3D not for me: Don’t bother straining your eyes for this one

William Wright, ’Doah Staff Writer
February 6, 2013

'Doah photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

‘Doah photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Throughout my time writing about movies for The ’Doah, one thing I have never discussed is the quality of the 3-D on most of the pictures. The reason for this is simple — I do not like 3-D. I have no desire to pay even one penny more just to see a film in 3-D.

My first problem with 3-D movies is that most of them are not shot that way. Movies like “Hugo” and “How to Train Your Dragon” were filmed using 3-D cameras, but many others, such as “The Last Airbender,” were converted to 3-D during post-production. In these cases, over the course of a 90 minute film, there might be 10 minutes where the 3-D has any kind of noticeable effect.

Even in films shot in 3-D, there are often too many wandering scenes that serve no real purpose. A good example of this is “Tron: Legacy.” When I saw this in December of 2010, an audience member told me that I shouldn’t put my glasses on for about 25 minutes, and he was correct; nothing in the movie really called for 3-D until we entered the world of the computer and even then, few of the attempted effects really worked. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” had this problem when they seemed to run out of ideas on how to use the effect, to the point where the best they could come up with was Blackbeard pointing his sword into the audience. “Jackass 3D” also suffered from this. The 3-D worked for the introduction and the ending, but really didn’t come across well for any of the stunts.

One of the problems with the format comes from the fact that some things are just not visually appealing, even if shot with a 3-D camera. For example, in films that have a lot of dark scenes, the 3-D images popping out clash with the rest of the scene. “Thor” is a great example of this. There is a battle scene where everything is in the dark, and it was almost hard to watch. I had to keep moving my glasses up and down to get a clear picture.

Some people argue that 3-D helps make environments in movies look more real, and brings out the style and beauty of them. But, in my own experience, if a film looks good turning it to 3-D really does not do much. And if it only looks good in 3-D, then watching it on a regular TV is basically pointless.

And, as I mentioned before, at times I have had to adjust my glasses or even take them off and put them back on, in order to get a clear picture. Remember the 10 minutes of footage that I said does work? Is 10 minutes really worth 80 minutes of adjusting a pair of glasses just to get a decent picture? While it may not be as annoying as someone on a cell phone, it does detract from the movie watching experience. Sometimes my eyes even begin to hurt after wearing the glasses for too long. Yet, I apparently have it easy, as some people have reportedly experienced throbbing headaches and motion sickness because of 3-D. This is one of the reasons that I believe theaters should always offer 2-D screenings of movies, as well.

If you like 3-D, more power to you, but I will be sticking to 2-D showings for most of the things I see. Most likely, the next 3-D experience I have will be the Muppet attraction at Disney World.

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