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How Melodramatic Blue Aliens Stole My Money

July 26, 2010

The film industry was never a stranger to the concept of 3D. The movie viewing experience within the “third dimension” has been promised yesteryears ago in hopes of banking the big bucks at the box office. After a time, 3D movies mainly operated within the realm of grindhouse flicks, mostly to satisfy the audiences that still enjoyed their gory excursions into the third dimension. 3D inevitably found itself in Hollywood’s rear-view mirror. So as of late, has Hollywood rekindled its love of fooling the consumer’s eye so they don’t look into their wallets?

Where did this influx of 3D movies deviate from? What is this nonsense of a justification as to why you are charged a couple more bucks for that movie ticket? Undeniably, there has been a handful of 3D movies in recent years that may have flown under most people’s radars. Forgetful movies to the likes of The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl 3D were released to the public in 2005, but ultimately failed. Even with visionary director Robert Rodriguez at the helm and a young Taylor Lautner casted in the lead (Yeah, THAT Taylor Lautner), the concept of a 3D film failed to capture the attention of the American public.

Of course, this was until James Cameron decided to buy a solid gold jet with the blood of blue aliens. Love it or loathe it, Avatar was hyped to colossal proportions as James Cameron reportedly committed close to $300 million to the film. With a resume like Terminator 2, True Lies, and Titanic (only to name a few), this was Cameron’s self-proclaimed masterpiece.

It was the epicenter of the 3D craze. Although the final cut was met with mixed reactions. Some audiences championed the movie solely for the bleeding edge 3D; others including myself, found the story to be be bone dry and predictable. Shooting a film in 3D doesn’t make the plot and characters any less two dimensional.

Avatar for all intents and purposes, was not a terrible film. It just did not bring anything new to the table in terms of narrative. It was merely a harbinger of terrible trends to come.

Studios in Hollywood have adopted a “me too” philosophy in order to cash in on the growing trend. Nearly all new releases will be in 3D and will be at the cost of Joe Schmoe consumer; you. We all know the feeling of walking out of a bad movie. You hang your head low. It’s like going to a sporting event and your beloved team lost. It’s borderline heart-breaking. You are on the cusp of pummeling someone to death for a refund.

Tickets prices are around $10, give or take. Add in a few of dollars for that service fee if you end up buying tickets online and/or hate interacting with people. Perhaps cough up a few more dollars since the movie is in 3D as well. Ultimately, you will end up with a ticket price close to about $15 or so. Get the KY ready if you decide to order tickets ONLINE for a 3D movie in IMAX. Those cheap made in China 3D glasses are very little consolation if the movie ended up being the contents of your toilet.

This is not necessarily an attack on 3D movies, but it is in defense of the movie going public. Sure there are large number of people out there that enjoy 3D movies simply because they enjoy viewing them in 3D. However, there are still folks that are content with a pure and simple cinema experience.

It remains to be seen (har har) if the 3D movie experience will be standard or just a passing phase. 3D should not be a reason to justify higher ticket prices if it does little to enrich the viewing experience. A crap movie is still a crap movie. You don’t need all three dimensions to see that it sucks, let alone pay extra for it.

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