LiT – 01/08/10

Man, have I been remiss in posting or what? I blame Sony. The family scored a PS3 over Christmas, so I’ve been indulging my nerdliness. Killzone 2, InFamous, Uncharted, Batman Lego…and the Blu-Rays…oh, the precious Blu-Rays…

Reason No. 1,235 I Haven't Posted: Shooting Helghast, Repeatedly

I had last week off, and this week I’ve been catching up at work. So, I do have excuses, as lame as they may be.

Oh, and I saw Avatar. Which was about what I expected, but sadly little more. There were some interesting things about the experience, however. With the announcement this week of Sony entering the 3D television arena next Spring, and the plethora of other 3D technology news (one digital broadcast service intends to deliver three entire channels next year devoted to 3D), I can’t help but feel that Avatar represents a watershed moment when audiences not only accept 3D as a viable experience, but see some value in it as a preferred way to experience certain stories. I myself had a damn hard time getting past the Moving Viewmaster effect in Avatar for the first thirty mintues or so, and actually found myself wishing I had just seen it in 2D instead; there were some details I felt I was missing, particularly once things on Pandora started popping. But once I realized that nothing really terribly interesting was going on in the background (and often in the foreground), I began to settle in and let the lightshow do its work. It’s been said by a lot of folks that the only way to see Avatar is in 3D, and they’re right. It’s a great commercial for what 3D can do (heck, I was even impressed by the 3D trailer for Alice in Wonderland – but man does Piranha 3D look awful!).

A couple of days ago, George Lucas was on NPR touting 3D tech, telling the now legendary story of how he, Cameron, and Zemeckis showed a congealed group of theater owners a 3D sizzle real of the original Star Wars in the hopes of convincing them to upgrade their chains to digital projectors. I was skeptical about the push for 3D then, but after having seen Avatar, I think I may have turned a corner. I think 3D is an interesting way to experience a movie, and some films, like Lord of the Rings or even older classics like The Wizard of Oz might be fun to see in 3D. More than anything, Avatar sells the technology as more than a gimmick. It sells it as a new way to experience film.

Having said that, I don’t think I’m ready for a 3D future. It’s coming, there’s no doubt. I think the box office take for Avatar shows that people are warming to it. Even Roger Ebert, who usually hates 3D, loved it’s application in Cameron’s film. Still, if we’re all moving to 3D in ten years (and some estimates put it even earlier), I think I’m going to be a last-minute adherent. As much as I dug the effect, and the sensation, of sitting in a theater with a group of people experiencing a film of this sort, I don’t relish the idea of having to sit on my couch with my wife and put on our glasses to watch The Office. It somehow feels like it would further complicate a process that is, at heart, elegant and simple: sit on your ass and get told a story. I don’t think I want to share an office with Dwight Schrute or feel the flames of Hell’s Kitchen. I sure as hell don’t Think I Can Dance.

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