Hedda Gabbler: 3D: Over-stimulated and Underwhelmed


Back in the day, 3D went as far as a pair of cardboard comedy glasses attached to a comic or the kids’ supplement of a weekend newspaper and you still had to go cross-eyed for the full effect. I always remember it as being really awesome for an easily impressed five year old but nowadays? I’m not convinced and for some unfathomable reason, 3D is starting to make a big comeback and I’m more than a tad confused as to why…

A large proportion of newly released films can now be viewed in 3D with increasing frequency. I, myself, have forayed into the realms of this retro revival with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and more recently, the oh-so-sophisticated Piranha (and no, for all of those wondering, you do not get a 3D virtual grope of Kelly Brook’s sizeable bosom). Personally, the reason for viewing these films in 3D was just for the novelty and perhaps an added dash of peer pressure – nobody wants to be the cinema scrooge! Still, both times now I’ve been highly disappointed.

In skipping to the cinema seat full of the excitement of a comparative toddler, the fuss around 3D failed to materialise. Perhaps my expectations were too high – I wanted images flying in my face and knocking me off my seat. But nope, none of that. Perhaps my glasses weren’t working properly. No, I don’t think so. Perhaps I’d gone to see the non-3D version of the film. Nope, not that either. Therefore I have been able to draw a full, solid and well-informed conclusion: 3D is crap. Full stop.

What a waste of sodding time and what a way to ruin perfectly good, old school 2D films. But then maybe that’s just it, maybe the clever marketers put the 3D bells and whistles on all the passable films so that us silly, over-exposed and desensitised audience members are too wrapped up in the attack gentle scratch on our senses that we fail to realise how the film in question matches the 3D effects in crapness rating. That’s what I think anyway, until I hear an ungodly rumour about the development of 3D TV: please tell me this is an extravagant joke. Does this mean people actually think it’s any good? You can call me a philistine; I’m one of those who swear blind they are unable to tell the difference between regular and HD TV.

In all seriousness though, if you want an exercise in three dimensional entertainment, go to the bloody theatre! I know mediated performance is all the rage, especially with initiatives like NT Live but that really is an entirely different animal if you ask me. For someone, who cannot go to London regularly and lives in the sticks like me, a three dimensional theatre experience transposed onto a two dimensional cinema screen is pure genius, not to mention pure convenience. The reverse is just a shoddy attempt at theatrical imitation. Although, I will admit, the new Ray Ban style glasses are pretty cool and I may have saved my pair, you know, just in case…