Seizing the latest 3-D craze with the trembling hands of a greedy prospector swiping his neighbor’s gold nugget, the studios immediately tried to “up-convert” new iterations of Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans. As you may know, the tenor of audience reactions ranged from indifferent to disgusted. Given the hefty surcharge slapped on their tickets, few moviegoers felt like they got their money’s worth for this half-baked experience. It’s probably the baldest cash-grab this business has perpetrated since…oh, well, since the 3-D craze of the 50’s. That’s when muddy images and headaches soured the public’s taste for the technology. Huh, you’d think Hollywood would do its homework on its history, right?
Louis Leterrier, director of the Clash of the Titans remake, confessed to The Hollywood Reporter at the film’s premiere that he told the 3-D conversion team, “Don’t make it so much like a View-Master—so…so puffied up.” Apparently, they didn’t listen—or this 3-D conversion technology is about as much like a 747 as those wacky propeller-powered chairs the earliest aviators used to drive off cliffs. Meaning, it’s a little too soon to start taking your customers’ money and sending them for a ride. But readers of this blog should rejoice that the View-Master movie we’ve been anticipating so eagerly could enjoy 3-D tailor-made for it. Hell, you could probably justify another price hike for those tix!
These days, a tweet or simple status update can really spread the word, and I’m hoping the word is out on 3-D conversions. I’m actually pretty optimistic that right now, a sixth-grader in Dubuque, IA is giving his buddy a sage look and saying, “3-D conversions are crap. Unless it’s shot in 3-D, I’m not going.”
I’ve always been a proponent of the third dimension in cinema for its immersive potential and pure fun factor. But putting out a shoddy product is taking the bloom off this rose. Hollywood better work out the bugs in the process or we’ll go from boom to backlash in a hurry as history repeats itself.
— Stogie Joe