After Godzilla, I'm done with 3D

(Handout)

(Handout)

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:26 PM ET

As an anguished Al Pacino famously bellowed in Scent of a Woman, “I’m in the dark here! Do you understand? I’m in the dark!”

But now it’s time to step into the light. Time to take off the blinders. Time to call a spade a spade, and use it to dig our way out of this pile of crap.

Simply put, 3D movies suck. And they no longer deserve our support.

A few weeks ago as I was buying a ticket for Godzilla, I had to choose between seeing it in 3D on the big UltraAVX screen with Dolby Atmos sound, or seeing it in 2D in one of the smaller, lesser theatres.

Having been burned by 3D so many times, I was wary. But how bad could it be?

Pretty freakin’ bad, as it turns out. Given that the entire climax of the film takes place at night, it was like watching monsters battle in a sea of murky fog. Only when I watched the trailer at home on TV did I say, “Ah, so THAT’S how the movie was supposed to look.”

And with that, I’m out for good. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me a dozen times... I should have my head examined.

There are tons of reasons why 3D generally looks like crap. Watching a film while wearing polarized glasses, coupled with the fact that most exhibitors are too lazy to adjust the brightness of their projectors for 3D movies, means the picture is noticeably dimmer and the colours more muted than the filmmakers intended.

Then there’s the fact 3D shrinks our perception of the screen’s size, making it appear like a cramped box instead of a sprawling canvas. And the fact many movies are shot in 2D then converted to 3D, with various degrees of attention to quality.

Which means you’re paying more money for a smaller, darker, inferior version of a film. This may be the most insidious form of movie marketing ever invented.

And when it comes down to it, 3D films are a silly concept. Our brains understand that a 2D picture is a representation of a 3D scene, and using optical trickery to make objects appear to move in and out of the screen just calls attention to the fact we’re watching a movie, instead of letting us become immersed in a story.

But hey, it’s a free country. If you want to spend more cash for a crappier picture as long as it looks like spaceships are smashing into your face, that’s your call. What saddens me is the 2D versions of movies are more often than not relegated to smaller auditoriums. I can’t remember the last time I was able to see a 2D movie on an IMAX screen. That sucks.

But I’m done. Finito. I didn’t see How to Train Your Dragon 2 in 3D. I won’t see Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D. It’s taken a long time, but my eyes have been opened. I am permanently parting ways with 3D, even if it means watching movies in smaller cinemas, or just voting with my wallet and waiting for the home video release.

’Cause flat is where it’s at. Hoo-ah. 

FIVE GEEKY THINGS I'M INTO THIS WEEK

A Song of Ice and Fire

Season 4 of Game of Thrones is over, and there’s lots of chatter about how the series might follow George R. R. Martin’s novels when it returns next year. I’ve heard most of the books’ main surprises have already been revealed in the show, so now – finally – I’m going to start reading them.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

I don’t like the Transformers movies. I have no emotional connection to the toys or cartoons, and Michael Bay’s brain-numbing bombast is exhausting. But I do like the idea of a new lead character – Mark Wahlberg takes the place of Shia LaBeouf – so maybe I’ll take a gamble when the movie opens Friday. Maybe.

Tomodachi Life

With the madness of the Electronic Entertainment Expo now over, and with June and July both wastelands for video game releases, it’s time to dip my toes into something a little lighter. I have friends going nuts over the Nintendo 3DS game Tomodachi Life. Might be time to play virtual cupid.

Halt & Catch Fire

Now that Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley are over for the season (sob!) I need another show to get attached to. I’m fascinated with the rise of the personal computer in the ’80s, so this new AMC drama might be just the thing (and there are only three episodes to get caught up on so far.)

Snowpiercer

I’m not sure this Korean-American sci-fi movie about a post-apocalyptic society living on a constantly moving train will be any good, but the premise – based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige – is too bizarre to ignore. And the cast is intriguing, with Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and John Hurt. It opens this week.

Twitter: @stevetilley

steve.tilley@sunmedia.ca


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