Wow do I hate 3D.

The only time I even notice the 3D is when it's blurry -- which is most of the time. E.g. any time I move my head from being perfectly vertical and motionless.

I'm never making that mistake again.


26 Responses:

  1. Mike Hoye says:

    I think I've only seen one useful quote-innovation-unquote in theaters in my entire life, and it's not exactly a technology. Assigned seating is great.

    I liked Tron just fine but I won't be seeing it or anything in 3d again, because that is some gimmicky bullshit.

    • Thomas Lord says:

      I don't know how old you are but don't discount Sense-a-Round or whatever the hell came with the original Earthquake movie. That advanced the cinematic arts a whole boatload.

      • Mike Hoye says:

        Sensurround. Yeah, the bass-that-gives-you-nosebleeds predates me. I'm a little saddened we didn't hang on to the Percepto "surprise random audience members with leftover WWII vibrators" idea, though.

  2. Jim Sweeney says:

    The 3-D fad is extremely irritating to me. It's like Hollywood types sat there and said, "I don't think we're being cynical enough... We really need to hang more stupid, half-working bells and whistles on these poorly thought out, badly written, infantile piles of crap we're releasing so that people will want to see them more." Is it really that impossible to hire actual writers, directors and actors, buy real scripes, etc., to make special effectsy blockbusters? (I mean, obviously it isn't --there are one or two every year, but why is that such the exception?)

    (Mind you, I would totally go see "The King's Speech" in 3-D.)

    Even the first Iron Man movie, which was fun, well acted and reasonably well written and directed, still ended with the seemingly inescapable, "And now the hero must fight the ZOMG EVEN BIGGERER villain" bullcrap. I remember sitting there thinking "Really? _Really_? You got _this_ far with this movie, and you seriously couldn't think of another way out of it?

    Don't even get me started on what happened to animation and voice-acting, and the scourge of Ray Ramano/Tim Allen/Chris Rock/Jack Black-ery that essentially wiped out a whole avenue of movie-making and replaced it with just another pile of packaged crap. And what the hell is up with Owen Wilson's nose. No, seriously...

    *shakes cane at whippersnappers."

    • Agree with every word.

      Also, there's people who can't see well (or at all) out of one eye, so they are royally fucked when going to a 3D movie. Instead of this bullshit, how about increasing cinema's FPS and using film >36mm? If you absolutely need to sell something, you might as well improve on something that's useful.

  3. Lyle says:

    I don't care so much about whether it's blurry or not (I'm told the film projections are blurry, but the digital projections are fine) or whether it's the wave of the future or just more gimmicky bullshit. My big problem with 3d is the migraine it induces. The 80's version of 3d is fine, but the newer variety is an assault on my senses that has me bailing after 20 minutes to pop some tylenol. On the plus side, while I'm waiting for my friends to get out, I can show the whipper snappers how we played arcade games back in the day.

    • jwz says:

      I saw it in IMAX 3D, and I don't know whether that's digital or not, but it was blurry as fuck, just like every other 3D movie I've seen in the modern era. Though, actually, I think I've seen all of them in the same theatre, so maybe Metreon's IMAX projectors just suck.

      I would have seen the flat version if it was playing at the same time. Next time, I'll definitely wait.

      I've been unimpressed with "digital" projection, too. You're just trading one kind of noise for another, and it's distracting that the grain doesn't move. The different artifacts calls attention to themselves since they are not the kind of artifacts that we are used to in theatres, but instead are the kind of artifacts we are used to from shittily-encoded DVDs and Youtube.

      • DFB says:

        I think in this case IMAX is actually a detriment. I saw Tron: Legacy in 3D on an ordinary screen and it seemed nice. I specifically made a point to roll my head sideways and there was no loss of 3D or any other resolution. I was unable to sense artifacts because I was distracted by Jeff Bridges playing different ages of himself through postprocessing.

        The more I think about this, the more I wonder why I didn't notice the same problem. If I would have tilted my head a full 90 degrees, the 3D effect would have had to have gone away. I guess I didn't try it as far or for as long as you did.

    • Catherine says:

      Yes! This. Migraines. So many migraines.

      Also, after managing to get diagnosed with epilepsy, it made it a lot easier to understand why I nearly fell over after seeing Avatar last year.

    • fantasygoat says:

      I thought the migraines I was having was due to the fact that I have to fit those stupid 3D goggles over my glasses and it's an imperfect fit. The 3D effects are mostly cheesy anyway, I didn't think I was missing much.

      A big concern, though, is this push on 3D TVs. I expect it to fail in a BetaMAX fashion, being that you need to buy a new TV and a bunch of $100 goggles to watch limited content, but I worry that it might not. I don't want to be a Luddite, but this 3D nonsense needs to stop.

  4. piku says:

    The only 3D I have seen was some contrived thing in an IMAX theatre. It had some zooming down tunnels and that episode of the Simpsons where they go into the third dimension.

    I can't wait until this stupid fad has either gone away, Google Wave style never to be spoken of again, or becomes normal like stereo sound is. That way I won't have to endure every film being 'Zorg and the mega-baboons... IN 3D... THREE DEE' or those irritating acronym soup adverbs for tellies...

    "buy a 1080p LCD HD 3D ready TV for 699" (ps ignore the 3D bit, that doesn't work yet and will require stupid glasses when it does... And even then there's a chance you just blew 700 quid on the HD-DVD equivalent of 3D and not the Blu-ray equivalent so your stuff will be useless in six months time you early adopting goon).

    • piku says:


      That should have said "adverts", but my iPad thought otherwise.

      • Catherine says:

        ...thus demonstrating the problems of early adoption! Nicely done, that.

        • Piku says:

          I think this is the same text input system from the original iPod Touch. My first gen Touch is just an annoying, and that's four years old now.

          Mostly it's ok and you're even allowed to swear, providing you use a selection of Apple approved swear words :-)

  5. wiggly worm says:

    Saw my first 3D movie recently and had the same reaction. The people I was with blamed it on being too close to the screen. I don't recall that being a problem before, and we weren't that close. Guess I'll have to try it again at a "better distance" before trying to convince them.

    On a related note, I can't wait for the depth perception development problems to become apparent in children after the research has been ignored.

  6. Jeff says:

    For me, not only are 3D movies blurry as hell, but they leave my eyes fucked for hours afterward. I'm also deeply offended that it often costs extra for this. Sorry, but I can stare at the sun for free.

  7. Joe Johnston says:

    Mod this post up!

    What have they done to our talkies! I despise 3D movies. "3D" is a cheap gimmick to distract audiences from the plot. And I also get headaches watching them.


  8. I saw Avatar in 3D, and yeah, it gave me a headache. I think the really impressive thing here is the marketing gurus that have convinced people that they want to wear these shitty 3D glasses to watch TV in their own living rooms. Nevermind the fact that the glasses cost $200 apiece and are you really going to let your kids use them just to watch some terrible CGI.

  9. GregV says:

    Contrarian time!

    First off, I agree that 3D's getting grafted on to a lot of movies unnecessarily and thus can qualify as gimmicky bullshit. I don't know if Tron qualifies because I haven't seen it yet. However, I think it can be used well, just most people don't know how to use it well and in their gold rush don't seem to care.

    I think Pixar-like 3D animated movies translate very well. I've been seeing them well before Avatar came along and it really does add something. It probably helps that these movies weren't made specifically for 3D so there's less attempt to milk it for its own sake.

    Anything live action doesn't translate well. I think I read it was something with the camera's zoom lens ruining the effect, making them look like paper cutouts. A render obviously doesn't have that problem. Anything trying to go too far into the foreground (like the opening logos, dear god the opening logos) makes the effect suck and headachey. If you're going for ZOMG 3D!!1 as a movie gimmick you're going to try to make things pop out of the screen more and thus horrible. If it's a little more understated it works better.

    I suppose the quality of my theaters could just be better too. I've had momentary discomfort at the way too close logos, but no overall blurriness or headaches. Fringing occasionally. Maybe it's also that I rarely go to the live action stuff in 3D to begin with, just the Pixar-like movies.

    As for TVs, it's here to stay but you're not going to be forced to use it. I don't know why people don't get that second part. There is no 3D-only TV. You can watch regular content on them without the glasses. It's trivial to turn 3D content into 2D content, so you can also watch something broadcast in 3D as 2D with a setting change. Since you don't lose anything by adding it, eventually it will stop being an expensive extra feature and become commoditized like HDTV. The people who don't want it just won't turn it on. I have no interest in buying one now but when the technology gets better, especially if you're able to ditch the glasses, I imagine it's going to be great for gaming.

    • jwz says:

      I saw both Up and Coraline in 3D, and I was only able to enjoy them once I acclimated enough that I was able to stop noticing that any 3D was happening at all. They both looked like shit as a result of the process.

      • GregV says:

        Huh. I would have used Up as an example of it done well. There was even a wow moment towards the end when they were fighting on top of the blimp and the camera peers over the edge: blimp scene in the foreground, cloud cover in the distance, tree canopy in the far distance. Maybe theater quality counts for a lot.

  10. Matthew says:

    Agree 3d is hype and overrated, however... The couple of movies I have seen in IMAX 3d digital, Avatar and Tron Legacy were amazing. Not blurry at all. Post produced 3d as seen in Airbender are shite and should be purged.

  11. Mike Marion says:

    Saw Tron in 3D last Friday and yeah.. it's really just a gimmick. Was slightly better then I thought it would be (as in no headache) but didn't really add anything to the movie experience.

    I'd say a better improvement to good movie experiences was good quality sound systems. When a movie has a great soundtrack and rumbling bass to add to action, it can be pretty cool. Note I don't mean just cranked up to insane, hurt your ears, levels either.

    One thing came to mind while there Friday: The last time I sat in a theater to watch a movie in 3D was for Captain EO. I think that was in 1989 or so.

  12. It is important for people to have educational sources which assert or at least gloss extra dimensions; that's not to claim interstitial 3D ads/membership-forms carpeting over content will not precede the new wave of 3D Doctors of Cinematography, but the days of planar CMOS are looking faded fast. Not that I did well in La Pucelle Tactics....

    The bonus of yanking 3D from film post, and put in scene direction, the right tags, etc. is worth it. When, after all, was the last time you saw a bad tromp l'oeil as a political stage?