Saturday, July 4, 2009

What's the deal with 3D?

The first 3D movie I saw was actually a Michael Jackson movie at Disneyland. It was a traditional 3D movie which was shameless in its ability to use the third dimension with objects you felt you could touch or something protruding right at you. It was a gimmick but that has its time and place.

These days, all manner of kids' animated movies are 3D. I had skilfully avoided them until today when we saw Ice Age 3 in 3D. 3D movies like this are the big hope of cinemas because they are a reason to go to the cinema rather than wait until the movie comes out on DVD or what have you. I'm not sure of that but, let's go with the idea that you have to be in a cinema. Will it work?

Well, for starters, it is a disaster for younger kids. My 4 year old just didn't want to wear the bulky glasses let alone be scared by the third dimension. They didn't provide smaller ones so she watched a movie in blurred vision; which wasn't much fun. For myself, I have glasses on already and so a full length movie in 3D doubles the smug impact or glare or any number of annoyances. For that I want the 3D to be doing something. In Ice Age, it just didn't and I was just annoyed at the whole experience. The remaining children seemed non-fussed about it all but felt it was hardly any difference. Certainly not worth the bump in ticket price.

So I guess the recommendation is the shun the 3D cinemas and find normal 2D ones. From the look of the opening weekend crowd in our cinema, other parents had already decided that and it was only 10 percent full. Contrast this with a full house for the non-3D Hannah Montana.

As for the movie itself, it isn't awful but doesn't come anywhere near the original. All the more reason to wait for DVD or broadcast television on this one.