Comin' At Ya!

Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009, 2:27 PM


I like 3D Graphics. This is no secret. But there's another kind of "3D" that is all the rage these days - Stereoscopic 3D. You know, the red-blue glasses, or Viewmaster, kind of three dimensionality.

With new digital-recording and -screening techniques, 3D has become easier to film and distribute. It no longer requires the red-green glasses, instead it uses polaroid, or something similar, so the colours are now natural, and the image maintains its sharpness. Plus, with careful calibration it can be refined to remove any of the vertigo- or nausea-inducing effects.

I had not seen any of the new wave of 3D movies up until now, mostly because they're too expensive and are often only screened at IMAX, which I don't particularly like, because you have to turn your head a lot to see what's going on. IMAX is just way too big for me.

But this week I saw Pixar's new film, "UP", and it's available in 3D, so when my mate Rob unexpectedly scheduled us for that screening, I thought what the heck, let's see what all this hoop-la is really about.

And I have to say it didn't change my mind. I still think 3D is a gimmick that won't last.

It was certainly impressive and fun to watch a movie in 3D, and I'll gladly watch another sometime in the future. But it doesn't improve the storytelling. It's just an unnecessary added feature, designed to desperately draw crowds back to the cinemas. Just like it's always been in the past.

Most movies using the technique are apparently doing it in the cheesiest in-your-face whoop-de-doo way. If you are relying on the 3D to be a part of the film, you may be out of luck. Worse, if it's intrinsic to the story, but audiences choose to watch it on standard def 2D DVD, it would make for a weird and distracting film.

I admire the effort (almost) but forget about it. It's a gimmick, pure and simple, and I don't think I'm going to fall for it.

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