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3D movies steal money

Especially in the past couple of years, 3D movies have become a popular phenomenon, but 3D movies were new and exciting back in 1915 when the first 3D scenes premiered in New York City. The Astor Theater in NYC showed three short scenes with the 3D effects while the audience wore the old fashioned, blue and red 3D glasses. (photo/

3D in film has become the flavor of the week in Hollywood. For about the past two years, Hollywood has permeated the 3D element more than perhaps any gim­mick in history. But, is it worth the extra five or so dollars a ticket? Does 3D actu­ally enhance the films themselves, or is 3D just another money-grabbing scheme?

Perhaps the most famous example of 3D in the past few years has been James Cameron's epic "Avatar." It was marketed as Cameron's return to filmmaking (he had not made a feature film since "Titanic") and also as a visual spectacular. The film was visually astonishing; it had the most beautiful and effective visual effects in the history of film. But the film was shown in 3D, and there was an intense campaign by 20th Cen­tury Fox to promote the fact that the 3D allegedly enhanced the visual experience.

I saw the film twice, once in 3D and once without. To be honest, there was no distinct visual dif­ference. The only difference was that my wallet was lighter when I coughed up the extra $5 dollars to see the 3D version. There was simply no reason that the film had to be in 3D; its visuals were so stunning and perfected that there was no reason it needed to be "enhanced."

The 3D gimmick is growing old and there has yet to be a film that has made a convincing case for its existence. Not even "Avatar," the most visually impressive film in history could justify 3D. Countless films are released a year with the 3D effect, but when has that made a true difference?

When has that element ever enhanced a film? If anything, it tends to distort the visual experience. 3D makes the color palette shallow and the dimensions of the scenes seem warped or off-center. Certain­ly there are films in which the 3D is not a detriment, but there is no evidence yet that 3D is truly a benefit.

So, why make a 3D movie? It does not enhance the drama, the narrative effectiveness or even the acting of a film. The reality is that 3D is a profit tool. Hollywood studios are not compli­cated creatures: They want money. Is there any easier way to get extra money than to increase the price of admission?

Studios are essentially running a racket, and what’s most important is to never fall for the fallacy of 3D. It is not nearly as important, innovative or even interesting as the studios claim.

But people continue to go see 3D films. They shell out the cash, put on the glasses and do not receive a superior film-going experience. The fact is they have already paid for their ticket. Hollywood is a fickle mistress; it does not care if your experience was satisfactory if you have already paid. The only way to convince Hollywood that 3D is just an unsatisfac­tory gimmick is to, quite simply, not shell out the extra bucks for 3D. I guarantee your theater experience will be adequate, and you will not feel like you have been robbed.

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