Monday, November 1, 2010

A two-dimensional complaint about 3-D

I don't often use this blog for complaining; however, there's something that's periodically been on my mind for the last few months and I feel like venting about it. Hopefully I can at least vent entertainingly.

First off, I'm blind in one eye. No central vision at all, only partial peripheral vision. You really can't tell by looking at me, at least not usually, but this is how it is. That's not the subject of the complaint, but it's related, and you need to know it before I get down to the meat.

In the past year or so, it's become the "it" thing in Hollywood to release movies in 3-D. 3-D makes things more exciting! The movie seems more real! Yadda yadda yadda! Okay, fine, I like a good gimmick as much as the next person.

Back in the spring of this year, Disney released Tim Burton's live-action Alice in Wonderland. I'm not a fan of Alice movies; I'm not a fan of the original books, for that matter. Yes, I realize that makes me a social pariah in certain circles, but that's beside the point. I wanted to see this movie. As a matter of fact, I love this movie and have seen it many times. This is also beside the point. Wait for it, I'm getting there.

I went to the theater alone. My husband was working, I couldn't reach any friends to go with me, and I was in a bad mood so I decided to go hide in a theater for a few hours and see this by myself. I went to the box office to purchase my ticket. I did not specify that I wanted to see the movie in 3-D, but for some reason, that was what they decided I must have meant. I was given a ticket and the goofy glasses, which caught me by surprise, but I shrugged and headed into the appropriately-numbered theater, where I managed to find a seat just before the film started. It was very crowded.

I was enjoying the movie and got pulled into the story almost immediately, but about half an hour in, I began to wonder what was so spectacular about the visual effects. I pulled off the glasses; it definitely had that wibbly appearance that happens when you look at a 3-D image without 3-D glasses, so that wasn't it. It took me a little while to fully grasp what the problem was.

Question: What does a 3-D movie look like to someone with only one eye?

Answer: A regular movie.

Unfortunately for me and people like me, Alice in Wonderland is hardly the only thing that's been offered in 3-D of late. Titles keep getting released in 3-D, or sometimes IMAX 3-D. It's like we're back in 1950 or something.

I wouldn't object to the whole 3-D thing, except that tickets to see 3-D movies are invariably more expensive. And when I go to the movies with a group of friends, I hate being the problem. I don't want to keep them from seeing a 3-D movie if that's what they want to see -- but I also don't want to pay extra money to go to a movie with a feature that I can't actually enjoy. It's a problem.

Friend #1: Hey, let's all go see Awesome Movie!
Group: Yeah!
Friend #2: It's in 3-D!
Group minus me: Cool!
Me: Uh...

So then I either have to pony up the extra money -- anywhere between two and five bucks, depending on the theater -- in order to avoid being the party pooper, or they have to agree to see the normal showing (if indeed there is a normal showing) and then I feel guilty.

What I would really like to do is complain to Hollywood. The problem is, I'm not sure how to go about it. In my head, it always goes something like this.

Dear Hollywood,

Please stop producing movies in 3-D. It's really annoying. Kind of like the fact that the Kardashians have their own show. What is a Kardashian anyway, and why should I care about keeping up with them?

If you insist on the 3-D thing, at least stop making the ticket prices more expensive than those of regular movies.

If you get rid of the Kardashians, however, I'm prepared to overlook the whole 3-D thing.

Somehow, I sincerely doubt that I'd be taken very seriously.


  1. ...That's going to make the 3DS awkward :( Although you can turn the 3D down for that, so it plays like a regular console? You can still play new games (and old games on the virtual console) like a regular handheld, only with awesome processing power (it's more powerful than a WII!) and a whole range of cool internet-related stuff and really good graphics.

    Downside is the cost, but at least that's sorta justified by it being, well, as powerful as a Wii.

    If it counts, I've never seen a 3D movie aside from the very first ghetto ones they showed at an imax and the glasses were too tight and gave me a really bad headache?

    OH. AND SPEAKING OF MOVIES. If you're interested... come Thanksgiving, do you want to see Harry Potter? :)

  2. That was a silly question, of course I do!

  3. Don't feel bad. Most of the "3D" movies are pretty much the same to us binocularly-visual as well. If I'm gonna pony up, I want more cheap 3D tricks!

  4. Thank you for visiting and commenting, Kim. :) It's nice to know I'm not missing too much! Come again!


Photo contest! Check it out! (These are mine.)