Renown film critic Roger Ebert regularly writes and Tweets about the film industry (@EbertChicago). Many of his articles are on his perceived failure of 3-D films. Here’s a recent quote:
The notion that we are asked to pay a premium to witness an inferior and inherently brain-confusing image is outrageous. The case is closed.
This from the article Why 3-D Doesn’t Work and Never Will
So 3-D has failed to both capture audiences and save the film industry. With the re-releases of Star Wars: Episode 1 & Titanic, set for a 3-D run in the coming weeks, I thought now might be a good time to explore why 3-D falls flat.
First and foremost, 3-D very, very rarely adds positively to the film. I saw the 3-D reboot of Toy Story a couple years ago. Does a story this rich in character and story need the added element of 3-D? I say no. Honestly the only 3-D film I’ve seen where it added to the film was Avitar. But I’ve since watched it in 2-D and don’t think I am missing anything.
There’s different ways to shoot or overlay 3-D, different glasses with different effects and costs attached to each. Theaters don’t want to pay for the glasses but they’ll charge an extra five bucks for a ticket.
Is this the fault of the filmmakers who just are not embracing the technology as well as James Cameron? Maybe. Or is it a limitation of the technology itself? Possibly. It is all simply a mess. And bottom line: it’s not worth it.
The other thing that I cannot get past in regard to 3-D films is the glasses. I don’t like wearing them. Not so much that they are uncomfortable but more so that they detract from the overall movie going experience. Audiences, theaters and filmmakers operate together through a joint agreement called suspension of disbelief. These glasses make that impossible. They are a constant reminder that what I am seeing is faked. It is not real. I am not there.
My kids won’t wear them because that’s not how they are used to watching screens at home. We have a large TV and computers, tablets etc none of them require the wearing of extra apparatus to have the full experience. If you are the wearer of corrective lens glasses I don’t know how you fashion these 3-D frames over the ones you need for sight.
I am fully aware of the 3-D televisions on the market. I won’t buy one. Why anyone would want to wear these glasses at home befuddles me. You have to pay extra for the glasses and they usually don’t work between different TV brands.
Like Mr. Pitt, I was never very good at seeing those “magic images” either. Could I also be 3-D immune? In any case, I generally don’t enjoy the 3-D theater-going experience. I am not looking forward to emulating it in my home.
George Lucas will have to get by without my ticket money.
How about you? Are you going to see the Star Wars 3-D films or the 3-D re-release of Titanic? What do you think of 3-D overall?
- Are 3D Movies a Box Office Revenue Hit? (savings.com)