The 3-D Apocalypse: why the “realism” isn’t worth the hype

Admit it, you have been in this scenario at least once: You find out that the latest movie to hit theatres is going to be shown in 3-D. Excited, you rush to the movie theatre and get your very expensive ticket, waiting in suspense to see a 3-D movie. Once you leave the theatre, however, you feel a bit let down. Sure, it might have been a great movie in terms of plot, editing, or cinematography, but the 3-D visual effects weren’t all that great, were they?

This situation is not all that unusual in today’s media. It seems like every single film they make has to be in 3-D. Literally everything from Avatar to Shrek is available in the 3-D format. Even the final chapter in the SAW series was recently released in 3-D. Although it seems that 3-D is the way to go, it’s actually not worth paying all that money just to see the visual effects jump out like a pop-up book. There is a price to pay when it comes to watching a 3-D movie. Not only do you look completely silly in those little plastic glasses, chances are you’ll recycle them anyway. However, 3-D films can also have an impact on your health: the glasses used for 3-D movies are known for causing headaches and can even cause migraines for those who are considered to be chronic sufferers. Robert Powell himself, the man who came up with 3-D movies in the first place, admits these facts. (1)

Despite the issues with 3-D films, however, people still choose to see them. Anytime they hear that a movie will have these effects, they’ll still go just for the experience of seeing one. Those involved in the process of constructing a 3-D movie want to meet those needs. Rather than carefully spending time on the development of the characters and the plot itself, they feel that the visual effects and the so-called “realism” of the film are more important. Keep in mind that not every movie theatre is able to show 3-D films. Those facilities have to raise their prices of the non-3-D movies in order to make up for their financial loss. (1)

critics usually hate it too

However, with the hype of 3-D movies, many people are starting to get sick of them, even those who have made them before. Although director James Cameron released Avatar in 3-D, he feels that Hollywood needs to stop making movies that misuse the 3-D format, particularly those that merely add-on 3-D effects to a 2-D picture. Cameron feels that instead of adding the effects on later, filmmakers have two options: film movies in the 3-D format or convert classic movies like Jaws into 3-D. (2)

Luckily, there are a few directors who refuse to release their films in 3-D. Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception), who is very outspoken about his hatred for 3-D, is not releasing his latest Batman film in that format. Instead, he is releasing the film in IMAX 2-D. Likewise, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows: Part 1 (out this Friday) will not be featured in 3-D as previous installments have. (3) Hopefully, many other directors will follow suit and not give in to the overrated 3-D movie craze.

Are you a supporter of the 3-D trend? If you had the choice between 3-D and 2-D, what would you choose?


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