18 December 2011

3D. Please Die.

They look cool.
It is with little hyperbole that I deliver the following statement with as much eloquence of speech as I can muster: I hate 3D. Yes, James Cameron, you "King of the World" with your floppy hair and gold plated statuettes, I am one of those cynics who simply...does not get it.

We don't.
From the second I was asked to "Please put on your glasses" (on top of my glasses) way back in 2009, I knew it was not for me. Looking around at my fellow audience, I couldn't help but notice that we all looked like a load of numpties, sitting there with blacked-out specs and wide open mouths. Remember Marty Mcfly's gormless son in Back to the Future Part II? That was us. I won't go into my thoughts on the actual "film" itself, but suffice to say I've never been a big fan of computer gaming. 

Two years on, it seems we are still in love with this experience. Not only are the studios commissioning new films to be made with 3D in mind, but we are still prepared to cough up the additional £3 per ticket to experience it the Cameron way. It seemed I didn't learn my lesson with the blue movie. Since then, I've experienced it twice more with Toy Story 3 and today, with Hugo

Toy Story 3 was a brilliant film. It had a great script, brilliant characterisation, and true vision. Those should be the essential requirements of any movie. All these elements should be executed with such loving and diligent care that any extra fluff such as 3D or other gimmickry simply enhance the experience. And that is exactly what Pixar achieved. They escaped the curse of the second sequel by really nurturing their baby and then using the 3D to add, not dominate. (Cameron, take note. A lot of us see past the specs and Sam Worthington's dodgy accent.)

Hugo. Oh Hugo...Oh Scorsese. Not only was the film a slow, over-indulgent, turgid bore of a picture, but the 3D was - with the exception of the excellent swooping opening scene - blurry and inconsistent. More than once did I have to check and readjust my glasses. If you make a film about the experience of cinema, if you want the audience to be engrossed in a story about the richness of filmmaking, why would you have them constantly trouble-shoot the equipment required to actually watch the film? The irony would be laughable if the "experience" hadn't just cost me £25. 


What also escapes me is the reason for the 3D in the first place. Although they label it 2D when we watch a regular film, our eye actually interprets it as 3D. We don't imagine the actors as being flat cut-outs on a rectangular screen, even though that is what we are being presented with. Our peepers are actually very clever pieces of tech on their own. Yes, Mister Titanic, my eyes were seeing in three dimensions long before you spotted your latest cash-cow. When watching a 3D movie, all that ends up happening is the characters look like cut-outs, the sets looking like flat props, and we end up so focused on the technology that we forget to suspend our disbelief. They have tried to introduce depth by attempting to trick my eyes, and all they have succeeded is giving me a whopper of a headache.

Do you hate 3D as much as I do? If so, I implore you to stage your own personal boycott. Let's go back to the heady days of just watching a movie, and we'll save a fortune in ticket prices and Nurofen.

I'll leave you with a word from 3D's sponsor:

"I don't care about them [3D haters]. If you could wave a magic wand and give everyone in the world an orgasm simultaneously, there'd still be cynics looking for a way to criticise that." ~ James Cameron

Jim. If 3D is your idea of an orgasm, you're seriously missing out. 

 *And on the subject of Hugo, if I watch one more film about Paris that includes a corny shot of the Eiffel Tower and accordions on the soundtrack, heads are going to roll. Gene Kelly, you have a lot to answer for.