I went to see Avatar in 3D yesterday afternoon. Look, I want readers to know that I don’t go into movies hoping that they fail. I don’t pay 15 dollars to see something I hope will suck (possible misquote). If I wanted to do that, I’d rent Steve Martin’s Pink Panther 3 times and be done with it. I just wanted to get that out of the way before anybody gets some fancy ideas as they read this post.
My eyes and brain don’t register 3D in films like everybody else does. I’m retarded like that. My brain is too stupid too figure out what it is my eyes are supposed to see. So the movie begins and I’m thinking ‘Hey, what’s up with all these 2D images superimposed on one another? It looks like those popup story books my mother bought during my childhood. It was fun then before kindergarten started, less so today when a film is hyped as insanely as Avatar has been. Maybe the effects will get better as the film evolves.’
Wait a minute, l shouldn’t get ahead of myself. Let me present an asterisk=*. There were individual objects and creations within many shots that looked great. The Na’vi look great. The super machine gun robots driven by the human soldiers looked great. Much of the fauna and flora of Pandora looked great. A couple of the wild animals living in the forests of Pandora looked great. When I list those elements, I’m referring to them individually. The Na’vi character looked great, but not within the world of Avatar as presented via the 3 dimensional graphics. Again, way too many shots looked like a bunch of 2D superimposed images. I can’t help it, that’s what my eyes were seeing. There were moments when all the elements on screen meshed well together and felt part of the same image, and it was in those moments that I understood the power of 3D in movie making. It was there, right there before me. And then the moments were gone and the film went back to a bunch of 2D images.
It was interesting because every once in a while I would briefly remove the 3D glasses. Granted, much of the background looked all fuzzy (part of the 3D graphics when you aren’t seeing them in 3D), but the characters and machines in front of those fuzzy backgrounds looked amazing. So rich in detail and colourful. It kind of made putting the 3D glasses back on more of a chore than anything else.
Over at the Filmspotting message boards I wrote similar comments upon returning home after a 3d screening of the Pixar film Up this past summer. Look, 3D films will make plenty of money, and there’s no denying that the general movie going public seems to be enjoying the experience. Honestly, good for them if they enjoy it. I’d never advocate that studios cease making movies in 3D. If the people like it, then go ahead. Having said that however, I’ve come to the conclusion that 3D is not for me. I don’t like what it is I see on screen, I don’t like the effect it lends to the movies and I simply don’t feel more immersed in the story, which is supposedly the purpose of the entire enterprise.
3D is too sophisticated for me. I like that old flat look of movies. I wish I could get into the 3D hype, because apparently it's a lot of fun. I really do wish I could. Alas, that boat has sailed off without me.