Ten Reasons to Hate 3D

May 2, 2012 by Simon Kinnear in Opinion with 2 Comments

Because 3D still isn’t going away. Why isn’t 3D going away? 3D sucks.

3D sucks

1. The headaches. After sitting through three hours of Avatar, not to mention another fifteen minutes of trailers for forthcoming 3D attractions, I had terrible eye strain and a pounding head for days. Welcome to the future.

2. The dim lighting. It’s basic common sense. Stick a filter in front of your eyes, and cinema’s brightness – literal and emotional – goes down.

3. The cost. For the privilege of physical pain and restricted viewing, you have to pay a surcharge.

4. The propaganda. James Cameron’s convinced all of his peers to have a go. To my mind, only Martin Scorsese has really nailed the potential attractiveness of depth. But Scorsese could make a half-decent Eddie Murphy comedy if he wanted to, so this isn’t really an argument in favour of 3D.

5. The lack of choice. Finding a 2D screening of some movies is harder than finding a cinema showing Satantango.

6. The cost, redux. Not only do you get charged extra for your seat, if you’ve forgotten your 3D glasses you’ll be charged another £1 for a replacement pair.

7. This. Doctor Who 3D 1993

8. The gimmicks. Ooh, things coming out of the screen at you. Scary.

9. The reissues. Turning iconic characters from the likes of Titanic, Toy Story and The Lion King into Viewmaster cut-outs is down there with recolorization as a crime against the classics.

10. The titles. There’s no movie title that can’t be made worse by adding “In 3D” to the end.

11. The fact that 3D fucked up my numbering system.

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  1. Reverend AMay 3, 2012 at 4:23 amReply

    Exactly so.

    But I have to disagree with your assessment of Scorsese and his ability to make a 3D film. Even he can’t do it.

    Read my considered opinion of his effort here:

    • Simon KinnearMay 3, 2012 at 10:40 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Reverend A,

      That’s a really interesting assessment of 3D’s limitations (to anyone else reading this, click the link to the Rev’s article).

      My verdict on Scorsese ‘getting’ 3D had to do mostly with the layering of the train station set – there was enough texture to the backgrounds to justify doing it in three dimensions. And I’m not sure I buy your argument about rack focus being impossible in 3D; what we’re seeing is still an artificial effect, whether it’s 2D or 3D.

      But I take the point about the camerawork and editing still being done on ‘2D principles,’ and your conclusion is spot-on. Until some young gun cracks the technique and the technology, 3D is going to be an ungainly, compromised beast.


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