RealD 3D - Not So Much

RealD 3D GlassesHave you seen any of the latest crop of 3D movies, yet? So far I've seen Coraline and Up (Dale's Up review) and my opinion is: 3D is one "D" too many.

I don't have great stereo vision. Wish I did, I don't. The IMAX 3D movies I've watched have worked ok for me, particularly if something is "drastically" 3D. One of the really early IMAX 3D movies has a scene where a robotic arm reaches into the crowd and breaks an egg. If you're sitting in the middle of the theatre it looks like the goop is falling into your lap. I moved just a bit! For images that have little "depth" the 3D effect is lost on me.

Whether it's because the 3D is subtler or the process isn't as good, the RealD Cinema 3D viewing experience in the "Disney Digital 3-D" movies Coraline and Up have been far less impressive than any IMAX film I've watched. In Coraline there are very few scenes where the 3D worked, less than four if I'm remembering correctly. Up was better, but still didn't match an IMAX film.

Sadly, 3D not only failed to enhance the movies it detracted from them. When the 3D effect kicks in it is often so jarring it removes me from the story. Add to this the hassle of wearing 3D glasses over my regular glasses and paying extra for the movie and there is a lot of downside to 3D with no upside.

Where is the 3D effect from the show in the Expo 86 BC Pavilion? It was so well done we who saw it speculated endlessly on how it worked. It's the kind of 3D that's worth a bit extra. No glasses required and the 3D worked for all the fellow show-goers I spoke with.

Not withstanding my problems, I don't begrudge releasing movies in 3D if there's a segment of the population that gets added enjoyment out of them. I only wish the theatres would have regular and 3D versions showing side-by-side so there was a choice. Alternatively, let me keep the glasses so I can bring them to the next 3D movie and only pay the extra charge if I need a new pair. At least then I'm not financially penalized for a vastly inferior experience. Still, given the PIA1 factor, I'd still rather see a regular showing.

This lack of choice has already cost the theatres. I passed on Monsters vs. Aliens in the theatre, as much as I wanted to see it first run. I didn't expect to see Up in 3D either, I thought I was attending a regular showing. I didn't leave because I'd dragged a friend out to see it with me and I didn't want to spoil his evening. And that's the bottom line. Unless there's some compelling reason for me to suck it up and endure the extra hassle you won't be seeing me in any RealD/Disney 3D movies.

[1] Pain in the ass

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