Thursday, April 29, 2010

3D or not 3D?

Have you caught the 3D craze yet?

Are you being swept along by all the hype, happy to pay the £3 extra to watch a film whilst wearing silly glasses?

I'm with Mark Kermode on this one (in fact I have a great deal of respect for Mr Kermode, after all a film critic who can wnthuse about High School Musical 3, because it does what is says on the can, must surely be very confident of his own self) Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo are on 5 Live every Friday afternoon witha podcast here, I find them essential listening, despite the fact that living wher I do in Germany means that films in original language are hard to come by, yes there is usually more than one film per week available but all the same, and it's not even as if the films in German are just with German subtitles, oh no, they love a bit of dubbing here, most of them have no idea what Johnny Depp or George Clooney actually sound like!

This last year has seen a 3D films taking off, first with Avatar and now there's Alice in Wonderland, How to Train your Dragon, Clash of the Titans and so on. It is the latest thing. But is it all just hype? One cynical viewpoint is that is hinders the pirating market as well as allowing the companies involved to hike up the ticket costs.

I have to confess to be slightly biased about the whole 2D/3D discussion, because I can't see 3D. I have no depth perception due to an eye operation when I was about 3 to correct a nasty squinty eye, so now although my eyes look cosmetically fine, they don't work as a pair, which is how you get to see in 3D. It doesn't usually bother me, although I remember it freaking out the person controlling the eye tests when I tried to join the police after university, they simply couldn't understand how I couldn't see what they could and apparently depth perception in very important for the driving of fast cars (well, maybe more for the driving of fast cars 'safely', as I have lots of fun on the autobahns here) When we were in New York (did I say Iwouldn't mention that ever again? Oops) we went to the Sony Wonder Lab or whatever it was called (it was tipping down with rain and it was free) we visited the shop at the end where they had lots of Sony's newest gadgets including a gigantinormous flat screen TV screen that was 3D - you had to wear nasty NHS stylee glasses and everything, Simon and the kids loved it, they sat there entranced, flinching as cars shot off the screen towards them, I tried it, swapped glasses with all 3 of them and still couldn't get my head to work. I stropped off upstairs to Starbux to sulk nad wait until they got kicked off the couch. Clearly they're not going to be allowed on of those TV's, even if we could justify the HUGE cost.

Jas absolutely lurves the Jonas Brothers - pure Disney cheese, anyway, I got her the JB 3D concert experience, and the DVD came with 4 pairs of 3D specs as well as an extra 2D copy of the DVD (thank god) she really enjoyed the DVD but when I watched it it all appeared not only to be in black and white but also not 3D - crap huh? According to Jas it is in colour & 3D, but ot for me, damn, at least I'll be the only one not ducking when things appear to fly out of the screen!

Simon and Ben saw Avatar at the cinema when it was released last year, but were only able to see it in 2D, can you imagine the chances of getting to see a film in 3D and in its original language?! Zero. They were impressed enough with the CGI effects and didn't feel short changed by not having seen it in 3D (I was similarly impressed when we watched the video this weekend) and the reports I've heard of other films follow that line, great film, don't bother with paying extra for the 3D...

Personally I'm praying that 3D films don't take off, or that they ensure there is always a 2D option to watch, what's the point of paying extra for something you can't see?

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