back to article 3D films fall flat

There are indications that Hollywood's rush to extract extra cash from cinemagoers in return for an extra visual dimension might be doomed to follow previous 3D initiatives into the cutting room bin. The release of Avatar last December - the James Cameron epic which grossed $2.7bn - had movie execs licking their lips at the …

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The problem is...

... that use of 3D is too hit and miss.

Done well 3D can be superb, but to accomplish this, the 3D has to be taken into account from the start and must be well thought out. Done badly and its just plain atrocious.

For me, Alice in Wonderland was particularly bad in 3D, and i would suggest that the reason it was so popular had nothing to do with the fact it was in 3D. I put its popularity down to the fact it was the latest Tim Burton film and it starred Johnny Depp. I believe i would have enjoyed that film considerably more if id only seen the 2D version!

I personally quite liked the 3D in Clash of the Titans, being for the most part very understated and not jumping out at you all the time. There were some parts where it didnt work but overall i quite liked it.

So far of the 3D films ive seen, in my opinion only about half of them have effectively used 3D. And this is the problem...

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Im another Hollywood Cash Cow

Take me to the slaughter house, I'm done for already.

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Meh...

Took the kids to see Toy Story 3D last week. The specs gave me a headache within minutes, my daughter's nose is too small for them to stay on her face and the 'effect' didn't add anything to the film other than make Pixar change the camera angles to exploit the tired old 'things flying out of the screen' gag.

I'll be quite happy once the fuss dies down and the current wave of 3D joins the umpteen other cinematic 3D attempts from the 50s, 60s and 80s, in the bin.

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WTF?

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert said the same about the move to Color. Wast of a perfectly good bit of light spectrum.

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Badgers

idiots in hollywood

no wonder this is happening. people are not stupid (well they are but...) avatar was shot in real 3d and looked wonderful, titan was pretend 3d. there is a huge difference. people noticed that these pretend ones arent as good, so didnt see the point of paying extra for almost no real benefit.

And the cinemas have started charging extra for glasses, on top of the extra you need to pay to see in 3d in the 1st place. People arnt stupid and wont pay over the odds.

If they only had real 3d films in 3d, and didnt charge for the specs, i think people wouldnt be fed up of the 3d craze already.

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Exactly

When it costs almost as much as to see the film once as it does but the thing on DVD (and we're very nearly there) there's no point in going in the frist place. Ever since the writers strike all we've seen out of holiday is mass resurrection of old franchises, tepid remakes and now the 3D fad.

Not only is it a massive rip-off but it's just an attempt as making revenue lost from churing out mediocre films

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Glasses not optional

At the nearby theater, they charge for the polarized glasses on top of the film price. However here the local movie theater would not sell just the ticket if we already had 3d glasses from a previous visit. We asked why, and they said that the studios don't allow them not to sell the glasses with each ticket.

What a scam! It's just a way to increase the admission price while continuing to advertise at a lower price.

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Price for glasses?

One other poster said they paid 50c for glasses. I'm curious what other people are paying. Over here it's a mandatory $2 USD on top of the admission price.

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Problem is

for H&S reasons, every single pair* of those glasses has to be washed after every performance - which means investing in washing machines and either holding double stock or increasing times between showings. Add the normal breakages/lossages/nickages and I'm surprised cinemas are charging.

(Used to work in an IMAX)

*not the disposable cardboard ones, obv.

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Re: Problem is

"for H&S reasons, every single pair* of those glasses has to be washed after every performance"

If that were the case, at least that's understandable.

Here they're plastic, come individually wrapped and we're told to dispose of them in the trash after each performance (you'll have to pay for new ones anyways). It's totally wasteful, but what do they care if it increases profits?

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zoooom

I'm hoping that the new Tron film is in 3D and on the Imax near me. That would rule.

In general though, I find that the problem with 3-D films is that they make a big thing of being 3-D and kind of use the extra dimension to cover over the fact that the film is shite.

A good film is a good film. A poor film in 3-D is still poor.

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Tron 2.0

Tron 2.0 is 3D and 3D Imax.

The latest trailer should be up on youtube by now, go have a look it says it at the end.

Personally, cant wait - it looks like its being done properly, so this has the potential to be one of the best 3D films ever... but then again, ive heard that said before too many times...

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Anonymous Coward

It's in 3D. It uses the Cameron 3D cameras.

It'll rule.

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Bah!

Is it just me or is the 3D thing in cinemas 1) Not that comfortable or natural feeling to watch - like wearing someone else's subsription glasses. and 2) Not that impressive - i.e. to the level of the stuff in the rebel briefing in Star Wars!

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Rob
Coat

It's extremely rare I say this, but...

... I told you so!

(Sorry couldn't resist, oi there's no need to throw my coat at me!)

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Coat

seconded

3D isn't a bad thing, but it's not what makes a movie great. A movie has to hold it's own without cheap tricks -- instead of investing in slight-of-hand, they should probably concentrate on making flicks that aren't garbage (like a majority of offerings in recent years).

Hold the door, please!

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R 3D 2

I didn't throw it at you - this 3D stuff is sooo realistic !!

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Terminator

Seconded again.

I couldn't agree more, most of this 3D stuff is just the latest way of making naff films a bit more marketable.

Just as for the last few years we have seen countless crap movies sold on CGI explosions, this is just another cheap trick, and a lot easier than actually getting a good script to start with. When I see remakes described with a phrase like: "re-envisioned for modern audience", I instantly know it crap.

The problem with Hollywood and most TV these days is that we have “seen it all before”, and when once every year or two something different does come out, the format gets copied a dozen or more times until the audience is sick to death of it.

A lot of this raving over 3D reminds me of a fellow I once worked with who thought he was a movie buff. When he asked me what my favourite movie was; I said there couldn't be just one, but any list would have to include classics like "Some Like It Hot", "Stalag 17" and "The Apartment". He didn't recognise any of them, and when I said they were in "black and white" his response was that he didn't what anything in B&W!

To me he instantly was no movies buff, just a follower of fashion.

(The Terminator because the special effects were needed to tell the story; they were not the story.)

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Rob
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Spot on...

... gone are the days of epics from Directors like Akira Kurosawa, some of his greatest were in B&W and 3D would be completely lost on them as its' the plot as well as the scene compostion that made them beautiful.

I can think of a ton of European films that rely on character depth and storyline that blow most films out of the water today.

Mainstream cinema nowadays is a visual candy store, and as we all know sugar dissolves pretty quick.

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FAIL

also..

Saw Toy Story 3 3D at the weekend. Didn't look like a 3D original. You'd have thought that was a no- brainer, but it ruined the film. Poor show all round. 2D from now on. And who wants to wear the stupid specs at home anyway.

Gimmick.

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3D TVs and films...

The glasses give me a headache after a long time (film length). Also, my 3 year old won't wear them and my 5 year old doesn't like "things popping out of the screen". I certainly wouldn't part the hard cash for a 3D TV. It just seems daft that the whole family has to sit in the front room with special glasses just to watch the TV. Also - claims from manufacturers to take 2D and "automatically convert it to 3D" seems a little far - especially when to get depth the 2nd camera would need a different angle.

Perhaps these studio's need to listen to the audiences. We want good films, with decent story/dialogue - not special effects crap with no substance just so something can come flying out of the screen at the audience...

On childrens films, we're off to see Toy Story 3 this week. Asked my son whether he wanted to see the 3D version (which costs an extra £1.50 on the ticket price) he said No. So we'll head an watch the 2D version...

It is/was a fad. Its place is in Disney/Universal theme parks only for quick 10-20 minute shows/rides.

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Anonymous Coward

2d to 3d

There are some units that do not do to bad of a job. Bought one about a year ago, and it still appears fairly decent, and can conver the 2d to different 3d formats.

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3D has its place

Avatar was a case in point. It really showed off how 3D should be done. I for one am certainly considering watching Tron Legacy in 3D and praying to whatever deity may be listening that they don't play with 3D just for the sake of it. However your average flick really doesn't benefit from 3D, particularly if they're waving stuff in front of your face just because they can.

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Avatar

Finally got around to watching avatar yesterday.

What a trite piece of new age crap.

Anamation was good though.

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A really good film is good no matter what.

With the odd exception of things like the first Matrix movie it wouldn't matter if a film was in black and white with a mono soundtrack if it's a good film.

Then there are on-trick ponies like Avatar -- I've no doubt it looks "cool" in 3D but having seen it in 2D I can see it for the regurgitated dull pap it is. Contrast that with Alice In Wonderland which, while still obviously derivative, was clever and funny and didn't need 3D to be good watch.

3D can work -- but only when used as another tool which is well integrated into a good production. Pushing 3D insensitively onto an old classic or using it to make tripe a little more exciting to the audience in the cinema is just stupid.

Mind you, I'd rather watch "The Straight Story", "Full Metal Jacket" or "In The Mood For Love" (for example) in 2D at home than go to the cinema to see Pocohontas 3D^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Avatar so I suppose I'm not the target audience.

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Agree 100%

I watched "How to train your dragon" with junior and my other half. 3D added very little to it. It was a distraction so I am eagerly anticipating the DVD to watch it properly.

Let's be real, if it made real use of 3D the audience would have been screaming out of the hall. You do not expect an 8 year old to sit still when there is a Monstrous Nightmare on fire walking out of the screen and opening its mouth to eat him do you? OK some will, but there will be enough to start screaming and run for the exit to make the cinemas forget about the idea outright.

There is a very small gap in the market where 3D is enjoyable Mid level slightly violent trash like Avatar is probably spot on. I really would not want to watch Alien or Predator in 3D. At least without a spare set of pants.

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Actually...

Actually, 3D added a lot to Up and Toy Story 3. It's just a shame that Pixar are the only people who really understand that 3D is about depth of field, not about shoving things in your face.

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Pint

Yes! Yes! Yes!

What he said.

Have a congratulatory beer, Tom.

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agreed.

Wnt to see Toy Story 3 in 3D on Saturday with the delightdul Ivana. Everything we saw in the cinema that evening was in 3D. The only filng that looked real was Toy Story.

There are no 'in your face' screen popping things in TS. No phoney cardboard layers like a viewmaster - or a sky logo for that matter. The 3D for me was natural. the viewpoint appeared to be just my side of the characters and the depth was on the other side of them - just like it is in real life.

I felt the same watching UP.

Curiously there was a trailer for Avatar (and about a dozen other up-coming £D movies) and the 3D was very carboard layer.

Pixar knows how to do it. The others think they know how to do it.

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Fake 3D is the problem

i was very upset about Alice in Wanderland. the 3d effect was just a cutting paste work instead of a real 3D recording. i didn't see avatar but 15 years ago i watched a proper 3D film in Futuroscope (Poitiers ,France). i remember how its blow my mind the scene of a restaurant set in the 20's, no especial effects, just the recording with a real 3D camera.

basically any film that is a rework of 2D images passed to 3D is pure FAIL!

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Stop

Crap novelty

Just give me a good quality 2d presentation any day.

I certainly won't be buying a 3d tv.

Is it just me or do the two sides of a particular point on a given image not quite line up anyway?

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fad

that's all

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More money for the same film...screw off.

When you local Vue starts punting the same film at £3 more for 3D they can stick it. Its profiteering, as I thought they wanted more people in the cinema not less people for more expensive films.

Oh and VIP seats whats that all about. And £16 for a hotdog, nachos and a drink.

Having said that, I did use all 3 for Toy Story on Friday night...one last hurrah at the cinema.

So long cinema...its been expensive.

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Does it really make the cinemas money?

Yes, the tickets cost more, but aren't you just going to spend less on manky popcorn and tepid caramel-flavoured-fizz-water?

I have to ask, because if I wanted to pay to sit in a dank, uncomfortable, nausea inducing box full of abusive chavs shrieking into their mobiles, I could just hop on the number 66 bus any evening and get much the same experience for a lot less dosh.

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FAIL

Shrek Forever After in 3D

Saw this last weekend with my sprogs. Good (enough) film, some belly laughs, entertaining for an hour or two - but TWENTY SIX quid for 1 adult and 2 children, for an effect that soon became un-noticeable!

So we're sticking to 2D from now on, unless really really really really worth it.

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Stu
FAIL

You mean it was...

...all a gimmick!? Never! ;-)

Would be interesting too to see the 3DTV sales figures in relation to normal sets.

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Probably misleading

"""Would be interesting too to see the 3DTV sales figures in relation to normal sets."""

Too bad so many regular sets are now '3D Ready' - it'd throw the stats off and make it look like everyone is buying into the 3D thing. I suppose if you just included sets that come ready for 3D out of the box, that may be another story.

Personally, I wear prescription glasses, can't be bothered with contacts, and don't feel like this 3D thing is worh the trouble of dealing with the specs. Plus my significant other gets motion sick in regular 2D theater films, no need to poke the bear on that one, so to speak.

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The later Star Wars films

Episodes 2 & 3 (and probably 1 as well) are pretty much all cgi, I'd guess that they could take the modelled things and backgrounds and just render them into 3d.

Sure the people would remain 2 dimensional, but that's at least +1 dimension in terms of their portrayals of the various characters in the films.

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Well, the people there are 2-dimensional in the first place

You could replace them with wood cutouts and few will notice...

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For some it was all about digital projection

Interestingly, for some of the pioneers in shooting films with HiDef digital cameras, 3D was really about forcing movie theatres to install digital projection systems.

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No !

Leave /Star Wars/ alone ! Again !

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But...

They can change who shoots first again... :P

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Go

Right on!

It was shite the first time, shiter the 2nd time and will be even more so next time round.

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Damn straight!

Every time I see the brutalized version of Return of the Jedi, with the "young Anakin" ghost at the end, I want to find George Lucas and insert a light saber into his "where the sun don't shine" place. Seriously, what the hell was he thinking there?

If movies could apply for restraining orders, Lucas wouldn't be permitted within 100 yards of the original Star Wars trilogy.

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Unhappy

Hopefully G.L. learned his lesson last time...

When he spent lots of dosh to add CGI to the original Star Wars movies. It was almost unnoticable for most of them and in one or two places it was just awfull.

If he was to try another re-hash for 3D he will probably do it to the CGI TV stuff, of he should sod about with the last 3 pic's as noone will care.

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Does that reflect the films though?

While Avatar was a phenominal success the other films mentioned were all of varying quality. For a better comparison I would be interested to see the figures generated for Toy Story 3.

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title

What the studios are failing to see is that first you need a good film. They seem to be of the opinion "it's the medium rather than the message that matters".

I'd much rather watch Casablanca in grainy monochrome, or the Spaghetti Westerns than some of the dross that's been punted under the 3D banner.

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I saw Toy Story 3 last week ..

.. and watched it in 2D as I did not want to pay 50% extra for 3D and extra again for the glasses that would have to sit over my normal glasses.

But jolly good it was in 2D anyway.

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Flame

hmm..

3D? You mean stereoscopic cinema dontcha?

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non dimensional

I really don't think declining renenue is anything to do with how many dimensions the films are shown in, i believe it is more to do with the films being shit.

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