Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rant: Hollywood, STOP THE 3D!

Let’s talk 3D shall we?

First off, this post will be available in TWO DIMENSIONS. In BOTH of those dimensions you can see Chris and I standing with our arms crossed, and a scowl on our faces that is directed at Hollywood executives that are looking to fleece their audiences.

Blogger Note 1: First and foremost I would like to specify that films that are conceived, constructed, and shot in 3D with proper cameras and attention to details of how 3D works within film…I have no problem with. AVATAR is a good example, and without having seen it yet I’ll wager that THE HOBBIT films will have this attention to detail. If used correctly, it can add depth of field and help to delineate action set pieces that are wholly chaotic (as it did in THOR or AVENGERS) and it can even add beauty as I assume PROMETHEUS will do. I have no problem with the 3D in these films, since they were designed to be that way from moment one. Basically, when a film is conceived and shot in 3d at the very least there’s a reason for that artistic choice. The director and the creative team build the sets, frame the shots and design the action to incorporate the 3d element as seamlessly as possible and for the maximum visual impact. Post 3d conversion is the artistic equivalent of using a trash bag to keep dry in a thunderstorm. It’ll do the job, but it’s not particularly pretty.

Blogger Note 2: The above statement does NOT mean that EVERY film should be in pre-production-conceived 3D. It basically is an addendum to this article that when I talk about 3D I am mostly speaking of post-converted, crappy, murky, ultimately useless 3D. I will be speaking about the recent notion that Hollywood feels they should convert EVERYTHING to 3D and the reason they seem to always give (which is utter crap and a lie) is that they wish to make it a more fulfilling audience experience…when we all know that it’s so they can pump up ticket prices and gouge us all a little more.

The idea for this post came about of Chris and my continual dislike of this trend, and that came to a head with the recent revelation that G.I. JOE: RETALITATION (a film that for all intents and purposes looked like good fun and a damn sight better than its predecessor), a film that was meant to come out next month and has been marketed six ways from Tuesday for the last six months (including a pricey SuperBowl spot) is now being pushed back almost a year to March of 2013 to…and I quote…”post-convert to 3D to offer a more fulfilling experience for fans”. This is crap, we know it’s crap and I’m not going to go into the myriad of other REAL reasons for this delay, but if you look around the net you will find them.

What I’d like to know is this. Why does Hollywood think that they can foist the idea of 3D onto an audience that (aside from the ones mentioned in Note 1 above) clearly LOATHES it. We don’t like the crappy quality of 80% of the films released in it (post converted or not), and we sure as heck don’t like a bloated ticket price on a movie ticket that was ALREADY bloated to begin with. And yet the Studio’s seem to get away with pushing this on us and claiming it’s because we are asking for it.

I'll say this very clearly, We are NOT asking for it.

In fact, the seemingly resounding consensus (at least online) is that we all hate it. There is more snark on the internet about 3D being a gimmick and something that can ruin a perfectly good film (CLASH OF THE TITANS gets a bad rap, but personally I liked it. The seeming answer is that people disliked the murky 3D conversion and not the film itself more than anything in the narrative.

So are the suits at the Studio’s who make these decisions bothering to look at fan or news sites where the audience they claim to be trying to please are decrying 3D En-Masse as unwanted? You know what? I actually think they are seeing that and they are simply ignoring it. Why? The healthy bottom line of getting to charge more for a ticket for a shitty post-3D conversion is worth more to them than the naysayers. That's it. It's about the all-mighty buck, not "a more full-filling fan experience" as they pedal it to us.

Well, I’m saying this needs to stop. We need to stop seeing these post-converted, or crappily planned movies in 3D. See them in 2D, or not at all till DVD/BluRay. The studios won’t get the message until they begin to lose on these films. We are the ones who have that effect on ticket sales. If we keep seeing the crappy films in 3D then they will keep shoving them into the market.

Now, this sounds like I am getting really down on the film industry, and I’m not at all. In fact, this year is shaping up to be one of the best for good movies since 1999, and with films like PROMETHEUS, AVENGERS, HUNGER GAMES, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and this winter with THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, we are looking at a renaissance of GOOD stories in GOOD movies with 2012 looked at as a huge success for the industry. What I AM saying is that 3D is NOT (as it is touted) the next leap forward in movies. It’s a nice thing to do when it incorporates into the film and makes of it something a little more (like the ones mentioned in Note 1) and it is worth it in those cases…but when it is done as an afterthought I want us to let the studios KNOW that we see what they are doing. We aren't stupid. The G.I. JOE 2 fiasco is going to be a good step in the cease the 3D madness direction since the move to next year is going to absolutely kill any fan interest and they are going to lose hard on the box office. When funnily enough had they released it next month as planned (and with the buzz around it so far having been decent) it would have done decent cash (if not stellar in a summer that includes such other juggernauts) and the fans would have rallied it, had it been entertaining. Now it will have to be re-marketed next year and by then no one will care.

So Hollywood, STOP THE 3D. It's not a good enough gimmick to screw over legions of fans who simply don't want it.


  1. I am so with you on this one. The only movie I really enjoyed and thought was worth 3D was Avatar. We saw Avengers both regular and IMAX 3D, and while the 3D was fine, it wasn't really any better, and not worth the extra for the ticket. Beyond that, sometimes we like to take our kids to the movies (it's rare, but it happens) and it's really hard for them to keep those 3D glasses on the whole time.

    I hadn't heard about the G.I. Joe fiasco, but that's ridiculous. I had been looking forward to that one.

  2. The only 3-D movies I've seen are Avatar, Transformers 3, and Up, and they were all well-served by the added dimension. But I've never seen a post-converted 3-D movie, and I have no plans to ever do so. The fact that such creatures exist doesn't bother me, as long as a 2-D alternative is available.

  3. I saw Avatar and Megamind in 3D. I would've liked them better in 2D. Now I will NOT see a 3D movie. I have ZERO interest in that. I will wait for 2D version to be available or I will not see it. Period. I hate 3D.



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