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3-D or Not to 3-D

3-D or Not to 3-D



Getting out to the movies lately for me has been a real challenge. Between getting sick and being busy I finally got a chance to see Gravity over the weekend. I really debated on seeing it in 3-D because the live action footage was not shot in native 3-D. After pulling the trigger I spent the extra money on the 3-D and was very impressed by it. I’m not going to do a full review of the film but here is a quick take of it. First Alfonso Cuaron has delivered one of the most amazing films of the year. If you have not seen his other great films (Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien and of course Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban that is probably the best one in the series) do yourself a favor and watch these films. It’s a tight 91 minute film that  does not waste an inch of film and is visual stunning as it is breathtaking nervousness edge of your seat thrilling. This is the type of film that you must see in a theater and is one of a handful of films that is worth seeing in 3-D. The good news is that the visual effects were rendered in native 3-D (Here is a really great article on how the visual effects were done).


So to say that I am not a convert to the gimmick of 3-D is an understatement. There are for me just a handful of films that are worth seeing in 3-D. They are How to Train Your Dragon, Life of Pi, Coraline, Hugo, ParaNorman, and Pirates Band of Misfits. You notice that there are only two live action features on that short list. While some would say that “why didn’t you say Avatar?” and it’s not there because 1) there is very little live action in the film and 2) I really hated the film because I had already seen Dances With Wolves, Pocahontas and Ferngully and they were better film that told the same story. The reason that Gravity works well in 3-D is that you are never taken out of the film by the 3-D. The problem is that 3-D is a gimmick plan and simple. Yes we see the world itself in 3-D but in a normal day you never say to yourself “Wow my desk at work looks great in 3-D”. The problem with 3-D films and more so in live action films is that they tend to exaggerate reality and that is why they fail so miserably with it. Animated films fare better because they can control the perspective and keep it from being too exaggerated. Stop motion films work really well in 3-D because they combine the best of both animation and they are live action because the puppets and the sets are physical objects.


The reason that I think why Gravity work so well in 3-D is that because the film is set in space there is very few perspective issues that plague almost all live action 3-D films. When there are sets they are very confined spaces that once again keep the depth issue at bay. While I’m glad that I watched Gravity in 3-D it does not change my opinion of the format. It’s so rare to see the point of spending the extra money on the format and most movie goers now tend to agree. Hopefully studios will stop pushing for films to be converted to 3-D because the every 30 year fad is fading and for every Avatar that makes over 2 billion dollars there are more box office duds in 3-D and most people have wised up to the gimmick.


So in the end Gravity is the only converted 3-D film that I have seen that is worth paying extra for in 3-D. And the film is great so even if you decide to not see it in 3-D just go see it in the theaters while it’s now playing. But if you can it’s very much worth seeing in 3-D because you will not be disappointed.