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.