The last part of that should have been in a booming thunderous announcer voice…but anyway.
My wife and I went to the movies yesterday, figuring it would be more entertaining than the Super Bowl. We were only half right. For the most part we’ve stayed away from 3D movies as there hasn’t been a compelling reason to do so. That said, the movie we saw was not a compelling reason to view in 3D, but merely an opportunity. Choosing The Green Hornet was a mixed blessing, but indicative of the issues inherent with 3D. Reviews noted that the director really tried to embrace and make use of the medium beyond the classic “things flying at you” experience. To that end it worked, unfortunately it really was the only thing that kind of worked in this mess of a movie.
This however, is not an indictment of the movie, but the medium. To me, 3D is another gimmick that needs to run its course. It can be fun, but Hollywood is relying on the gimmick rather than good stories. Why write actual good engaging stories when you can drop a sub-par plot into 3D when people will flock just for the novelty? Since the predominant trend in movie making is either a.) sequel/prequel relying on already established canon or b.) comic books adaptions (again with established canon) or c.) limply written unfunny (romantic) comedies relying on former top-billed actors a good plot is more of an after-thought, after the special effects, next to catering. In this light the decisions to make a movie, plot no longer has a place. What has taken its place is cross-marketing, tie-ins, toys, video games and ability to get people in the doors. Inception, possibly my favorite recent movie was almost never released as it was “too smart” for the American public. Wrong. Some maybe, but not all, just look at the numbers.
There are the exceptions of late, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, but by and large we’re being inundated by movies that are pandering to our basest desires and minute attention spans. And 3D is another way of doing it, a way of visually over-loading us to blur the lines and suspend rational thought. Beyond this, my other issue is the tech itself. I came away with an odd sense of nausea, my eyes hurt and had difficulty focusing well for about 10 minutes after and a slight headache. Plus the issues of wearing 2 pair of glasses (I looked very cool though…) as I wear glasses and not contacts. Not what I want every time I go to the moves. Not to mention the cost ($11.25 for a matinee? C’mon.). I love movies. I love watching them on the big screen and I hate to see my beloved medium ruined by stagnation and the death of true creativity.
Like before, this fad will hopefully run its course, like other fads in movies have (anyone remember Smell-o-vision?) and we’ll get back to the true telling of stories that is the heart of this art. I have high hopes, but I temper those with the reality that the new filmmakers of this generation are the ones raised on the quick-bite fast-food style of story-telling that is so prevalent today. Maybe I’ll be wrong. One can only hope.