The latest thing in cinematography is 3D, despite it having been around for decades (since 1915), the technology has improved and you no longer need to wear the silly cardboard red and green specs, but what what looks to be a pair of large 1960’s sunshades instead. Still, it does work and I am impressed that it works despite my dodgy eyesight and having to wear the 3D specs over my normal ones. Is it worth the extra cost though? In most cases no, it’s not that much of an improvement and the cinema going public seems to agree with that view.


British cinema goers have said 3D makes little difference to the quality of a movie, according to a new survey.

Many of this year’s blockbusters such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon were made using the technology.
But, responding to a YouGov poll, 41% of people called it a gimmick with just 19% agreeing that 3D improves a film.
Just under half of those polled said it made no difference at all.
Price does not appear to be an issue for more than a third of cinema goers who said that even if the more expensive 3D films tickets were the same price as their 2D counterparts, they would rather see a film in the traditional two dimensional format.

In some films, it does work well, the cartoon Despicable Me had some very funny moments in it that took advantage of the 3D system, though again it’s just as funny in 2D as well, with one of the highlights to me being the addendum under the “Bank of Evil” sign (formerly Lehman Brothers). Most ordinary films however do not benefit so greatly, the 3D simply being part of the background effect rather than enhancing the plot as was pretty much the case in Harry Potter or just being part of the explosions in Transformers.

But it’s definitely a case of you pay your money and you take your choice, a clear case of the market in action, if it’s good, people will pay to see it 3D or not and it seems some people will, even if they just see it as a gimmick.

Though I suspect the person (or group) who perfect 3D without the silly glasses will make themselves a fortune, same with the ones who invent the reverse microwave for chilling warm beer quickly.

5 comments for “Choice

  1. September 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Call me a cheapskate but I’ll still to the cheaper 2D version for now because I have yet to see what 3D brings apart from a higher door price and a crappy piece of plastic specs which are no fun for a full time glasses wearer.

    That said, yes, I did go and see Avatar and, yes, the CGI was stunning but once I’d gotten past that then there was no plot to back it up and James Cameron seemed to be raiding his own back catalogue in places.

  2. Falco
    September 28, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Our local offy used to have a fast chiller. Unpleasantly warm to ice cold in 2 minutes. Never caught on though, probably because it had to be constantly on and the power requirements were high.

  3. Uncle Badger
    September 28, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I struggle to put into words the problem with 3D but, in any case, it’s the same problem I have with surround sound – another pet cinema hate of mine.

    For the most part events on screen happen before you. You are not in the middle of the gunfight, nor in the raging office fire. You are not part of the story, but a passive onlooker.

    Suddenly having a figure leap out at you from that screen doesn’t include you in the action – you cannot interact with it after all – it simply reminds you that you are watching something in which you had, until then, willingly suspended disbelief.

    The same with sound. Suddenly having ‘the bad guy’s’ footfall behind you is jarring when you are not – and you know you are not – actually in the room with the terrified victim.

    3D might work if movies were interactive (I’m sure they will be some day) but until then it is adding a visual stimulus that actually detracts from the narrative experience, even if it gives the first few rows a cheap thrill.

  4. Maaarrghk!
    September 29, 2011 at 6:15 am

    There must be a lot of bog-eyed people out there (like myself) for it not to have caught on. As soon as 3D that works for all is invented it will catch on, although it will probably be the porn industry that leads the way.

    • Lord T
      September 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      I have no doubt there are already 3D porn films out there. Porn seems to lead the market in everything, then the rightous come in, take over and get porn banned. So they move on to the next thing. A driving force to get the costs down and opening the way to be driven out. Ironic.

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