Monday, June 8, 2009

The Trouble with 3D

Have you noticed the influx of 3D movies, lately? 3D is the new toy that film makers are playing with. Of course, it's really not new. 3D has been around since the 1920s, but it never caught on as the a widespread film making standard. Why? In my opinion, because 3D is a gimmick.

True, the technology is better today, but the idea remains the same. If you're telling me a good story, then I don't need to see things flying in my face. If I wanted 3D, I'd go see live theater.

My son and I recently watched Journey to the Center of the Earth on DVD. This was a non-3D viewing of a movie that was so obviously made for the sheer 3D-joy of throwing things at the audience. Every time something would come at us, like a yo yo being shot at the screen, we would shout out, "Here it comes in 3D!" It was like one of those drinking games, minus the drinks.

Part of the reason I don't like 3D is very personal: my eyes don't work right. At least, not the way they need to to view a 3D movie. Because I have less visual acuity in one eye than the other, I can't focus properly through those darned glasses. And speaking of the glasses, have you tried wearing those over a pair of prescription lenses? Not comfortable, no siree.

It seems like every twenty years or so, movie makers try to resurrect this form of film making. Remember Jaws 3D? Spy Kids 3D Game Over? And each time, the 3D fanfare fades away. So I hope this round of 3D madness will go the way of all the others.

Actually, I don't mind 3D as long as I have a choice and it's done well. Case in point: I saw Pixar's Up over the weekend. My theater showed both versions, and I chose blessed 2D. The movie was wonderful, and not once did I think, "Oh, there's something they put in to take advantage of the 3D effect." Nope, the story overrode the effect du jour, which is how it should be.

Still, there's a whole crop of 3D movies coming out. Disney seems to be one of the most excited about jumping on the 3D bandwagon (I think it's because they're in love with the alliteration of Disney Digital 3D). Not do they have a slate of new movies coming out in 3D, but they're remaking some of the old ones, including the original Toy Story and Beauty and the Beast. Okay, Toy Story I get, but Beauty and the Beast? Way to ruin a classic, guys.

But to end on a hopefully high note, here's the trailer for Toy Story 3, coming June 18, 2010 in... you guessed it... Disney Digital 3D! From what I've heard of the story, Buzz, Woody and the gang get dumped in a daycare center when Andy goes off to college. Since we know Woody and Jessie are collector's items, I'm already a little worried about the plot. (Really, value aside, they're probably covered in lead paint and are a choking hazard!) In my opinion, Toy Story 2 was a great wrap-up and anything else is unnecessary. But I'm hoping the peeps at Pixar come through with a great story, as usual.

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