...to 3-D or not to 3-D?
by J.A. Hamilton
Now I won’t go as far as to say I dislike the concept of 3-D, as I find it to be a cool feature once in awhile (popping up in FREDDY’S DEAD when I was in High School or in ORDER OF THE PHOENIX). I’d also noticed that JAWS 3 and even FRIDAY THE 13TH part 3 featured the use of 3-D technology back in the day (though they were both before my time). In that capacity, I find 3-D interesting. When anything comes knocking once in awhile it retains the magic and purity that made it cool in the first place, but I find Hollywood is going overboard (like they always do) with 3-D lately, making it just another useless gimmick. This overuse and overpricing may not be hindering the movie going experience yet, but will it remain so and how long before 3-D takes over?
JAWS 3 was PG? I never noticed until now
The biggest market for this technology right now is the animation front. Almost all of our recent animated movies have been featured in 3-D. Have you ever wondered how some of these films make so much money? Well that’s one of the many ways. On that note, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenburg is now pushing for ALL forthcoming DreamWorks features to be made in 3-D. Don’t get me wrong, MONSTERS VS ALIENS and UP were both fantastic movies, but did I see them in 3-D? Nope. Did that take away from the experience? I don’t think so, and many others feel the same way.
This was awesome without 3-D
That said MY BLOODY VALENTINE was fun in 3-D (though I didn’t see it that way in theaters, the Blu-ray comes with 3-D glasses; a concept I DO think is cool). Horror movies are where most of this technology started from, as kill shots look so much groovier in 3-D (not to mention how nuts I’m sure JAWS looked as he came rushing toward the screen). One might argue that sometimes a movie goes out of its way to accommodate such things and that it’s not only noticeable but can sometimes take away from the film with moments that are purely “money shots” for 3-D purposes despite not really making much sense or needing to be done that way.
3-D gave this a cool edge, but wasn't necessary
There are always going to be certain movies that would look totally awesome in 3-D. I have no real love for George Lucas but the STAR WARS films would be breathtaking in 3-D. Movies like the PIRANHA remake, HALLOWEEN 3 and even RESIDENT EVIL 4 might look cool in 3-D, but necessary, hells no. I don’t think many people actually still get excited for 3-D these days, especially now that it costs so much more for a 3-D movie ticket. The old days were fine, when they handed you a pair of glasses on the way in because a certain scene was shot in 3-D, it was a gratuitous bonus that you didn’t really care about but was cool nonetheless. Having to pay an extra few bucks for a 3-D ticket on the other hand, not so cool.
I'd pay to see the STAR WARS film in 3-D, even the new ones
So call my cynical, but not only do I feel that all this 3-D is highly unnecessary I also see it as just another gimmick to make more money at the movie theaters. They shell out most 3-D flicks as animated features for a reason; kids are easy targets. The rest of us (or at least most of the people I know), have begun to raise an eyebrow and catch on. Now I’m all for the 3-D technology their working on for home theaters systems (my buddy Phillip Rhee was explaining it to me a few weeks ago), because then we’ll be back to having a choice again. As it stands now, more and more films are coming out in 3-D and pretty soon we may not have the choice to see it in regular format. Do you want to spend the extra 3-4 bucks on 3-D? I certainly don’t.