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Dear 3D, We Saw You Now Go Away!

I remember my first 3D movie.  It was way back in the 80’s and I went to the theater at the mall to see Jaws 3-D.  It was a big deal for me not only because my Mom was dropping me off with my friends, but because this was a “scary” movie.  There was a debate over how scared I’d actually be and what kind of nightmares I might have, but I eventually won the argument.  So, one Saturday afternoon my friends and I waited in line, paid a whopping $3.50 and got to sit through what turned out to be a pretty crummy movie.
I know, it’s a Jaws movie, what did I expect?  What I expected was some mind-blowing 3D experience.  What I got were plenty of shots that were just gratuitous and cheesy use of 3D effects.  I remember a spear being fired directly toward the audience and closeups of half-eaten bodies with creepy-crawlies slithering out of the screen at my face.  Gross, yes.  Scary?  Not so much.  We all left rather unimpressed but spent a good few hours wandering the mall afterward, so it wasn’t a total loss.
     Not long after the not-scary Jaws, I watched Friday the 13th 3D.  My parents did not know I was going to see that one and it was considerably more scary.  The gratuitous use of 3D was still there but this time it was popcorn (haha) and a giant machete begin shoved through a hapless teenager that makes me squeamish even now.  Still, the whole 3D thing just wasn’t that impressive.  I mean, it was Friday the 13th so it wasn’t going to be groundbreaking cinema, but the 3D was just kind of lame.
A lot of years have passed since then and the 3D craze has returned, but this time it comes complete with surround sound and stadium seating.  But you know what?  I’m still not that impressed.  I went to see Avatar in 3D because everyone said that it was the only way to see the movie.  It was one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen, but I really don’t think the 3D made it look all that much better.
The roll call of 3D movies just keeps on coming…How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3, Clash of the Titans.  In fact, a random search gave me a list of over 50 movies due out in 3D this year alone.  It was a fad in the 50’s.  It was nostalgic in the 80’s.  It’s technically advanced now, but please, just give me a movie with a good story and believable characters and leave the 3D at home.

4 Responses to “Dear 3D, We Saw You Now Go Away!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    My first 3D movie was Andy Warhol's Frankenstein. Possibly the worst movie ever made. Very gratuitous use of 3D. The worst of the worst was the soliloquy given by a character with a spear coming out of his chest with his liver stuck to then end waving in the audience's face. Yah, I can get 3D in the real world. What I cant always get is a great story.

  2. Jordan says:

    So you're not going to run out and get the new Samsung 3D tv?

    I've never been a fan of 3D movies. They give me headaches and for the most part, I don't think 3D really brings anything to the experience.

    Also, in my neck of the woods, the theaters charge an extra $2.50 for a 3D movie for the glasses. Which you then have to return. And not get your money back.

  3. Hmmm…so I will cross that version of Frankenstein off my list right now. The lack of a decent story is what I HATE about every 3D movie I have ever seen. They get so wrapped up in the cool effects, they completely forget to write believable characters and a compelling story.

    And you are correct Jordan, that silly tv will not be on my wish list any time soon! You know, they do the same thing here with 3D movies and until I read your comment I never thought about the fact that we pay extra and don't even keep the silly glasses!

  4. Dann says:

    Agree Nicole, I just saw COTT and putting aside the quality of the film itself (or lack thereof) I really found that the 3D tended to shrink the scope of the action and made everything feel very staged. There's something about 2D images that let your mind fill in the gaps and interpret the scale of the characters differently, on a more metphoric level. Eg. when you get an extreme closeup in 2D that carries with it a certain archetypical and symbolic granduer because the face looks physically larger in shot, but in 3D it just looks like a head that is the same size head as when the guy was standing in full frame. Its a hard thing to fully breakdown without writing an essay on it.

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