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Saturday, June 18, 2011

3-D: The Rant

I'm baaacckk!!! With a vengeance of course. Thank you all so much for bearing with me as I was completely discombobulated and sick and just out of sorts. You left me the most wonderful, heart-warming comments that really cheered me and helped see me through to the end of this period of utter insanity. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I appreciate each and every one of you out there.

Now, on with my rant. I am taking my faithful young sidekick aka my eldest nephew, to see The Green Lantern and we are so NOT doing the 3-D version. I have a whole list of complaints about this. I thought I might do a bullet point, but then realized why make a list, when I can give you the full snark.

First of all, 3-D is a total money suck for little extra gratification. I mean on top of the already outrageous, sign-over-a-kidney ticket prices, theaters charge an additional 3-5 dollars. WTF? And what exactly are they charging this for? The special f/x? The accompanying headache and nausea?

I mentioned before that I don't need a foot or a fist coming at me to know someone is getting his or her ass kicked. Nor do I need random shit like knife blades, shattered glass and rushing water flying at me, hoping to make me duck, twist, squirm or flinch. Because yeah, my reality will somehow slip and I'll "think" I'm right there in the film. Uh Huh and the monster in my closet is real.

Furthermore, filmmakers use 3-D like poor cake decorators use frosting. They think they can cover up the slow spots, lack of pacing and general fucktardedness of their movie by shellacking it over with dazzling f/x. No, they can't. Granted, some can get away with an f/x laden thin script, but the cracks will show and those sugar flowers will fall off.

And did I mention the headache and nausea? Yeah, every time I watch a movie in 3-D, I leave feeling sick. All that shit rushing at me, the tripped out lighting and whatever else they use messes, with my eyes and screws with my brain. I thought I was going to up chuck my Sno-Caps after I saw Avatar.

Finally, we have the glasses themselves. Remember those old cardboard blue lens, red lens things you could get out of a cereal box? These things have come up in the world, but they are still cheaper than dollar store earrings. Only now, they are designed to be worn by toddlers with perfect vision or contact lenses. I feel like I'm being punished Harrison Bergeron style for having bad eyes and a big head.

This is why I will forever be a 2-D girl. What about you? Do like, love or are you just meh about 3-D?


  1. As I perused your post, two words kept coming to mind throughout the journey: literary distance. At first, I wasn't sure why, but as you pointed out the cons of 3-D, it became clearer to me. There's such a thing as participation, and then there's too much participation. 3-D might be an example of the latter. I'll take the literary distance of books over 3-D any day.

  2. I totally agree, don't see the big whoop over 3-D and the fact that you have to pay extra is redonk.

  3. I'm with you. I don't like shit flying at me either. (I love your spunky writing style too.) I think I've only seen one movie in 3-D, just for the novelty factor. I don't need to do it again.

  4. I'm divided on this subject.

    On the one hand I think it's really horrible that they produce so many piles of crap only to cash in on the 3D (sequels, unnecessary comic adaptations etc.)

    On the other hand, I enjoy it. Apart from Saw 3D, I enjoyed every single 3D film I've seen so far, especially the cheesy ones (Priest, Piranha, Final Destination 4...)

  5. Never seen a movie in 3D. Do you know they are now coming out with phones that have 3D? You will even be able to Skype in 3D. Thin I will just wait for the "Scotty beam me up" version. Everything seems to give me a headache these days. It is getting harder and harder to stay ignorant on purpose.

  6. I've not seen any flicks in 3D because I'm too frugal (okay, I'm downright cheap - starving author and all that stuff).

    If I didn't suspect the 3D effects were the main event, instead of a good plot and better acting, I'd not be so reluctant to go see one.

  7. I think most people are feeling the same way about 3d, it can work but only if done very well.

  8. @Jeffrey Ahh...Literary distance is a beautiful thing. And that's another reason why I love 2 D; you're right about too much participation. I don't need to be "in" the movie. If I'd wanted that, I would have gone into acting, not writing.

    @Timmy Redonk is absolutely right. I hate paying all that extra money. Thirty bucks for two tix...Hell to the no.

    @Robyn I'm glad you like my spunky atyle. :) I think that with 3D, the directors forget that the point of the movie is the story, not windblown garden tools flying at you. I laugh when I think about some of the stuff they have come shooting at you for the 3D effect.

  9. @Maynard I agree with you on the sheer number of pointless films given the 3D treatment just because. I'm glad you have been able to enjoy your 3D experiences. Unfortunately, all of mine have been bad. My nephews loved them of course, so I will no doubt be seeing more in future.

    @Siv Phones in 3D? Holy cow! Isn't that the point of seeing them in person instead calling? I'm with you on waiting for Scotty.

    "... to stay ignorant on purpose." LOL I love it!

  10. @KC My wallet and I hear you loud and proud on starving writer. :) And you're right, part of what really bugs me about 3D is they pour all their efforts inf/x and scrimp on story. Avatar comes to mind as it was very pretty, though nauseating to me, yet, it was also very thin on plot and character development. It's getting to the point with f/x that you might as well not bother with a writer. Just string together cool f/x.

    @Ricky Interesting point and I agree. I think that 3 D done well should enhance, not take the place of, story. It would most definitely work then.

  11. 3D makes me nauseous also. And it does often feel like a trick to get you to pay less attention to the crappy story.

    Glad to hear you are feeling better and ready to take on the world with a rant. :)

  12. I guess somebody needs to present the opposing viewpoint - and I'm just the kind of lover of shiny things to do it. Actually, there's not a whole lot that can be argued - it IS a ploy to make more money - especially annoying when they try to call it a "glasses charge" but then put 18 glasses recycle bins between you and your seat - yeah, did it really cost $4 to dip a used pair in Barbasol and re-shrink wrap them? Okay, so no argument there. It is annoying when the filmmakers try to make the 3-D (or any effect or effects) the skeleton to hang the whole movie on. But that's been true for the whole history of cinema. And if the effect makes you ill or gices you a headache - then there's no arguing that. And I'll add one - spending $5 million to upconvert a 2-D movie with NO "depth gags" (gags as in stunts, not jokes) is useless and is killing the enterprise. BUT - here's the thing - 3-D, when used sparingly and for the right kind of movie can be AMAZING. I don't want to see a kitchen sink drama chunk of Oscar bait with Judi Dench and Colin Firth in 3-D. And so far no one's tried that, thankfully. But I really like it when the movie was made in 3-D from the get go and the movie would work fine without it. The two examples that have worked best are both horror remakes - My Bloody Valentine and Piranha 3-D. (And Piranha was an upconvert that gets a pass because they shot it knowing they were going to upconvert it and planned some good 3-D stuff) I enjoyed both of these movies - and have watched them again since in 2-D and they're both still fun. The Final Destination was so thinly made that the 3-D was just enough to get the movie past the entertainment finish line for me. So I wish 3-D could stay around for a half dozen releases a year - shot native in the format on movies that are well made and engaging eye candy, instead of every movie released with more than three exterior shots. Then I absolutely wouldn't mind the extra cost. But that's me all over. ;)

  13. we must assassin this 3D person, make a cunning plan, agent Melsy, and me and my penguins shall put it into action :) and all cinemas will be freed from this 3D pest!

  14. Awesome rant! You're back, like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, "with great vengeance and furious anger." They [Hollywood] just don't get it.

    The quality of the theatrical experience is lacking (at least in terms of a comparison to my younger days), and the fake IMAX screens and the nauseating 3-D experience only exacerbates the problem.

    The bloom is off the rose. The litany of disadvantages is becoming abundantly clear: blurry action sequences, desaturated colors, dim lighting, and excessive eye strain, not to mention double image-inducing headaches and the cheap glasses. Why are we paying up to $5 more for what is an inferior product? Baffling.

  15. I also cannot stand to watch 3D, but I will have to get used to it. Remember the Jetson's where they used to watch holo tv? It's going to be like that in our lifetimes, I think.

  16. Certain movies I don't bother with the 3D. I can tell when it's not really necessary and just an add-on. (And I won't see those that add the effects later rather than during the filming process.) I have discovered that not all theaters use the same 3D technology. I've sat through ones with heavy glasses and dark screens that gave me a headache. And I've enjoyed theaters where i hardly even noticed the glasses and had no problem seeing the film.
    I'll still see 3D movies, but I pick and choose which ones. And which theaters!

  17. I am so with you! I really dislike 3-d with a passion. My beef is the glasses they give us. They are very uncomfortable and hurt the bridge of my nose so I end up holding them in place during the entire movie. Besides that. They don't fit over my eye glasses very well!

  18. Great post, Mel! Glad you're back.
    "Avatar" is the only film that worth watched in 3-D. I think I'll spend my money to buy another 3-D admission is only for "Avatar 2" :)

  19. @L.G. Thanks! I am finally feeling so much better that I couldn't not do a rant. :) I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gets the queasies with 3-D.

    @Craig You make some very valid and interesting points in the case for 3-D. You're right about Hollywood using f/x as the main selling point of certain films. It's all about entertainment for money.

    I wish I could say that I've had some really great 3-D experiences, but that hasn't happened. Maybe I'll give it another shot down the road.

  20. @Dez Yes! I knew I could count on you and your penguin crew. :) I'll be in touch with the plans. Death to 3-D!

    @Matt LMAO I LOVE being compared to Sam L and from one of of my fave movies too. I'm so proud and ready to go on another tear.

    The bloom is off the rose indeed. I read an article not too long ago, about drops in sales of 3-D versions of films because only a few hundred theaters could handle the projections. The cost of a 3-D projector will run a theater somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000 a piece. No wonder only the multiplexes have the 3-D versions of films. 2-D for me all the way.

  21. @-BB Hi! Oh how I loved The Jetsons. I still do. And yes, 3-D is here to stay for sure. I'll be seeing the films, too as my I take my nephew and they always want the 3-D version :) You're absolutely right that with these new home theaters coming out all the time, holo TV won't be far behind.

    @Alex Picking and choosing might be the way to go because I know my nephews all want to see 3-D and I'm usually the one who takes them to the show. You're right about the different 3-D technologies. I wish the theaters would all use the same one. Maybe that's part of the reason my experiences have all been bad. And I'm with on the movies shot normally and then given an upgrade. No way! Then it really feels like a hard sell for a bad story.

  22. @Kimberly It's like we're being punished for wearing glasses I tell you. :) Those 3-D goggles bother me to no end. It's one of my biggest problems with 3-D technology. And why is it they're never the same glasses at these different movies?

    @Jaccstev Aww... thanks!I wish I could have enjoyed Avatar more, but that was one film where I was really queasy after watching the 3-D. I was overwhelmed by the visuals. It sounds like you had an awesome time and I'm glad to hear you wholeheartedly endorse a new Avatar film.

  23. I've yet to see a full length 3-D film and don't guess I need to. For one thing I already wear glasses and am not thrilled about glasses on top of my glasses. 3-D is a cool novelty but I guess I'll wait until the technology gets even better where it actually puts us in the movie and we can experience everything.

    Tossing It Out

  24. I've never seen the point of 3D and have yet to go see a movie in 3D. :-O Hey, T-Rex was calling me on my cell phone until I got a new one last week.

    One of my fellow star guides loves 3D movies though.

  25. @Arlee I hear you. I'd much rather wait until the tech can put me right into the movie. I think a nice Pirate film with Johnny Depp. :)

    @MPax I've only seen 3-D because of my nephews. Otherwise, I'm a total 2-D girl. T-Rex calling? Well now I would think that would be hard with the short arms. :)

  26. Overall, I've been unimpressed by 3-D. I think studios are just pumped by the extra cash they get for the glasses. Granted, it does cost more to make, but my point still stands.

    The only movie that's impressed me thus far in 3-D was Avatar. Honestly, I'm not sure it's half as good in just plain old 2-D. It's just Fern Gully for grown-ups.

    In short, I'm pretty sure 3-D films will quickly grow obsolete. At least for me. I'm still waiting for another visually stunning enough to make me want to fork over the extra six bucks.

  27. I personally don't mind 3D and it doesn't cause me a headache or anything, but at the same time I'm not a big fan of it either. If I have to describe 3D in one word, this word would be UNNECESSARY. It's invented for money-making, it's as simple as that. Having said that, I love watching animated flicks in 3D. Those I've seen so far, were pretty incredible.

  28. @Elizabeth M Hi there! Yes, Fern Gully for grown ups... Thank You! I thought that when I first saw Avatar then went home and rented Fern Gully just to see. The 3-D f/x really are everything for the film.

    I, too, hope 3-D wears off because unless they get better the the tech, i.e. the glasses, it's not worth it to me.

    @Nebular You know the animated features do seem to translate the best. I still have problems with the glasses, though. LOL

    I agree with you on the unnecessary part. It drives me nuts that studios seem to throw in 3-D f/x in such a haphazard fashion to make something supposedly look cool without thought for how it fits into the story.

  29. My girlfriend, M (of the-smoking-pen fame), sent me a text saying, "Holy fuck, just re-rented Fern Gully, for shigs. I didn't realize the similarities..." I was smug, because all I could say was, "Honey, I tried to tell you."

  30. @Elizabeth M LOL My brothers didn't believe me at first, either.

  31. Agree with what most have mentioned here, certain films and certain theatres excel in delivering the third dimension.

    I've read on how Jim Cameron intends to research on new 3D techniques (i.e. shooting at higher frame rates in aim of smoothing the motion to eliminate the headaches/giddiness) as well as campaigning for better theatre 3D projection facilities.

    Let's hope they get rolled out soon, if not I'd be like some here selectively choosing which films to watch in 3D.


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