Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Feature - evlkeith's First 3D Film Experience

In 1983, I went to see a 3D film that I quite enjoyed. It was Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. But since Avatar hit the cinemas, I can't say that the thought of 3D has really inspired me (especially after seeing Avatar in 2D and finding out that the 3D aspect was all it had going for it). To my mind, 3D screams 'gimmick'.

I was expecting the 3D fad to dwindle but it's lasted a surprisingly long time. So, I decided it was time to go and see one of these new fangled cinematic experiences. I tried to go and see The Avengers, but there was a massive queue and I couldn't be bothered. Since then I've also attempted to watch Iron Man 3 and World War Z but have been thwarted both times.

Finally with the release of Pacific Rim, and hearing good things about the 3D, I decided this was the one. I booked tickets online (ooh) which took me ages due to me not being able to reminder all of the passwords, having my card frozen, ringing up the bank and being interrogated for hours about my identity. Oh, and the tickets cost a tenner each. (Seeing as though I've just bought Deep Red on blu-ray for £9 and I get to keep it to watch numerous times at my leisure, it all seemed a bit steep.) Things weren't going well.

Things didn't get any better. I picked up the tickets, to avoid any queues, at about 4 o'clock. Funnily enough they only had one person serving, and I had to wait for loads of Hollister-wearing Mini-driving rich kids buying their coke and popcorn for £7.85 (?!?!!). So that took me ages too.

On arrival at the cinema, we looked around for the ticket attendant type person. No-one around. Eventually someone arrived and gruntingly gave us our glasses. Yet more fun was to be had when my seat was covered in popcorn. Great stuff. At least I had a little chuckle when I started having a cheeky cereal bar and Coke that I'd smuggled in.

Finally, after half an hour's worth of adverts, we reached the 3D experience in the form of a trailer for Wolverine. It looked rubbish and the 3D made me feel sick. Oh dear. Fortunately as Pacific Rim started I became accustomed to the effect. 

So what do I think of 3D? Well, 3D is at its best when you forget all about it and it looks like 2D. The rest of the time it was like a really annoying child trying to get my attention by kicking my chair, throwing crisp crumbs over my head and then shoving two fingers right into my face. The worst offenders were the holographic computer displays. The endless shots of the holographic computer displays. At least I didn't gip. The parts that people were raving about were the particle effects: the sparks, the rain etc. All I could think about was the fact that I was watching a 3D film. Pretty, but doesn't gel well with a supposedly story led medium.

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the effect did its very best to drag me out of the story. But (and here's the mini-review of Pacific Rim) there isn't really a story. Only two moments even vaguely surprised me, the rest of the time I was in Avatar land. In my mind, stories should have events that happen to characters that they aren't expecting. But more than that, they should happen in a way that the audience doesn't expect too. Otherwise it all becomes very predictable. I know the film is aimed at children but even they must feel a tad insulted by this. 

70% of the film is completely dire. I was so bored by the first half, I almost didn't enjoy what I'd gone for: giant robots vs. monsters. That 30%, where they have a good old scrap, is fantastic. Interestingly, the only two good story moments occur in fights. Just imagine if there'd been a half decent story behind it, how good it could have been.

So, would I go and see another 3D film because I was so excited and inspired? Or is it just a gimmick? 

No, I wouldn't go to another. And yes, it's a gimmick.

3D experience = 1/10 (for the lack of sick)
Pacific Rim = 3/10 (for the fights)

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