The 3D gimmick is slowly falling to the wayside as quickly as phrases like “all that and a bag of potato chips” and “Jenny from the block”. What we are left with now are countless animated movies popping in 3D and live action movies that are more like thrill rides than actual movies.
Starting with Avatar, the 3D concept hit the studios with a bang! They thought that we, the consumers, would go see every film ever made as long as something popped out at us. (that’s what she said) The market became saturated with films that didn’t use 3D to it’s full capabilities which led to higher ticket prices for seemingly no reason whatsoever. (Clash of the Titans, Harry Potter, The Last Airbender, I could go on and on) Suddenly an expensive afternoon at the movies went from $50 to over $100. This increase kept people from even traveling out to the theaters. We began to stay in and rent whatever was On Demand that week.
With things finally calming down, and many films coming out in 2D again, or the production and understanding of 3D films becoming more worth the experience, we are left with two types of 3D films. Glee and Final destination 5.
Glee 3D has absolutely no reason to be in 3d. It does not benefit from it, nor is the 3D really all that good. The whole thing isn’t even in 3D. It is purely a gimmick to get people to go see the film. If The concert wasn’t enough for the gleeks of the world to go see this movie the idea of Finn in 3D will surely wet their appetite.
Again this film has no reason whatsoever to be in 3D. I feel like i cannot say that enough. The only reason it is in 3D is to create a higher profit for the movie company releasing it.
On the other hand you have Final Destination 5 which is built around the idea it would be 3D. Right from the start, the titles throw you straight into the film with a spectacle of violent 3D glass breaking, blood spilling, and exploding credits that know exactly what it is trying to do. Each death in the film is an increasingly crazy spectacle of 3D horror that is ridiculously fun to watch (if your into that kinda stuff) and scream at.
But when you get to the films plot and story, you are basically left with nothing. It’s laughable at many moments throughout the film from the acting to the dialogue. But that’s what it was going for. It wasn’t trying to have content, It was only meant to have a stupid story string together a bunch of over-the-top, ridiculous death sequences that were even more violent because they literally threw the blood in your face.
No 3D film has married content and 3D in the way avatar did minus the animated spectacles we see every few months or do. Where are the films directors promised us that would benefit from the 3D? So far we have films like Jackass 3D, Transformers 3, and Final Destination 5, sequels of franchises that are built around visual and emotion rather than plot.
But that leads to the question, would films like “One Day” (Lone Scherfig’s new character study film) benefit at all from being in 3D? Would the depth in a shot create a more dramatic and important visual that helped to demonstrate the visual motifs of the film? Would the depth of an empty street add to the idea the character feels empty? Why aren’t art house directors working with 3D?
Realistically it’s because of cost and tech and experience. You really need to get someone who knows 3D to help create the desired effect. Once 3D becomes cheaper this humble reporter believes that many more art house films will be in 3D. Like when cameras were first invented we are only still learning how to use them to effectively send the message to the audience. How to create emotion, or how to string together visuals and sounds to have a new sense of wonder.
That along with the fact that old people and hipsters seem to be the only ones watch good movies these days (And those people watch their films on demand at home on their couch through Comcast smoking pot and re-watching Dazed and Confused until they can recite the whole movie back to front) feel like reasons the whole 3D thing might not be in every movie for the rest of time.
So where will films go now? Will they all be in 3D? Will we watch them all at home and never actually go to the movies?
No way. But since there is a 3D Glee Concert movie playing a limited engagement for the next two weeks in a theater near you, it just seems like the world is starting to implode.
Looking towards the future though. Check out the new trailer for A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas!