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The 3D Epidemic: When Does The Novelty Become The Standard & Is This What We Want?
The Movie God   |  @   |  

Robin HoodRecently, The Wrap did a story on the new 3D technology and the vice-grip hold it has on the world of Hollywood. As we are all very much aware, it feels like every single movie that’s made these days is released in 3D, and in a lot of cases, we find ourselves asking the question “Why?” over and over again. In this new article, it is revealed that apparently Ridley Scott himself is “breathing down the necks” of executives at Universal to spend an extra $7-8 Million to make a 3D version of his upcoming period action/drama, Robin Hood. This is obviously one of the more confusing titles that we’ve heard associated with the 3D phenomena, and it lead us to begin wondering when this whole technology has just gone too far?

Many big names in the business have laid solid claim to 3D being the future of cinema, but judging by the collective feelings of movie fans, it is unclear whether this is what people want. There’s no doubt at all that when it comes to films like Avatar, which is built specifically for that technology, and fun movies like Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, 3D can be a really great time. But when this is happening so often that a movie like Robin Hood is even joining the party, you can’t help but think it’s only a matter of time before we see movies like Steven Spielberg‘s Abraham Lincoln biopic Lincoln getting in line for some 3D action. That’s just too much.

Speaking of Spielberg, he is one of those who feels the technology is the future of films, and it has even been rumored that he called Avatar the “best movie he’s ever seen,” but that may just be stretching it a bit. Spielberg is one of many directors who have glowing 3D dreams for pre-existing classic films of theirs; he wants to give his own Jurassic Park the makeover, while people like Avatar director James Cameron wants to do it to Terminator 2 and Titanic, and George Lucas is pondering the possibilities for his beloved Star Wars saga.

As I said above, I’m fully okay with certain movies being crafted using 3D, and yes, there is always the option to just see the traditional 2D version of the film. Even older classics that have already done their time getting a little 3D re-release could be plenty of good times for fans. But for the sake of the studios, the film makers, and the fans, I think that if they don’t let back on the throttle a little bit, this could very well become just another novelty that doesn’t latch on like some wish it to.

So this is where we stand, folks, and the question remains: is this REALLY the future that we all want for our movies, or has 3D already been irresponsibly overused in Hollywood? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

[Source: via AICN]

  • Kevin

    I used to think the same way. That 3-D movies were just corny and that I’d rather see it without the huge glasses on my face. But after Avatar I feel a change of heart. Yes that movie was unbelievable (must mention) , but it’s also not like what people think.

    Its not this cheesy film were objects fly out at you, but instead your watching a movie with a depth perception. You have the visual affect of seeing people in the foreground of the camera shot being closer to you than people in the background.

    It’s a subtle affect but cool to watch and If more movies, even serious movies, were to do that I think i could enjoy it as long as they dont get corny with it.

  • scrotumbagmonkeyflicker

    F*** 3D.

  • Dr Blitzgeek

    3D movies are fun, but i’m sick of paying extra for movies which are just as enjoyable in good old 2D. I hope 3D dies soon and people can focus on the movie making instead of wasting time on 3D effects

  • @scrotumbagmonkeyflicker


  • Paul

    For me, it’ll come down to whether or not the technology can be integrated completely into my television (or a future replacement television) at home without the need for additional headwear. Would I like to sit on my couch and watch Avatar while experiencing the added depth perception mentioned by Kevin above? Absolutely! Would I like to watch television while wearing glasses all night? Definitely not.

    Also, I’d like it to be something that can be toggled on/off at the press of a button without changing channels. Perhaps the 3D information for the video can be piped to the home in a way similar to surround sound information for 5.1 or 7.1 audio? It’s there but if the stereo capable television in the kitchen doesn’t use surround sound, no loss. I’d like to see the same thing for 3D video. The information to make shows/movies 3D is there but if the hardware doesn’t make use of it, then no impact to anyone else.

    I’m willing to try 3D but I’m not willing to subscribe to cable + HD package + 3D package, etc with all additional surcharges and fees. Put the technologoy out there, let the equipment decode it (or not) and maybe I’ll watch it (or not). Otherwise, if I have to make a significant investment, then my answer is no.

  • Tony R

    I always find it funny that over the past 4 years people have said why is hollywood pushing 3d, is this what the audienced want. Obviously people have not been paying attention as to why this whole thing has been growing over the last 5 years. It is a problem called way more ticket sales. It not that movie producers have been twisting peoples arms to do the whole 3d thing. What happened is when polar express came out in some Imax theaters in 3d in 2004, others not involved with that project were surprised at the number of tickets it sold compared to the 2d version. Then in 2005 through 2007 more where released, same thing ticket sales were great.

    Now over this past year ticket sales of these movies have been 2 3d tickets sold for every 1 2d sold. That was with 60 percent of these movies shown on a 2d screen. Even at many mutiplexes they show the 2d version in one room and the 3d version in the other. Many people were by passing the 2d version and going to the 3d version. People voted for 3d with their dollar bills and the movie studios responed to their request for more 3d.

  • Joseph

    Paul has been quoted for truth. Any innovation will lead to additional surcharges as it has become commonplace for big companies to pile on fees. Obviously the 3D in Avatar is a step towards immersion and less of a gimmick that it has been in the past, and I believe that is something very special. There is going to be a time when it is run of the mill. Humans rarely retard the efforts of science in technology and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be seeing more of this modern 3D. It is just something that we are not used to.

  • moocow1118

    For some things 3D really works, like with Avatar & Cloudy, but I do not want to see all my movies go that way. I don’t feel we need to go the way of 3D also because I know quite a few people that 3D causes headaches (even with the new 3D technology) so the films are not enjoyable to them. The 2D versions of everything are beautiful also & film makers really have to make us feel the depth in that medium instead of relying on technology. I hope we don’t get to a point where 3D is the standard, then it’s magic will diappear.

  • Sean

    Hollywood is circling the drain. If you look at the recent crop of movies, you can see how they’re afraid to make a risk. Every other movie is either adapted from a book, a TV show, video game, or comic book. Or it’s a remake.

    3D is just a gimmick to get people out in to the theaters. Another gimmick was Smell-O-Vision.

    I think the studios are afraid audiences would rather watch a movie on their LCD TVs. Truth is, I think theaters are on their way out the door, giving way to multimedia experiences at home or on the Net.

    Hollywood sees this coming, so they resort to gimmicks and mindless movies based on source material that has already proven itself.

  • Wiredwizard

    @scrotumbagmonkeyflicker – So say we all.

    3D is fun every once in a while, but *every *smegging movie doesn’t have to be in stupid 3D, and this nonsense of rereleasing movies we all enjoyed perfectly well in normal 2D is nothing but a greedy cashgrab on the parts of the studios. Given the choice of going to see something rereleased in 3D or watching it at home on dvd, I’ll watch it at home.

  • Dan

    I hate 3D. Period. Having to pay an extra fee on top of the arm & leg I’ve already forked over? Christ!
    To say nothing of all the movies where it doesn’t add a damn thing to the story. That’s what I’m there for: a good story. I don’t need a 7 foot tall blue cat man to look like he’s so close I can smell him to enjoy the story.
    And am I the only person who gets a little dizzy and motion sick in a 3D movie? It’s worse than watching Cloverfield.

  • Seems like a pretty unanimous opinion going on here.

  • NameRequired

    I was expecting to have to pay up to £13 for Avatar in 3D but i didnt, it was just £6.50 at a local Odeon, which is around normal price for 2D – i would have paid £13

    i dont understand the fascination with 3D either – and i dont think Avatar’s story needed it (the story is ideally suited to a 90minute cartoon)

    the thing that struck me most when watching it was actually before the movie started – the trailers /ads

    they showed a number of 3D trailers for upcoming movies like shrek 4 and ads for cadburys chocolate etc – these used 3D in the only way it can really be used by throwing things out at people or hovering text over the audiences heads

    what i mean is that IF 3D takes off in cinemas it will no doubt move to TV (which it is being developed for atm) i think the main benefits will be for gaming and advertistments (the text was really clear and noticable when watching the trailers, and even in the movie itself with the translated Na’vi language at the bottom of the screen)

    as i’ve said i dont think avatar necessitated 3D or even benefitted from it. in fact the best part, for me, of avatar was the special effects, i’ve never seen such convincing effects (dark knight is still one of the best, i only noticed one shot in the whole movie which was clearly CG) but avatar was amazing, the only reason you could doubt it was real is that fact that you know it was created, otherwise i thought it was extremely convincing

    but i actually found 3D to limit my sense of immersion. It created a sense of depth, yes, but is was a fakedbut it wasnt necessary, and was hard to see things outside of the middle of the images, some things like leaves etc that surrounding the edges of the screen were blurry and there was even motion blur in faster moving scenes which again limited the immersion – so i find the whole 3D is so much more immersive argument is faulted

    i enjoyed the movie, because it was an enjoyable movie, cameron knows to craft movies that can appeal to a large number of demographics but i think the main draw for the audience is the 3D it is an experience, and it is not one we will be able to experience at home for another 5 or so years so i think it is important to go see it (hence $800m or more in 13 days)

    i think as soon as the glasses arent needed and you can view 3D movies/tv shows/ads/games etc in the cinema/ontv/ on computer without them it will really show how useful it is

    the current trend towards 3D is a cash-in, even Avatar, which i felt didnt deserve a $300m+ budget or 3D, it is the same as in the ’50s – it is just a gimmick to make a quick buck, once you’ve seen it you wont go back too often, Cameron knows this and i think wanted to be the first major movie to use 3D

    the art form is 2D, 3D didnt feel very different or revolutionary, it was nice but i dont know if i’d like it everywhere, it is suited to the advertisements and trailers, gaming possibly (where depth perception would be cool) and maybe other things like computer displays etc (as used in Avatar by people in 2154)

    so i hope it isnt taken on board, but it seems it will be, and if avatar is the best example of its use or the yard stick for 3D in cinema then i think it’ll be a gimmick and a big expensive version of the ’50s movie experience

  • Shawn

    I hope 3D dies. Hard. And this has nothing to do with the fact that I was born biologically incapable of EVEN BEING ABLE TO VIEW 3D! First of all, yes, 3D does alienate the entire handicapped audience. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if these arrogant directors didn’t go ahead and assume that “this is the future” and asserting that this is what we “want”.

    the bottom line is, when a movie is made for 3D first, then the script second, it suffers on a scale far greater than I’ve had the displeasure of seeing in a long time. Case in point, Avatar. No one’s arguing that it didn’t “look good” or that James did a good job inventing that fancy new camera, but the story was crap; it was predictable and boring to watch.

    I just worry about society when it can’t appreciate a good STORY anymore, and then come at me with lame arguments like, “well that’s not what the movie was about!!” I argue that, if a 3D movie is supposed to be just about visuals, then why do the characters talk? Directors are forgetting about story these days, but idiots keep lapping it up and giving money to it and they just keep making more. If you want a movie about visuals, go watch Baraka.

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