Tony G’s Spot: 3D movies: fad or future?

Thomas Reilly

Tony Goreczny, Opinion Editor

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A truly artful and well made film is a pleasure to behold, no matter what genre it happens to fall into.  I even have a special place in my heart for absolutely terrible movies; the ones that are so bad that by the time they are over you can barely breathe because you were laughing so hard.  If you have never had the pleasure of enjoying one of these cinematographic treats I suggest you rent “Army of Darkness” or “Tank Girl.”

These days movie theaters are showing 3-D films and placing customers in “immersive experience” vibrating seats.  These advances can provide a truly thrilling adventure when properly integrated into films that were created with these technologies in mind, however adapting a preciously created movie to the new technology quite often ends in disaster.

It has always been difficult to produce a seamless 3-D movie experience, but the creators of the movie “Avatar” set a new golden standard in the realm of 3-D cinema with their masterfully created landscapes and smoothly integrated 3-D objects.  Since then there has been an explosion of 3-D films hitting the box office.  I enjoy a 3-D film as much as the next guy, but when it begins to take away from the actual movie that is where I draw the line.

3-D is great but there a a couple of downsides to it.  The first is that directors become obsessed with throwing things in your face.  I enjoy the odd shiruken that comes my way and catches me off guard, but when there are cars flying at me and chunks of metal whizzing past my head it becomes a constant reminder that I am watching a movie.  Also, seat placement becomes much more important.  An object can only move as far as there movie screen.  If you aren’t seated near the middle and close to the front of the theater, objects tend to run into the edge of the screen and completely diffuse the illusion.

My criteria for judging the quality of a movie is “Did it make me forget I was watching a movie?”  When properly applied, 3-D can be very good at drawing a viewer into the world of the characters, but there are tripwires everywhere that many of these 3-D movies released in the post-Avatar rush get hung up upon.  3-D movies have a place and a purpose, but not every movies released is meant to be 3-D.  Until the technology is significantly improved (and becomes significantly less expensive) I will continue to stick with my 2-D movies, except on the rare occasion when something extraordinary is released.

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