Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Problem with 3D

I say "my problem" meaning I only have one, but actually I have several problems with the current Hollywood craze. Allow me to list them for you.

1. Before the beginning of the movie, a frame appears on the screen that asks you to "consider the environment and please recycle your 3D glasses." What it should say is "consider our pocketbooks and please give us back our 3D glasses, so that we may wash them in the special glass washers that we sell to the movie theaters for a large sum so that they may reuse them again for little cost." For this reason, I keep them, even if it means that I throw them in my kitchen drawer that gets random whatnot like screws and cards and tape and marbles and string. I take pride in the fact that I have not recycled these glasses because the stupid Hollywood machine is trying to mask its greed by acting like it's considering the environment. Every time I do not recycle the glasses, I give a sinister "he, he, he" as I twirl my imaginary sinister mustache. It brings me extreme joy.

2. 3D is not the future. It's the past. And the past is a gimmick. Like Smell-O-Vision or Odorama. It's a reminder that you're not watching a good story, but instead watching a movie. One that's probably not very good, but is covering up for it by making it 3D. What's next? Will Ford reintroduce the Edsel as the future of automobiles?

3. If you're going to do 3D, then by God do 3D. Have shit jump out at me and make me duck into my popcorn. Give me back Friday the 13th III in 3D with eyeballs flying at me and Treasure of the Four Crowns. If you're going to shoot something in 3D, make me feel it. Don't tell me that 3D adds depth. That's just a bullshit attempt of making 3D seem legit. Good cinematography adds depth.

Hopefully, this will do it. Millions will read this and say "Jesus, Piper. You're right." And then 3D will go the way of the Dodo. Until then, I'm going to keep my extra dollars in my pocket and spend them on something important, like SweetTarts.


TALKING MOVIEzzz said...

You forgot to mention the most important thing. That the studios aren't honest about the real reason for the 3-D, the extra amount added to the ticket price.

I mean, the 3-D in AVATAR added nothing but $5 to the ticket price. ALICE IN WONDERLAND and CLASH OF THE TITANS weren't even shot in 3-D in the first place. It was converted later to get that extra amount.

It's all a scam. Let's hope you can bring it to an end, Piper.

Neil Sarver said...

I remain a fan, in principle, but I really think the studios and such are going to burn out the hype as quickly as they can until the public merely dismisses it again.

Which I think is sad and frustrating to me. I agree in essence that it's a gimmick, but it's a fun one, and I'd hate to see it once again wholly reduced to something the goes away for 25 years at a time.

As I've said, I think done right, things like the Green Lantern movie could be really appropriate it in 3-D. Just look at some of those classic covers.

I also only partly agree about throwing stuff out. I'm definitely a fan of the chuckin' stuff out style, but I did think there was something added in having something like Coraline in 3-D.

Fletch said...

I've got my pitchfork, now where are we going?

Simon said...


The last time I saw a movie in 3D, they posted two dudes by the door with big trashcans so nobody could sneak out some glasses. Fuck them.

I say we all get really drunk and see the movie in 2D. Our eyeballs will do the work themselves!

Yay, substance abuse!

What was I talking about?

The Taxi Driver said...

I mostly agree with this. As I wrote in a blog last week, the problem is that, when a studio like WB decides to shoot/convert all of their big tentpole movies into 3D they are missing the point. People go to 3D movies not because 3D is cool but because it is special to that film. When a studio decides to use 3D for all of their big movies they are essentially killing their own gimmick because 3D stops being special and becomes the norm and therefore offers no reason to consumers to pay more for it. On top of that, does anyone go see a movie they weren't planning on seeing already just because of 3D? I somehow doubt it, which is why it boggles my mind that movies like American Pie 4 are being announced as going to be in 3D. What possibly could American Pie offer in 3D? It's sad how quickly Hollywood seems to shoot themselves in the foot.

PIPER said...

Alright Fletch and Simon. Here are some torches and some random gardening tools. Fletch, thanks for the use of your pitchfork. LETS GO GET THEM SUMBITCHES.

PIPER said...

Neil and Mike,

I agree with you. 3D should not become the norm. It should be special because the film is specially made for 3D. The 3D adds something to the experience.

American Pie 4 in 3D? Really?

Fletch said...

Though I agree with you in theory, Mike, there's a problem with your argument, and it's a big one (literally): ego.

Who's going to tell director X that his movie is not a large enough tentpole to warrant 3D while hotshot director Y just had his movie in it? It sounds ridiculous, but I guarantee that if the studios practiced selective 3Dification that it would become a political nightmare.

Now, we could argue that only those movies that were specifically intended to be in 3D (and therefore shot in 3D) should be the ones released in 3D, but then they would just shoot them all in 3D (outside of super-low budget stuff). It's cheap enough for them to retrofit them, especially when compared to the potential returns, that they just can't resist, even for a movie as pointless as American Pie 4.

The Taxi Driver said...

Fletch, you are right and yet my argument goes in the other way as well. Just look at Paramount which opened a new division for films made for less than whatever amount of dollars because of the success of Paranormal Activity as if the fact that it was cheap is what contributed to its success. The business model these days too often simply comes down to ok, this worked once, let's do everything this way from now on, despite the fact that it's historically proven that there is no proven indicator of where lightning will strike. It's a shame. I've always made the argument that when films like Paranormal Activity blow up it is because 1) they are well made and deliver exactly what they promise and build word-of-mouth based on that and 2) they offer a fresh alternatives to the same old crap. Paranormal Activity offered a fresh alternative to the boring, increasingly stupid Saw movies and the numbers reflected that. Now this Halloween, instead of trying for something fresh again, it will be a repeat of last year with both of those franchises duking it out at the box office again. How tiring.

Piper- as for American Pie 4, I kid you not. Check it out:


Joel Bocko said...

I hear your #1. Though I can't get around paying the extra fee, I nonetheless keep my 3D glasses from Avatar and bring them to subsequent 3D screenings. Isn't that better for the environment than resealing the stupid things in plastic over and over again?

PIPER said...


You make complete sense. So much sense in fact that I feel like an idiot that I've never tried that before.

Anonymous said...


"Good cinematography adds depth."

F**k 3D. Seriously.

whitney said...

I've only paid extra for 3D once. Now I just bring the glasses I bought that first time, buy a ticket to the 2D show, and walk into the 3D theatre.

I'm so sneaky!!

elgringo said...

Hey Piper, we miss you!

Also, I'm hosting the My Best Post blog-a-thon.
It goes from May 21st-23rd. Want to be a part of it?
It's pretty easy. You've already written your entry.
Just send me a link to your best/favorite/underrated blog post! Thanks!


Edward Copeland said...

Of course, since all my viewing by necessity is done at home these days, every time I hear that something is is in 3-D all I can think of is SCTV and picture John Candy asking if I'd like a hot dog while moving it back and forth toward the TV screen. I can't wait until they go back and convert EVERYTHING to 3-D. Who else is up to seeing Nicole Kidman's fake nose in that god-awful Hours bouncing in their face

Greg said...

It just occurred to me why you haven't updated (I mean, aside from the fact that blogging is now dead to you thanks to twitter): Because I haven't commented on it yet! So here goes.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, 3-D, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, James Cameron, blah, blah, Avatar, blah, blah, LOL, blah, blah, rotting flesh, blah, blah, straight up his ass, blah, blah, blah, blah, fisted.

There. Now I've commented. Proceed.

PIPER said...


That's just the kind of inspiration I need to start not writing some more.

And I'm kind of over Twitter as well.

I'm now writing on post-it-notes and placing things randomly around the house and inside books for only me to read.

It's really fantastic stuff. I'm sorry you can't read them.

Greg said...

I've tweeted four times in the last month. So maybe that post-it note thing's a good idea.

Megan said...

no mas blogging?

Kramer said...

Piper. Update your bloody blog. I miss it. That is all.