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3-D or Not 3-D? That is the Question

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By Chris Kavan - 02/15/10 at 10:20 AM CT

Having experienced my first of the new 3-D films in Avatar, I was impressed. However, the success of Avatar in the 3-D market changed the game.

Before now, most of the 3-D films have been of the cartoon/computer generated variety. Pixar films, Coraline, Monsters vs. Aliens and I can see how that it would work. Even Avatar, for all intents and purposes, is a largely computer generated affair - as is the upcoming Tim Burton fantasy film Alice in Wonderland.

The other genre that has flirted with 3-D is horror films. My Bloody Valentine and The Final Destination were both released this way. Upcoming Piranha, Friday the 13th and probably Saw upteenth sequel will also be 3D. I can see why they do this too - having a knife or other bladed weapon coming at you would be pretty freaky. Still, unlike the animated counterparts, 3D really doesn't add much in terms of revenue or thrills.

Which brings me to the next phase: 3D being released for more live action films. Upcoming Clash of the Titans and the final two Harry Potter films and quite possibly others, will be released in 3D. But this band-wagon mentality has the potential to backfire.

First, unlike Avatar, which was filmed in true 3-D. Most films are made 3-D in post production. Using this technique, it makes it possible to turn any film (such as Toy Story I-II) to 3D. It's a cheaper alternative, but it may also cheat the audience who ends up paying more for what may amount to an inferior product.

Second is that 3D is still new and many theaters are still implementing it. When Clash of the Titans switched to 3D, it will be in direct competition with How to Train Your Dragon 3D. This could hurt both films if theaters much decide between one or the other and moviegoers will be just as irked.

What will really tell me if this is a fad or not is when a 3D film fails miserably. If Hollywood still stands behind the medium after a disaster, then maybe 3D will be a viable option. As for me, while it looks great, I still prefer most of my films in plain old 2D. We'll see if the future will change my own perceptions.


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