The 3-D (R)Evolution – Revisited

Woman wearing 3D glasses in cinema

Some time ago, I waxed poetic about 3D in the cinemas.  I want to revisit the topic because over the Labor Day Weekend, while walking around the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, I entered the Panasonic 3D Experience.  Me and a friend saw a clip of Avatar, looked at home videos shot with 3D cameras and even got to experience watching ourselves swinging a tennis racket in three dimensions.

The verdict? Well the exhibit was a sight to behold – we had a blast. Bear in mind, this “Experience” was in the realm of The exhibit was centered on home entertainment.

But the question remains if I think that this is the wave of the future in the cinemas. One of my earlier complaints about the 3D technology was the headache that it produced. In this exhibit, the problem is solved by a pair of $150 3D specs that “do the adjustments” for you. Hence, no headache. I assume that you will be able to use the specs in a theater displaying a 3D film.

With this in mind, I am giving 3D another chance. After much, much delay, I am finally breaking down and going to see Avatar in IMAX 3D. Wish me luck!

*Special thanks to my friend QTS for giving me the idea of this post.

3D: Old/new Wave of Future?

In the film community there has been a lot of talk surrounding the future of 3D in cinemas. A favorite film critic of mine, BBC’s Mark Kermode, has talked at great length about 3D and the issue of piracy. I have embedded one of his video blogs that discusses that very problem:

Meanwhile I had the pleasure last weekend of seeing the sixth installment of the Harry Potter film series (Half Blood Prince or HBP) in IMAX 3D. The Lincoln Center cinema was one of a handful of theatres nationwide showing HBP in IMAX ahead of the July 29th nationwide release in this format (click here to find out why).

I will spare you an actual review of HBP since I am an unapologetic devotee of both the books and the movies. I will however comment on the “IMAX 3-D” experience. Simply stated the best experience for me was watching the trailer for the Disney IMAX 3D version of A Christmas Carol, starring Jim Carrey.

As far as the feature presentation goes, the 3D was reserved for the first twenty minutes. Wow! There was a lot of deatheater flying, and swooping down alleys, across bridges and in narrow alleyways. The result left me a little light headed. For my movie-going companions, the experience was a bit more extreme; the experience bordered on nausea. At first, I thought it was just me but was I glad to find out I was not the only one.

At the end of the twenty minutes, I was more than happy to take off my 3D glasses at the prompting of the flashing of the red glasses on the cinema screen. The whole process of being instructed to do something in a movie theatre was a little disconcerting.

Another observation is that in a few scenes there was a weird ghostly/shadowy thing going on. Maybe it was just the print (hmm?).

My conclusion? Just give the IMAX experience if you want to get me excited about going to the movies – 3D is for the birds.