It’s an easy one, Hamlet: 3D not for me

Most movie blockbusters come with the option of viewing the film in 3D. Not once, and not just because it is the more expensive alternative, have I watched a 3D picture. 2D still works for me today.

Defenders of 3D tell me it is a magical experience of stereophonic depth perspectives with the intensity of a thousand surrealistic paintings. This wasn’t music to my ears as I imagined my watch melting in the heat. My only close encounter with the third dimensional kind was a TV demonstration in-store that you could test for yourself. A kind of try before you buy experiment.

First off I didn’t like the glasses. I was looking forward to donning the two-toned blue and red whizz from bizz font colour scheme sparkling eye-pieces. I found out they’ve been replaced by bland jet black Top Gun shades instead. Progress, my uneducated left foot. During long films on occasion, because of my goldfish attention span my eyes have wandered from the drama which is not a problem with my 20/12 vision. With these spectacles on however, apart from the screen the surroundings are devoid of definition.

Nausea and disorientation also set in after a short time as my head wasn’t used to this alien environment. Now the five minute 3D attractions at fairgrounds where you fly a Naboo space ship or plunge into the ocean avoiding giant piranhas are exciting. That’s a five minute ride and you are the star not a three hour extravaganza full of funny nosed Avatar humanoids.

3D is not new. I can recall my mum telling me she saw House of Wax (1953) starring Vincent Price in 3D. She said before the main feature an advertisement in 3D for cigarettes ended with the actor throwing ciggies into the audience. The crowd were agog and ducked or tried to catch the tobacco missiles. For the time this was cutting room edge technology. Unfortunately, the novelty of the effects soon wore off on customers and the original 3D had a small shelf life.

Producers are trying again. Their influence has even spilled onto other medium. My sub-editor suggested we should do this blog in 3D to set a trend. To be frank I wasn’t happy with him and this week he’s been wearing dark glasses after the disciplinary meeting I had with him.

This 2G 3D will also run its course and then be consigned to the dustbin alongside other scientific nightmares: Betamax, DeLorean supercar, Concorde, Vuvuzela, New Coke…

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22 Comments on “It’s an easy one, Hamlet: 3D not for me”

  1. Expat Says:

    I'm with you on this, JW. I've had a couple of IMAX experiences. The seating was sharply tiered, making the fear of falling into rows below as one leaned to avoid flying sharks and trumpeting rogue elephants even more harowing. No, 2-D is fine by me. I can't even tolerate surround-sound at home. It disorients me.

    I do remember going to see a 3-D movie when they first came out in the UK. It was so distracting I can't for the life of me remember what the film was.

  2. Splendidly graphic blog, JW. With Horrifying Peter Lorre (isn't it?) effigy – did his eyes pop out while Vincent was boiling the wax? And some people remove unwanted hairs in this manner…

    3D makes me go cross-eyed. I like that. At Futuroscope once we dashed inside the cinema & missed the box of goggles – it was a disappointing experience, but Everyone Else had thrills galore…

  3. I've a vague memory (from the 1950's) of a school outing to see a huge curved screen at the Dominion Theatre in Tottenham Court Road. The 3D film being shown was a travelogue and it was my first and only experience of wearing cardboard spectacles in a cinema. Can't remember anything else, except that South Pacific was shown at the Dominion for several years afterwards, and that was much more fun. I still remember some of the wisecracks after all these years…

  4. Cardboard spectacles, CI… I'm relieved to say that just a few years later, my NHS specs were pink plastic.

    South Pacific – memorable songs I think – didn't Captain Sensible do a triffic version of 'Happy Talk'?
    Have never seen the film, but feel urged to investigate…

  5. Bloody Mary, Dolores – you haven't seen South Pacific???? I'm Distuybed, I'm Distuybed!!!

    But in the Cathedral of my Heart, a candle will always burn for you!

  6. JW10 Says:

    Good evening friends,

    Much as I like adventure and sci-fi films I would never want to watch a 3D version, Expat, and steep seating arrangements sounds scary indeed. A food for thought moment. Do 3D watchers munch on popcorn throughout the film?

    Spot on with your Peter Dolores deduction, Lorre. (This sentence was written by the sub-editor)
    Thanks for the wax info- I have a few unwanted hairs. Time they were treated.

    Uh-oh, CI, I haven’t seen South Pacific either.

  7. Expat Says:

    Philistines!! South Pacific was (is) wonderful entertainment. But maybe you were both too young and still into the Lone Ranger and Hoppalong Cassidy at the Saturday morning matinee when it first came out.

  8. ah'm saaawry, ah'm saaawry, CI!!
    No… hasn't got the same clout as Distuybed.

    Yes Expat, far too young. Lone Ranger, though – now you're talking. And snippets of Flash Gordon.

    At George's PictureHouse, you went on stage if it was your birthday, and got a free ticket for next time. There were many fortnightly birthdays in Liverpool…

  9. My first visit to Saturday morning pictures was a disaster. I went off in search of the loo, pushed open a door, and found myself standing on the pavement outside with the door shut behind me.

    I still dream of it today.

  10. Expat Says:

    It was sixpence to get in at my Picture House. The organ would rise out of a pit and we'd all sing jolly songs before the show. If anyone was badly behaved during the films, they were thrown out by that fearsome creature THE MANAGER.

    Aw, CI. Visions of this little bereft boy in short trousers crying outside the door…

  11. Yes. I wish I'd told you all before.
    But I feel much better now.

  12. JW10 Says:

    Saturday morning matinee? Hoppalong Cassidy? What on earth are you lot talking about?

  13. Be not alarmed JW! We Come from Outer Space.

  14. … for which …
    … we made….
    … a
    Journey into Space

  15. Expat Says:

    Oh my God. Journey Into Space! I have vivid memories of all of us gathered round the wireless, kids lying on stomachs on the floor, listening to the weekly broadcast. I was the baby of the family and huddled up to my big brother for reassurance. Sadly the only name I remember is Lenny.

    That was the scariest program ever until Quatermass came along.

  16. Yes Expat!
    And weren't the sound effects brilliant? I loved the eerie musical tones at the beginning and end of each episode!

    Captain Jet Morgan was my hero!

  17. Just googled: – the show was broadcast from 21 September 1953 to 18 June 1958.

    No. of episodes:

    Journey to the Moon – 18
    The Red Planet – 20
    The World in Peril – 20
    Operation Luna – 13
    The Return from Mars – 1

  18. Only Quatermass rings a bell, which I remember as a big black blob. Spectacular recall on my part as google tells me I wasn't quite born. It also has Fab images of a praying mantis thing creature…

    Apparently, the Alien film took some influence from Quatermass's invaded body story. Now, There's an exciting film!

  19. JW10 Says:

    Don’t mind me, folks, I’m enjoying your recollections, carry on all you want.

    I used to watch the ten minute Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials when I was young. They used to show them on TV, usually during the Christmas holidays. I haven’t seen any of the others mentioned though the titles alone make them sound exciting.

  20. Expat Says:

    You're a gent,JW. I was feeling guilty about the old farts (not you, Dolores) hijacking your blog once again. Sometimes, we just can't help ourselves.

  21. You snapperwhipper JW! Surely you've seen Alien? I suspect you're secretly 110!
    (I know I am)

  22. Glasgow, Loire, Washington, Tenerife, and more..

    Gosh,we have an opportunity.

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