Monday, 8 February 2010

3-D Redux

As some of you may know, Sony is currently considering rereleasing classics in 3-D. Granted, I do not know what exactly they mean by “classics.” This article mentions Spider-Man and Casino Royale alongside
Taxi Driver, but as someone who tutors high schoolers, I do know that there are people who consider anything pre-Juno “old.” How far back would this go? Would we see the depth to which Hans Gruber plummets as never before? Would Norma Desmond seem to pop out of the screen as she gets ready for her extreme close-up? Will we finally get to behold D.W. Griffith’s racist vision truly realized as the KKK dramatically races to save the day in three dimensions of Reconstructionist Southern Glory?

I’m going to place my money on not going any further back than Star Wars, which I always have drawn as the unofficial line between “old movies” and “new movies.” Of course, I would not be surprised if they do not even tackle anything from before this century. Well, Lucas might…anything for a few bucks after all.

The instinctive reaction is to decry “O times! O morales!” in classical Latin accent and wait for the next few harbingers of the apocalypse to arrive. But then, I have to ask, is this really all that bad?

Let’s assume that you absolutely hate 3-D. Your mother was mutilated in a freak mayhap involving a 3-D camera and your invalid cousin went blind after taking the glasses outside post-“Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” and looking directly at the sun (further proving how evil EPCOT indeed is). Thankfully, no matter what the studio bosses do to adulterate your favorite film…it still remains unadulterated in other forms! There are still DVDs, Blu-Rays, revival theaters, etc. While film executives have a grotesque dearth of scruples, they aren’t going to annihilate any pre-3-D forms of classics. Hell, even Lucas released the original trilogy on DVD, with Han shooting first and everything!

Granted, I too am someone who gets annoyed at things that really do not affect me (*cough* the Oscars *cough*). So I’ll do you one better: I’m going to extol the benefits of this new money-making scheme!

Benefit #1: Who wants to watch John McTiernan go all bad-ass on a tiny screen?

“Yippee-Kay-Yay Motherfucker” roughly translates to “I am one hardcore badass and you should really only indulge in my asskickery on a big yippee-kay-yay-motherfucking screen!” I admit, I did originally see Die Hard via Netflix Instant, but I would love to see it on a theater with surround sound and an enthusiastic audience. This past fall, I had the enjoyment of watching the first two Toy Storys again on the big screen. Why? Because they were rereleased in 3-D! Did the 3-D really matter all that much or enhance the experience? No. But was it still much more preferable to renting it on DVD and staying in my living room? Does Bo Peep want to get into Woody’s pants? This proliferation of rereleased classics really signifies of resurgence of the revival theater…right in the comfort of your own over-priced, local cinema!

Benefit #2: Hey kids! Movies from the last century!

Like I said earlier, I make a semi-living tutoring high schoolers. Most are brilliant little young adults whose cultural awareness is on the verge of blossoming into a beautiful flower of refinement. Others, however, have provided such gems as, “I’m planning to get around to watching some old movies. One of my friends lent me Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” When reminded that that film is indeed from 2004 and upon asking him if he watches actually old films, he rejoined with The Usual Suspects.

But this 3-D phenomenon provides a bit of hope to banish such ignorance. They may never go out of their way to rent an “old” flick like Aliens or a complete archaic vestige of a by-gone era such as Spartacus, but what if they were playing at a local theater in 3-D? They may go out of sheer boredom, curiosity, or just because Legion or what-have-you has sold out. Once you overcome your abhorrence at the concept of 3-Difying Kubrick, you might see that this money-making scheme is not completely devoid of merit.

Yeah, I know it’s a silly idea; Legion would never sell out.

Benefit #3: Quentin Tarantino will make you love 3-D.

If there is one director who can take any ridiculous gimmick or trick and make it into an aspect of a cinematic masterpiece, it’s Tarantino. I was thinking of movies that studios might rerelease in 3-D and when Kill Bill came up in the great rolodex of my mind, I could not help but giggle with the rush of fanboyish pleasure over such a possibility. Like one of those optical illusions that simultaneously proffer a comely maiden and a hideous crone, good ol’ Quentin delivers cinema that is both pure and utter trash, but that becomes great cinema because of that very fact. I now want nothing more than to watch the shot of adrenaline scene from Pulp Fiction while wearing a honkingly large pair of 3-D glasses.

On a similar note, we may finally get a wide-release of Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder in 3-D. For those of you who do not know, Hitch actually intended for this movie to be in 3-D and filmed it with that in mind (there are often objects between the camera and the action, to give you an extra sense of dimension...and voyeurism!). Of course, by the time he finished it and was ready to release it, the 3-D movie had begun its half-century-long dormancy. For 50 years we have been forced to watch the film in 2-D, which may be as great of a shame as watching it in black and white. Yes, I love black and white, but when something is filmed in stunning Technicolor, DAMMIT I want Technicolor!

So fear not, dear reader. The end is not nigh. The gods must more thoroughly drive us mad before they destroy us.

In fact, to those of you still bemoaning the approaching ubiquitous nature of 3-D movies, I offer you this little puzzle to calm your addled minds

The current point of 3-D is to try to boost ticket sales due to the evils of downloading cars and the like. They want to make going to the movies an experience that cannot be duplicated at home. Of course, what are theaters going to do once sales for Avatar-esque DVDs start to flounder as people realize that the experience can’t be duplicated at home and all they bought was a movie with an audaciously predictable plot (yes, the plot is predictable to the point of audacity). Granted, the people buying Avatar on DVD might take some time to catch on to this fact, but even my dog has figured out through trial and error that when he poops outside, he gets more treats than when he poops inside. This trend of 3-D, if movies become more and more geared around the 3-D technology, might ultimately defeat itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment