The 3D Distraction

Despite my better judgment, I continue my love/hate relationship with 3D (mostly hate). I went to see Wrath of the Titans. The original Clash of the Titans is one of my favorites, and this sequel to the critically lambasted remake is pulpy fun if you're looking for over-the-top special effects and cheesy battles between gods, demigods, and titans. The problem is the 3D, which, even though better than the much-criticized 3D conversion of the previous film, is still unnecessary and distracting.

My own expectations for 3D are simple -- if I'm paying a premium for tickets with the three-dimensional gimmick, then I want to be completely immersed in the world I'm seeing on the screen and I want objects to be flying at me for most of the flick. As one of my friends wisely put it, today's 3D "is more like high def," except all it does is distract the viewer.

As I mentioned before, film already gives the illusion of depth. When I see a movie, I want to lose myself in the story, not be constantly reminded that I'm watching a production everytime I see embers floating slightly in front of the layered background. Instead of making cinema more realistic, as is the explanation I keep hearing for the continued investment in the 3D technology, it often seems like a bad effect, looking blurred or partially three-dimensional rather than the seamless reproduction of our physical reality that James Cameron promised with Avatar.

Popcorn movies are supposed to be a form of escape, but 3D drags me out of the moment. The glasses are annoying and the depth-illusion is far too weak to warrant the extra ticket price. Instead of enjoying the battle between Zeus and Hades played by Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, I was repeatedly pestered by visual tricks that after a while started to give me a headache.

Time for 3D to fade away into oblivion.

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