Disclaimer: The following contains opinions that are my own, not necessarily those of Sci-Fi Heaven or anyone else. It also contains almost no reason or rationale whatsoever and should be taken with a big pinch of salt.
3D. Well itâ€™s got to be better than bog-standard old 2D, innit, itâ€™s got a whole extra D.Â Thatâ€™s one whole extra D, not half of a D but a whole one. Whatâ€™s not to love?
In recent months weâ€™ve seen something of a resurgence in the old 3D gimmick.Â Weâ€™ve come such a long way now in terms of technology that we can dismissively wave away talk of such embarrassing spectacles as the old B-movies or the ludicious Jaws 3D. â€˜Oh ho ho,â€™ we hoot, â€˜dear me, the 3D films of today arenâ€™t as poor as those lumbering dinosaurs. The end product of the 3D process is actually worth the cost of production these days. Bother us not with your trifles!â€™
Well Iâ€™m bothered.
Yes, the price difference between a 3D ticket and a non-3D ticket isnâ€™t necessarily budget-crippling depending on where you go and which film you wish to watch.Â Yes, 3D vastly enhanced the viewing experience of Avatar, a film which otherwise would have been visually nice but more noticeably hollow.
But for every Avatar, filmed in 3D with the 3D effect as part of the intended end product, thereâ€™s at least a handful of Clash of the Titansâ€¦es, where the 3D is slapped on and crowbarred in at a later date because the producers hear the sound of cash-registers ringing every time the word â€˜3Dâ€™ is mentioned. The result is a poor, pointless and almost insulting grasp for extra money from us, the consumers.
At the moment it seems as if the announcement for every upcoming remake, animated kidsâ€™ flick or tired franchise sequel contains the words â€˜IN 3D!â€™.Â Loganâ€™s Run? Check. Toy Story 3? Yup. Men in Black 3? Come on, do people even want a Men in Black 3 in 2D? Apparently so. Even the World Cup will be filmed in 3D!
Right now Space Chimps 2 is out in the cinemas. How did Space Chimps get a sequel? Did anyone WATCH the first Space Chimps? As far as I can tell the only reason it exists is because parents will take their kids to see anything in 3D so that they can sit their with their little eyes wide open because the chimps are RIGHT THERE IN THE ROOM! Except theyâ€™re not. Because 3D still isnâ€™t that good yet.Â Forgive me for being mostly 3D-indifferent until theyâ€™ve got films displayed as holograms.Â It just doesnâ€™t seem worth it till then.
My personal bugbear with 3D films is the glasses. I wear ordinary glasses that donâ€™t muck about with any dimensions. So I have to wear the 3D glasses over them. Me andÂ millions of other people, yes.Â Most people seem to experience no difficulties with this. A friend of mine gets blinding migraines from 3D glasses. Unless Iâ€™m using the silly cardboard ones I get intense pain at my temples where the pairs of glasses rest on each other for the first half hour of whatever film I watch in 3D. This is distracting. Quite distracting. It didnâ€™t ruin Avatar but it certainly detracted from it.Â Some people get motion sickness from being unable to focus properly during action sequences.Â Iâ€™m not saying 3D is a health hazard, Iâ€™m just pointing out that it doesnâ€™t exactly work perfectly for everyone.
3D is a gimmick. A shiny, increasingly effective one, but a gimmick nonetheless.Â Filmmaking shouldnâ€™t be about gimmicks. If thereâ€™s anything we should learn from William Castleâ€™s B-movies itâ€™s that 3D, invisible ghosts and vibrating seats do not good movies make.Â Gimmicks donâ€™t redeem awful films, they just con suckers into paying more to see them.
On a related note, check out this article on the â€˜Marvel Super Heroes 4Dâ€™ attraction at Madam Tusseauds London.Â Yes, the â€˜4Dâ€™ bit threw me too. Does everyone get given a dagger of time that lets them rewind the attraction as they please? No. The 4th D is â€œwater [and] airjetsâ€ that blast the audience. Er. Unless Iâ€™m mistaken, thatâ€™s not 4D. Methinks the spokesperson needs to do more research into their Ds.