Life in 3D

Apparently 3D is about to take hold, not just in our theaters, but in our televisions as well.  Every major television maker is working on a 3D set for you right now.  Many are already going into mass production.  Samsung is boasting about 3D HDTV’s that are 1/3″ thick, touch screen remotes that actually show your television images while you press the buttons, built in ethernet, and software – or should I say, Apps.  Espn has already announced a 3D channel.  Footballs games in 3D!

Avatar was great.  I admit it.  Technologically speaking.  Not so much story-wise.  I saw the entire story in the trailer.  Dude becomes an avatar, gets in good with the “bad” natives, then learns to love them, and ultimately has to fight with them against the evil people who originally sent him there.  (i.e. Pocahontas, Dances with wolves, The Last Samurai)  I’m not providing spoilers for the six people who haven’t seen this movie.  That was literally in the trailer.  But it was an event movie.  It actually got people into the theater and I applaud it for that.  In fact I only went to see it because everyone told me how pretty it was.  I didn’t need to see it for the story. 

The problem with 3D technology for me – and it is very much the case in Avatar – is that I’m not immersed into the world.  Why?  Because I’m wearing 3D glasses.  Because every damn image is punching me in the mouth.  Because I’m getting a headache.  I’m not immersed into the movie because I’ve never been more aware that I’m being manipulated.  And no, I don’t get used to it.  Not even after two hours.  You think I want that in my home?  I don’t need all programming in 3D.  It’s not really an improvement for me to saddle up to the TV with a pair of dork-glasses to watch the news with Brian Williams’ crooked-ass nose in 3D sitting in my lap like Labrador Retriever?

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t hate 3D.  I just find it nothing more than a gimmick.  Not to the point of Smell-o-vision, but I don’t see it as a game changing device that will affect all movies.  Maybe one day it will get there.  There is at least one TV coming out that employs Lenticular 3D.  A process that does not require the use of 3D glasses.  But that too has it’s limitations.  If you’re not sitting directly in front of the TV you do not get the proper affect.

3D has yet to prove itself as valid addition to the filmmaking experience.   (e.g. color film, sound, digital projection, CGI, THX.)  Until it does it will remain a gimmick.  And gimmicks fade.