3D or Not 3D?

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Last night my family went to see the critically acclaimed Disney Pixar animated movie Inside Out at our local movie theater. The film was the usual clever, entertaining, emotionally resonant experience we have come to expect from the makers of Toy Story and Finding Nemo, and of course it made me cry. (See my prior blog post “Cry Baby.”)

Because most of the showings were offered in 3-D, we didn’t really have a choice but to don the annoying glasses and watch random images pop out at us. However, 3-D added absolutely nothing to the movie-going experience.

I have read that films shot in 3-D can give viewers an immersive experience, wherein they feel as if they are in the world created by the filmmakers. Inside Out was not such a film. Yet the growing popularity of 3-D movies, especially in the animated field, often gives viewers no choice but to participate.

3-D movies have been around since the Fifties. They always seemed like a gimmick to me. And I find it frustrating that films in 3-D often cost more per ticket than regular movies. In a time when the movie-going public has increasingly chosen to stay home and watch movies on their huge flat-screen TVs, it seems foolish to be charging even more per ticket to fill up the empty theater seats. At last night’s showing, our family and one other family of five were the only customers.

I say filmmakers reserve the 3-D experience for select movies that can best take advantage of the feeling that the viewer is part of the experience. I for one have no trouble immersing myself in the two-dimensional world of movie storytelling. And I can do so without those pesky glasses.

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