I loathe 3D. It is a completely pointless addition to the cinematic experience, causing massive colour loss with those irritating, flimsy glasses and making the regular visit to the pictures a drain on the wallet. It’s unnecessary at best and a disgraceful cash grab at worst.
In a few short years, stereoscopic vision has risen from a niche addition in genre films to an all encompassing blockbuster medium. The majority of the film going public believe it adds something to the experience of a film and while in some cases that may be true, by and large it’s all about the money. For production studios it provides a format incredibly difficult to pirate, for cinemas an excuse to add an extra charge to tickets not once, but twice (once for the 3D screening and once for the reusable glasses) and for technology companies s an extra incentive to sell their products, from 3D TVs in the home to digital projectors at the cinema. For all, it spells an extra way to get money out of the consumer.
Many cinemas are now in too deep to go back on the technology – there are reports that they are only just offsetting the cost of upgrading the screens (although oddly enough, none on the possibility of the removal of the surcharge originally put in place to cover the cost). This week, Dredd opened almost entirely in 3D. This isn’t because there isn’t a 2D print available, but because cinema chains know people will pay the extra cost if there’s no other option, creating the illusion the medium is increasingly popular.
But the financial greed aside, the fact ultimately remains that 3D isn’t all that great. Many people find it hard to watch, either due to eyesight problems or nausea, and even at its best its hard to view it as anything other than a gimmick. This list presents the history of modern 3D through its most defining films; the films that have had a big impact on the technology, showcasing its strengths and weaknesses and suggest where the format’s future may be.
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