Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's Okay to Be Two Dimensional...


It's in 3-D!

Be excited, damn it!

It's a little difficult to be excited when it's nearly every single time now. I don't dislike 3-D. But I'm no big fan of it either. Especially since it's become the norm. In my opinion, 3-D used to mean something. Back in the day, with the red & blue glasses, it had been a gimmick. And it never really worked for films. Not very well, I mean. Yes, red & blue does "work," though somewhat crappily, and I fondly recall staring at my brother's King Kong poster, marveling at how the airplanes attacking him popped off the wall. And then the 'polarized' technology came about... and I fondly recall watch a movie at Walt Disney World in (OMG!) 3-D! It had been a truly new experience. Crystal clear images coming at me. (I distinctly remember lightning zipping my way, coming from the fingertips of a witch making me rather pleasantly uncomfortable. Maybe it's just because I like characters who can throw lightning from their hands.) But it had been wondrous, magical and exhilarating to see something THAT amazing. For quite a while since then, 3-D had only come out a few times of that caliber. But recently, it's ubiquitous. And it's starting to become rather annoying. Not everything has to be in 3-D.

Take, for example, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. From the previous post, it's no secret that I loved it. Yes, I saw it in 3-D. I had been under the impression that the intention had been to create it in that fashion. But to tell you the truth, both Bart and I didn't need the 3-D. Yeah, okay, it had been kinda cool. But the fact is it didn't enhance the experience. Nothing in it really seemed to require that it be "comin' at ya." When we next see it, we're going for 2-D. The last handful of movies I've seen in the 'third dimension' had this same shrug of "yeah, okay, whatever." Coraline is one exception. That film used the 3-D very naturally, with very few "LOOK! It's COMING TOWARD YOU! OooOOOOoo!" moments and the ones that did exist were seamlessly ingrained into the action at the time.

And giving 3-D to movies that hadn't already been intended as such? Like the upcoming Clash of the Titans. That went through a process as an afterthought. It hadn't been filmed with a 3-D nature in mind. But it's coming out that way anyway after being doctored in a computer. (Yes, I appreciate and marvel at the technological ability. And in some cases [such as the re-issue of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the upcoming Star Wars represented in "three dimensions"] can actually seem quite appealing.) But to do it all the time? I believe Alice had been 3-D'ized after the fact, too. We're already infested with remakes. Do we need to be flooded with "see it AGAIN in 3-D!" too?

In essence, they've sucked the joy (and reasoning) out of seeing something in 3D.

Here's a quote from William Friedkin, in response to whether or not The Exorcist will be repackaged in 3-D. (He said emphatically "NO" by the way.) He makes a very good point:

I don't like 3-D. I don't believe there is any film that I have seen and loved that would have been improved by a scintilla in 3-D. To me, it's just a gimmick. To me, the art of cinema is the same as the art of painting. The artist takes a 2-D medium and gives you the illusion of depth. If you look at any of the great paintings, you have the illusion of depth. Which is part of the art. The same with the great movies. I don't believe that Citizen Kane or Gone With the Wind, or any damn picture that you can name, would be better off in 3-D. I think it's a gimmick. And it reminds me of what happened when Cinemascope came in . When everybody predicted that every picture ever made was going to be in Cinemascope. Because it's not that way. It was meant to get people out of the house. I find 3-D distracting. I'm in the minority, I know.

And now they're talking about giving us 3-D TV at home?

It's just not fun anymore.

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