Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Disturbing Development

It appears that the first "Hobbit" film will only be shown in Scotland in glorious 3D. So if you want to see it, but want to opt out of that extraneous extra D, you can't.

Which really isn't very good. After all, plenty of people actively prefer the 2D presentation, due to it not being as dark as the 3D equivalent. And, of course, 3D films are unsuitable for children due to their eyes still developing. And then there are people who become travel-sick when watching 3D effects, not to mention those who are blind in one eye, or otherwise unable to view a 3D picture.

(And, for the latter, simply viewing a "left-only" presentation is a less than ideal substitute. It's perhaps better than nothing... but it's less good than watching a film that was intended to be viewed in 2D. Switching from 2D to 3D isn't just a case of adding a second layer; it's a matter of re-organising the material for two layers instead of one.)

Now, I can understand why the cinemas are so keen on 3D presentation. With the rise of big-screen TVs and home cinema equipment, coupled with quick releases on Blu-ray, there's very little incentive for people to venture out to the cinema, pay a lot of money for tickets, and then have the film ruined by muppets on the mobile phones.

But very few people have 3D-capable TVs and 3D-capable blu-ray players, and 3D discs to play. They're coming, but they're coming very gradually (and have significant problems of their own). So, for the moment, the cinemas can offer something that people can't easily duplicate at home. And, indeed, I've more or less taken the view that I'll only go to the cinema for 3D films these days, with a very few notable exceptions. (The recent jump in prices, coupled with the aforementioned "have the film ruined" issue, is to blame. Unless I pretty much know it's going to be a good film, I might as well wait four months for the blu-ray.)

So, yeah, I can understand the motivation for cinemas to show films in 3D. I can understand why they're so incredibly keen to push the medium. But when it comes to showing them only in 3D, that's quite another matter. Frankly, that's quite offensive.

(And another thing: why does it seem to be "The Hobbit" that keeps annoying me? I was always a little annoyed that they'd split it into two films, it being one book and all, and then they split it into three. And now this. It's almost as if they're trying to annoy. Grr.)


Chris Brind said...

It gets worse... it's shot in "HFR" - high frame rate. Jackson assures audiences it will create a "different" immersive experience with HFR-3D being the best format to watch it in, but I am skeptical at this point.

Kezzie said...

I've never experienced anything in 3d as I am in the 'blind in one eye category.'- I do wonder what it's like! I'm not fully blind but only have very peripheral vision! Yes, I'd be annoyed if I were Scottish!

thechrlog said...

I would also fall into the "blind in one eye" category, although actually both my eyes are okay, it's just that they don't work together in any meaningful way.

I would also be annoyed if I was Scottish (but that is a separate matter!).

I had not heard about the Hobbit being 3 films; this is quite nonsensical. There isn't enough material/appropriate plot structure to support three films.

Steph/ven said...

Fortunately, LC managed to find a cinema showing "The Hobbit" in glorious 2D - the Grosvenor in Glasgow. But the major chains appear to be 3D-only.