Friday, March 19, 2010

All Warner Bros tentpoles to be in 3D...

Not good news. Alan Horn announced at Show West that 3D would be the standard for all future franchise pictures from Warner in the near future. Why is this bad news? Well, as a paying customer, I will always have the choice on whether or not to indulge in the 3D gimmick or simply watch a given picture in 2D. But as a critic, I know full well that these films are going to be offered to the press only in their 3D formats. Alice In Wonderland was genuinely marred by the format, and I'm considering waiting to see Clash of the Titans until its opening weekend so that I might view it in its intended 2D format. Alas, Alan Horn confirmed that some of these films will be shot in 3D while some will be converted after the fact.

The difference between the 3D effects in Avatar and Alice in Wonderland are obvious. The former looks like a film that was always intended to be viewed in 3D while the latter looks like the gimmick that it is. And the early word on the Clash of the Titans 3D conversion is not promising in the least. Warner Bros has been the shining light amongst major studios for the last decade. They've hired genuine talent, thrown piles of money into their movies, and pretty much left the film-making to the filmmakers. It would be a damn shame if they ended up sabotaging their most promising new franchises (Martin Campbell's Green Lantern, for example) in order to cash in on a fad. If the conversion process on Clash of the Titans becomes the standard, I'll have to make choices about what to see early and what to wait on in order to see it in the 2D that it was likely intended.

Scott Mendelson


Gabe said...

That's sad....because all it is IS a fad! (why not bring back smell-o-vision)I hope to God this is over when the next Batman comes out.

Next to Jamie Foxx playing Lynch in Kane & Lynch: Dead Men this is the most disappointing news of the day.

(Hello...Ray Liotta and Paul Giamatti would have been perfect!)

R.L. Shaffer said...

I'm not too sure it's a fad, Gabe, because it's growing beyond a simple gimmick (and it works fairly well).

3D is making money for the studios and it's driving people to the theaters. And it's a merchandise cash grab for TV/Blu-ray manufacturers and cable networks eager to show content in 3D -- sporting events are going to look incredible.

And, as someone always interested in new filmmaking techniques, I'm excited about how the expanded depth of field can be toyed around with. That's what made Avatar a gorgeous 3D experience. The backgrounds and visual design popped like never before. And honestly, I imagine someone like Chris Nolan would make a solid 3D Batman film, and not a gimmicky feature. So I wouldn't worry about that.

The only drawback I see are for people who still get headaches when they see a 3D movie. That really stinks. But I imagine 2D options will always be available. I can't watch Paul Greengrass movies or anything with a shaky camera because they make me dizzy. That doesn't stop the popularity of shaky-cam movies, or the growth of that trend.

And I've heard the "I hate wearing glasses" complaint, but as someone who's worn glasses since kindergarten, to that I say, "suck it up."

If this were red/cyan 3D, I'd say that it's gonna go away -- but I'm guessing that stereoscopic and RealD 3D is here to stay. the only thing that might drop off will be smaller pictures that shoot in 3D -- the appeal probably won't be there, but I can tell you, I would have loved to see the roller derby matches in Whip It in 3D.

mauvedeity said...

This is sad and stupid. For me, the big reason is that 3D films make me sick. My partner and I went to see Avatar in 3D, happily paying the '3D-premium'. We left about 40 minutes in, both suffering what felt like mahoosive motion sickness. I doubt I'd go see another 3D film in cinemas. So, if all films are 3D, and I can't watch them, I won't go to the cinema again.

Perhaps it's just Avatar - I watched "Christmas Carol" and that was OK, apart from the dull bits where they were clearly just showing off the 3D.

However, I doubt I'll be going to another 3D film any time soon.

Excellent blog, by the way. I'll be recommending it.


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