The Next Dimension: Does 3D Really Work?
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 10:56 by Dan Jolin in Empire States
The Japanese call it shoboshobo. The technical term is asthenopia. I call it 3D red-eye. And it’s the main reason why I remain skeptical — I’d like to think respectfully skeptical — about the burgeoning 3D revolution.
Some time ago I went to see Beowulf at the London IMAX. This was my last 3D experience, and for a while I was determined that it would remain my last 3D experience. I had no problem with the film itself; I enjoyed it primarily due to Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary’s script, a bold new take on one of the oldest of legends. But the 3D itself failed to make it anything more of an immersive entertainment than it would have been in 2D. In fact, it was a barrier to enjoyment. Sat, as I was, very slightly off-centre in the auditorium, everything on-screen blurred at the edges. I found myself having to lean leftways very slightly to minimise the effect as much as possible. Then, afterwards I realised my eyeballs felt like they’d been glasspapered. I looked at my wife and my friends. They blinked blearily back through bloodshot peepers, as if they’d just woken up from an all-night tequila binge in a smoke-filled room. The general gist of the journey home was: “Yeah, that was quite fun, but fuck my eyes hurt.” All agreed we’d have had a better time if we’d seen the monoscopic version.
Since then I’ve read more and more — from filmmakers I’ve long respected (Spielberg, Jackson, Cameron, Lasseter), and especially from format cheerleader Jeffrey Katzenberg — that 3D is soon going to be the industry standard and that we’ll all one day posess our own polarized glasses. (No doubt the coolest kids will be wearing their special Oakleys. As a glasses-wearer, though, I will just have to plump for the naff big ones that sit uncomfortably over my own specs and make the bridge of my nose hurt.)
But it seems even the much-touted, new-school ‘RealD’ results in visual fatigue. Last month, in his excellent blog on Slate (check it out here), Daniel Engber lucidly explained how our eyes work, and how the very process of 3D causes them to react unnaturally — this being the prime suspect in the crime that is 3D red-eye. He, like me, has suffered ocular discomfort during stereoscopic entertainments, right up to and including Monsters Vs Aliens, now the biggest 3D movie ever released.
Engber, naturally, has only entrenched my skepticism, which even extends to the bigger question: do we even really need 3D? Never underestimate the power of empathy and the imagination — otherwise how would the written (or indeed spoken) word have become such a potent entertainment form? If a movie is well-shot, well-written and well-performed enough, then we feel the depth. We are transported into a world as three-dimensional and, for that matter, tactile as our own. Shooting in stereo has as much a chance of pushing its audience away rather then pulling them further in. Of course, I’d love to be proven wrong, and intend to resume checking out 3D films in an effort to be so.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the words of Sam Mendes — one of our smartest film-makers — who, when asked in our 20th Birthday Issue if he was ‘going 3D’ responded: “I have. It’s called the theatre.”
Login or register to comment.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 11:27
Nice to see there are other 3-D sceptics out there. Having seen Beowulf and Bolt in 3-D I have decided that, at best, it did nothing to improve the films and at worst, made us fidget and periodically have to remove the glasses to give our eyes a rest. I want to go to see Coraline but the fact that it is only on in 3-D is really putting me off!
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 11:40
I am glad Dan mentioned the spectacle wearing issue. I do not get on with contact lenses at all over long periods and strictly use them for playing sports. Having those massive RealD specs on over the top is really uncomfortable and hurts my nose and ears!
BUT, I disagree about the general theme of the article. I think it looks fantastic. I have seen Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, Bolt and Monsters V Aliens this year in 3D and find it always adds to the enjoyment.
I have yet to see a Live Action 3D film where it has done though. Perhaps 3D only works with Animation?
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 11:41
Good Article! Someone has to say it...
10 years ago, with Phantom Menace we had on our hands a 'CG Revolution'. Now we're being asked to buy into the '3D Revolution'. Unfortunately, with the CG thing we became bombarded with films that used graphics instead of story, great writing and performances or having something to say. In short, we now have a lot of loud, visually complex movies that are cr*p and have no real beauty to them. Never have some many people given up so many hours for so little reward. Give me Daniel Day Lewis over ILM any day of the week!
I think the same thing might happen with 3D i.e. 'Hey everyone! This film's a bunch of sh*t, but it's based on a Marvel character and, gasp, it's 3D!' Honestly, who gives a f*ck?
All these technical advancements are supposed to enhance the experience of seeing a great STORY! Otherwise, you're polishing a t*rd!
the ageless stranger
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 11:42
3D is at the moment just a gimmick. I saw Beowulf in normo-vision because my local cinema didn't have 3D, and the scenes which were made for 3D were obvious, such as a soldier thrusting a spear towards the screen, etc. (Of course, it wasn't helped by the fact that Beowulf was a crap film. The naked Austin Powers bit in the feast hall, come on!) I saw Journey to the Centre of the Earth in 3D and similarly there were planty of scenes made specifically for three dimensions, with things rushing at the screen, making you duck, so on. It's a bit of fun, but it doesn't really enhance anything about a film. Like I said, Beowulf was shit. An extra dimension will do nothing to change my opinion on that. On the flipside, I have loved Nightmare Before Christmas for years, and I saw it in 3D for the first time last year. And while it looked great in 3D, I already loved it, so make of that what you will.
I'm just worried about all these big directors moving towards gimmicks like 3D and motion capture. I fear Zemeckis is lost to us....
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 11:59
Excellent article, I'm glad not everyone is jumping on the 3D bandwagon...
While I'm sure 3D is awesome for those that can enjoy it fully, I personally have the condition called 'strabismus' (which is often incorrectly referred to as 'lazy-eye' and means one of my eyes doesn't naturally look straight ahead) which means that the 3D effect is lost on me as my focus is channelled mainly through one eye.
Therefore, this proposed new wave of 3D effect-laden movies will be lost to me unless non-3D versions are also released. Even then, as with the aforementioned 'Beowulf' the 3D effects will be obvious and distracting in normal vision.
I'm not alone in this condition and so there will be a percentage of the film-going audience excluded from this 'revolution' as it is being touted - a shame as I'm one of James Cameron's biggest fans and am eagerly awaiting 'Avatar'.
Personally, I wish these great auteurs like Cameron, Speilberg and Jackson would stop pissing around with the gimmicky technique of 3D and invest money and time into the invention of fully holographic cinema which everyone could enjoy and without the silly bloody glasses too...
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:13
I cant tell you how relieving it is read that! Having read this somewhat shoddy 20th Anniversary magazine recently (cant remember which one it was), and noticing the fact that the word '3D' featured at least 68 times on every page, I began to feel slightly disconcerted. The idea of 3D is one that I can jump on board with, but only if the film suits it. I worry that in a few years time, we'll all be watching Jim Jarmusch films in the format.
Plus, having been to cineworld the other day - to see Coraline, which was FREAKIN AMAZING!!! - and been so brazenly ripped off by their £1.50 '3D charge', my acrimony has only increased. Not only that, but when we actually watched the film, I realised two things: 1) The fact that the film was in 3D really didn't make much difference to a film that was more than capable of standing on its own merits, and 2) Every time there's a pan (with the camera, I mean, not something you fry with), the screen blurs so much that you can only make out a few colours.
So, to answer your question, no we do not NEED 3D. The concept is very nice and everything, but its ruining some fine films. Maybe leave it for the kids
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:14
I truely dislike the 3-d experience. Its uncomfortable (the glasses), painful (the eyes) and pointless. A good movie is a good movie, regardless of 2-d or 3-d. I actually prefer 2-d. For me a large part of movies is the escapism, and 3-d detracts from that in my opinion.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:14
I have seen Beowulf, Bolt, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Coraline in 3-D and I have never felt any discomfort in my eyes.
I think the technology has improved since Beowulf, I went to see Coraline yesterday and I was sitting off to the right of the screen and didn't see any blurring I found it took a bit of getting used to with Beowulf. I really liked the fact that the 3D aspect of Coraline was really subtle, there wasn't lots of things flying at the screen just to show off the 3D it was merely used to bring the film to life just that little bit more.
I can understand some people not liking 3D my boyfriend struggles with the specs a bit but I guess peoples eyes work differently, so I think it's a good idea to always have the 2D option showing at cinemas aswell so people have a choice. I think film makers should take note of how Henry Selick approached Coraline and not write the entire film around the 3D, but I think I aggree with Fozzybear that 3D maybe works best for animation rather than live action.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:19
Yay! Someone else feels the same way I do. I've never actually had "redeye" (my eyes seem fairly resilient, unlike the rest of my frail body) but I really cannot see how 3D will enhance a movie. I don't think cinema is crying out for it, nor does it need it. I'll give it a go, but at the moment 3D is a gimmick. Lets hope that four of the best directors in the world can find some clever use for the technique.
Colour me thoroughly skeptical.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:21
Oh and yeah we got charged £1.50 extra yesterday too which I thought was a bit of a rip, we've got Cineworld Unlimited cards and we've never been charged the extra before!!!!
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:21
Having seen Coraline (brilliant) and Monster vs Aliens (meh) in 3d, and both only because that's the only way I could watch those films at my local cineplex, I just can't see the need for 3d.
It added nothing to the film, just a gimick! Both films would easily work as 2d films. It is something that my GF and I say to each other after each 3d film. We saw Bolt in 2d and agreed that watching it in 3d would add nothing.
Having said that, the first time I saw something in 3d (Beowulf) something did make my jump. The trailer for Journey to the Centre of the Earth was on before the movie and a torch came flying out of the screen. I jumped about 3 feet in the air haha.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:23
Wait, did I just contradict myself in that last paragraph?!
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:23
Can I just add my thanks that someone else has finally mentioned the implications 3D format has on those with visual impairment, i.e us Spectacle-Wearers.
I'm yet to experience my first 3D film of the new wave, but I'm still put off with the fact I'm gonna have to wear big lenses over my existing glasses in order to see the film. It just looks stupid.
And yes, the natural answer to this is to wear contacts, but you can get lost if you think I'm gonna touch my own eyeballs... its just unnatural lol!
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:48
I enjoyed Beowulf in 3D, partly because it was a novelty gimmick which remindered me of Jaws 3D (which we rented as a vhs when I was younger - and got those cheapo glasses in the case!). It was the most impressive 3D film I'd seen and I can only assume that it is because the film was animated and therefore easier to make it appear 3D. I've seen Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix as well as Superman Returns with some selected scenes being 3D and found that it was uncomfortable viewing. They used 3D in the "action" scenes and it was impossible to tell what was going on.
So, flaw number 1 is that they haven't perfected the technology for live action.
Flaw number 2 is that, outrageously, cinemas are charging MORE for 3D. I realise that they are doing so because to fit the technology in the theatre costs more, but if it's a new innovation in cinema, the consumer should not be footing the bill. If I buy a burger in McDonalds, I don't expect them to charge me extra for the bun.
Flaw number 3 is that this is all a pathetic attempt to curb piracy. Don't get me wrong - I wholeheartedly disagree with illegal downloads (see my post in Helen's excellent blog to clarify my position), but the way for the studios to stop piracy isn't to grap hold of the latest gimmick. Instead they need to catch up with the music industry which is now embracing the ability to download and use it to its advantage. If people would rather pay money to download the film than watch it in the cinema, then give them that option. Maybe it will stop the annoying 13 year old chavs talking all the way through the movies at the cinemas!
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:53
Having seen Coraline in 3D at the NFT, I have to disagree with the previous comments about uncomfortable glasses. As the trip was booked as a surprise, I didn't realise I'd be seeing anything in 3D and was wearing my usual nerd-specs, so I had to wear the 3D glasses over the top - not at all uncomfortable, and actually the coolest 3D glasses I've seen. And really, who's looking at you in the cinema, anway?
The 3D experience worked so well with Coraline - I could have sworn those mice were dancing on the head of the lady two rows in front of me - but I do agree that filmmakers have to be more selective with their use of 3D techniques. The point in Coraline is to emphasise the extra excitement and simultaneous 'unrealness' of the Other World; whereas watching parts of Superman Returns in 3D a few years back made those scenes a jumble that actually gained from being seen again in 2D (ditto the last Harry Potter).
And lona_no_friends, I reckon arthouse and indie movies will be perfectly safe from the curse of 3D. George Lucas is a twit - cinema won't become routinely CGI or 3D because an awful lot of movies don't need either of these things to enhance the plot or the cinematography, and studios won't stump up a penny extra for unnecessary and costly processes. It's expected of the big blockbusters, action and fantasy films, but anything else can get by with the bare minimum of digital effects.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 12:54
You got charged extra????? Thats terrible, iv been to see both monsters and coraline on my ultd card did not have to pay any extra charge.
If they try and charge you again, argue it.
The terms and conditions say unlimited film for the monthly price with the london cinema exceptions. They cannot charge you more.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 13:07
Regarding Cineworld Unlimited Card - I received a newsletter from Cineworld via Email to advise they were introducing a £1.50 charge per ticket for all 3D films. Which seems a bit unfair as it is an "Unlimited" Card.
However they never asked me for any extra cash when I saw Coraline the other day and I did not point that out to them!
I was thinking of trying to combat this by keeping my RealD specs and taking them with me next. But as someone else has mentioned I suppose it is related to the projector costs etc.
Also - nice to see that one spectacle wearing person does not find the glasses uncomfortable over the top of their own specs.
And - I seem to be lucky at my cinema because every 3D film is also being shown in 2D.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 13:27
Does 3D increase your enjoyment of a film or immerse you in the world anymore than 2D would? I argue that it actually brings you out of the film - when 3D works, you find yourself noticing every effect and wondering how they did it, when it doesn't work, well, you're wearing ridiculous frickin' glasses. 3D, in my opinion, does not improve storytelling, performances or even thrilling action sequences.
It annoys me that so many directors have surrendered their impressive talents to the quest of 3D. It just seems like a pointless exercise.
Of course, I will happily eat my words if in the future we are all watching fully-immersive 3D films in which the characters caper around us and explosions singe our eyebrows. Hell, in another time I would probably have been one of those people who dismissed talkies as a fad and felt that TV was stealing radio's thunder.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 13:42
I've only seen Journey to the Centre of the Earth which was a terrible film, but I did enjoy the 3D parts. I think its good for the experience but will only work on certain films.
I like it but I'd be a little bit concerned about whether any actual damage could occur to your eyes.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 13:47
re jmebaby25, wholly agree re the downloads. I've recently had 2 children so getting to the cinema at all is hard so with most films the option is either get it downloaded illegally or wait for the DVD. There is certainly a market for new movies to be available earlier via download.
Like with seeing a good band live, I wouldn't see this as the death of cinema as you can replace at home the joy of seeing a Transformers or a Bond on the big screen.
3d seems a bit of a rubbish gimmick to me but i'll be happilly proven wrong. I just want it used wisely!
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 13:48
i meant 'cant' replace!
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 14:22
Moan, moan, moan. If the filmakers want to make their film 3D then so be it, thats the way it should be watched. I've onyl ever seen 1 movie in 3D and that was Coraline and I couldn't have enjoyed it more, I think the 3D added to the world created in the film and I left the cinema smiling like a little kid. The corners were slighly blurred but look at the above picture, in the corners are some sky part of a cloud and some water, not exactly missing anything important are we, and my eyes didn't hurt at all either, personally I can't wait for my next 3D film outing.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 14:46
Have only seen 2 pics in 3D - Monsters Vs Aliens (which would have been crap were it not for the spectacular 3D visuals) and Coraline (which would have been excellent regardless, but was definitely enhanced by the depth of 3D). Neither one had much in the way of blurring, although can see from the trailer for Jonas Brothers that it can be a major problem.
Wear specs for astigmatism and short sight, and the glasses fit comfortably over the top of normal specs. No red eye or fatigue. In fact, I walked straight from Coraline into the adjacent screen to the next showing of Star Trek (paid for both before ye snipe), and adjusted back to 2D just fine.
3D can certainly enhance films, but there is a real need to avoid making it gimmicky. Certain bits of Coraline (the ending) struck me as probably not being as good if seen in 2D, and there were moments in Monsters vs Aliens that were showboating the technology, but nothing as bad as in Beowulf and Journey which I saw in 2D and were clearly the worse for that.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 14:56
only 3-D film i've seen is Nightmare Before Christmas, and i though it was fantastic, and i was sitting to the far left of the auditorium.
that said, my eyesight is super-fantastic. like if i lose a quarter of my viewing capacity i'll still be classed in the "perfect vision" bracket.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 14:59
I'm fed up of people saying 'Do we really NEED 3d?' etc etc. 20 years ago you same people would be saying 'Do we really NEED Colour?' ... 'Do we really NEED Widescreen?'....'Do we really NEED surround sound'....
Its not perfect yet by any way. My eyes hurt for about the first 3 or 4 minutes then it feels fine. I don't feel like I've been Eye F*cked on the way home. But everyone is different.
Lets just give it a chance yeah?
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 15:03
Also, I would like to point out that even though I am willing to give the 3D a chance, I think we are past the ridiculous 'jumping out of the screen' moments. Sometimes it makes you laugh, but it never really looks all that real.
I'm looking forward to AVATAR by James Cameron, which is supposedly 'more like looking through a window' rather than the typical things flying at you technique.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 15:14
I'll give 3D a chance but presuming it's going to take over and become the standard is ridiculous.
You can't watch 3D films online, which is a benefit for the studios and film makers, no one else. It doesn't improve films, and seems to detract from them if anything.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 15:22
Personally i've never had a bad experience seeing a 3D film in relation to sore or red eyes. Perhaps i've always had good seats and have 20-20 vision, who knows, but to dismiss 3D at this fledgling stage would be ludicrous.
I agree, that gimicky use of 3D can detract from the viewing experience, but come on... if you've got the technology to play around, why not? People are paying extra for 3D so why not have a giant ball batting into the auditorium? It tickles me every time the audience gasps at these stupid moments.
The first proper RealD film I saw was My Bloody Valentine 3D and I was blown away. The film may have been slightly shoddy, but I was totally sucked in, proving that 3D works just as well with live-action as it does with animation. I may be jumping on the bandwagon, but anything that comes out in 3D now, i'll be tempted to go along and see (except maybe the Jonas brother in concert 3D?).
3D is here to stay, the technology will keep getting better, so hopefully more people will get to enjoy it without discomfort, and more crucially for the film industry as a whole, i've yet to see a dodgy DVD bloke outside my supermarket trying to hawk a 3D film, because it's IMPOSSIBLE to pirate, meaning that it can only be a good thing.
Wait until Up & Avatar come out, i'm sure these will be the films to really open the floodgates for 3D.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 15:24
3D is a good novelty, but i dont think it should or will ever become the morn. I think the lack of clarity in close up moving subject will deter a lot of the top film-makers from getting involved with, not the choice for perfectionists. I also dont think audiences want to have to wear cheap specs that look rediculous every time they see a film. I must say, however, that the 3D experience has never given me any discomfort.
i would say Henry Sellick with Coraline has created the best balanced 3D film ive seen, doesnt go over the top and gives the whole set up great depth.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 15:28
i went to see my bloody valentine in 3d and it was brilliant. but if it had not been in 3d it would have been shite, just another predictable teen slasher movie
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 15:48
I was extremely skeptical (and still am to a degree) but I recently saw the magnificent Coraline and magical though it would've been in good ol' 2D, the 3D made it a truly unforgettable experience. I think there are far too many films coming out in 3D just for the hell of it but there are some which definately benefit from it.
And on the subject of Coraline, the 3D red-eye was totally worth it.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 16:00
One of my problems with 3D (as well as the one associated with being a glasses wearer) is that it darkens the colour of the images. I don't know if cinema projectors have brighter bulbs to compensate for this, but each time I see a 3D film, I can't help but pull the glasses on and off a couple of times during the film to spot the difference (that, in itself, is another distraction). For instance, most recently with Coraline, a film which is abundant in colour and imagination, the 3D was used to great affect, but conversely the film's colours were then dulled somewhat by the dark lenses of the glasses.
From the reviews I've read of Up, it sounds as if the 3D used in that isn't remotely excessive, almost to the extent that one would question why they bothered to put it in 3D. Seeing as it's animated Pixar and the imagery looks beautiful so far, I'm very tempted to just watch that in 2D and not have the colours darkened. Might go see it in both formats actually, to compare (three cheers for the Cineworld Unlimited card!).
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 17:19
3D is only being pushed by the studios in the hope it will stop piracy. it belongs in theme park rides not in the cinema.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 17:38
"I want to go to see Coraline but the fact that it is only on in 3-D is really putting me off!"
It's not. I saw it in 2D.
Anyway, I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and stop complaining that 3D is somehow going to kill off good movies by making people focus only on 3D spectacle and not the story itself. 3D or IMAX can bring an extra bit of magic to a film - I saw The Dark Knight in a normal format and in the IMAX. The extra IMAX scenes didn't drastically enhance the film, but it was a very nice extra gimmick that made the experience more fun (and one that you can't get from a downloaded copy or a dodgy DVD).
I've only seen one film in 3D - Monsters vs. Aliens in the IMAX, and both my and my girlfriend had absolutely no ill effects from the 3D effect. In fact, I've never heard anyone complain about it until I read this blog. Plus, my eyesight is dodgy as anything, so if I'm fine I don't know why other people wouldn't be - is it similar to the mysterious complaints that some people have about energy-saving bulbs giving them headaches? (for reasons I've never grasped, I think it might all be in their heads).
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 17:46
You are right re Coraline coljohnmatrix, but my local Cineworld (for which I have an Unlimited card) is only showing the 3D version. On the basis of the comments above, however, I shall be even more annoyed about that if they try to charge me for it!
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 18:13
So glad you have committed to coming back and joining us in watching 3D... sometime soon I hope? I mean, you are writing columns on it right?
You have a great sense of humor using BEOWULF as your 3D movie of choice for your post too - the movie was screened November 16, 2007. You are kidding right? And you do realize that today's date is May 15, 2009? 2.5 years later?
Do you have any idea how that makes you look as a journalist? Seriously. Frankly I don't care what your opinion is on 3D movies simply because you aren't watching them. Why don't you write about traveling to the moon or something instead. Why 3D?
...And you do know that Empire just scored massive points for their 3D coverage on AVATAR right? It just goes to show Fox and all the other studios: Don't go to mainstream media for 3D coverage of their movies - they will shoot you in the back when you least expect it. Even if they haven't used a gun in what... 2.5 years.
Posted on Friday May 15, 2009, 20:35
I really don't care much for 3D, and I certainly hope it isn't the future of 3D entertainment, but I too saw Beowulf at the London IMAX and sat a bit off-centre, and my eyes didn't hurt at all, and I was suprised at how non-blury the picture was.
Posted on Saturday May 16, 2009, 07:54
I was fine when I saw Beowulf. Only thing that pissed me off was the EXIT lights reflecting in the corner of the glasses the whole time.
Posted on Saturday May 16, 2009, 09:31
Watched the wonderful Coraline in real d the other night and would like to make few points
1. I wear Specs - not an issue
2. No Issue with eye strain
3. No Blurring
4. Long time since I've sat in a cinema and gone "holly s**t this is ace" and that was just the trailer for Up-3D
5. Ad's to sense of fantasy and adventure so not going to be suited for all films so indie film lovers relax Shawshank 3D aint gonna happen(thank the maker).
6. Absolutley loved the 3d experience except for the tit sat behind giving a running commentry on what was "jumping out"
Posted on Saturday May 16, 2009, 19:02
Bad timing, just before Up, which will be a big success in 3D :-)
I don`t care about early tests like Beowulf(gimmick) and Bolt, Up is the first 3D movie worth watching.
And it`s too early to conclude before James Cameron`s Avatar. "It’s gonna be another one of those benchmarks. There’s gonna be Before that movie and After.”
Posted on Saturday May 16, 2009, 19:39
I saw Beowulf as well in 3D and thought it was an excellent experience and the dawn of a new era in 3D films, I haven't had chance to catch some of the more recent 3D films much to my regret but I will be catching future films for sure.
With regards comments on charging extra for viewing 3D I think it's a bit of a piss take to, I still have my glasses from previous viewing can I not take the with me to watch another film and avoid the extra charge ?
Posted on Saturday May 16, 2009, 22:38
I still have yet to ever sit through any form of 3D film, and I really don't feel like I've been missing anything. I'm thinking Avatar will be the film to break my cherry, so I could very well come out blind afterwards.
Posted on Sunday May 17, 2009, 08:55
I watched Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D. It is a movie I adore and have seen a million times. I have to say that the 3D version did nothing to improve the experience of watching a movie you already love. On the other hand, it was blurry (not subjective since everybody agrees on that) and very hard to follow in fast scenes. I can't imagine watching a film I have never seen before in this format. I would miss half of it!
Since some people seem to really enjoy 3D and others like me think it's pointless, I believe that the audience should be able to choose in how may dimensions they want to see the film.
Posted on Sunday May 17, 2009, 09:33
Ok....I understand why filmmakers must always advance technologically. Indeed, some great things come from advanced CGI. But this 3-D nonsense is really, um, a bit of nonsense. I can go to a 3-D movie every once in a while but I cannot stand the notion of having to go through 3-D with every movie I ever have to watch! It will ruin movies. Sometimes a bit of subtelty can do wonders. If filmmakers keep destroying the limitations of the media, then all its uniqueness would be lost. Look at Hitchcock: he made a movie from A SINGLE ROOM. Rear Window then became one of the greatest movies ever. 3-D does nothing for the imagnination or the suspense. It's a quick gimmick to make people react to what they see on screen. But great films, be they action, comedies or dramas, don't ask the audience to react, they are made so that the audience can feel something. 3-D takes a vital honesty out of the filmviewing experience. This is not to say that 3-D can't be good (Coraline was lovely and I'm sure Avatar will be a blast). But I agree....please spare our corneas and go back to the more powerful and affecting filmmaking please. Using 3-D is a bit lazy isn't it?
Posted on Sunday May 17, 2009, 19:45
Isn't the whole 3D craze supposed to be due to the incoming of Cameron's Avatar which is supposedly going to revolutionize the format in a way no one has seen before because the current one doesn't work well (he has been working on it for 15 years so i think there will be somewhat of a change and the likes of Spielberg, Jackson etc have been jumping on the bandwagon as they are some of the very few to have seen this new innovation). So really aren't you all complaining about something that is coming to an end in December?
Posted on Sunday May 17, 2009, 20:00
I too have vision problems which renders 3-D totally useless. I can see perfectly well in one eye. 3D requires 2 perfectly functioning eyeballs. During the last HP at the IMAX the special 3D scenes were a blur. The thought of the Hobbit being made as 3D scares me to the bone.
Ditch it. IMAX screens are the way of the future. Saw Star Trek last night and it was an incredible experience.
Posted on Sunday May 17, 2009, 21:00
Hey guys - the additional charge on the usual price ticket is to cover the additional costs of the 3D projection system which is required. Most of the 3D formats also include a profit-share with the suppliers of the 3D system. The add-on is for the experience, not the glasses. And digital 3D is here to stay - for the first time the technology (very few people have any problems) is right and for the first time major-league creatives are behind it. Wait til you see Up! then decide.
Posted on Sunday May 17, 2009, 23:10
Is Coraline really only available in 3d? thought there were some places that couldn't and therefore wouldn't be showing it in 3D...
Anyway, the real reason #D is so "buzzy" right now is because Hollywood is investiging mega bucks in it. So for them it's not a gimmick, not in the long run. This goes way beyond Avatar and Tintin - though those are the films most likely to turn heads.
Simply put, Hollywood needs to beat the pirates and they need to do so by turning cinema going into something that cannot be replicated at home (at least not yet). So get people to like or love 3D and then, in theory, they'll stop downloading and start spending. At the moment films are using 3D in a gimmicky way, but that is already being phased out by Speilberg and Cameron and then the directors that follow them.
If these eye problems are wide spread, it could really piss on the bonfire...
Posted on Monday May 18, 2009, 07:26
I agree with some of what's been said, but a projectionist I have a slighty different (if "respectfully sceptical")view myself. I feel that the new version(s) of 3D presentation will save our industry. This is a new way of attracting people back to the cinema, and protecting the interlectual property to boot. You can't (yet) download and 3D copy of Bolt from a torrent site(bad!) or even iTune(good!) and enjoy it at home, making the cinema experience unique again. Film makers will continue to embrace the technology as they did CGI and this will lead to it's being perfected and honed. Not until Tim Burtons Alice In Wonderland or James Camerons Avatar are in theatres are we going to be able to comment really on a feature that has been designed to be seen in 3D. Remember we have seen this happen before; sound,colour, 2.35:1 and Dolby surround all changed the shape of cinema and this is just the latest,not the last!
Posted on Monday May 18, 2009, 13:17
I hate the fact films seem to be going down the 3D route. I have a lazy eye that was never corrected and although I function perfectly well in normal life, 3D just doesn't work for me, I see a double image instead. So, I guess I'll have to get used to either missing out on films on the big screen (am desparate to see Coraline right now), or have to sit through naff visuals and miss out on all the 'fun'.
Come on film companies, think about us poor visually challenged lot!
Posted on Monday May 18, 2009, 13:20
Does anyone know what post #36 is on about?......
Posted on Monday May 18, 2009, 13:50
I think you are right to compare the '3D revolution' with CGI - but i would use the argument differently.
YES when CGI was first used extensively we got style over content and filmmakers over-egged their puddings somewhat - i happens with anything new. But then we started to get films that used it to complement the film - like Forrest Gump (can't stand the schmaltz but the CGI worked well and was subtle). Nowadays CGI is used by a much wider range of fimmakers, not just for spectacle.
Right now this new 3D is in its infancy and is still 'gimmicky' - though i object that some cinemas are charging extra and coming from a science background i can't refute the claims that it may affect some people's eyes adversely (and if so this needs to be addressed). But i feel filmmakers will eventually embrace the technique in ways which suit them, not just work out how many shots they can cram onto the screen that look cool in 3D (personally I thought Monsters Vs Aliens had far too many gimmicky shots - that distracted from the film. And i only went to see the 2D version!)
Posted on Monday May 18, 2009, 13:59
That should say 'IT happens with anything new'
and by the science background i mean i studied biology and know how the eye works - i can totally appreciate Engber's arguments. Your eyes try to do what they would in real life when faced with something moving in three dimensions, only you have to fight that unconscious reflex in order to stay focused on the screen.
Posted on Monday May 18, 2009, 17:02
I saw Coraline in 3-D, but it really did not need to be in 3-D.
Whereas Monsters VS. Aliens had lots of gimmicky 3-D shots, Coraline was simply such a great film (and had very few 3-D gimmicks) that it may have been even better in regular 2-D.
As for Beowulf, I was blown away by the 3-D effect at the IMAX cinema.
But for live action films, like Superman Returns (plane scene) and My Bloody Valentine, 3-D made the long shots of buildings or planes look like old-fashioned model sets - the 3-D effect seemed to alter and detract from the reality of the live location shots.
I am however very much looking forward to what Cameron does with Avatar.
PS - I'm sure 1983's Jaws 3-D effects came much further out of the screen than any of the new 3-D movies! Can anyone back me up?
Posted on Tuesday May 19, 2009, 08:40
I've pretty much seen every 3D film released, from Monster House to that under the sea documentary Cameron made. I never experienced the eye issue others have reported (and my fiancee didn't either).
Did 3D make the films any better. On the whole, no. Bolt and Monsters V Aliens, for example - wouldn't have been any, ahem, 'better', if I watched them normally.
But I remember seeing The Polar Express in 3D, and that genuinely was an EXPERIENCE. The train ride, the thousands of elves; really quite amazing.
As with any movie, and any genre - done well it will amaze you, done poorly it will leave you wondering what the fuss was. Same as it ever was.
Posted on Tuesday May 19, 2009, 09:27
This is obviously a hot topic at the moment and I really enjoyed the blogg.
Not having the luxury of a 3-D screen close to me I sadly have still been going to see some of the flicks in 2-D and still enjoyed ‘em.
What I am gathering from many commentators is that 3-D is just a bit of a gimmick for the studios to get bums on seats because of loss of business to the internet, illegal downloads and pirate DVD’s, just like they did when television started and audiences stayed away in droves.
The problem of people staying away to me seems to be the easy availability of pirated material, the great majority of which nowadays appears (to me anyway) to be the awards season screeners or a copy stolen from a studio.
This is no longer the time of “Brian from the Barras” going in to a cinema with his gran's JVC video recorder up his surprising large overcoat on a hot summers day to try and record Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace without people trying to find there seats five minutes in or going to the toilet half way through.
So how to address that problem I wouldn’t know but I’m not sure 3-D can solve it as most films will make a lot of their money on DVD/Blu-Ray and I haven’t had my 3-D installed at the flat yet.
So as I have not yet experienced the 3-Dsoreeyetis yet how about claiming that this counts as a disability and as such you get a better seat and a reduced rate, of course the Odeon would need a note from your local GP.
PS stil think Avatar will rock though and will probably go to a 3-D cinema to see it.
Posted on Tuesday May 19, 2009, 12:00
i have never had a problem with the hedaches etc but have seen it evolve from blurry overlapping images (ghosts of the abyss imax) to perfection monsters vs aliens (imax) sometimes its down to the screen and projector if one is slightly off the whole thing can go awry there are 2 3d screens at cineworld birmingham one is slightly askew we did a 3d marathon one day (saw bolt 3d and my bloody valentine 3d consecutively!) and the bolt screening was perfect but the same trailers etc in the other screen showed slight shadowing (not noticeable during the movie, mainly just text on screen) after seeing 2 in a row we didnt have any headaches or side effects.
another problem with 3d is that if u saw something 5 years ago and it put u off would u try it again? i have a few friends who feel this way and are in no rush to experience 3d again (well until avatar!) even though i cant stress to them enough that this is completely different to even the superman returns 3d version, it has progressed so much in just a few years
i for one eagerly await any new 3d movie (well perhaps not fly me to the moon that looked terrible)
once polarised home 3d blu-ray is available the circle will be complete!
if you do like 3d try this... watch ur favourite movie and get a pair of sunglasses but only put the lens over your right eye keep watching and you will get occasional 3d effects works great on fx movies especially if something moves across the screen
Posted on Tuesday May 19, 2009, 12:55
I would be all for embracing the new '3D fad' except, like many, it doesn't work 100% for me! All I can guess is its because I wear glasses. Some scenes look great, but then the next minute they can appear slightly out of focus and I end up doing complex glasses fiddling and head swaying trying to re-find the angle needed to get the 3D glory. Its such a pain in the arse.
Previously I have seen MBV and MvsA in 3D using my cineworld card, but now that Cineworld has tagged on the extra £1.50 I'll be less inclined to go see a 3D film to be honest. They weren't really amazing enough to convince me that all films have to now be seen in 3D. Sure, I'll go see Avatar and Up when they come out, but I wont go see 3D films on a whim like I will still do with the 2D.
Posted on Tuesday May 19, 2009, 15:16
Utterly loved Coraline in 3D myself... and I saw it in 2D first.
Hated the extra charge, but honestly thought it was worth it. For now...
Posted on Tuesday May 19, 2009, 22:07
seen coraline 3D.
that is all.
Posted on Wednesday May 20, 2009, 15:29
I've seen Monsters V Aliens in 3-D. Having not being used to wearing glasses I was constantly figitting with them for the first 20 minutes of the film whilest my boyfriend had to wear his over his normal glasses.
I've gotta say that I truely loved some of the bits of the film where everything really hit you that it was in 3D but felt let down by the rest that didn't have anything on it at all.
So I guess my opinion is, is that if a film is going to be in 3-D then ALL of it should be 3-D, not just parts of it as I just find myself looking for the 3-d elements rather then becoming emersed in the story. I really think I'm going to stick to viewing films at my cinema in the usual 2-D from now on, the extra cost isn't worth it.
I'm also slightly worried however, as if film-makers are going to be concentrating on creating sences for a 3-D audience what happens when we see it in 2-D or buy the DVD? I can't help feel that we'd be missing out on a apart of the visual language that we were ment to see.
Posted on Friday May 22, 2009, 12:17
What I have read about 3D over the past year has made me very curious about it.
Some of the greatist filmmakers of our time ( Cameron, Spielberg, Zemeckis) are convinced that this will be the next revolution and standard in filmmaking.
Cameron may come across as an arrogant, anti-social type of guy but when it comes to filmtechnique he is the absolute master. So I believe him when he says that in the near Future All films will be in 3D. He was right about CGI.
what holds me back at the moment is that there is no cinema nearby where I can experience 3D.
So I have missed Beowolf, Monsters VS Aliens, Bolt and Coraline in 3D.
The last 3D movie I saw was spy kids 3 and that one still had the head-ache inducing red and green glass technique.
I think 3D can make the movie experience more intens, just as surround sound or color did. But it can only be so, if a movie is made by someone who understands the medium and make it an intregal part of the story instead of a gimmick. Therefore I am looking forward to see the new Cameron and Spielberg, as I am sure that these movies will not have the negative side-effects often experienced with 3D ( headache, blurry vision, tired eyes)
Something that bothers me though is, once 3D has taken over the cinema, how will they tranlate it to the small screen. Once you have seen an incredible movie in 3D ( like Avatar, which will be brilliant, i guess) than once you've bought it on dvd or blueray, it will only be a dissapointment. I know that 3D is a weapon against illegal movie copies ( since you can't copie the 3D effect for home use) but owning a 3D movie and not be able to watch it in 3D at home will lessen the appeal of buying it, i guess
I just hope I can find a movietheater which supports 3D before Avatar comes out.
Posted on Monday June 1, 2009, 17:21
I seem to have a huge problem actually seeing the 3D.
I can see the depth of field stuff .... streets that go off into the distance and such like are fine.
Anything that does the 'wooooooo look at me coming out of the screen at you' I simply cant see. I wondered what the devil all the audience were ducking to avoid, when his spear came off the screen. From my point of view, he was just holding up a handle.
It really ruined the Spiderman ride at Universal in Florida...............