Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, March 30, 2009

To 3-D or not to 3-D? That is becoming the box office answer to the question

The big money maker at the multiplex this past weekend was Monsters Vs. Aliens,which raked in 58 million and counting. A part of the success of the movie is being attributed to it's 3D effects,which makes the folks at Dreamworks happy as clams who easily managed to not be put on the menu at Red Lobster.

3D has been making a comeback in the last several years,with not only Dreamworks but Pixar jumping on the bandwagon as well. It's interesting to note that this visual gimmick is once again sliding back into cinema's good graces during a time of severe culture upheaval. The 1950s and early sixties were the heyday of 3D,using it for horror and sci-fi films just like we are doing now.

While I do recognize that it's an obvious gimmick,3-D is not without it's charms. Like spicy condiments and moments of clarity from Paula Abdul,a little goes a long way.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released in IMAX with 3-D,which I got to see with my sister last year,and it was visually amazing. The 3D portion was done during the major showdown sequence at the Ministry of Magic,where it enhanced the action rather than distracted from it.

The bonus of viewing that section of the film on such a ginormous screen to boot was the extra sprinkles on the movie cupcake:

When used in the right way and in moderation,3-D can rock but ever looming overhead is the inevitable overkill which turns this technology into a mock worthy trick. Horror movies are notorious for this,from the classic House of Wax(not the one with Paris Hilton) to the sixth Nightmare on Elm Street flick called Freddy's Dead:The Final Nightmare-as if!

Most of the current 3-D mania is being targeted at kids' movies but horror is not immune from it. As recently as January,gore fans were offered up a remake of My Bloody Valentine in 3-D(the original didn't have that feature,by the way)which didn't set the world on fire or the box office but not for lack of trying:

All of the potential blame for 3-D over exposure can't be placed on fright flicks' doorstep,however. There's an awful lot of animated movies being given third dimensional upgrades lately,some set to appear in a theater near you this upcoming Christmas.

Hopefully,these films are good enough to stand on their own and can be worth watching with or without those funky red and blue glasses. Of course,it will be the quantity of profit rather than the quality of the work that will determine the fate of 3-D films(as it was in past)but it would be cool to have a bit of both.

Alas,I fear that we'll be getting more of the likes of Journey To The Center of the Earth:3D instead of Harry Potter level material-with any luck,I'll be proven wrong:

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