The last years have been interesting in the development in many technologies. I still remember the day we marveled over Pixar’s famous Toy Story, the first complete 3D animated movie with a lot of realism (considering it was a cartoon). It was impressing for sure, and although we did not know what consequences it would exactly have, we had the feeling we were going through a revolution.
And certainly we did. Not only movies changed: games did too. Mario turned into 3D, Resident Evil already appeared in that format… nothing was the same. We could say that the 90s, especially the end of them, were the times 2D died and 3D rose aggressively. To some extend it became a huge success; Mario got into an excellent run of games, Zelda was even greater once you could walk around in third person. On the other hand, we also saw the fails: how about Castlevania 64? Anyone remember most of the 3D Sonic games? Seems like some things were just born to stay as a sidescroller.
As you can see so far, I am quite neutral when it goes to speaking about the whole 3D phenomena. It has, after all, brought some great innovations. What bugs me though, is this need of converting everything into this format. Check for example the new Mario Bros. series that has come out for the Wii. It is in 2D again, and it still rocks. Also, Casltlevania has returned to his previous format, working just fine. What really is incredibly frustrating is how 3D has invaded the cinemas.
Just look at your local cinema and please tell me that most of the movies have not been in this strange 3D format at one point. Now, most people like it, but I just fail to understand why you are loving it. First off, for this gimmick to work, you need a pair of glasses. I myself wear some glasses, which already brings up the annoying difficulty of watching my favourite movies in the new dimension. Rest be assured, I have never again watched a movie with glasses.
Be honest to yourself too. What kind of new experience do you gain with this? I understand that it can be fun to have an explosion closing in on you, but the excitement it provokes is pretty much gone after you see the fourth detonation. Form there on, all that keeps you watching the picture is *gasp* the story, the effects and the occasional hot character. What is the difference now?
This whole 3D is just a successful marketing ploy to make you spend more money on a movie that is as enjoyable in three dimensions as it would be in the regular format. Honestly, I really don’t understand why people are loving it and why cinemas flood their theaters with this expensive experience. There were even times I could not watch a movie I wanted to see because it was just in 3D! They were forcing me to spend more money. Needless to say, I waited a week more to see it in a normal format later.
Also comes this strange ideas of movies that were done in 2D to be forced into 3D… just to sell more. Why is that even necessary? At least in the third dimension pictures they try to make some effects pop out,s o you can enjoy them a bit more with a good blade closing in to your eye. But, for example, the movie The Avengers never had such an effect… and still was ported to 3D. This is not only utterly useless, but another example of trying to get, for the same movie, even more money, without really adding anything special to the experience.
Why am I against the 3D? It is easy. It is a technology not yet correctly developed. Granted, we don’t need two colors now to watch the movie, but in general it still needs those annoying glasses. Even the new bazillion-dollar T.V.s require you to use them! Let’s face it, 3D has been sold to us by force. And the consumer prefers to watch a gimmick with no sense and even bordering on frustrating instead of expecting a bit more of reason. Demand creates this. But have you seen the Nintendo 3DS? It has been able to replicate a good effect without the need of extra stuff and you can turn it off in case you can not stand the visual trick (headaches, anyone?). This is what a good theatre should include: options for the same price.
We have still a way to go to enhance our movie going experience, but we should also not settle with the immediate solution. I would love to see a good 3D effect… without the need of some fraggin’ extra item to disturb my already hindered vision!
May they smile upon your way!