Time to say ‘No’ to 3D

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 3D is a scam. A gimmick. A rip-off. And it’s time to stand up and say, “No more.”

Because 3D, apparently, is becoming the studios’ go-to feature when it comes to ginning up box-office receipts. But it’s not clear whether audiences are falling for it.

Sometimes they don’t have a choice. When your child wants to see the latest kid-oriented feature and the only theater in your neighborhood has it in 3D, what’s your alternative?

The whole comic-book-movie craze has yet to peak – and 3D seems to have given it a boost, despite such stinkers as “The Green Hornet” and “Tron: Legacy.” Movie executives are hopping on the bandwagon, because that extra dimension means they can jack up ticket prices by as much as $5 – even though that extra dimension makes the movie darker and slower, without adding anything to its ability to engage you.

So many of these 3D efforts have flopped – most recently, count “Green Hornet” and “Sanctum” as bombs – and yet the tide seems to be rolling in that direction. Latest example: this weekend’s “Drive Angry,” yet another Nicolas Cage extrusion.

Indeed, despite all the films that Martin Scorsese supposedly has stacked up like planes over Newark – a Dean Martin film, a film set in Japan, one about the guy who killed Jimmy Hoffa – Scorsese’s next film, “Hugo Cabret,” is in 3D.

And the big news out of Australia is that style-over-substance master Baz Luhrmann is remaking “The Great Gatsby” – in 3D. Oh joy. Never mind that Luhrmann’s last movie, “Australia,” was a cow flop that nearly closed before its first screening was complete.

I can sort of understand Scorsese – the ultimate cineaste as filmmaker – wanting to venture into a new cinematic realm and doing it with what is, essentially, a children’s movie. So you’ve got the greatest director of his era – yes, I said it and I meant it – dabbling in two arenas he’s never stepped into before: a movie for kids and a film in three dimensions. But is that dimension necessary? Of course not.

As for Luhrmann and “Gatsby,” well, where to start?

Click here: This commentary continues on my website.

Back to Top