A Short Rant on 3-D Movies

Biblo Baggins smokes disapprovingly at your 3D

You’ve probably heard all these complaints before.  Railing against how 3D destroys the integrity of the movie, etc, etc.  Suffer my opinions or don’t, it’s your choice.  🙂

I don’t like 3D.  The only movies I can remember seeing in 3D are The Polar Express and The Avengers.  The Polar Express is, to me, the type of movie that is appropriate for 3D.  It’s animated, not that complicated, brightly colored, and lots of opportunities for cool effects (like the train coming out of the screen).  Yet, seeing it in 3D made me just a little bit nauseous, and I felt like I had to hold my head at a very specific angle to just make the most important foreground objects focus.  It didn’t ruin the movie for me, because, again, simple story and animated.  Not the same level of background detail as a live-action movie.  Still, I think I would have enjoyed in more in good old 2D, which looks plenty enough three-dimensional to me.  I never watch a movie and think “I wish the characters weren’t crawling across that flat screen, this is just not very realistic.”  In fact, 3D seems significantly less realistic than non 3D, in that it is a constant reminder that I’m watching a movie that has special screen effects!

I highly anticipated The Avengers and I went to a 3D showing with a group of friends.  I spent most of the movie wondering what was happening on the 70% of the screen that was dark and blurry and constantly adjusting my head angle so that, once again, the intended 3D objects would be sharp.  I knew the moment the movie was over (actually, probably somewhere in the middle) that I would have to see the movie again in 2D to really understand what had happened.  That’s not even a terribly complicated movie, and much closer to the cartoon scale than a lot of live-action films.

I should mention at this point that I have super excellent eyesight, so we really can’t blame the focus issues on  that, unless it’s actually more enjoyable with worse eyesight.

So what brings up this rant, months after seeing The Avengers and years after seeing The Polar Express?  Well, I just found out (I’d probably heard it before and ignored it) that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is going to be released in 3D.  My excitement for The Avengers pales in comparison with my excitement for this movie (though I feel a good bit more trepidation about it too).  I have been a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan since I first saw The Fellowship of the Ring; not just for the movies but for the whole world of Tolkien’s creation.  I’m not going to elaborate on my fandom because you all really don’t need to know the depths of my nerdiness.  While I hold the books and the movies in somewhat separate categories from each other, I still expect a certain level of loyalty and excellence from the movies.

3D, in my mind, is a gimmick.  Lord of the Rings needs no gimmicks.  It is fantastic on its own.  Showing it in 3D is like putting plastic pink shutters on Neuschwanstein Castle.

Stop ruining my hobbit movie!

Obviously, I’ll see it in 2D.  Obviously, these are all my opinions based on my experiences, and your opinions and experiences may be entirely different.

That was not quite as short as I expected.

Photo source: PC World, incidentally from an article about The Hobbit‘s 3D release: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2017108/new-3d-tech-in-the-hobbit-risks-backlash-as-film-debut-nears.html 

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