me, it's the sore spot they always tend to leave on my nose. And most films shot in 3D are pretty dark, which is a continuous problem no matter how high we turn the projector bulbs up.

The technology does exist without glasses,
just you'd have to sit in a muuuch smaller room in very specific seats to get the effect.

So I guess we have to wait. But Hollywood doesn't want to. And it doesn't help that every piece of crap with some form of action in it gets a greenlight for 3D these days. Here's a recent list of the films that attempted to release in 3D that probably should have stuck to the realms of regular filmdom:

Conan The Barbarian
The Smurfs
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil
Mars Needs Moms
Drive Angry
Gnomeo & Juliet
Gulliver's Travels
Yogi Bear

I have to stop. Man, that is not a list I'd want to be a part of. I cannot think of a single movie in there that I actually give a damn about.

Maybe it's a question of good versus bad production teams. Maybe the good teams see when 3D is called for and the bad teams just don't care. But the audience is showing more and more that they don't care either. If a movie bombs it's usually a testament to the quality of that movie. In the case of Mars Needs Moms and Conan The Barbarian, I look to 3D as being a direct cause, though Conan may be the worst movie I've seen all year (and that's saying a lot).

Quick History Lesson: the first film to use 3D is a giant piece of crap. Don't believe me? It's called Bwana Devil. Watch it at your own risk.

So what are audiences supposed to do while Hollywood masturbates? Watch Netflix? Maybe.

We could always try this.

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