J Bov Explodes Rhetorically

Grey Pillars of Grit and Mud

Thank you, cinema. Thank you for showing us that you should never give up on something just because it doesn’t seem to be working.

I mean, if you try something in the 50’s and it doesn’t work out do you ditch it? No! You wait until the 80’s and you try it again. If it doesn’t work that time, well it’s probably best forgotten, right?

Nope! Stick it back in theatres in 2010, that’s clearly your best bet. Third time’s a charm, right you shithorns? Third time’s a sodding charm.

But now it seems like the recent rash of 3D films is petering out, with a suitably wounded whimper, presumably to rear its poxy head again in 2040, with a new innovative approach that will be equally pointless and shit as the one we put up with in this round of the 30-year cycle. Less and less new movies are being lauded and sold to us simply because they pretend to have an extra dimension. This is excellent.

I can hear you, by the way, gnashing your teeth and groaning that 3D is brilliant, and that Avatar was so perfect in every way you ruddy well pissed your balls inside out. I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. 3D is rubbish. Was rubbish. Will probably always be rubbish.

Here’s why;

  1.  It only works in cinemas.

Sure, you can get a 3D TV for your house. Of course if it’s not active-3D then it’s awful, so you have to shell out on the glasses, too, and batteries. God help you if you don’t sit exactly where the TV wants you to, as well. “Oh, you want to sit in your armchair? Fuck you; blurry screen time. Boy, I sure wish we had a carefully calculated seating plan like in the theatres.”

    2.  It’s usually stupid, childish and bloody annoying.

The majority of 3D films don’t use the 3D at all. They have the odd thing fly out of the screen at you and it’s so clunky and obviously just for the effect that it breaks the whole movie. I’m looking at you My Bloody Valentine 3D. The whole idea of 3D is to be more immersive, and this kind of thing shatters the illusion to the point where it’s almost comical, regardless of context. Plus, with no physical feedback it really doesn’t matter if something just whizzed by my head; since I’m only picking it up with one sense it registers in my brain in big flashing neon that says ‘NOT REAL’, and any investment I had is gone. Replaced by yawning and a gnawing sense that I’ve wasted perfectly good money and free time.

    3.   Nobody uses it properly.

With minor exceptions, like the underwhelming and dull Avatar, almost all 3D films are simply using the system to charge you more money. Avatar uses its 3D to give depth of field, which is brilliant and works spectacularly. Yes, the odd thing does pop out at you, but mostly it’s used exactly right. Shame about the movie itself, really.

One other exception that I absolutely adore, because it shows a director exploring what 3D could do for movies, is Coraline. Again, the 3D is used mainly for depth of field, but there’s one section that really shows off what the system can do for the art of cinema; when Coraline is entering the other world the dual cameras that are used to shoot 3D are placed ever-so-slightly too far apart, which the eyes don’t notice but the brain registers as being COMPLETELY WRONG, which translates in the cinema to that scene physically causing you to experience a feeling of deep unease. It’s genius.

I could also mention how most 3D movies are ‘post-production 3D’ (meaning they make it 3D in the edit, rather than shooting with two cameras. It’s cheaper, but it looks awful) or that they still haven’t found a way to stop it giving you headaches, but they don’t really deserve their own numerical appropriation.

One definition of insanity is repeating the same action time and again and expecting different results, but apparently that doesn’t apply to cinema. They can keep banging their head against the wall of the padded cell and covering themselves in excrement as much as they like and presumably we put up with it since they keep trying so hard, bless ‘em.

3D films are a failed experiment; they have no place in life; they must be cast out and left to die like the evolutionary dead-end they are. They are little more than awful, grey pillars of grit and mud that blight the landscape of artistry that moving pictures has created and the sooner we can let go of them and get on with making actual films the better.

Ding dong, the witch is dead.

For about 30 years.