Tuesday, 29 December 2009


So, I went to see Avatar. Y'know, that movie with those blue aliens. It was most awesome, but more on that later. See, the big thing they have been pushing for this movie is the 3D element. Hollywood likes 3D. You can't pirate a 3D film, and cinemas have an excuse to charge you more money, for the glasses, yet it doesn't cost them any extra. That immediately gets me riled; if I am paying almost double the price, it better be double to awesome. So they like to tell us 3D is amazing, that it is gonna be a revolution in film, (*sigh*), and you know what, it is kinda cool, but not nearly cool enough.

I mean, OK, so I have now seen Up in 3D and Avatar in 3D, and both films, were I given the chance to see them again, I would watch in regular old 2D. There are some nice things about 3D: every now and again you see a 3D shot which has depth, and you feel like you are looking through a window onto the movie set, as opposed to a screen, and that is all kinds of cool. Those shots are sometimes incredible. Then there the 3D people think of when they imagine "3D": y'know, a rocket firing out of the screen and into the audience, or people pointing out of the screen and into the audience. Things coming out at you. Both of those are all kinds of awesome, but truth be told, I am not sure if they actually can make a film much better. And a 3D film, bear in mind, is not constant 3D. It is a 2D film with occasional 3D shots. That is very important to remember.

One reason I just can't love 3D, is the glasses. They mess with your immersion. I get repeatedly brought out of the movie to adjust them - their one size fits all design is suprisingly fine on me for a while, but it still annoys if you wear them for too long. And their coloured lenses deaden the colours on screen, making the film seem darker and blander.

But the biggest problem 3D faces is that I start to ignore it. Yes, every now and again, an establishing shot of the scenery in 3D is very impressive, and yes, every now and again, an action scene is given a nice shot as an arrow, or something, flies out of the screen. But for the most part, I am ignoring 3D, and just trying to watch the movie. That is why I went to see Avatar. That was why I went to see Up. I wanted to watch the film.

I guess what I am trying to say is that 3D is a kinda cool idea, but that, truth be told, I still just want to see my movies in 2D. The glasses are not worth the occasional 3D shot. But most of all, 3D is not an immersive element. When I see a 3D shot, it is distracting me from the movie; for the most time my brain is just trying to ignore the 3D so I can watch the movie. It was worth seeing Avatar in 3D at the cinema, but if I don't think I am gonna seek out a 3D movie again any time soon. I have given it a fair chance, and it just doesn't seem to be better.

Oh, and Avatar. That was really, really, very good. Honestly. Except that it is far too long, has a stupidly over-the-top environmental, spiritual, theme forced upon us, and is the most predictable and under-written story ever put to celluloid. Apart from that, it is one of the most fun films I have seen in a long time.

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