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May 14, 2010

'Why I Hate 3-D (and You Should Too)'

The always spot-on Roger Ebert nails it in an essay for Newsweek

"3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension," film critic Roger Ebert writes in last week's issue of Newsweek. "Hollywood's current crazy stampede toward it is suicidal. It adds nothing essential to the moviegoing experience. For some, it is an annoying distraction. For others, it creates nausea and headaches. It is driven largely to sell expensive projection equipment and add a $5 to $7.50 surcharge on already expensive movie tickets. Its image is noticeably darker than standard 2-D. It is unsuitable for grown-up films of any seriousness. It limits the freedom of directors to make films as they choose. For moviegoers in the PG-13 and R ranges, it only rarely provides an experience worth paying a premium for. That's my position."

Preach it, brother. Read the rest of Ebert's essay -- including his nine well-stated arguments against 3-D movies -- here.


If doing 3-D truly "limits the freedom of directors to make films as they choose" then why can't they choose to do 3-D? Sounds like a contradiction of terms, as most of Ebert's points are.

In fact, here's a blanket statement that I find completely contradicts everything that Ebert wrote in the entire article, save the one about a "serious drama" in 3-D:

"I once said I might become reconciled to 3-D if a director like Martin Scorsese ever used the format. I thought I was safe. Then Scorsese announced that his 2011 film The Invention of Hugo Cabret, about an orphan and a robot, will be in 3-D. Well, Scorsese knows film, and he has a voluptuous love of its possibilities. I expect he will adapt 3-D to his needs. And my hero, Werner Herzog, is using 3-D to film prehistoric cave paintings in France, to better show off the concavities of the ancient caves. He told me that nothing will "approach" the audience, and his film will stay behind the plane of the screen. In other words, nothing will hurtle at the audience, and 3-D will allow us the illusion of being able to occupy the space with the paintings and look into them, experiencing them as a prehistoric artist standing in the cavern might have."

Does that sound like a man that is closed off to 3-D?

I disagree with Ebert and think that he doesn't seem capable of getting behind new technology. Yes, 3d works for kids movies, and it can also work well for grown up movies. Just because something is new doesn't make it automatically of less value. Yes, it won't work for every single movie ever, but not every movie uses the same type of cameras, etc. anyway. Ebert should stick to reviewing movies, which he is good at, and not other things like new technology and video games.

It limits the director's options with respect to using light to dramatic effect and simply creates a garish distraction. Colour, that is. And as for sound, pfft. Film is a visual medium, sound merely clutters the senses and prevents the audience from fully focusing on the director's vision.
Black-and-white silent was all we ever needed.

These same kind of comments were said
about the arrival of Sound, and the arrival of Color,
in the Motion Picture Industry.

3D is just another option,
and one that isn't being forced on anyone.
All the 3D\stereoscopic Films I've seen
have had 2D versions released simultaneously.

And I for one would love to be able to see my favorite films in 3D.
Star Wars, Ben-Hur, Lord of the Rings..
Boy, that'd be awesome.
I think even a drama like 'Chariots of Fire' would look amazing.
(and I'm not talking about the horrible,
after the fact 3D treatment that some films get hastily given)

Yes, all the above films work well in 2D,
but that's because they have great stories, well told,
and that's ultimately the heart of any good film,
regardless of the technology used.

Actually kinda' surprised that Christianity Today
is commenting on something that's neither a moral or
spiritual issue.

Definitely agree with Ebert. The glasses are uncomfortable and dull the colors on the screen. It's not even really three dimensions, just two separated planes that trick you into thinking it is, which messes with your brain because your are forced to focus on a picture a camera was already focused on something.