In Vincent Price’s House of Wax, a man stands outside a theater and hits a paddleball. The audience gasps! Not just because this guy was really good at paddleball. The ball looked like it was flying out at the audience! This was in 1953, and it was the first time Hollywood tried 3D.
It didn’t last, mainly because the technology proved to be too expensive, and the novelty eventually wore off for the audience.
Hollywood Tries 3D, take two… Action!
If you’ve seen any movies, trailers, or commercials, you know Hollywood is bombarding us with releases in the third dimension. From the worldwide mega-hit Avatar, to the upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby (I’ve read the CliffsNotes for that book multiple times, and never saw anything requiring 3D), and even Titanic!…
The same Titanic that made it impossible for me to get a girl in Junior High because I was constantly being compared to Leonardo DiCaprio?! That Titanic?
Yes. James Cameron’s re-release of his original* mega-hit is just one in a long line of movies being re-released in 3D. An FYI for the guys: the “I must draw you” line does not get a girl naked. It gets you slapped and hit with a restraining order.
( *Though The Terminator is James Cameron’s best, most awesome-tastic film, he’s best known for Titanic.)
Other films being re-launched include Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (and eventually the other 5), Finding Nemo, many of the Disney Princess films, and even a rumored Top Gun.
Directors and production companies own these films. It’s their work of art, so they’re allowed to change it if they want to (and make huge profits). But should they? No.
What if all of a sudden, Leonardo Da Vinci decided he had a thing for blondes and changed the Mona Lisa? Would it have gone down in history as one of the world’s finest paintings?
Would people still flock to museums around the world to see Michaelangelo’s “David” if along the way someone decided he should be wearing a banana hammock instead?
These films were works of art, masterpieces of their times (except for Star Wars Episode I. George Lucas must be stopped!). Their time didn’t have the 3D technology, and that’s too bad. Maybe 3D would have made Titanic better (especially the scene where the dude falls, hits the propeller with a thud, and bounces into the water… I laugh every time). But the fact is, personal opinions aside, it was a classic film. If it were mine, I would want it to be remembered that way, not for a cheesy 3D re-release.
3D films were created to win back an audience from a little invention called “television” (maybe you’ve heard of it). Today, studios are bringing it back as a way to fight illegal piracy. “They won’t download it, because they won’t get the awesome 3D effects!” Umm… You’re wrong, Mythical Studio Exec I Made Up For That Quote.
If that’s the case, why is Avatar (a movie celebrated solely for its effects, not the stolen story) the most pirated movie of all time, with over 21 million downloads?
3D is a fad. It’ll disappear just like Hammer Pants, Beanie Babies, and Ke$ha. It’ll happen sooner if consumers decide to stop paying up to $20 a ticket to see these monstrosities, or if filmmakers refuse to sacrifice the integrity of their art for a trend.
That in mind, a tip of my hat to Christopher Nolan. The genius behind Batman Begins and The Dark Knight dealt with a ton of pressure from Warner Brothers to film The Dark Knight Rises in 3D. Nolan resisted mightily, and WB relented. Though we’re months away from the release, I already know I wouldn’t enjoy Dark Knight Rises nearly as much if I had been forced to wear stupid looking glasses throughout the film. I’m incredibly vain.
Well done, Mr. Nolan. Well done.
Well, what do YOU think?