What Hollywood Doesn’t Want to Hear Right About Now

Overheard at a Saturday afternoon showing of Despicable Me in 3D:

Woman (sighing): I really wish the theater was showing this in 2D.

Man: We all do.

Honeymoon’s over, filmmakers.

103 Comments on “What Hollywood Doesn’t Want to Hear Right About Now”

  1. Oh please be right! We recently didn’t see a movie because it was only being shown in 3D. Neither of us wanted the headache.

  2. I never “got” the push to return to 3D. With those awful glasses that, in my case, have to sit on top of my regular glasses. It just seems they’ve pushed the envelop so far on resolution and sound that they can only push it further, for more money, with a gimmick.

    At this point I think that the “next step” will be later-day TNG/DS9 holodecks; but when that happens where I put my glasses will be my least concern. ;)

  3. 3D looks great in IMAX, anything less…blah. I’m looking forward to Tron 3D this winter.

  4. 3D looks great in IMAX, anything less…blah. I’m looking forward to Tron 3D this winter.

    As an overweight, thirty-something geek I wouldn’t be caught dead at the new TRON because I like having a girlfriend.

  5. Very few movies will I see in 3D. If it’s not playing at my local theater, I have the advantage of having several others nearby. I saw Despicable Me in 2D at one of these other theaters.

    Boo 3D!

  6. I’ve got to say that Avatar looked better in 3D on a movie screen than it did in 2D on my TV, and it wasn’t just a factor of screen size.

    But it’s the only movie I feel that way about so far. Which says something.

  7. I think 3D is the new medium. I also think that when the technology arrives that allows 3D to work without giving migraines, the change will be permanent.

  8. Toy Story was awesome, story-driven and did not need 3D.
    I saw Despicable Me in sneak showing, and was decrying the glasses, again. I will admit that it *was* fun in 3D, especially the minions “playing” with it during the credits. (pro-tip: you can leave when the credits turn 2-D, it will be noticeable)
    Anything done post-production is crap.
    (I hear they are re-releasing a 3D-ified Titanic.)

    Austin, TX

  9. Ummm… what honeymoon? You have to pay extra for the glasses, the theater demands you return them after the performance, the 3D itself is a guarantee of a migraine, and you get to put up with all that ONLY if you’re willing to overlook Hollywood’s use of the money you give them to buy ever-more-draconian copyright laws with which to line their pockets.


  10. Yes, please! I am so tired of EVERY new movie preview exclaiming excitedly that the movie will be available in 3D. 3D can be interesting, but I’ve been to plenty of movies where it was totally unnecessary, didn’t add much (if anything) to the movie, and was not worth the extra money or headache that is almost always brought on by 3D glasses.

    3D has it’s place, but that is NOT every single movie EVER, much as some people in Hollywood would like to think.

  11. I never “got” the push to return to 3D.

    Because 3D isn’t really available in any meaningful sense for home viewing. From the perspective of people who make money if you go see movies in the theater, 3D is an incentive to actually go buy a ticket rather than merely waiting for the DVD to come out.

  12. I saw How to Train Your Dragon several months ago with family – it was the only modern 3D movie I’ve seen. The things I enjoyed about it I would still enjoy if I saw it again in 2D. What I won’t miss is the low light level that (so I’ve read) is endemic to this sort of technology. Last year I saw Up in 2D in a theater and didn’t feel as if I’d missed anything; I won’t willingly pay to see 3D again.

  13. I hear ya. Thanks to my Astigmatism 3D-movies don’t work for me at all (it always looks like those winking Jesus-pictures) except in giving me really severe headaches. Can’t wait for the trend to do the same thing it did in the Fifties and Seventies: Die again for another 20 years.

  14. Ha! This weekend my wife Diana and I ran off for a rare, childless, sushi-and-a-movie date. While in line to buy tickets for “Inception,” a ten-year-old boy in front of us started hassling the clerk at the window because there had been only two 2-D showings of “Despicable Me” that day and he’d missed both.

    “That is such B.S.!” he said. At ten or possibly eleven tops.

    When we see 3-D films with our boys, we take the f**king $3 glasses home because we paid for them. I dunno what we’re ever going to *do* with ’em, but slap me in the face if I’ll put the glasses in the recycling box on the way out so the theater can rebag ’em and sell ’em to the next hostage/schmuck.

    We must have 20 pair by now… ;>

  15. Three Dee was the wave of the future for movies when Vincent Price starred in House of Wax. And because the technology has not improved much since then, we’re still waiting for the wavy future.

    The whole thing was a gimmick to attract audiences to lame movies. Get a few things to pop out from the screen, and you don’t have to worry about telling a story. Do it in IMAX too and who needs the damned script?

    There may be exceptions. I saw Avatar and kind of liked it, even though it seemed to be Dances With Wolves in Space. Later, I was coerced into seeing the 3-D IMAX version. But I’m 55 and wear trifocals–all I got from that was a whanging headache and a sour taste from nearly tossing my cookies.

    One thing I have noticed about the lines of 3-D movie goers. There seem to be a disproportionately large number of them wearing Bluetooth earpieces and popped collars. Any anthropologists or sociologists out there? There is a grant-worthy research project.

  16. Dave @15: the difference is that now, 3D is a gimmick to attract audiences to movies, period. The idea is that people are now staying home because HDTV is so good that it makes financial sense to rent a movie on DVD, or buy one (where you can watch it as many times as you want) for a flat fee, in the comfort of your own home, instead of paying around $10 a person to see it in the theater. To movie studios, 3D is something a theater can offer you that your home television can’t.

  17. Some films do work well in 3D – Avatar I liked better in 3D, and I think TRON Legacy will be insanely great viewed that way.

    Everything else… Not so much.

  18. This whole 3d thing has been so stupid. It’s felt like a completely studio-driven obsession that movie watchers never wanted or demanded. It’s not like Avatar or these other movies did big money because they were in 3d, they made tons of money because they were going to make tons of money anyway.

    Didn’t we do this whole 3d thing in the 80s and maybe in a previous decade too? Is Smell-O-Vision going to be the next big idea for studios in 2015?

  19. I remember seeing Creature of the Black Lagoon in 3D. It made me sick to my stomach. Then went to see some Spy Kids movie in 3D with my kids. I had to take the glasses off and shut my eyes for most of the movie. It made me ill to watch it. Same with a 3D movie at the IMAX theatre. I just simply cannot watch them. My husband can’t because his eyes cannot track correctly. He just doesn’t see 3D. I truly do think it’s just a fad. No way will this translate over to home use.

  20. I really only want to see certain types of movies in 3D, and those only barely. Avatar was interesting as a proof of concept but the glasses dimmed the vibrancy of the colors and took something away from the experience.

    I will not not go see a movie in 3D unless it will add something beyond the ‘things jumping out at me’ schtick that seems to be the norm. I have no plans to see anything coming out in the near future that claims to be available in 3D, if Harry Potter is only available in 3D I’m waiting for the BluRay.

    The companies behind the movies think that this will put people in seats and the added price will increase profit. To me, it’s movie companies pandering to the lowest common denominator yet again. Almost no original ideas or risks, just rehashing old concepts and remaking films that were better left alone.

    Actually, it’s much like the book business. Lots of the same ideas and plots. Supernatural romance and vampires, misfit kid with fantastic potential and hero with lost memory fighting to regain the pieces. The new excitement being ebooks rather than 3D. A nice concept but it’s still the same stuff with a new wrapper…

  21. So far the only movies I’ve seen in 3D that I thought were worth it were Journey to the Centre of Earth & Despicable Me. All the rest I would have very much preferred in 2D, and some were just plain *rip-offs like the last Harry Potter. All the fuss over it being 3D & how much of the movie actually *was in 3D? Approxmately fifteen bloody minutes. $3 for 15 minutes is unacceptable.

    I refuse to spend any more money on this 3D nonsense. If anyone really feels there’s a 3D movie I have to see, *they can foot the bill for it.

  22. @ Will: the corollary to that is that 3D can ONLY become the norm when the technology has gone beyond the point of giving much of the audience a raging headache and nausea. We hope. Until then, I will take a bye on 3D movies, no matter how good, because I don’t want to throw up in the theater.

  23. Similar to John’s Example:

    Trailer Voiceover: Big Event Movie… Coming soon…
    Audience: (interested murmers)
    Trailer V.O.: In Disney 3-D!
    Audience: (annoyed groans, guffaws)

    I don’t care for 3-D because, as a film nerd, it looks cheap. 3-D isn’t shot on film, it’s video, so you lose something right there. Inception? 35mm and 65mm, and it looks gorgeous because of it. Avatar looked like a video game, flat and lacking depth. Yes, the 3-D movie lacked depth, that’s a funny thing to consider.

    3-D is a gimmick. Plastering it on to every movie with a $50 Million dollar budget or higher has quickly worn out the short welcome it would have had anyway.

    I like 3-D for spectacle though. Nature documentaries, watching a doc of a shuttle launch or giant concert. But watching a narrative film, with actual humans talking and doing human things? Nah.

  24. 3D has never given me a headache, and I really don’t mind having the glasses on top of my regular glasses. I enjoyed Despicable Me in 3D, but if had been available in only 2D I wouldn’t have minded, as the movie was hilarious without the addition of the 3rd dimension. The same for Monsters Vs. Aliens.

    I agree that making a movie 3D in post-production is garbage. I saw Clash of the Titans this way, and aside from it being a meh movie, the 3D didn’t really add anything. Also, I just saw Inception in 2D and it was amazing without the effect.

    We’ll see how long the 3D “fad” lasts this time. I think we’re going to see it around for awhile longer, as with the inflated price tag for going to a movie the studios are getting artificially higher box office numbers that can be used to show movies are more successful than they really are. Only if the returns start to dip on 3D movies compared to 2D will we see them start the ease back.

  25. I won’t see movies in 3D. I have no inner ear function and I get a headache/nausea faster than everyone I go see the movie with. I can tolerate about 10 minutes of 3D every so often (your average Muppetvision 3D or Captain EO show at Disney World), but that’s it.

    I’m looking forward to being able to Netflix Despicable Me. It sounds adorable, but I refuse to pay a premium price to keep from barfing.

  26. I am not a fan of 3D (oh, the headaches) and am grateful my local theater of choice shows everything in 2D as well. So far. My husband, on the other hand, is completely brainwashed by the “3D is better” crowd. Now he wants to get one of Sony’s 3D TVs. I’m ready to have him committed.

  27. Haven’t seen a 3d movie, not going to see a 3d movie. Not going to buy a 3d LCD, a laptop with a 3d screen and especially not a mobile with 3d.

    Two dimensions are more than enough for me thanks. Whatever next, 3D novels?

  28. Sign on the marquis of the local classic indie Belmont Studio Cinema:

    “Now Showing – In Fabulous 2D: Despicable Me.”

    They’ve got the right idea.

    I haven’t seen a 3D film that I’ve felt was worth the time since Captain Eo.

  29. “From the perspective of people who make money if you go see movies in the theater, 3D is an incentive to actually go buy a ticket rather than merely waiting for the DVD to come out.”

    Ahhh…now I get it.

  30. Thank you for saying this! I really can’t stand 3D!

    Seeing Avatar gave me a bit of a headache. I prefer my movies the old fashioned way….

  31. Lucky for us, we live close to a pretty big theater which generally shows both 2 and 3D versions. Some movies are exceptionally impressive in 3D while others don’t gain anything so I’d rather not fork over the extra $.

    I think there are always going to be people who have problems with 3D whether by preference or malady (like headaches).

    We just saw Inception on IMAX (not 3D) at our local Multiplex. It looked great, but we were slightly miffed at the fact that Multiplex IMAX is not the same as the huge IMAX screens at the museums. Don’t know where I thought they were fitting all that space to have huge IMAX screens nestled between the third floor theater and the Barnes & Noble on two, but hey stranger things happen. The answer is they didn’t fit a huge screen, just a pretty big one. I’d sooner pay extra for a good 3D movie than for retro-fitted “mini” IMAX.

  32. I agree entirely!

    Maybe if that hadn’t gone so massively overboard with 3-Ding everything they possibly could, they might have gotten a good couple/few years out of it.

    Unfortunately, they burnt it out much too fast, and in less than a year people are sick of it. They couldn’t even get through a summer/blockbuster season.

    I don’t think I have heard anyone actually excited about a 3D movie since Avatar left the theater. Most everyone I know is sick of them, and have been going out of our way to see 2D.

  33. I saw Avatar in 3D at the local cinema during the day. Early-bird entry price for the 2D version was about £5.50. Entry price for 3D – about £8.00. For Avatar it was worth the extra money but I don’t think I’d say the same for something like Toy Story 3. I’d value the content more than the ‘Ooohh 3D’ wow factor.

  34. Scorpius @4: Are you under the impression that there are no women who enjoy films like TRON? You would be wrong about that.

    If you mean your particular girlfriend would leave you just for trying to see a movie–that’s rough, man.

    I saw Despicable Me in 2D, in a little theater in the way back of the movie complex. Our showing had a long line to get in. 3D, not so much. And as I was watching, I was very happy that I hadn’t spent the extra five bucks, because I could tell it was one of those movies that would have tried to poke me in the face.

  35. Hopefully the viewing public will get savvy to the idea that not every movie is worth seeing in 3D. If the great unwashed masses keep forking out the extra money then we will continue to see 3D versions of almost everything.

    I am being very selective of what I will see in 3D. Tron is alone on that list so far.

    I am waiting for a 3D spoof movie to come out now. Anyone out there remember the 3 Stooges “3-D” movie? That was great stuff.

  36. Most of the movies I go to the theatre for are the big special effects extravaganza’s—exactly the movies that 3D has been ruining for the last couple of years. And my local theatre doesn’t show them in 2D. I’d have to drive 50 miles to find one that does.

    I don’t get it. We have the technology now to bring anything you can imagine realistically to the screen. 3D just makes it look LESS real—how’s that an improvement. My visits to the theatre have dropped at least 75% this year compared to what I normally do.

    I hope this 3D business was just a fad but I fear not.

  37. Our local theater had placards at the ticket booth proudly proclaiming that Despicable Me and some other movies were ‘appearing in traditional 2D in this theater!’ as if it were some great feature.

    And in retrospect, perhaps it is.

  38. I wonder what this bodes for Nintendo’s new 3D device. Admittedly, their 3DS, unlike Hollywood’s 3D, uses a special display that doesn’t require glasses (you can only look at it straight on, but considering it’s a handheld system that’s intended to be held straight on, this is less of a problem), but the key selling point is the 3D. If audiences are sick of it, it… actually, it’ll probably sell like hotcakes anyway because it’s Nintendo.

  39. The honeymoon has been over for years, Mr. Scalzi.

    We have galloped into an era when film studios produce dreck that would have shamed most of the poverty-row producers into silence.

    George Romero was wrong; it isn’t zombies that will consume all of humany, it is morons.

  40. Oh I hope it is about to end. I won’t watch things in 3D, I get a vicious headache within about 10 minutes. I avoided watching Avatar until it came out on DVD, because everyone that wanted to go see it, wanted to see it in 3D. And as a side note, having watched it for the first time on the small screen- I think they would have shaved at LEAST 30 minutes off the length of the movie if it weren’t designed for 3D. There were all those lengthy scenes that were all “oooh, ahhh” visuals, but not much real content. Wow, I must be getting old. Get off my lawn!

  41. Scorpius@ comment4

    This female commentator would like to point out she enjoys TRON and is planning on arranging a girls night out to see the new TRON flick when it comes out.

    Women can be geeks too.

    On 3D films, well as everyone pointed out, too expensive for what you get, plus an evens chance of getting a headache, and a lot of the films don’t really benefit from the effects. 3D is feature creep.

  42. I saw Avatar in 3D and enjoyed it, but since then there just hasn’t been anything released in 3D that I’ve been tempted to see that way. It’s just not a big draw for me. (Though in general I’m not their target audience anyway.)

    It also occurs to me to wonder if there’s a dimensional equivalent of the “uncanny valley” effect.

  43. I enjoy 3D movies and will continue to see them. If this turns out to be a fad, oh well.

    On the other hand, if 3D takes off, there will always be a boutique marketplace for those who like to see 2D, for medical reasons, or elitist reasons (unwashed masses, hah!), or simple preference.

    How will we know when/if the current 3D craze is over? It won’t be from overheard comments, and it definitely won’t be blog comments. It will be when they no longer are profitable for the companies that make them.

  44. Avatar in 3-D Imax was an interesting experience. If there had been the usual accompaniments to a movie — plot, acting, characters to care about — it might have been outstanding. As it was, a expensive demo of future technology. Yawn.

    Our favorite local theatre is also advertising “Glorious 2 D Film” on their marque.

  45. Loved Coraline 3D to bits, I guess because it was designed and created in 3D from day one. We even bought the anaglyph blu-ray, which was also fun to watch.

    Haven’t yet felt interested enough to take in any other 3D titles. Avatar? I’ll have a decent plot first, please! And it’s clear to me that any 3D effect would necessarily have both detracted and distracted from Inception, even though to some it might appear an obvious candidate for post production treatment.


  46. I saw Avatar in 3D, and it was a pretty awesome experience. Well than I saw it on my 32 inch LCD TV in my living room, and guess what? Just as awesome. I agree 3D needs to go! I have a young child who my wife and I bring to the movies, well what young child is going to keep 3D glasses on the whole time? It’s just a pain in the butt, and we were going to see the movie but since it was only showing in 3D we didn’t, so I purchased a bootleg copy of it from my local barber shop. Movie was good, but I would have seen it in theaters if it was in 2D! I’m off to see inception in about an hour!! Can’t Wait!!

  47. It’s not going to be over anytime soon, as the studios really, really enjoy having inflated ticket prices. Profits have been going up over the past few years–not necessarily because more people are going to see movies, but because ticket prices have rocketed, and 3D is a huge part of that. (…grumble grumble $13 for a 2D ticket in Manhattan grumble grumble grumble…)

  48. I saw How to Train Your Dragon in 3-D, and it was nice. Not all of the effects were the “jump out at you”, but were inclusive, like having snow or ash falling around you.

    That being said, I would have been just as happy to watch it in 2-D, and would have preferred not to spend the extra money.

    I watched Despicable Me in 2-D, and loved it. I’d kind of like to see the Minion/ping-pong bit at the end in 3-D because it could add to the fun. However, the extra $2 or $3 just for the effect isn’t worth it, especially with the base price of movies at $10 and, no doubt, climbing.

    The current glasses are better than the old paper glasses. But, having to purchase a new set of glasses for every movie leaves me cold. If the theater is going to insist on showing 3-D, they should sell the glasses separately. I don’t need 20 pairs of useless 3-D glasses in my house, and I don’t want to spend $3 for a pair of glasses I’m not going to keep.

    Ultimately, 3-D should be used only if it’s going to make a truly functional difference in the way a story is told, and it’s use makes the story better. The point of a movie is the story. If I notice the technical underpinnings of the story (3-D, CGI that’s not seamless, etc.), you throw me out of the story.

    Hollywood’s movies are, of late, and in my opinion, already crippled by lazy storytelling, bad writing, absurdly revisionist history, and the blatant & insulting assumption that the audience is stupid.

    Adding superfluous 3-D effects & jacking the price of tickets higher just adds insult to injury.

  49. I kinda would have liked to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D, even though it wasn’t my fave film of the year. But it does seem better in iMax.

    I live life in 3D, anyway. Sometimes I need a break.

  50. I saw “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2D and 3D and the benefits of 3D were negligible — the movie was so beautifully put together to start with that the occasional 3D effect just seemed superfluous.

    Had “Avatar” not been in 3D — had it not been touted as the “first of its kind” sort of 3D I wouldn’t have seen it, as the premise annoyed me. (Still does.) It was gorgeous 3D and gave me the worst headache I’ve had in years. As soon as I took the glasses off, a shard of pain went from the very top of my head where babies are soft straight down through the bottom of my chin with rhythmic needle-stabbings behind my eyes for good measure. Ibuprofen-resistant, hours-long, lie down for the rest of the evening headache. I hadn’t had one of those since I was a child.

    Midway through “Coraline” in 3D, I had to take my friend to the hospital. 2D was delightful enough later on.

    “Alice in Wonderland” (unlike “Avatar”) was too blatant about its use of 3D, sticking in too many scenes that were only there to show off the effect, rather than letting the effect add subtle depth. (No headache though. And my same friend made it through with no emergency room trips).

    Everything else I’ve seen in 3D has been against my will.

  51. Agreed. My eyes are wonky, so I can’t see the 3D (my brain doesn’t fuse the two images it gets from my two eyes), so give me 2D anyday!

    Also…movies being in theaters for more than a day, PLEASE. Some of us..y’now…have lives but would still like to see it. :P

  52. I like 3D, as long as I’m not sitting in a bad place. But the new prices have passed by me.

    The Imax versions won’t fit well on HDTV, and I don’t see me getting a 3D TV.

  53. Don’t get me started on 3D. Very few films work well with it, and as I have severe myopia, I have to wear the 3D glasses over my regular glasses, so the image can’t form at the right distance of my eyes. Result: I get seasick while I’m watching the screen and a headache afterwards. Bleh.

  54. “Avatar” and “How To Train Your Dragon” are the only 3D movies I’ve seen where I thought the technology brought something special to the table. For the former, 3D gave a remarkable sense of immersion to the events on-screen. And for the latter, it turned the flight scenes into works of vertigo-inducing glory.

    “Despicable Me” had some fun with it, but didn’t do anything particularly memorable. (In fact, that’s a pretty good summary of the movie: fun, but not particularly memorable.)

    I’m definitely to the point of greeting 3D movies with skepticism rather than enthusiasm. I’ll seek out the 2D version unless I hear a compelling reason not to.

  55. I suppose I’m in the tiny minority here, but I really haven’t seen a movie in the theatre since the ticket prices hit $15-$16 for a regular movie (then $20 for 3D) When you can buy most of them on DVD for $10 (or heck, borrow them from the library for free!), then why go?

    I do agree that the movie companies are money grubbing and greedy, hence the ridiculously high ticket prices… And the way that 3D is being used seems to be just one more money grab.

    This, granted, from a non-movie goer!

  56. I rather enjoyed Avatar in 3-D (the pretty visuals, obviously, not the meh story), and my wife and her best girlfriend are demanding that we drive out to the IMAX 3D theater (it’s not close by) for TRON Legacy.

    On the other hand, those are the only two movies I can name for which we care to make the effort. Alice in Wonderland was definitely going to be a 2-D trip if we’d been able to make it, and so will Toy Story 3. I think the only reason that we are giving Avatar and TRON the extra bucks is that both films seemed ‘made’ for 3-D: Avatar because skilled cinematographer Cameron planned it that way from the start, and TRON because it’s a movie full of CGI which is representing… CGI. (Talk about a brilliant artistic decision on the part of the original filmmakers.)

    Otherwise, I’ve been happy with 2-D since my first trip to the theater, and I expect I will remain so unless the technology does something really surprising in the future.

  57. I have zero interest in 3D. I saw Avatar in 3D because that film was made for 3D, literally. I saw Toy Story and Last Airbender in 3D, and I felt it added nothing to Toy Story and actually detracted from an already disappointing Last Airbender. Unfortunately the theater by us only does 3D when it has a choice between 3D and 2D, so bleh.

  58. I’m in luck- one of my local theatres shows plenty of 2-D, and is priced at 6 bucks before 5 pm. (This is actually a shocking rise, as until recently, the price was 5 bucks)

  59. Does no else have the problem that their eyes don’t both correct to 20/20 even with glasses? When I watch 3-D half of the picture is out of focus. I don’t mean, say, the left half of the screen. I mean that all over the screen, some parts are in focus, and some parts are blurry. So the nose on the face is in focus, but the eyes aren’t.

    I hate it.

  60. The big problem with 3D is the same as it has been for decades: the whole “two images fused with glasses” thing is just substandard. It causes the brain fits because the apparent distant of the object conflicts with the actual distance the cornea is focusing on. It drastically cuts down on the actual light the eye is seeing, making films seem darker and muddier.

    Add to this that most “3D” films are built off of 2D images electronically rather than being actually shot in 3D.

    The current push for 3D has little to do with any technological advances. Much of this is decades old technology. It has to do with movie theaters wanting to drive people back into the theaters and to give electronics companies an excuse to sell you everything all over again.

  61. I cant think of any time I have been to a movie theater in the last year. now that we saved up to buy a big HD TV, I just cant see going to a movie unless I really think a huge screen is needed.

    the one exception I can think of is when we went to see the last Star Trek in Paul Allen’s incredible movie theater here in Seattle with a sound system that makes objects fly past your head in ways I have never experienced before. that and having a nice micro brew in really comfortable seats.

  62. Amen. I took my two kids to the local theater last week to see “Despicable Me” and it was only in 2D. They were disappointed at first but then my 8-year-old son said “At least my eyes won’t hurt.” From the mouths of babes…

  63. @41. Merus
    I get your point, but I think the opposite will be true. I grew up on video games, and the big transition from sprite games to polygon games was really tough for me. Going from Mario World to Mario 64 was painful, because I was used to the precision of always knowing where I was. In modern games, particularly when jumping forward, lack of depth perception makes it very difficult for me to figure out exactly where I am in relation to the platform in a way that was never a problem in side scrollers.

    So although movie 3D pisses me off to no end, I can see how 3D vision for video games could be really successful. Depth perception doesn’t add much to passively receiving a story (movie), There’s a lot added by having depth perception in a medium where you’re actively moving an object in a 3D world.

    Or maybe you’re right and 3D vision in video games will fall flat on it’s face. Who knows?

  64. In general people just don’t like wearing glasses. Even people who have to wear glasses rather not wear them. My eyes have gotten worse and I wear glasses for reading and doing my work on a computer screen. I can only tolerate wearing them for short period of time. Adding a pair of 3D glasses on top of your regular glasses is very annoying. Maybe holographic image technology will be improved in the near future to where we don’t need to wear stupid glasses.

  65. changterhune @52 – Be glad you did not spend the money. Alice in Wonderland was a 3D flop. The only scene that benefited from the treatment was the fall down the rabbit hole and even that was so-so.

    P.S. I thought that film was craptacular.

  66. I took my 7 and 9 year old daughters to see How to Train your Dragon in 3d.

    Good movie, and for most of the movie the 3D was subtle. It was used to add depth to scenes so that backgrounds looked distant and interior scenes looked better. I believe this is called a “proscenium effect”, since the efect is to make it looking as if you were looking onto a stage.

    Very little “poke you in the face” effects, and some of the deeper effecs were, as mentioned above, inclusive efets with ash or snow falling around you. (I saw lots of people reaching out to try to touch the falling ash)

    But as everyone has pretty much said, it does not really add anything to the story . I later took my 4-year old son to see the same movie in 2D at the discount theatre, and it really didn’t loose anything in 2d vs. 3.

  67. So in my life the best 3D experience was Captain EO at Disney Land. They used a prototype one of a kind Kodak camera to film it and they did one hell of a job. That was shot in the mid 80s and nothing has ever come close to it.

    I remember that little flying creature would fly out over the audience and we would all try to grab it.

  68. 3D seems to be a 25-30 year phenomenon. There was a wave of 3D movies in the early-mid 50s (started by Bwana Devil in 1952) and then another one in the early-mid 80s (like Jaws 3D in 1983). Now we’re stuck with another attempt at it. We can probably expect another wave in about 2040.

    Maybe this is just enough time for a new audience who hasn’t experienced 3D or for the old audiences to forget how poor the 3D movies were.

  69. As I recall, the last time around we listened to the “maybe it will stop being a gimmick and will be used to enhance the experience” mantra too. Well, it didn’t happen then and I doubt it will happen this time either. The movie industry is just that – an industry, in the business of selling intangibles to a less then captive audience. The bottom line will (almost) always trump any attempts to be truly creative.

  70. If you have two pairs of 3D glasses, you can turn them into 2D-ifiying glasses that let you watch a 3D movie in 2D. The basic idea is to put the left lens from one pair in the right lens of another, and vice-versa (and you need to make sure to have the same side of the lens facing forward). This filters out one eye’s worth of info, so you don’t see a blurry image, just a single 2D image. I did this for Toy Story 3 and it worked well.

  71. You just know there’s some guy in a meeting in Hollywood right now suggesting that maybe it’s time to move to 4D.

  72. For me it’s the story that is important. 3D or screen size are strictly visual effects and have no effect on the story. If the story is good, I’ll enjoy the movie. If not, no amount of special effects (2D or 3D) will make a difference. I haven’t seen a recent 3D movie yet because I’m not willing to pay extra for the privilege. I think ticket prices are high enough without being penalized for watching a movie in 3D. I think 3D is and always has been a gimmick. A way to rationalize an increase in ticket prices. Funny, but I’m not aware that there was a groundswell of consumer demand for 3D movies. Also, I wear glasses, so having to wear 3D glasses over my glasses has never been comfortable. Finally, 3D TV? Seriously? I feel sorry for the suckers who buy into that sure-to-fail fad.

  73. Chalk me up among those for whom 3D induces headaches. No thanks.

    I have paid extra for a “VIP” theatre, where you get cushier seats, more legroom, the option of ordering alcohol, and your concessions brought to you (not free, though). (And no 3D.) Now that’s an upgrade I’ll likely pay for again.

  74. Steve@64 hit the nail on the head.

    “Add to this that most “3D” films are built off of 2D images electronically rather than being actually shot in 3D.”

    Avatar was the exception – it was filmed with 3D cameras so not many got headaches like they did for other films.

    It is not filmed 3D that gets to people – It is the post production 3D that does.

    Does anyone know if Tron Legacy is being filmed in 3D or done post production?

    I just heard that they are doing two new Mad Max films (taking place between the original and The Road Warrior) that are going to be fully filmed in 3D – can’t wait!

  75. @80 — Now I feel like a weirdo — “Avatar” gave me the headache — all the other films just failed to impress.

    I wonder if that’s an astigmatism thing?

  76. I agree.

    I really wanted to see Avatar in the theater, but my eyes won’t allow 3D.

    So I waited and got it on blueray. No complaints, well, except for stealing of “Fern Gulley’s” plotline, no complaints.

  77. I saw “Avatar” in 3D, and I spent the bulk of the time paying attention to the story. What time was left was evenly spent between “that’s kind of cool” and “this is kinda hard to see…I wish I’d gone to the 2D showing”.

    It was the 3rd full 3D movie I’d seen and the only one that didn’t give me a headache. Even so, I will actively avoid 3D from now on until they change the technology, even if it is the same price.

  78. Count me in the ‘actively avoid 3-D’ category. As some one who has to be very careful about all sorts of lifestyle factors just to keep migraines to a 3-4 times a month dull roar, I’m not going near 3-D.

  79. “Avatar” was sui generis. Cameron spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours developing the technology. It made the best use of 3D of any movie before or since.

    Unfortunately, the usual marketing idiots thought that Avatar’s success was because of its 3D. They missed the fact that a) there was a pretty good story, albeit unoriginal and, B) the visuals were utterly stunning and would not have been as effective in 2D.

    Cameron is a cinematic genius. Neither Titanic nor Avatar are particularly brilliant movies but, they are great movies. Great in the sense that – however he does it – Cameron has a unique ability to combine conventional story telling with extraordinary, ground breaking CGI effects to move audiences in great numbers.

  80. Took my wife and three kids to see Avatar in 3D after I saw it myself with some mates and they all absolutely loved it.

    Went back to see Alice in Wonderland and naturally went to the 3D session based on previous experience. It pretty much ruined the movies. The kids and me and the wife all got head aches, which oddle we hadn’t got during Avatar.

    When Toy Story 3 came out we tried to get into a 2D session but there was one day in the tiny cupboard cinema and we missed it compared to 16 sessions in 3D in the giant super cinema. Once again 3D ruined the experience.

    In Australia I’m laying out almost $100 AUD, not including popcorn and drinks, for the five of us to see a 3D movie. If I wasn’t trying to get three crying under 10’s into the car to go home for a dose of panadol I would have asked for my money back.

    The technology is an absolute curse to the family cinema experience.

  81. If it’s in 3D, I’ll skip it. The glasses are a pain in the arse, headaches are all but guaranteed, and it doesn’t do anything to heighten the experience of the movie. If anything, it’s an annoying distraction.

  82. As someone who is blind in one eye, I can’t stand 3d movies. I get the headache and no 3d bonus when watching a movie…

  83. Coraline was worth the 3D in the theater, if only because the textures were so beautiful. But we bought the home version (DVD, not Blu-Ray) and Ye Olde Redde ande Bleue Glasses were awful. Darkened the whole movie, reduced the colors. Fortunately, the DVD had both 2D and 3D versions on it. (It was just fine in 2D, of course, because it was a good movie aside from the 3D.)

  84. My husband has strabismus and so 3D movies do not work for him, at all. This fad cannot end soon enough, as far as I’m concerned.

  85. Still waiting on a 3D system that doesn’t leave me with chronic migraines.

    Crossing fingers for the new Nintendo 3DS system…

  86. Perhaps the real “gimmick” behind 3D (and the cause of the headaches) is that it’s a new way for the “overlords” to program the brains of the unsuspecting sheep who watch it. And with 3DHD TV’s beginning to replace regular HD TV’s they will soon be able to do it in your own home – once you succumb to the”hype” that you have to have a 3D TV to be cool, popular, hip or somehow better than your neighbor, cousin, brother or (pick whomever you happen not to like).

    Most people are blissfully ignorant of how technology can, is or could be used against you.
    (Ignorance is truly bliss in this case – it could also be deadly!)

    Your GPS, GPS enabled smartphone, your cell phone, your surfing habits, Google searches, Tivo or other DVR history, downloads and your input to “social media” sites can all be utilized by criminals, Government, and corporations to create a detailed dossier on your habits, political leanings, affiliations and religious beliefs. (Sadly it’s becoming harder to distinguish the second from the first.)

    Knowledge is power – ask yourself this — what power have you freely given to total strangers?

  87. I also have an astigmatism and in general, 3-D movies do nothing for me. I don’t know if it’s the eye issue or if it’s the glasses but the result is the same. I avoid 3-D movies as a matter of course. This current trend can’t die fast enough for me.

  88. Saw DM in 3D and, other than the minions during the credits, nothing was gained by having it in 3D.

  89. As a manager of a 6 screen, fully digital cinema with 4 Dolby 3D screens I can I have seen at least 10 movies since Avatar in 3D and except for the animated “family” features, the effect is less than spectacular UNLESS the live action is filmed entirely in 3D from the outset. So far, only Avatar fits that description which explains why the visuals were so spectacular and there were no artifacts or shadowing I could detect. I do not suffer any headaches or disorientation from the 3D effect and the Dolby glasses are a far cry from the “Real D” cardboard ones. We do reclaim the glasses after each show, wash and sanitize, then recycle them since they cost us around 30 dollars a pair. However, the extra investment in the Dolby technology is well worth it and it is a superior product to the “Real D” or the Disney effect. The next live action feature slated for release using Cameron’s 3D camera technology is Resident Evil: Afterlife. If the effect lives up to the Cameron standard, then I think we will see live action 3D movies for a while yet, however if it bombs and looks bad, combined with an underwhelming response to the Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia 3D efforts this coming Christmas, then we can write 3D’s live action obituary. I do believe though, that 3D animated family features are here to stay. And as a post script, our 3D movies are 12 bucks for adults and 9.50 for kids and seniors and we are 120 miles northeast of NYC, so affordable movies are out there if you look outside the cities.

  90. Yea! This made “What’s hot in Google Reader”. Maybe THAT will get “their” attention. OK, maybe not.

  91. Honestly I find that 3d actually hurts the immersion. For one, I’m constantly aware of the glasses-over-glasses mess that I have to continually adjust. For another, since it’s a novelty I can’t help but think about things like: Did they add that just because it would look good in 3d? What does it look like without the glasses? If I were off to the side wouldn’t it look like that was receding straight away from me, instead of perpendicular to the screen, thus ruining the illusion?

    In other words at a 3d show I’m doing anything but losing myself in the story and the pretty pretty lights, which is kind of why I went in the first place.

  92. Scorpius @4: As an overweight, thirty-something geek I wouldn’t be caught dead at the new TRON because I like having a girlfriend.

    As an overweight, forty-something geek, I’ll be bringing my husband.

  93. gurrier @99

    As an overweight, forty-something geek, I’ll be bringing my husband… Ditto, adding a teen-aged daughter. Those two have been arguing for a couple of weeks over “who’s been wanting to see this movie longer”. :D

  94. I’m on the fence with 3D movies.

    2D: Hollywood, every movie does NOT need to be in 3D. I have a few exceptions. Kids movies will probably fare better with 3D because the kids love it, eg. Dogs vs Cats, or Chipmunks etc. However, grown up adventure/action/drama films don’t need 3D. It would just detract from the story.

    3D: It has it’s place. Avatar was great in 3D. That movie was sorta the groundbreaking hit that EVERYONE now want’s to duplicate. Also, the reason why that movie looked great in 3D was because it was shot in 3D. Other low budget 3D movies are done in post and you can tell (ala Captian EO style). Those are the 3D movies that give you headaches.

    Prediction: TRON LEGACY in 3D is going to DEFINE what a 3D movie is suppose to look like.

  95. All of the theatres (even the small art house ones) in town have 3D, which means certain movies show only in 3 D. Net result, we didn’t pay to see Alice at the theatre, and have avoided as many others as possible (caved on Toy Story 3).
    May even start attending the baby showings to get 2D ( small babies crying is still more palatable than 3d)

  96. I have to say, seeing that a movie is in 3D turns me OFF the show. My glasses are thick and heavy, and with 3D glasses what I end up doing is sitting there hunched down with the 3D glasses propped up by hand. (It’s either that or suffer from flattened-nose-syndrome, and I already have problems with that.) I also tire faster with 3D. The tickets are more expensive, and in Tokyo they were already really expensive to begin with.

    Nowadays I’ve basically stopped going to the movies completely. Not worth it, too expensive. Great for singles, maybe, but now that I’m no longer single it’s just not worth it and renting a DVD is far better.

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