3-D Madness

By Melissa Minners

            When I was a kid, 3-D technology hadnít yet been perfected.  It wasnít used often in the industry for that reason.  3-D tech was relegated to something you used in sequels to offset the third, fourth or fifth sequel from all of the others - usually the third sequel for the cleverness of it.  Take the Jaws franchise for instance - Jaws 3 in 3-D!  The plot was horrible, but add 3-D and now you had sharks, fish, harpoons, explosions and body parts coming at you.  Unfortunately, those paper glasses were so God-awful annoying and the special effects were often just as annoying as the glasses.  If you could no longer keep those pesky glasses on, all you saw was a truly blurry movie.

            With the invention of better 3-D technology and its extremely successful use in the blockbuster smash hit, Avatar, 3-D technology is now becoming the norm rather than something special.  Now, not only are the movie creators using 3-D tech to spice up sequels, but to spruce up first time films in an effort to attract audiences.  But has 3-D tech really improved all that much that we need every new movie to be created in 3-D?  And do we really need 3-D gaming systems and a 3-D television?   I think not!

            Consider this - how do we see 3-D in the theaters and on television?  We still need to wear special 3-D glasses.  Now, this aspect has improved somewhat.  The glasses are no longer made of paper.  Instead, they are plastic, designed to fit just like a regular pair of sunglasses.  Well, thatís great for people who donít wear glasses, but what about those of us who do?  Weíre forced to wear the 3-D glasses over our prescription glasses if we want to see the film in 3-D.

            And about those glasses - theaters charge you extra to see the movie in 3-D, presumably to cover the cost of the 3-D glasses.  Then they make a big deal about recycling them, keeping 3-D glasses recycling bins all over the theater so the special glasses can be recycled and reused.  Now, perhaps weíre forgetting something - I just paid extra to get these glasses so I can see this 3-D film.  Why would I give them back when I could use them to see another 3-D film?  If I keep the glasses to use to view another 3-D film, is that not recycling?  And if I wear them to see this other film, will you still charge me the elevated price for the film when you donít have to give me a pair of 3-D glasses?  Of course you will, because the movie theater industry is inherently greedy!

            Now, if it pains me to pay the price for a ticket to see a regular film, do you think I even want to pay extra to see a film in 3-D?  And now it seems every movie I want to see is being show in 3-D format!  Well, thus far, except for Disneyís A Christmas Carol, I have managed to skirt that, attending only 2-D versions of movies I want to see and finding them to be quite enjoyable in this format.  I found it highly unnecessary to watch Toy Story 3 in 3-D when I came to see a film with an entertaining story, not to watch a bunch of animated toys fly out at my face.

            What will happen when they decide to only show 3-D versions of the films I want to see in theaters?  Well, I guess I will be going to movie theaters less than I have been lately, which is not a lot at all.  And when other people who find 3-D fascinating begin to realize that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, ticket sales will drop and the industry will have to rethink its new toy.  Until that happens, I guess weíre stuck with this nonsense for a while in theaters.

            As for 3-D TV, why would I want to sit in front of a television that requires that I wear 3-D glasses to watch?  I donít want to wear my own glasses much less an extra pair just to watch television.  Are you kidding?!  Just so I can see a football flying out at me or so I can feel like Iím really swimming with the fish?  No thanks, 3-D tech isnít all that special to me, especially not as special as real life experiences.  If I want to see a football flying out at me, Iíll go play football.  I have absolutely no desire to see a bullet or laser coming my way in real life, so I can do without it in 3-D.

            I guess the bottom line is this: there is no real NEED for this technology.  People are reacting predictably to something new.  They will eventually grow tired of it and wonder why they thought 3-D was so special in the first place, especially if some new technological advance comes out to trump the current 3-D technology.  So, since 3-D tech for movies and television is not something we really need to have, why continue to shove it down our throats?  You can get just as much enjoyment out of a well-written and performed movie or television show without the 3-D.  In fact, you could probably get a better movie or television program if less attention were focused on the 3-D effects and more attention were put into script writing and acting.  Just a thought.


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