Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Alice in Wonderland (in 3D)

It’s new! It’s modern! It’s the future of cinema! Yes we tried it in the 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s but this time we have definitely cracked it! 3D is here!
Last night I went to see Alice in Wonderland at my local, tiny, cinema. This is the first film, to my knowledge, that they have shown in 3D so there was bit of excitement about it. There was even a queue. I wanted to see the film and I wasn’t fussed about the 3D thing but it wasn’t being shown in 2D so my hand was forced.
The first thing that annoyed me was the fact that it cost more to get in. OK, so my cinema is very cheap to get into, £2.50 on a week day, but that’s not the point. It was £4 last night, still not expensive but I was forced to pay it in order to rent the massive, heavy glasses that were needed to remove most of the colour from the film.
Once the film started it became very clear, very quickly that 3D is not for me. It may be because this movie was not filmed in 3D and the effect was added afterwards that it looked so odd. It isn’t very good. In fact (not Martyn’s Law) it bares a striking resemblance to one of those old 3D viewer things, like the ViewMaster 3D viewer. It is the same sort of effect.


It looked like it was filmed in layers. Disney used to do this with their old animated films to add depth to the picture. This is not what real life looks like.
So back to the problems with the colour. With the glasses on the film seemed very dark, not “Alien Resurrection” dark, but still really dark. The colour looked drained. Maybe this was the look that they were going for but when I took the glasses off, which I did many times, the colours were beautiful. Bright and vibrant. Mark Kermode claimed that in the 3D version of the masterpiece that is “Up” you lost 30% of the colour saturation, I now fully understand what he means. The colour was sapped from the film, whether that is through design or accident, by the 3Ding of the print.
So the 3D effect was poor, the colour was drained and I had to pay more to wear the silly, heavy, uncomfortable glasses and on top of all that the film really isn’t very good. I mean, it’s not “Planet of the Apes” bad but it is “Sleepy Hollow” bad. It’s boring, oh and the castles in it really look like the Disney castle.
Is 3D the future of cinema? I really hope not. It really doesn’t add anything to the cinema going experience and it adds nothing to the films. It’s an expensive gimmick. A way to try and limit piracy.
Not the greatest night out I have ever had but I have now seen a 3D film. It’s not something that I will be rushing too again. I did have a very nice pint of ale afterwards though which sort of made up for it though.

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