You don’t need glasses to give something a third dimension.

For loyal readers this will probably be an addition to comments I’ve made before in previous blogs. I’ve already outlined my dislike to 3D but after a recent trip to the cinema, discussions with various people and dosage of the good doctor (Kermode) my dislike was enhanced.

The thing I still can’t understand about the concept of 3D is what exactly it’s supposed to enhance. It’s designed to enable a better connection to be formed between you and the film. Granted this is achieved, but only because the scenery is thrown in to your face. Take Avatar for example: the 3D made the holographic computers and the forest scenery seem closer to me, which was uncomfortably interesting. But did I go to watch the film in order to be connected to the environment? No, I went there to be connected to the characters and the story. I wanted the story to mean something, not for the leaves on the treas to block what was happening out of my vision.

In recent cinema news there’s more tampering with my childhood occurring. Can someone please explain to me why Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc are being re released in 3D? Were they really that flat the first time around? Were the character flat? Of course they weren’t! The films were perfectly capable of drawing people in and offering an entertaining experience without needing to be retro fitted to 3D. The characters already have the three dimensions they need for us to be connected to them emotionally, they don’t need the physical element to it as well. The characters and story already gained an emotional response from the audience in several ways because they were fine as they were.

On a side note I went to see Danny Boyle’s new film Trance two days ago. I thought it was absolutely brilliant and superbly made and it was good see another British film be that successful. Was it in 3D? Of course it wasn’t. Why would a talented film maker spend more money on something that would change the film for the worse?

It’s something that some film makers need to realise that no amount of technology is going to replace the impact of good screenplay and talented acting. Take some of the greatest films that have been made, like The Shawshank Redemption. It’s one of the most moving films that has ever been made, bringing a tear to your eye for different reasons at different points. Was that in 3D? Of course it wasn’t. And yet I felt more connected to that watching it on a small television in my bedroom, than I did to Avatar when I was sat in front of the big screen with the blue people walking out of the screen. Is Morgan Freeman’s voice and the well written script not enough for some people? I suppose some people want to have it beamed right down in to their heads so they’re more connected to it.

Interestingly as well, after watching a Mark Kermode review recently it did shed some light on something that appears to be quite an ugly situation. It basically showed the comparison between Stanley Kubrick, one of the single greatest film makers to ever walk this earth, and Michael Bay, the less said about him the better. The discussion basically showed how Stanley Kubrick had written letters to projectionists in cinemas asking them to be easy with the focus because there were details in his films he didn’t want people to miss, whereas Michael Bay had written to projectionists complaining about the colour loss (due to the 3D) in the third Transformers film. This lead to Bay requesting that they turn up the brightness because he had spent money on the 3D and the special effects so he didn’t want it going to waste. For me, that shows a clear contrast between the genius of a film maker, and the ignorance of a shabby film maker. We’ve gone from wanting our films to mean something, to making a film as loud and as bright as possible, which sets a clear line between how films should be made and treated, and how they shouldn’t. 

Having spoken to various people recently it’s evident that some people feel that 3D is a step in the right direction and that my views are biased because the films I’ve seen in 3D were bad in general and not just because of the 3D. I understand that this could very well be the case, Avatar was far from a great film so it does influence my opinion partially. However the point still stands that 3D does not allow me to connect to the film more. I didn’t see the Hobbit but if I was presented with the choice of 2D or 3D I would choose 2D every time. I have no doubt about Peter Jackson’s ability to make a film, Lord of the Rings showed the true extent of his genius, but do I want the Shire to be in the room with me? No thank you. If Bilbo is going to be a strong character I can connect with then it will be through his dialogue and the events that surround him, not how close he is to my eyes.

I’ll continue to watch films in 2D as I always have done, and if I don’t connect to a film through this then it just shows something about the film that a pair of glasses won’t change. If there are problems with the screenplay or the acting or the general story then all 3D will do is throw it in my face to taunt me even more. As more and more films are being made for 3D, or made and then fitted for 3D without the option of 2D then I might have to go through the effort of making “Anti-3D” glasses. If you don’t know how to make these I’ll refer you to Mark Kermode’s ‘kermode uncut’ video entitled “How to enjoy a 3D movie” which explains how to make a pair.

Interestingly Kermode was left a comment during one of his reviews which was about 3D that simply said “Bring me the glasses of reduced colour saturation” which is a good way to sum up this post I think because of course the option to go 3D is still open to the public. But it is an option that I shall avoid.

Feel free to leave any comments you have about 3D, and in particular I’m interested to hear what the best or indeed worst examples of 3D you have come across are.

 

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