Friday, July 02, 2010

This post is not available in 3-D

Over the weekend we went to Toy Story 3 in glorious 2-D. We enjoyed it very much, and I fully admit that I got a little misty-eyed at a couple scenes in the film.

However, I'm here to comment on the previews that preceded the showing.

Given that Toy Story 3 is a G-rated, animated feature it's not surprising that many of the trailers that ran before it were for animated movies that are coming out in the future. Fair enough; the point of the previews is to allow the studios to market directly to those who, by virtue of being in the theater, may be interested in similar upcoming fare.

And judging by the trailers for upcoming animated features it appears what the studios believe we want is movies in 3-D. And more movies in 3-D. And movies in 3-D.

After the first preview (for Despicable Me, which actually looks pretty good) where it was noted it would be available in 3-D it wasn't a big deal, but then as trailer after trailer finished with that same declaration (Alpha and Omega, Megamind, Tangled...) my attitude shifted to something akin to:

Hey Hollywood, you can just start mentioning when the movie is not going to be available in 3-D; I'll simply assume they are unless otherwise specified. You've made your point.

It's not like 3-D hasn't been coming out with alarming regularity since Avatar (Clash of the Titans, Alice in Wonderland, other movies I didn't see); this is merely an acceleration of an established trend. And as long as the 3-D versions bring in bigger audiences than the 2-D versions (or at least allow the studios to make more money off them because the theaters charge more for those showings) it's not going to stop. I'm not lamenting this novelty taking hold. I'm conceding it's here and probably isn't going away. So I'm trying to save them a little time in their trailers (where they have a very short time window in order to attempt persuasion). They can spare those seconds where the voiceover hypes the 3-D aspect; we know these movies will be available in 3-D, or at least we'll assume they are.

Personally, I'd hope that they devote a bit more effort to making moves (animated or not) that are actually, you know, good (where there's quality writing), where perhaps the emotion of the story might force me to try to hold back tears, but there's no technological advances that they can stick into the production to make that happen.

But I'm sure somewhere, someone is working on that.


When these films come out, if I am so inclined to travel to the local multiplex and view one on the big screen, I'll probably opt for the 2-D version. The marvel of three-dimensional perception of a two-dimensional projection is not worth the headache the experience induces. With any luck the artistry and story will be sufficiently marvelous.


And the funny thing about this onslaught of 3-D features: I'm pretty sure that even by the end of this year there won't be enough 3-D theaters to show them all for weeks on end before the next hopeful blockbuster replaces them. The lack of infrastructure may ultimately prove the undoing of the 3-D craze, rather than public weariness.

We'll see. And we may or may not be wearing those glasses at the time.

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