3D Just Doesn’t Seem 3D to Me

By

It’s been a long time since I’ve written here– busy and filled with a lot of transition in my family’s life. We are in the process of relocating to Nashville, and we’re super excited about it.

That season of transition has had a lot to do with my radio silence here. As I’ve thought about starting up the old blog post engine again, I’ve wondered what might flow forth first. Would it be what God has taught me during a major vocational move in my late 30’s? Would it maybe be a celebration of fifteen years of marriage to a wonderful woman? (Love you, Lisa!) Would it be a boast, dressed up in a pre-release review, concerning the fact that I have had Andrew Peterson’s upcoming record, Counting Stars, for a couple months now and I think it is ABSOLUTELY TOP SHELF! (Because it is.)

Nope. I just want to ask an honest question about 3D movies.

Do you prefer 3D over regular old 2D films when you are given the option?

I do not.

I have to confess I have driven 15 miles to the smaller theater across town just to see a movie the megaplex a mile from  my house has, but only in 3D. I’m trying to understand what it is about 3D that turns me off, but I’m telling you I really don’t like it. Maybe it is because I have never been a glasses wearer, so the apparatus throws me off. Maybe it is that most 3D films today are ones I see with kids whose heads are just barely big enough to hold those suckers on. Maybe it is the upcharge and I’m just too cheap to get over the fact that the theater has found a way to make the cost of a movie even higher than they’re already asking.

Maybe.

But in all honesty, I think the problem is that what film companies call 3D doesn’t look 3D to me. It looks layered, like what you used to see through the old ViewMaster toy, but not deep. And I think it does something to my brain that causes me to process the information my eyes are taking in differently than standard 2D. I feel distracted pretty much the entire time the film is playing, as if my mind is trying to process too much information at one time, leaving little margin to really enter in to the story itself.

I don’t know. And I’d love to hear your input on this, because as it stands, it seems like half the movies I have been excited to see this summer are coming out in 3D, and I’m sort of bummed about the prospect of seeing “Dawn Treader” in 3D.

I think my major issue is that I don’t feel like I need that extra dimension to take in what I’m seeing. Well shot films never leave me wishing I could have seen it with cheap glasses putting that tree I already know is in the distance “actually” in the distance. Our minds learn to fill in what the screen lacks, and I contend that for the most part we take in 2D films in a more genuinely three dimensional way than a film shot in 3D offers.

Am I alone? Am I missing something?

Russ Ramsey and his wife and four children make their home in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church and the author of Struck: One Christian's Reflections on Encountering Death (IVP, 2017), Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative (Rabbit Room Press, 2011) and Behold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Crossway, 2015). He is a graduate of Taylor University (1991) and Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv – 2000, ThM – 2003). Follow Russ on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.


46 Comments

  1. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    You are not alone. There seems to be a school of thought that 3D somehow makes the cinema experience more immersive when in fact the opposite is usually true. Every time some thing on the screen pops out at me, I pop out of the story by thinking how neat the effect was, or more often, how gratuitous.

    The one movie that I preferred in 3D was Avatar. At first I thought it was because it heightened the depth of the lush world it was set in, but the more I think about it, the more I think it just helped to mask the shallowness of the film in general. It was the perfect film for 3D because more than any other movie I’ve seen lately, it excelled at giving movie-goers the illusion of depth rather than the thrill of a real three-dimensional story.

  2. Kyle

    I’m with you.

    Every film I’ve seen in 3D I’ve enjoyed less because of it. (Well, except for “Avatar”. But that’s because I couldn’t have enjoyed “Avatar” any less than I already did.)

    I too have never struggled with believing that a movie was “real”.

    I heard a comedian refer to the situation, saying that “All movies look real. Except for ‘Avatar’, ‘Clash of the Titans’, and ‘Alice in Wonderfland’. Those movies look like video games.”

    But, sadly, with the money studios are making from 3D, I don’t see it going away anytime soon. *tear*

  3. Curt McLey

    @curtmcley

    I always pay the extra four bucks, but it’s primarily because I’m afraid of missing out on something if I don’t. I spent some money on Toy Story 3 this week, and half way through, I had to remind myself that I really was watching a 3D picture. After the self-reminder, I began to perceive 3D again, but probably only because I was conscious of it. Once I slid back into the story, the film didn’t seem 3D anymore. I wonder if the filmmakers felt too strongly about the story to allow 3D to detract significantly from the story and they designed the 3D effects deliberately subtle.

    I contrast that with A Christmas Carol, which rarely let me forget that I was watching 3D. Some of the scenes were perfectly stunning. I remember flying through the air and viewing church steeples and the tops of buildings from just a few feet away, then sliding down to cobblestone street level with the velocity of a roller coaster. I was so stunned by the 3D effect that I probably only kept up with the narrative because I was familiar with it.

    Modern day 3D is too new for me to draw any firm conclusions, but I wonder if purists might rebel against 3D because it potentially takes away from the story. Rather than being captivated by the story, we are marveling at the incredible 3D tricks.

    And one more thing. I resent giving those glasses back. Somewhere in that extra $4.00, didn’t I pay for those things?

  4. Gareth Davies

    I have to confess I’ve only seen a few films in 3d, including one at Imax scale, where only half the film was in 3d, therefore you were taken out of the story by a giant glasses symbol flashing telling you to put the specs on.

    As Curt points out (I’ve not seen Toy Story) yet it would appear the masters of the 3D world so far have been PIxar. UP did not loose anything from it’s 3D nature, at no point was anything thrust out of the screen at me to invoke a reaction, rather the depth of field was increased giving extra layers behind the screen.

    It would appear that there is a two ways of approaching 3d, either it’s about projection out of the screen and off of the canvas in order to provoke a short sharp reaction, which can never imerse you into the world, as just beyond that 3d effect is the wall of the cinema. Alternatively it can be about depth andd deepening the screen, effectively turning it into a stage set where when you look through the frame the world is richer for the additonal perception subtleties.

    We wait to see which becomes the dominant form.

  5. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    I’m with you on 3D, Russ. I’ve never had a problem with a great regular movie, even on my home television; there’s that thing where one’s field of vision narrows and the only thing that exists is the screen, and one is inside the movie, no longer thinking “this is a movie” but experiencing the thing as Story.

    Some of the cinematography in LOTR was in 3D anyway. Remember the scene in the beginning of Fellowship where Frodo is reading in the woods? I always thought that was beautifully three dimensional, and there were many other scenes like that.

    Avatar – that would have been better in 3D. As was said, it would have covered up the lameness of the story.

    The first few times I did a 3D movie with the kids, it was “cool.” When I saw Dawn Treader was coming out in 3D, I was annoyed. I am looking forward to the movie itself, though, and have better hopes than the first one (especially) and Prince Caspian.

  6. Dan K

    Wow! you guys too.

    My 1st thought is that they need 3D because they don’t put the depth into the story. But G-Force in 3D isn’t holding much story potential anyway.

    I never considered the distinction of depth versus projection. In the little 3D experience I have, I’ve hated the silly projection tricks. The best uses at layering depth are so subtle you may not catch them. I’ve caught glimpses of this and liked it. It makes me think of the Three Stooges. They were on the cutting edge of sound studios being developed & it shows. It’s the gimmick compared to a Peter Jackson LOTR use of sound. I’m thinking if it is well used & crafted you won’t notice & it will augment the story. As anything it can also be a gimmick to rack you.

    The prose make it look easy.

  7. Kyle Keating

    I agree. Watching 3D is comparable to reading a pop up book as a child. There’s a novelty to the illustrations being in 3D, but at no point does it feel any more realistic or immersive than a well-drawn 2D illustration. In fact, I’d argue otherwise. I really would rather watch the regular version of Dawn Treader over the pop-up book version.

    At least for now, 3D is more gimmick than art-form.

  8. Hart

    I agree. I’m not a fan of 3D. I just don’t think it enhances the movie in any way. It already costs an arm and a leg to get a movie ticket, and now I’ve got to give my other arm in order to get the glasses. And on top of that the glasses aren’t comfortable, and usually end up distracting me.

    The only times I’ve ever appreciated 3D movies have been at theme parks. Because those ones will do things like having a fan blow on you when it’s supposed to be windy, or water misting on you when you’re passing by a waterfall.

    Anyways, 3D is just a fad that has made it’s way back around. If we give it some time that fad will pass away and hopefully we won’t have to endure ever again!

  9. Nathan Bubna

    Actually, Russ, you’re right. Most 3D is just layered, not true depth, literally. Most of them are filmed with one camera (2D) and forced into 3D layers via special conversion software and a deft (or not so much) touch of the operator.

    Very few films are actually 3D. In fact, i think Avatar has been the only true 3D live-action film to date. Most computer animation films (Toy Story 3D, Shrek Forever After) are true 3D, but as with any animation, the quality depends on the skill of the animators.

    Finally, one of the biggest problems with true 3D, despite its superiority to fake 3D, is focus. Even more than in 2D, you have to look at what the camera is focusing on. If you try to let your eyes wander from the main action to observe other parts of the screen, the effect quickly becomes more detraction than addition, to a higher degree than it would in 2D. This is because these aren’t actual 3D scenes on screen, they are recordings of the camera’s viewpoint in 3D. So, exploring the full screen will just give you a headache.

    The only way to truly pull of 3D properly is what Nintendo is attempting with the forthcoming 3DS handheld gaming device. As i understand it, there is a camera that tracks your eyes and adjusts the generated image to focus the 3D effect on the spot you are looking at. It also manages this without glasses, as the screen is able to shine different light into your right eye than your left to create the binocular effect. This will be the first publicly available implementation of such 3D, so i expect it may be a bit rough, but it is also the only way to generate truly, usefully 3D visuals from a flat screen. And of course, it will largely only work for computer generated stuff so that the 3Dfx processor has access to a complete, truly 3D scene graph in order to render the focus properly in realtime. So, videogames are the only thing that will work right, not movies. And since this tech requires eye tracking, it is utterly impossible to have it work for more than one person at a time.

    Translation: Group 3D visuals will never be fully, truly 3D on any sort of flat screen. It’s just not physically possible to do it right for more than one person per screen.

  10. Dryad

    I have seen one excellent film that was enhanced by the 3D aspects.
    It was a documentary about the Space Station, and the effects made it seem as if you were floating up there to.
    Other than that, nothing.

  11. guynameddave

    Completely agree. I’ve been avoiding 3D. To me 3D is like an over-dramatic soundtrack that distracts from the story. You’re totally into the moment and then all of a sudden, right when they’re going to kiss, there’s blaring synthesized stringed instruments rattling your head announcing the characters’ passion for each other. Yuck. Now that same sensation happens, only to announce their love they pop out of the screen and get right in your face before they kiss, like how Europeans talk to close to you. Yuck.

  12. Russ Ramsey

    @russramsey

    Great comments everyone. Nice to know I’m not alone.

    I think on a philosophical–and maybe a physiological level too–I think it is an error for film-makers to conclude that making a film in the 3D format actually enhances the depth of dimension the human mind processes. In the same way we all perceive a dotted line as a line, rather than a bunch of little dashes, our brains are complex little machines that have an enormous capacity to fill in the visual gaps.

    The part I like best about my mind filling in the gaps is that I feel like this is where my own imagination enters in to the movie going experience. (Would the Lord Of The Rings books have been better if there were full color illustrations on every other page? Would that have “helped” the reader?)

    I think our minds fill out not only what we see on the screen, but even what runs off the screen. If I’m in a car chase scene looking back at the bad guy chasing me, I’m still nervous about the city bus i might be about to run into in front of me, and I don’t need someone to project that on the back wall of the theater to achieve that tension. It’s just there because my brain already accepts spacial relationships. I don’t need the movie to be 3D because this viewer already is 3D.

    In 3D, I feel like the film-makers take away a lot of that imaginative margin, forcing me to see the film in a certain way. I never feel like they’ve added something, but rather that they’ve taken something away.

  13. JJ

    Pete: I thank that’s an accurate description of Avatar 2D vs. 3D. Having only seen it on Blu-ray in 2D, I hated it. Sure it had a few great action sequences, but it was a hollow movie. My wife and I had no problem watching it in 3 separate sittings. We didn’t feel like we HAD to sit and watch it in one sitting. It just wasn’t that good to require a single sitting to watch it.

    Now I’ve heard it was great in 3D. Since 3D does nothing to fix the stupid story, it must be as you described.

    Personally the only movie in 3D I’ve seen was Up. I liked it because it was subtle, not in your face and obvious. And all the recent talk about 3D movies and gaming in your home does not appeal to me in the least bit.

  14. Aaron Roughton

    Russ, for once I completely agree with you and all of the other posters here. I won’t pay for 3D. The only film for which I’ve ever heard anyone say that the 3D added something was Up. (And of course Avatar. But Steve Gutenberg could have added to Avatar.) 3D falls into the gimmick category for me, as does 14 channel surround sound, pumping air into your tennis shoes, and opposable thumbs.

    Here’s another thing I’ve noticed. Does anyone have a TV that does 120 Hz refresh rates? Do you think normal HD content looks sort of creepy when the 120 Hz is turned on? Too…realistic…or almost 3D…or something? Nathan, can you explain that one to us? (I dug your technical explanation for 3D.)

  15. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Interesting! I’m not rushing out to see everything in 3-D but I enjoyed both Avatar and A Christmas Carol that way. However, you’re right, I have different thoughts about the flims I’ve seen that way, mostly that I had a headache by the time they were over!

  16. Canaan Bound

    Yep, yep, yep! Russ, I could not agree more. 3D is totally overrated!

    For a prescription-glasses-wearer, it’s incredibly annoying to have to put on another pair. In fact, I detest it.

    I suppose, in general, I am disappointed with the overall effect of 3D movie-watching. As you mentioned, it does seem layered, rather than actually adding another dimension. The only credible 3D I’ve seen was in an IMAX domed theatre, but then I had to deal with an extra dose of vertigo. So I think I’ve concluded that it’s just not worth it.

    Besides, I love being forced to use my imagination, which special effects gurus just don’t seem to understand…

  17. Aaron Roughton

    One other thing. Has anyone been on the Spiderman 3D ride at Universal Studios in Florida? That was the coolest 3D experience I’ve ever seen. Definitely an exception to my anti-3D stance. And as Joe so humorously pointed out, so is the real world.

  18. JJ

    Aaron: I just got my HDTV a few months ago. It’s 120Hz, 1080p. I honestly don’t find it creepy. I love the detail that most Blu-ray movies give me. Star Trek (the JJ Abrams one), The Dark Knight and The Matrix are all stunning in 1080p. Same with the HD TV shows. I loved watching Lost in 720p. Even Wipeout, which just started up again, is great in HD. The clarity isn’t creepy at all to me.

    But apparently there isn’t a huge difference between watching HD on a 60Hz TV compared to 120Hz. But I that it feels like my TV is a window into another room where the actors are. And watching a regular DVD on my laptop, or SD TV programming, is a blurry mess now that my eyes have been spoiled with HD.

  19. Canaan Bound

    Well, Russ, it would seem the emperor has no clothes, and you just called him out on it.

    3D is nothing but a gimmick, designed to rob the poor movie-goers blind. But it sure makes those movie-makers rich!

    Aaron, that is Ron Block, most def. I’d know him from anywhere…

  20. Andrew Costerisan

    Greetings, friends,
    BBC just recently had an article on Toy Story 3. Here’s a segment that confirms all of you guys’ (especially Curt and Gareth’s) suspicions regarding Pixar not wanting the 3D to distract, but rather be a “very graceful experience” (My respect just keeps on growing for these Pixar guys).

    Check it out!

    “Technologically, Toy Story 3 is less ground-breaking than its predecessors, although it is in 3D. But unlike the striking 3D images in the blockbuster Avatar, the extra dimension in Toy Story is low key.

    “We use 3D with a very light touch,” explains Darla Anderson, the film’s producer.

    “Hopefully what it does is just bring you that much more into the story – instead of having the 3D come out at you in a gimmicky kind of way.”

    Not wanting to denigrate other films, Anderson adds that full-on 3D is “also fun” but “just not part of our ethos”.

    “We tried to create a very graceful experience,” adds Bob Whitehill, Pixar’s stereoscopic (3D) supervisor.

    “We didn’t want to overdo the 3D and risk distracting from these characters that people know and love, and this world that’s beautifully lit and interesting as it is.”

    Use the link below to see the entire article (including a very fascinating “making of” type video which has a part about the 3D process”…and gotta love “Renderfarm”–Wow!)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment_and_arts/10333554.stm

    And by the way, Russ and everyone, I heartily concur.
    .
    And AP, “Counting Stars” will be in the aforementioned 14 channel surround sound, right? And a 3D music video to boot? Seriously, though, keep up the excellent work.

  21. Dan Foster

    Is that Andy O standing behind Ron Block?

    A quote from Roger Ebert in his latest Answer Man column (first question http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=ANSWERMAN): “I realize I’m in danger of sounding like an obsessive on his topic, but I find 3D an annoyance and a distraction, … The so-called third dimension is getting between me and the heart of the story.”

    It would seem the RabbitRoomers are in good company.

    I, for one, am not much of a movie goer and have never seen one in 3-D. I think the last movie I saw in the theater was Spiderman 3. But I do plan to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader and I too was annoyed to see it’s in 3-D. Do they really charge you extra and not let you keep the glasses? I think I need to find a place to watch it in 2-D.

  22. Chris

    “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” maybe, but after that, it was all downhill.

    We purposefully went to Toy Story 2D after Thomas Mackenzie’s surreal review. And man alive if every trailer before the film wasn’t for some movie in 3D. I’m so tired of this and also fearful that one day the 2D options will go away if enough of us don’t let the studios know how we feel.

  23. Aaron

    Pretty much in agreement here, however…

    I think we would have heard a lot of very similar complaints in the eras of the first ‘talkies’ and the first colour films. For both of those film technology advancements, it was a novelty that many people felt detracted from good storytelling. And I think they were right (not all old movies are good!) . Some films that were intended to be silent or black and white were suddenly thrust forcefully into a new medium, and suffered for it.

    That being said, film makers found their way, and began to employ these new techniques artfully. I think we’re seeing a similar learning curve here. Most of the current 3D crop were shot in 2D, with studios trying to cash in and convert them. For me, it’s about seeing the film as the film maker wanted me to see it. If they shot it with 3D in mind, sure, I’ll watch it that way. If not, 2D is just fine. (It did help Avatar to suck slightly less)

    Perhaps we’ll see more directors begin to approach it as Gareth was talking about, as a way of deepening the image rather than trying to impress us with stuff popping out.

    Eventually, art prevails, and the fluff gets blown away (in Three Dimensions!)

  24. Josh Marihugh

    WOW! I REALLY thought it was just me. So glad to find that it’s not.

    For me, the extra $3 or so (and yes, around here, you can keep your glasses, although there’s a recycling box for them on your way out if you want to drop them off) is wasted. I wear an incredibly strong glasses prescription, and my left eye is considered legally blind even with that correction. (I think it corrects to something like 20/400 or so. Ouch.)

    I’ve seen several movies in 3-D. “Avatar” put me to sleep and gave me a headache. The “Toy Story” double feature several months ago was enjoyable, but after 4 hours of 3-D glasses either over or under my regular ones, it, too, left me with a headache.

    The only one that HASN’T done so was “Alice in Wonderland.” I really enjoyed the film, though I’m not sure the 3-D really did much for me. I’m planning to drive to Tulsa rather than see Toy Story 3 locally, because I want to find someplace running it in 2-D. I will do the same with _Dawn Treader_. (On that note, I’m really hoping for something better than _Caspian_…I find it horrific that they turned the shallow Susan into a central character.)

  25. Jill

    ditto on everything above.
    Must say that I loved Avatar in 3D. That was worthwhile.

    Many of the other cartoons….. we quickly forgot that it was supposed to be 3D. My kids would put their glasses on and off, on and off, and insist that nothing impressive was happening.
    Then we’d put our $3 glasses into the “recycle” bin…. knowing full well that they would be repackaged and sold to us again. how nifty. :p

    Just saw Toy Story 3, 2D at the drive in. That’s the way to go!
    (and yes, I cried at the end)

  26. Clay of CO

    Agreed. 3D doesn’t feel like an advance to me. It feels more like a permanent beta add-on technololgy enhancement being used to enhance company profits. When they get to true 3D projection without the annoying glasses, maybe I won’t hate it as much. Until then, give me 2D.

    For any resourceful bloggers, ihate3dmovies.com is still available. Go for it.

  27. J.D.

    I always enjoyed sitting in the 2nd row of the theater to get that “larger than life” feel from a movie. I know I’m in the minority on this one.

    One reason “Avatar” was 3D-successful was that Cameron had invented a camera that let the artist/director “see” the scenario as it was being filmed. This was very important, as it let inspiration unfold in real time.

    Russ’s complaint about 3D is the same that I would make about “real” photography versus enhanced photography. Yes, there are some cool things one can do with Photoshop to bring out details in a photo, but the mixture of artist + inspiration + moment makes a work of art really special for me.

  28. Nathaniel Miller

    Since this whole 3-D thing took over, there’s only been one movie I enjoyed watching in 3-D and that was “A Christmas Carol” if for no other good reason, it felt like it was snowing inside the theater. But other than that, I feel it is just a gimmick and in some cases, an afterthought. They didn’t actually create the movie to be scene in 3-D. The worst thing about watching things in 3-D to me is the loss of color. I found this especially true in “Up”. I enjoyed the the color spectrum far more when I watched it again in 2-D. Add in the additional cost to the already expensive price and I am more than happy to see movies in 2-D when they come out.

  29. Thomas McKenzie

    It seems to me that there is an element of this conversation that is missing the point somewhat. 3D is not good or bad, in my opinion. It is simply an option, one that is becoming increasingly available. In some cases, like Avatar, it is an option that does enhance the film. In other cases, like Clash of the Titans “3D”, it is an aftermarket add-on that serves only to make more money for the studio. So far, most films that are made to be 3D could also be made in 2D. I hope that this will begin to change.

    The advent of digital 3D, which is what we are really talking about, is similar to the advent of good color in film. Most films that were made in color early on could have just as easily been made in black and white, and vice versa. Very few used color as part of the story telling. In many cases, the garish color distracted viewers from the story. The obvious exception would be The Wizard of Oz, in which color was part of the storytelling process. The Wizard of Oz was made better by color. Avatar was made watchable by 3D.

    Film is, in a way, a language. Some developments, like color, surround sound, CGI, 3D, etc. are somewhat like adding new verb-tenses or noun-groups to that language. Some people will enjoy learning the new parts of the familiar language, others will not. Some people never made the conversion to color, always preferring black and white as a matter of course. Some people will not like the addition of 3D. For now, at least, you can choose to see a film in 3D or 2D. That choice will likely go away, I would expect.

    I would encourage folks to refrain from deciding that 3D is good or bad, or that they like it or they don’t. Rather, ask the question “did 3D enhance this film, did it aid in the storytelling, did it take me out or bring me in?” The answers will be different in each film. Of course, if you ask the same question about the score, the editing, the color use generally, etc. for each film, you will also find that each element can be used in helpful or unhelpful ways, and that your answer might even vary from scene to scene. No one says “I hate films with scores,” but there are times when the score enhances or distracts, when a lack of score (like most of No Country for Old Men) is a great enhancement.

    Oh, and I totally agree that the language of 3D vs. 2D does not reflect reality. Great, even good, cinematographers are masters of 3D, and have been for generations.

  30. joe

    I was just listening to USA vs Ghana on ESPN radio. The commentators were great and really brought the game to life. After the game they ran an add for ESPN 3D sports television. I smiled.

  31. Matt J.

    I’m done with 3D in the theater. Just saw Toy Story 3. Great film. $30 price tag for a matinee? (myself wife and daughter) Never again.

    On a slightly related note, the most immersive movie I’ve seen this year: Lonesome Dove (6-hour 1989 western epic)

  32. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    They couldn’t make Lonesome Dove in 3D because it would have been so amazing that peoples’ heads would have exploded. Best Western ever.

  33. becky

    Also LOVED Toy Story 3 (in 2D) and get headaches when I wear 3D glasses. Since movie-watching is supposed to be enjoyable, not painful, I plan to avoid 3D for now.

  34. Jen

    I can’t watch anything in 3D because my eyes don’t work properly. I’m glad they give me a choice for 2D, because if I try to watch anything in 3D I am so lost.

  35. Kimberly

    Apparently, I am very easily entertained. I love the 3D experience. However, I do get annoyed if I pay an extra $3.00 for the glasses and then see very little evidence that I am watching a 3D movie. A Christmas Carol was wonderful. Did anyone see Meet the Robinsons in 3D? I was disappointed with the 3D effects but the story was fantastic.

    And Curt, I refuse to return the glasses. I paid for them and intend to keep them until they offer me a really good reason to. A discount on a concession would be nice.

  36. Jonathan Andrews

    I love when the movie is over and the theater employees stand next to the 3D glasses recycling bin. I at this point have already placed said glasses in my pocket. The part I love is their facial expressions. I mean I think they have started hiring actors to work there because they have this look that almost makes me want to pull the glasses out of my pocket. Some of them are sad looking, some are angry, and some even thank you for coming to the show. Then I remember two things. First I paid for them and second I need those glasses to watch that one episode of Arrested Development that had 3D.

  37. Peter B

    This is kind of the same thing that happened to Disney a decade ago. “Wow, our movies are lousy and Pixar is minting their own money! What’s the deal? Wait — all their movies are made with 3D animation! That must be it!”

    Obviously the subsequent crop of Disney films wasn’t any more watchable than the previous few had been; they couldn’t seem to grasp the fact that Story makes the difference, no matter how much technology you apply.

    Eventually, they gave up on the 3D misconception and just made a good movie; it took them long enough, but The Princess and the Frog was well worth it.

    Who knows what the future of film will be? I can’t imagine that 3D will play a major role, but if it does stick around, it will be because true artists have learned how to use it correctly.

    Ehren, yes, Captain Eo was one of those “attraction” events that did it well. Then again, anyone brave enough to combine Star Wars and Michael Jackson deserves to have their work preserved (just realized they’re showing it again at Epcot, a year after we took the family there).

  38. Krista

    I HATE 3D and will be really sad if I can’t see Dawn Treader in the theater because it’s only in 3D.
    I wear glasses, they bother me all the time, but I need them to see. I cannot wear contacts. Trying to add another pair of goofy glasses over top of the ones that already bother me is an exercise in frustration and I simply can’t enjoy a movie that way. This is my main complaint, but honestly I think the 3D is lame anyway. For the same reasons that most people have already stated.

  39. Heidi

    Hear hear!! I can’t say I could really put my finger on why I was bugged by 3D, but these comments have put clarity to my confusion. Its just unnecessary. (Though I agree that it did give Avatar the extra nudge that the story needed.) And I didn’t know Dawn Treader was going to be a 3D release. Surely somewhere I can find it on a regular screen?!

  40. Laura

    I actually love the 3D. It doesn’t distract me. I love it in its subtle forms and not it’s gimmicky forms. At its best, for me, it’s like the difference between average TV and HD. Now obviously it’s not appropriate to all forms of film, just as in 2D photography you often want a lack of focus for the story telling aspect. In items like sports photography however you often want that intense reality combined with that compositional story telling. I think 3D sports like ESPN’s new channel will be one of those areas where 3D really does stand far above the 2D.

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