Tuesday, August 10, 2010

For ABC WEDNESDAY

“D” is for “3-D”
Remember “Bwana Devil”?
Well, I don’t blame you if you don’t; it was a movie that came out over half a century ago, and not a very good movie at that.

Reason I remember it is that I knew one of its producers. And he had been convinced, back in 1952, as evidently were many others, that the three dimensions it was shot in represented the Future.

Because it was in 3D, “Bwana Devil” was called “The Miracle of the Age!!! A LION in your lap! A LOVER in your arms!” Hopefully they never got those two mixed up. 

Well, it wasn’t a miracle and it wasn’t the future. 3D sort of faded away in the years that followed. When I saw the film, years later, it was clear that it was a mediocre movie and the 3D hadn’t helped much.
Now – (drum roll) – 3D is back!!!

I take the liberty of predicting that the new, 21st-century 3D fad will go the way of the 1952 version.
L A Times: "Christopher Nolan's dim view of a Hollywood craze: 'I'm not a huge fan of 3-D'"
Roger Ebert: “Why I Hate 3-D (And You Should Too). 3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension. Hollywood’s current crazy stampede toward it is suicidal. It adds nothing essential to the moviegoing experience. For some, it is an annoying distraction. For others, it creates nausea and headaches. It is driven largely to sell expensive projection equipment and add a $5 to $7.50 surcharge on already expensive movie tickets. Its image is noticeably darker than standard 2-D. It is unsuitable for grown-up films of any seriousness.”

From what I’ve seen of modern 3D films, I would have to agree. What about you? Agree? Disagree?

32 comments:

Paul C said...

Interesting to read about the first 3D film. My wife and I just saw the Despicable Me, a lot of fun. I generally agree with your hypothesis. I just added your site to my side bar. All the best.

Berowne said...

Great to hear from you, Paul. Thanks.

Linda said...

I absolutely agree with your assessment about the eventual demise of the new 3D. Really good movies do not need to resort to gimmicks.Inventive directors and photographers have always ventured into new avenues of cinematography that enhance the story. In fact I think some of the most original cinematographers have had long sustained effects on how movies are produced. Imagine a movie without the long takes today?

Linda

ABC Wednsday Team

Everyday Goddess said...

I'd say 3D is here to stay since the industry is targeting young audiences like crazy. Seems like anything for children is Pixar and 3D. Or a combination of live action and 3D.

It's a little unsettling for those folks over 35, but we must get used to visiting the tech. rich world of our children, if we want to have a clue what they are interested in.

There are some 2D movies too, but you Netflix those for sleepovers. Can you tell I'm a mom of a soon to be 4th grade girl?

Berowne said...

Linda: "Really good movies do not need to resort to gimmicks."
I agree. Thanks, Linda.

R. Burnett Baker said...

I agree. Watching the 3D TV's at Best Buy, I'm struck by how uncomfortable the glasses are. It's a neat visual experience for about five minutes, then it's just annoying.

Just another symptom of a neurotic society. We don't need 3D; We need to get outta the house...

Rick

Derrick said...

I've never seen a 3-D movie of any vintage but then, I don't go to see many 2-D ones either!

Berowne said...

E. Goddess: "I'd say 3D is here to stay since the industry is targeting young audiences like crazy."
Yes, it may wind up primarily a gimmick for kids' movies, but for adults -- well, for mature audiences story is what is important, as it always has been.

Berowne said...

Rick: "It's a neat visual experience for about five minutes, then it's just annoying."
Well said.

Berowne said...

Derrick: "I've never seen a 3-D movie of any vintage but then, I don't go to see many 2-D ones either!"
You've got to stop the unhealthy habit of going out in the fresh air and sunshine, Derrick. You should stay home glued to the TV watching old films -- like the rest of us. :-)

Gramma Ann said...

I agree I do not like 3-D. I always try it thinking it will be better than in the 50s but it never gets better. And another problem with it for me is I wear glasses to so I can see, and have to put the 3-D glasses over my regular glasses, and it just doesn't seem to work. So, for the time being, I have given up on 3-D movies, TV, etc. I agree with Berowne's comment, above.

But, I liked the D Day post today, very interesting.

☺lani☺ said...

Nice post here! I would like to watch 3D movie of Vintage too!

Gramma Ann said...

Oh Well, I am a gramma, so I'm a bit slow, I do believe you are Berowne, I agree with your statement above, "It's a neat visual experience for about five minutes, then it's just annoying."

Roger Owen Green said...

WAY too many 3D movies out there w more in the pipeline. And even the films I saw and liked (Toy Story 3) I didn't think were particularly enghanced by 3D.
Hope your prediction is right.
On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, THANK YOU for participating.

Sylvia K said...

Great post for the day, and like you and the others, I was never impressed with 3D -- well, maybe like you, for the first five minutes and after that, zilch. I was amazed that it was even tried again???? Guess kids enjoy it, maybe. Hope your week is going well, Berowne.

Sylvia

Hood Photo Blog said...

I agree... while the first 3D movie I saw was fun, by the second one I saw it was old. Its a fad that hopefully will pass!

Have a great week!

Hood Photo Blog

photowannabe said...

It was really exciting when it first came out and one just wasn't "in" if you didn't see it.
Today it is still fun and a novelty. I have heard many say theat it can cause nausea in the new huge screen productions.
I think you are right. It will have a slow demise like in the 50's.

Leo said...

a very interesting read.. the first ever 3d film..

i was LOLing thinking of the prospect of the lover and lion getting mixed up :D

nice D with the 3D here! :)

Petrus said...

Agree 3D will not catch on - especially if you have to wear special glasses - people do not want to be bothered with them.

Berowne said...

What a lineup of great comments from Gramma Ann, lani, Roger O G, Sylvia K, Hood Photo, photowannabe, Leo and Petrus -- thanks so much.

Madame DeFarge said...

I haven't seen a 3D film and I'm not convinced that Id enjoy it. Apart from the problem of wearing 3D specs over my specs, I think the colours of the lenses would clash. I am fussy about such things.

sheri said...

i've only seen one, for shame, but it was awesome...probably because i was sitting in an imax?? i doubt that it'll be around a whole lot longer but long enough for anyone who wants to see one, can :)

Leslie: said...

I agree with your prediction - I hate them, too. If you want to see 3D, go to a play! :D

Mara said...

I'm with the others: nausea and headaches! I think if a film is good enough it doesn't need 3D. If it's a bad film, it will be bad whatever dimension you use on it!

Vernz said...

haven't seen this one .. since you brought it up it sparks my interest .. Great D.
My ABC Wed here

Wanda said...

I have seen a 3-D in years, but there are several out now.... I need to go. Thanks for a most interesting post.

mrsnesbitt said...

I agree too - those glasses were always a problem for me, I have enough problems with my own let alone faffing about with anything else! lol! There again - it just could be my age....lol!

denise
ABC Team

Jay said...

I'm kind of surprised that Bwana Devil hasn't become a cult movie, like Ed Wood's did! It looks so cheesy! LOL!

Will the new 3D last? Maybe! It's made in a different way, I believe, but you still need those glasses. I've seen two or three movies in 3D now, one of them a Johnny Depp movie (surprise!), which I found painful to watch - literally. The seats I'd chosen were supposed to be at the back of the state-of-the-art IMAX cinema in London. They were at the front. There was no way I could see more than the bottom third of the screen without risking my (damaged) neck, and my friend couldn't see it properly because she has an eye problem - which was why I'd chosen the rear seats!

When I saw the movie again in a normal 3D version, we sat much further back, and I quite enjoyed it. But as someone who likes to explore the background action as well, it was frustrating, because it's often out of focus.

So, yes. It's distracting, but also can be fun. My own prediction is that they will continue to research it, now it's making big money, and they will refine it to the point where it can be used for more serious, less sensational movies, and be quite an asset. I doubt it will be for some time though. And the IMAX cinemas need to get that seating thing ironed out.

Berowne said...

Good comment, Jay. Thanks.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Berowne: A lion and a lady in the lap every teenage boy's fantasy! I remember seeing Vincent Price's House of Wax in 3D. I still remember the yo-yo scene where it looked like I was going to get whacked in the eye! Today I dont have binocular vision so I dont know if it would work the same. I would be game, still, to try this out. It is a gimmick. It can't last, unless they can make 3D into 4D because we need to increase the amount of d's not decrease them!

LisaF said...

Like everything else, trends are cyclical. I think 3-D movies fall into that category. I agree that it's temporarily novel and fascinating. 3-D movie can can enhance the visual experience, depending on the film. Avatar and Alice in Wonderland are two that come to mind. Personally, I can take it or leave it. The story is more important than the special effects, and that determines whether a movie has lasting power or not. I think it's ridiculous how much is charged a 3-D ticket. It's barely affordable to go to the movies these days anyway! 3D-TV is rolling out now so I guess the effect may be around longer than we think! If I really want a 3-D experience, I'll step away from my 2-D computer screen and television and go outside.

Berowne said...

It's great to hear from Mme deF, sheri, Lesley, Mara, Vernz, Wanda, denise, chiccoreal and Lisa F with some really interesting comments. Thanks.

 
Blog designed by Blogger Boutique using Christy Skagg's "A Little Bit of That" kit.