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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » What's wrong with 3D movies?!? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: What's wrong with 3D movies?!?
Herblay
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Ebert and the rest of his motley crew of media types have decried 3D as a maddening trend. OSC also seems to hate the medium, parrotting the headlines of most of the popular magazines and websites.

Why?

At first, I figured it was because they were "old". My grandpa was disoriented with 3D (at first), but he was just as disoriented with the internet -- and he certainly doesn't go on amusement park rides. Critics cited that the colors were "dark", the movement erratic, the action convoluted.

I disagree wholeheartedly. Most of the newest generation of 3D movies (especially the newest ones, with the Real3D glasses) look outstanding. From Avatar to the new Shrek, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3 to Descpicable Me, 3D adds a wonderful element to film. Once the novelty has gone, you're left with a much more immersive film experience. Sure there are the stinkers, mostly tranferred to 3D after the fact (Clash of the Titans, The Last Airbender), but by and large the newest wave's 3D is outstanding.

Maybe it's because I've worn glasses most of my life (and now wear contacts), but I don't notice the glasses. My children have never worn glasses, but they don't mind them (my daughter wears them as her "fashion sunglasses" when we leave).

My family, for one, loves the rash of 3D. We hope it continues, and we hope that 3D becomes available for primetime (if not all) television. We cheered when we heard that Lucas was trying to re-render and release the original trilogy in 3D. I just wish someone in the media agreed with me. I guess sometimes the media THINKS it knows what everyone's thinking and blows a topic out of proportion. Or maybe, my family are the only ones. . . .

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shadowland
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I don't mind 3D for animated films, but I tend to avoid them for live action films. I find the current state of 3D to be more distracting than immersive since, imo, it doesn't add anything that actually makes the film appear or feel more realistic. For me, it's like making a book into a pop-up book.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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The glasses.
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BlackBlade
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Herblay: I don't know what you mean by Mr. Card parroting the major newspaper headlines. He's pretty specifically indicated why he personally does not like 3D. I don't think he's cited other news sources at all in his opinions regarding 3D.

As for myself, I kinda enjoy 3D movies if the movie was shot with 3D in mind, and if the environment is dreamy, whimsical, or outer worldly. I don't particularly want to watch a movie like What's Eating Gilbert Grape in 3D. Some movies are similar to plays in their plots and presentation, those I'd rather have a straight up normal viewing experience.

If I'm watching space marines unload off a drop ship, than it's more of a visual experience and 3D is welcome.

I abhor the whole taking a movie that was already shot and converting it into 3D. It's just a gimmick and it costs me more money.

edit: I have no idea how the word funny came out of my fingers when I was thinking about money.

[ August 05, 2010, 09:35 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Wingracer
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The only movie I have seen that I liked better in 3d than 2d is Avatar. 2d that movie just bores the hell out of me but 3d I liked it.

Everything else I prefer in 2d.

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Samprimary
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3d is fine when it's its own thing -- i.e., you are making a movie specifically FOR 3d presentation, and its a genre that fits in with the thrill and spectacle.

it is not fine when a studio is novelty bandwagonning it to exploit some more cash out of viewers. Especially when this involves post-production 3d retrofit, which is fugly.

EXA: Clash of the Titans, The Last Airbender

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Mucus
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... yet another Star Wars re-release ...
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Flying Fish
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Some of my local theaters put a 10$ "surcharge" on a 3d showing. Family of = 40$ for a movie, then add 40$ for the 3d version. 80$ out of pocket before popcorn, drinks, etc. It has to be a very, very enjoyable movie for me to feel I got my money's worth.
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Raymond Arnold
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10 dollars EXTRA!???? Every theater I've been to has been 2-3 dollars extra tops.
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Flying Fish
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Yeah, and in today's economy there's nothing worse than feeling like you didn't get value, be it a meal or a movie.

It was "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." The theater was filthy, the employees exuded don't-give-a-damn, the drinks were flat and the popcorn stale.

And I went home and signed up for Netflix.

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Samprimary
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i'll note that the 3d retrofit for both Clash and Airbender was, if anything, an excellent exploitation of the current movie scene. in all senses it was a perfectly god way to bilk extra money out of moviegoers, since right now people ARE not very discerning in terms of signing up for the 3d spectacle (or in the case of Airbender, not very discerning at all).

However, the backlash from that will pull 3d back to a reasonable market in movies.

But I don't think it's a fad. 3d is fun for a lot of people. It can make movies really fun.

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Herblay
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BB: Mr. Card has just mentioned his disgust with 3D, citing the generic list of reasons. He didn't cite news sources, but he gave the same "personal" list that all of the media types have: darker screen, uncomfortable glasses, etc. And some of those reasons are invalid -- the picture is only darker in a few movies where the cinematographer is incompetent.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Herblay:
he gave the same "personal" list that all of the media types have: darker screen, uncomfortable glasses, etc. And some of those reasons are invalid -- the picture is only darker in a few movies where the cinematographer is incompetent.

I have yet to see one that was as crisp and bright in color as 2D. Avatar came VERY close but still not quite.

Also remember that Dolby 3d (which is supposed to be the brightest and crispest of the bunch) is not available everywhere. Most people watching 3d movies are watching it in either IMAX 3d or RealD 3d.

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Herblay
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All in all, I feel that 3D adds something to EVERY movie experience. Sure, it can be effected poorly by directors and cinematographers, but so can any number of elements. The industry just has to get used to making movies for 3D.

I have Blu-Ray and DVD at home. I MUST watch my sci-fi in Blu-Ray, but I don't care as much about comedies (though I'll certainly choose the Blu-Ray version if it's available). I watch everything I can in hi-def on my satellite, and my wife complains when I won't even consider SD television programs. 3D is another upgrade. Black and White < Color TV < SD TV < HD TV < 3D.

I'd love to see a good war movie in 3D. I'd love to see a good raunchy comedy. Star Wars, Serenity, Dune, Superhero movies, yes, yes, yes. Even a romcom.

The only drawbacks are the glasses and inexperienced filmmakers.

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Jake
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quote:
Originally posted by Herblay:
BB: Mr. Card has just mentioned his disgust with 3D, citing the generic list of reasons. He didn't cite news sources, but he gave the same "personal" list that all of the media types have: darker screen, uncomfortable glasses, etc. And some of those reasons are invalid -- the picture is only darker in a few movies where the cinematographer is incompetent.

Why would he need to cite news sources for something like this? What additional authority would they really lend? He doesn't like 3D, and gives his reasons for it. The fact that those reasons are commonly-enough held to be considered generic, if anything, lends strength to them. It indicates that Card isn't just some crackpot with easily dismissable complaints.

Shadowland, I chuckled at your popup book comment.

Personally, I don't mind 3D, but I'm not blown away by it. Watching movies in 3D sometimes gives my fiancee headaches, so more often than not we just watch things in 2D. So far I haven't felt like I was missing a lot when I did that. I did see Avatar in 3D, and was glad of it; the application of the technology was the only reason to actually see the film, in my opinion.

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Epictetus
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I trace my dislike of 3d to a few factors. One, the polarized lenses do make the picture a bit darker. The cinematographer can try to compensate for it, but I've yet to see a movie that wasn't darker.

The glasses are also an issue for me. I have poor vision in my left eye and find that putting on the 3d glasses for more than 2 minutes gives me a horrible headache. That may be remedied if my optometrist ever finds a prescription that actually aids my eyesight; but so far, my experiences with glasses and contacts haven't been able to fix the problem.

The last reason I have problems with 3D is that it reminds me of the 80s. I don't like the 80s. One of the great things about time is that it's always going away from the 80s. But the recent resurgence of 80's styles and trends inspire a knee-jerk reaction from me. It's not a very good reason, I know, but that's where I'm coming from.

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Tstorm
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What's wrong with 3D?

1. Glasses.
2. Higher costs.
3. Possibility of a headache.
4. I don't understand what it adds to a story or movie.

All this is granted under the disclaimer that I haven't been to a 3D movie. I don't go to many movies in the theater anyway. The loud volume, and various other factors, have mostly driven me to wait for the DVD.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Herblay:
All in all, I feel that 3D adds something to EVERY movie experience. Sure, it can be effected poorly by directors and cinematographers, but so can any number of elements. The industry just has to get used to making movies for 3D.

I have Blu-Ray and DVD at home. I MUST watch my sci-fi in Blu-Ray, but I don't care as much about comedies (though I'll certainly choose the Blu-Ray version if it's available). I watch everything I can in hi-def on my satellite, and my wife complains when I won't even consider SD television programs. 3D is another upgrade. Black and White < Color TV < SD TV < HD TV < 3D.

I'd love to see a good war movie in 3D. I'd love to see a good raunchy comedy. Star Wars, Serenity, Dune, Superhero movies, yes, yes, yes. Even a romcom.

The only drawbacks are the glasses and inexperienced filmmakers.

Jake's first paragraph in his response says pretty much I would have. You can't argue very adequately with a person who has actually seen a movie in 3D a few times and said, "Meh, it's just not for me and here's why." You just can't, that's how they feel. Film fans are notorious for that sort of bickering.

"Oh you just didn't 'get' it, if you 'got' it you'd totally see why that director/cinematographer/writer is a genius!"

I like 3D just fine, but like I said, some movies are like plays, and I never felt the need to have the actors on stage actually get in my face and say the lines while almost touching my cheek.

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Kwea
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Actually, OSC gave a number of really GOOD reasons why he doesn't like the new 3-d trend. I suggest you re-read his article on it if you have trouble remembering them.

In particular his point about focus points and how we see the real world were novel, at least to me.

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Herblay
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Regardless. . . .

I just feel that 3D is great. Obviously, a majority of people agree, at least judging by the box office receipts. The media just seems highly critical on the merits of 3D, with VERY few advocates for its proliferation in film, almost like it's a trend to be "against 3D".

And as for Orson Scott Card, sure -- he made a lot of valid points. I just hope that all of these naysayers don't stop 3D production. I think that there's a place for 3D AND 2D (notice I put 3D first).

Maybe it's just because I was a product of the 80's?

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Sterling
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3-D was great for Avatar. And I enjoyed it in Coraline. But for most movies (and certainly the vast majority of live-action movies), I'd much rather those in charge spend their budgets elsewhere. It remains a feature that too many moviemakers don't know what to do with, either misusing it or using it in ways that bludgeon the audience rather than pulling them into the action.

By and large, 3-D is often like a layer of gold gilt. Used well, it looks grand. Used poorly, it raises questions of "What are you hiding/compensating for?"

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mr_porteiro_head
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By and large, 3D effects make the viewing experience worse for me.

And even when it's done well, it's not worth anywhere near the surcharge to me.

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AvidReader
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I have glasses now, so I suppose I need to give 3D another try now that I can see clearly. Headaches were a huge factor before.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Herblay:
I just feel that 3D is great. Obviously, a majority of people agree, at least judging by the box office receipts.

Are you sure about that? Have ANY movies sold more 3d tickets than 2d? I ask because I don't know but I bet 2d ticket sales are still higher except possibly for Avatar.

Edit: Apparently you are right:

http://www.international3dsociety.com/research.html

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Raymond Arnold
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It's not really an issue of "they sell more" but "they sell plenty enough to justify filming it 3D."
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
It's not really an issue of "they sell more" but "they sell plenty enough to justify filming it 3D."

I wasn't claiming there was no justification for 3d, I was challenging his assertion that the "majority" prefers 3d. But see my edit above, apparently they do.
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Teshi
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The only thing I find odd about 3D is the fact that-- and I think OSC may have touched on this-- I can't focus on things that are out of focus. For example, if the actors in Avatar were in focus but the tree branches in the foreground were out of focus, I can't choose to change my focus the way I can in real life to look at the tree branch rather than at the actors-- the branch will be out of focus because it was shot that way.

This always throws me out of the film even though the flat-screen has the same focus issues and I expect it's simply because I have become immersed enough to forget that the 3D I am seeing is not real 3D.

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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I only see out of one eye at a time. 3D is useless to me.
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Darth_Mauve
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I have to say that the 3-D addition to the movies has neither been an overwhelming asset or a great distraction in the movies I've seen.

Then again, I haven't seen Avatar.

However, the things that come with the 3D are a negative.

1) The extra cost posted by theaters to cover the glasses.

2) The 3-D-quel....Remakes of old movies just for a 3D edition that doesn't add to the movie. We get enough remakes, sequels, and copies. We don't need originality to be diluted once more for a quick buck. Do we really need "Porky's" in 3D?

3) The insult--the idea that because its a fad we will flock to the theaters and throw away our money. If it wasn't for the fact that so many people are apparently that stupid, I would really get upset that the studios think we are that stupid.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:

But I don't think it's a fad. 3d is fun for a lot of people. It can make movies really fun.

It's a losing battle to make a case against progress, especially in the arts. At the same time though, I think the issue here is as you've said, the business of the business, and not 3D itself. When it's used well and artfully and not done entirely for the opportunity to bilk 3-5 extra dollars out of unsuspecting moviegoers, I'll get behind it. But what I've seen so far in 3D neither particularly bothered nor impressed me. I haven't seen Avatar in 3D though.
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daventor
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My only experience with 3D was Coraline. And while it was a little neat seeing the added depth, in the end I don't think it really added much at all to me and the big glasses were irritating. I never did see Avatar, though I may go see the 3D re-release so I can actually get the experience it's intended for, but for the most part I'd just rather see a movie in plain old 2D without any glasses. I was very pleased that Nolan stuck to his own vision with Inception and did not go along with this retrofitting phase just so he could make a little extra profit from the higher-priced 3D ticket sales.
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Samprimary
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If you want 3D to impress you, do this:

- Go to an IMAX Real-D theater.

- Get there early so you have choice of seats.

- Get a pretty good set of glasses.

- Get a seat dead center at exactly the right distance from the screen that allows you to be peripherally aware of the four edges , but your field of view is still filled with the (huge) screen.

End result is pretty crazy, especially if you're watching one of those eye-candy pieces like Avatar.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
If you want 3D to impress you, do this:

- Go to an IMAX Real-D theater.

That's two different things. There are three different 3d formats out there.

IMAX 3d. This is the slightly curved screen and flat glasses. Generally considered the worst of them though some people do prefer it. Effects seem to be in front of the screen (in your face).

ReadD 3d. Flat screen with flat glasses. Effects tend to have more depth to them. Effects are behind the screen.

Dolby 3d. Flat screen with curved glasses(like real sunglasses). I haven't seen any movies in this format yet as the closest theater with it is about an hour drive and heavy traffic away. It is generally considered the best of them as it is similar to RealD but with superior color and crispness.

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Samprimary
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OH. then change my language to IMAX 3d.

Sorry, thought RealD was the collaborator on that projection too. And I honestly don't think it's the worst.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I saw Avatar on IMAX 3d. From what I've heard, that's pretty much the pinnacle of 3D experience.

From the value I got out of that, I might be willing to spend an extra $1 to see a movie in 3D when it's done that well.

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Wingracer
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Just did some digging. Actually Avatar was released in FIVE different formats: Real D 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D, MasterImage 3D, and IMAX 3D. All are somewhat different in one way or another.
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Wingracer
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Been doing some more digging. I did a lot of research before Avatar came out to decide what to see it in but now that it's had its run and everyone has seen it, there is more info to go on.

It seems IMAX got better reviews on average thanks to its being more consistent theater to theater. Dolby got totally blasted by a LOT of people but that seems to be a projector issue. The ones that saw it on a Sony 4k projector LOVED it.

I saw it on a 4k projector in Real D and it was great. Others who saw it on 4k seem to agree but again, the 2k projectors gave poor results. I later saw Alice in a different theater and I am not sure but I suspect it was a 2k projector because it was just plain horrible.

So it seems to depend not so much what format you saw it in but what theater you saw it in. Some were great, others were just plain awful.

Also the digital formats (Real D, Dolby, XpanD) are all DLP projectors and their bulbs tend to dim quickly with age. If you saw it with a new bulb, it would have looked a lot brighter than one with an older bulb.

James Cameron says that once 3d becomes the norm (which thanks to him seems to be happening now) you will see 3d movies shot at twice the frame rate which will eliminate all the artifacts and ghosting and allow for a doubling of the depth of field. That should greatly improve the viewing experience.

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odouls268
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I only saw one. And hated it. Made my eyes water to watch it. Still to this day haven't seen the end of that movie.
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Carrie
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I actually quite enjoy 3D movies. The glasses don't bother me at all - neither the act of wearing them, nor do I get any headaches from the visuals. I tend to go to matinees (or use my student ID, which despite no longer being technically valid totally still counts), so the prices remain reasonable-ish.

I've seen a number of films in 3D, more than I can list off the top of my head. Most of the films I saw in 3D, I did not see in 2D, so I have no basis for comparison - but I truly enjoyed them all. I try to stay away from films I assume will use the "gimmicky" 3D (i.e., a projectile coming out at the audience), and so I can enjoy the depth of a film better than I probably could otherwise.

I can see why people don't like it, but I definitely enjoy the format.

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Lyrhawn
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It's really hit or miss for me. I loved Avatar in 3D. It was astonishingly good.

The couple movies I saw after that were awful. What I always hated about 90s 3D was the penchant for just throwing things at the screen as a novelty. It seems like newer movies have mostly gotten over that. Most of the time I'm pleased with regular 2D, especially for animated films.

I saw Harry Potter DH2 in 3D and was very impressed by it. Like 3D should, it did a great job of simply adding depth to shots, rather than throwing stuff at you. I noticed it most in the Room of Requirement chase scene where they were running down long halls full of junk. It was pretty cool.

I take 3D on a case by case basis, but I think the ones that have it added later are almost always worse.

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RivalOfTheRose
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@BlackBlade

I love What's Eating Gilbert Grape. It might be interesting to see the mother in 3D.

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TomDavidson
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There was a fair bit of "throwing things at the screen" in DH2, too; the floating bits of Voldemort at the end were pretty blatant.
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DDDaysh
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quote:
Originally posted by Tstorm:
What's wrong with 3D?

1. Glasses.
2. Higher costs.
3. Possibility of a headache.
4. I don't understand what it adds to a story or movie.

All this is granted under the disclaimer that I haven't been to a 3D movie. I don't go to many movies in the theater anyway. The loud volume, and various other factors, have mostly driven me to wait for the DVD.

Pretty much I agree...

1. The glasses don't work at all when I'm wearing my regular glasses, so I absolutely must wear contacts to a 3-D movie. This necessitates planning ahead, so it's not something I can do spontaneously.

2. Around here the higher costs are generally $5-$8 a ticket. As someone who almost never pays full price for the movies anyway, instead choosing budget theaters, matinees, or places with good student discounts, that essentially doubles the cost of the ticket. Sometimes 3D is a little more enjoyable, but not DOUBLY enjoyable.

3. Headache - Oh yeah, this is a real possibility, and guaranteed if I attempt to wear glasses under their 3D glasses. With contacts it's a little less likely, but can still happen, AND if they're too crazy, I can get motion sick too!

4. I also don't think it usually adds much to the story. The vast majority of the things I've seen in 3D were animated, and while sometimes it created prettier pictures, it didn't really draw me into the movie any more than usual, so I don't get the point.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
There was a fair bit of "throwing things at the screen" in DH2, too; the floating bits of Voldemort at the end were pretty blatant.

True, but the voldemort confetti was already so silly that I exempted it.
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The Black Pearl
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Some 3D conversion are way rushed, but overall I'm okay with it and I loved watching Avatar and Despicable Me in 3d.
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Itsame
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I watched the last Harry Potter movie in 3D. I lifted the glasses at one point, because it the scene was so dark that I could barely see it. It was immensely brighter and more clear sans glasses, though the blurriness without them was a drag.
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Raymond Arnold
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I don't mind 3D, but the only one I watched where the experience was actually improved was How to Train your Dragon. Possibly Toy Story 3.

All the others, including Up, Alice in Wonderland, and yes, Avatar, gained nothing from the experience.

I hate the trend AWAY from having stuff thrown at the audience. If I am paying extra money for a gimmick, I WANT the gimmick. In action sequences, where there isn't character development to break immersion in and the whole point is spectacle.

-

One more thing to bear in mind:

There is a significant chunk the population (I think something like 5%) that physically react badly to 3D movies, beyond just "the glasses are uncomfortable." The trend towards ONLY showing 3D versions of movies in some theaters means that those people cannot watch the movie at all.

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Betwixt
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My feelings are mixed about 3D. I have only three experiences to go on. Pixar's Up was my first 3D movie. I thought it was great. There were multiple places where the 3D was used brilliantly. But I had to slide the giant ill-fitting glasses back up my nose every few minutes, and by the end was holding them up continuously.

I saw Avatar next. It was completely stunning. I share Jake's opinion that the technology was really the only reason to see it. I have since seen it on blu-ray (2D of course) and there is simply no comparison to the experience of seeing it in 3D. It was meant for 3D and the visuals are sublime in that format.

Deathly Hallows 2 seemed to use 3D well, but I don't have other 3D live-action movies to compare it to. I noticed the 'dim' quality that I had heard of in reviews. I didn't mind until I saw it again in 2D a couple weeks later. I enjoyed the movie SO much more in 2D! It was much brighter, I could focus where I wanted to focus, and there were some visual cues I had completely missed before, because I was distracted by the 3D.

I have nothing against 3D, but I absolutely think it should be used in specific cases. As for television programming, 3D doesn't make me ill or give me a headache, but it's not something I would want to subject my eyes to for more than a single movie. It can get disorienting.

Have you seen the 2D glasses? They were designed by one of my favorite Youtube personalities, because his wife gets the 3D-induced headaches. Kind of hilarious.

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Teshi
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The only thing that I don't like about 3D is that I find it weird that I don't get to chose the focal point. That is, I can't look at different objects in the frame and have them in focus instead of whatever the photographer has put in focus.
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Lupus
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I think it depends on the movie. I have seen a few movies in 3D. The best by far was of course Avatar. 3D was made for that movie. I'm one of those people that doesn't like the movie in 2D, but loved it in 3D.

My fiancee and I just saw Harry Potter in 3D, and I thought that was good as well. There was a lot of depth to in, though not much popped out at you (something she was a bit dissapointed about).

One day I want to try the Dbox, which is the 3D movies where your chair moves with the movie. They have one near where I live, but it costs 18 bucks for a movie which is kind of nuts. I tried a demo once, and it was pretty cool...but it might get old in a 2 hour movie.

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