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Face it: 2D or not 2D?

That is the question.

If there was one thing that Tron: Legacy taught me (apart from the fact that a film can still be awesome even though the plot is ridiculous and makes no sense), it’s that everyone has an opinion about this 3D business.

Maybe it’s a fad or maybe it’s here to stay, but 3D is definitely the movie gimmick of the moment. Be it an animated film, action flick or swirling blitz of neon, it seems that all kinds of films are embracing the 3D revolution.

But are cinema audiences? I personally don’t need to feel like I’m on a ride at Movie World every time I go to the cinema, and I didn’t feel as though my Tangled experience was any the lesser because I saw it in 2D (although I did learn a thing or two about how fully developed my cynicism has become). Do I really need to see cartoon hair fly at me? Not so much.

However, some films do scream out to be seen in 3D. Piranha 3D was awesome fun, mainly because of how ridiculous it was – and the 3D was used effectively (and disgustingly) to mess with the audience. Tron: Legacy was also pretty rad in 3D – there’s nothing like shooting neon lines bulging from the screen to make you really feel as though you’re on the grid. Finally, there’s Avatar ¬– who could forget Avatar? Say what you will about it, but you have to admit that some of those scenes were downright insane in 3D.

On the other hand, was it really important for Step Up 3D to be in 3D? I clearly need to see every drop of sweat fly off of each individual oiled-up, gyrating torso to understand the plot and atmosphere of the thing. Saw? Um, no thank you – I like all of the torture in my life to be at the most 2D, if not non-existent or purely emotional. Personally, I think that watching a gory horror movie in 3D is like using an umbrella indoors – just plain unnecessary. The Last Airbender? Sure, since last I checked 3D is an appropriate substitute for a talented director. Finally, I want to see Justin Bieber and the Jonas brothers in concert in 3D about as much as I want to let crows peck at my eyes.

For me, sitting in the dark wearing 3D glasses over my regular glasses is just a pain, so a film better deliver some mind-blowing uses of 3D for me not to fling my glasses off in disgust and storm off (I’m looking at you, The Green Hornet). That said, there’s no doubt that some films rely far too much on the possibilities of 3D, at the expense of other things (for example, Alice in Wonderland could have traded a bit of its 3D for some emotional connection with the audience). I mean really, shouldn’t 3D be something that enhances a film, not something that defines it? Don’t throw out the script guy just because you’ve made some vines and stuff look 3D.

In conclusion, what do 3D movies really bring to our lives? What does 3D bring to a film, for that matter? It creates more work for cinema ushers, that’s for sure. After much thought on the matter (yes, my life really is that dull), I do feel that 3D is overexposed and overused – kinda like Johnny Depp. Quite frankly, I’m fed up with Hollywood thinking that 3D is going to impress us anymore, just because it’s 3D. So, next time you head to the movies, really think about whether 3D is worth the extra headache (pun intended).

(Image Credit)

2 thoughts on “Face it: 2D or not 2D?

  1. I’m really interested in this 3D/2D thing, but I’m not sure where I stand. Personally, I’ve never felt the need for 3D. Classic action films (think: Starwars) did a great job of creating a real-seeming worlds and engaging action without 3D. It might not have been as beautiful as Pandora in Avatar, but I still felt like I was “really there” (emotionally, at least).

    I also think there are some kinds of movies I *don’t* want to see in 3D. I’m thinking: dramas. Citizen Kane, Dr Strangelove, or god forbid The West Wing would be freakin’ *terrible* in 3D. Adding extra visual effects would just distract from the emotional intensity of the story….

    But then, I wonder if I’m just like an old person, complaining about computers or colour TV? Maybe 3D is a better experience, and I’m just too set in my ways to see it.

    Thanks for weighing up the pros and cons for us! Great article… =)

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