Roger Ebert "Hates" 3D And Thinks You Should As Well

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News Posted: Mon, May 3 2010 12:49 AM
3D has become quite the hot button topic around the world, with manyviewing it as a scam and many saying that it's the best thing sincewidescreen. There's no doubt that cinemas have enjoyed charging morefor tickets and making loads of money from the hits of 2009 and 2010,but we have never been convinced that the general public is reallybuying into 3D. We suspect that 3D HDTV sales will be a great sign ofthe real 3D reaction, but until then, there's one critic we're payingparticular attention to: Roger Ebert.

That name alone means a lot to anyone familiar with film. His critiquesare valued above all others, and his words reverberate across theindustry. So when Roger penned a piece entitled "Why I Hate 3-D (AndYou Should Too)," our ears perked up. A lot of what Roger says in therant mirrors our own feelings about 3D, and regardless of your stance,it's a pretty insightful piece to read.



He says that he isn't opposed to having 3D as an option, but forcing itto be "the only way" hurts film. Serious filmmakers cannot reasonablymake 3D versions of dramas and such, yet marketing companies aredemanding more and more 3D as a way to charge more for tickets andbring home more bacon. All told, Roger details nine points as to why hedislikes 3D, and we agree with at least portions of all of them.

Give it a look and think for yourself: are you happy wtih the 3D overload? Are you "so over it?"
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Zestia replied on Mon, May 3 2010 1:53 PM

Where's the link to Ebert's article? I know it's probably staring me straight in the face, I just don't see it? Help, please.

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I'd give it a look... except there is no link to it. Fail...

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http://www.newsweek.com/id/237110/page/1

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I agree with this, even though I LOVE 3D technology. When I settle into the film industry I don't want to be forced to tell my story in 3D. It's not needed, although I would argue that for some movie types it's definitely necessary.

I think that 3D has risen in popularity way too fast, sort of like an overnight celebrity. People won't have time to adjust, and the technology is still so young, that people probably won't want to switch until the glasses go away.

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kid007 replied on Mon, May 3 2010 6:26 PM

I'm still stuck in BR disk, I have confirm how much I hate theater.

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As I stated on these boards numerous times before the whole 3D hype I am not buying it!!!!!!

Again HD just became accepted, I cannot see everyone and their mother rushing out to Best Buy to pick up a 3D Television and relegating the 46 inch plasma or LCD to the kiddy room for little Johnny.

I agree this is just another tactic by the movie industry to cash in on something new and intriguing. I saw Avatar in 3D and I was not blown away by some wow factor, it was OK at best!!!!!!!

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AKwyn replied on Mon, May 3 2010 10:35 PM

Marius Malek:

I agree with this, even though I LOVE 3D technology. When I settle into the film industry I don't want to be forced to tell my story in 3D. It's not needed, although I would argue that for some movie types it's definitely necessary.

I think that 3D has risen in popularity way too fast, sort of like an overnight celebrity. People won't have time to adjust, and the technology is still so young, that people probably won't want to switch until the glasses go away.

I don't think you'll have to tell your whole story in 3D. While it has risen overnight, it won't be used in nearly every movie. Just imagine if you've seen a comedy in 3D or something, not every genre has to be in 3D. Also some movie studios (usually the independent one) can't afford to make their or your movie into 3D. And the ones that do get made into 3D is something that is very ambitious or likely to become a big blockbuster.

Trust me, you're not going to be forced into anything if you play your cards right.

 

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That Newsweek article was well-written. Talk about dissecting this new 3-D technology - and then blowing it off (with good reason)! Thanks for the linkage, techmark101, and welcome to HotHardware!

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Marius Malek:

I agree with this, even though I LOVE 3D technology. When I settle into the film industry I don't want to be forced to tell my story in 3D. It's not needed, although I would argue that for some movie types it's definitely necessary.

I think that 3D has risen in popularity way too fast, sort of like an overnight celebrity. People won't have time to adjust, and the technology is still so young, that people probably won't want to switch until the glasses go away.

I don't think you'll have to tell your whole story in 3D. While it has risen overnight, it won't be used in nearly every movie. Just imagine if you've seen a comedy in 3D or something, not every genre has to be in 3D. Also some movie studios (usually the independent one) can't afford to make their or your movie into 3D. And the ones that do get made into 3D is something that is very ambitious or likely to become a big blockbuster.

Trust me, you're not going to be forced into anything if you play your cards right

Read more: http://hothardware.com/News/Roger-Ebert-Hates-3D-And-Thinks-You-Should-As-Well/#ixzz0mx5c6Fki

I still get double vision with all this cut and paste :P

It hasn't risen overnight! Quote Wiki"

"3-D films have existed in some form since 1890, but until 2010 had been largely relegated to a niche in the motion picture industry because of the costly hardware and processes required to produce and display a 3-D film, and the lack of a standardized format for all segments of the entertainment business. Nonetheless, 3-D films were prominently featured in the 1950s in American cinema, and later experienced a worldwide resurgence in the 1980s and 90s driven by IMAX high-end theaters and Disney themed-venues. 3-D films became more and more successful throughout 2000-09 , culminating in the unprecedented success of 3-D presentations of Avatar in December 2009."

I guess if you don't remember the 80's and 90's then it would seem like overnight :P just wait until you get married and have to go see chick flicks in 3D!

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3vi1 replied on Tue, May 4 2010 7:14 AM

Sometimes the links are at the bottom: "Via: Newsweek"

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Damn Tom, I did not need that image in my head. Chick flicks in 3D! *SHUDDER*

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Chainzsaw replied on Tue, May 4 2010 11:13 AM

One thing I would like to say about 3D though is I believe this is the next step towards Holodeck (SP?)? It seems like the technology is a bit immature - and i'm going to wait until the 3rd or 4th generation to possibly get a 3DTV that doesn't require glasses (they do have them now, but it appears they suck as you have to sit in a certain spot to see it).

I do believe it is the next logical step in TV, but until it is a common standard it is a mere niche of a product.

I watched Muppets back in early 1990 in 3D and back then it was great!

Also I do believe 3D gaming would be awesome - especially for games like call of duty modern warfare 2 where enemies would "pop out" more.

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Chainsaw: The current 3D method is actually a step away from a holographic display (the "holodeck"). Back in the 80s I was making transmission and reflection holograms at the Franklin Institute. Take a look at a good hologram; you can move your head and see the side or top of the object. But the amount of information stored on the medium is much greater, and (though techniques have evolved) the viewing angle remains small compared to a motion picture screen. But the stereoscopic process is pretty much what early 20th century families amused themselves with on Sunday evenings in the parlor.

There is hope for Trekkies who want their "Captain Kirk Meets the Green Orion Slave Girl" experience, though; a form of augmented reality in 3D has been demonstrated. Two semireflective surfaces are mounted over the eyes (looking for all the world like a pair of Kim Jong Il sunglasses) and computer images projected onto the surface. The image is overlaid onto your visual field. Using a known environment and good proprioceptive (body position) sensors, you can move about, and even interact with, this computer-generated world that exists in tandem with the real world. (We monoculars can use it too, but we lose the depth of field information-- same as we lose it when looking at anything, really.)

Expect to see this in theaters long after your grandchildren are dead.

Roger Ebert has always been my favorite film critic; I started watching him back in the days where he was paired with the late Gene Siskel, no slouch himself. They really got me thinking about movies, not only as something to occupy the attention for 90 minutes, but as actual works of art. For me, his third and eighth points were the best: In good films, the director uses visual tools to instantly provide an image that in literature would take pages worth of literary imagery. (By the way, neither is "better," but good writers and good directors make choices appropriate to their media.)

Huzzah, Roger. We also both dig Imax.


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Interesting read Clemsnide.

I think the next best thing in theatres would be "interactive" movies. It wouldn't necessarily be just one thing but say for an example:

Your watching a movie in the theatre, it could be anything, but lets just say it's a sci-fi. There's a point in the movie where there's a huge battle going on...and it would be cool to be able to pick up a "gun" (say something like the wii-mote) and be able to participate in the battle and shoot the enemies.

That would be really cool.

Anyways, I do miss Roger and Gene's show. I used to just "watch" movies, not really caring about the plot, the scenes, the sound until I started watching their show (when I was a young teenager). They got me thinking of the different angles you could see a movie, and revelead the secrets of movies. It really did help expand my mind and thoughts about not just movies, but everything in general.

In good films, the director uses visual tools to instantly provide an image that in literature would take pages worth of literary imagery. (By the way, neither is "better," but good writers and good directors make choices appropriate to their media.)

I don't want to sound like a me-too kind of thing but I agree with you. It doesn't really matter if you read books, or watch movies, or do both, as long as the director/book writer can portray clear images (not necessarily in the actual visual sense, but their idea) of whatever they are doing.

For me - I like to watch movies, escape into the fantasy of their lore.

In the end I agree with Roger Ebert though. 3D is a great idea, but right now it just seems gimmicky. I will save my 3D experience for Theatres until they perfected the technology for home theatre use.

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AKwyn replied on Tue, May 4 2010 11:52 PM

animatortom:

"3-D films have existed in some form since 1890, but until 2010 had been largely relegated to a niche in the motion picture industry because of the costly hardware and processes required to produce and display a 3-D film, and the lack of a standardized format for all segments of the entertainment business. Nonetheless, 3-D films were prominently featured in the 1950s in American cinema, and later experienced a worldwide resurgence in the 1980s and 90s driven by IMAX high-end theaters and Disney themed-venues. 3-D films became more and more successful throughout 2000-09 , culminating in the unprecedented success of 3-D presentations of Avatar in December 2009."

I guess if you don't remember the 80's and 90's then it would seem like overnight :P just wait until you get married and have to go see chick flicks in 3D!

Tom, I wan't born in the 80's but I did see a few 3D movies even that Spy Kids movie with the Red & Blue glasses which I feel don't work as well as polarized and made my eyes very sore. I'm talking about polarized 3D in movie theaters because polarized is obviously the best kind of 3D. It looks like it's 3D, the depth is there and it feels like things are popping out at me.

Also I don't think we'll see chick flicks in 3D because how will they use the 3D in the movie? What I would like to see most is a South Park movie in glorious IMAX 3D and Surround Sound, now we'll see what South Park feels like with the 3D glasses. :P

 

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AKwyn replied on Wed, May 5 2010 2:29 AM

Chainzsaw:

I think the next best thing in theatres would be "interactive" movies. It wouldn't necessarily be just one thing but say for an example:

Your watching a movie in the theatre, it could be anything, but lets just say it's a sci-fi. There's a point in the movie where there's a huge battle going on...and it would be cool to be able to pick up a "gun" (say something like the wii-mote) and be able to participate in the battle and shoot the enemies.

That would be really cool.

I don't think it'll work in a common theater for many reasons.

Movies is an artform of some sort, there are writers who plan out the story, write what the characters want to say and generally lay down an overall base for the movie. There are directors who take their vision and film it on tape/film or whatever they be using right now. The only way interactive movies would make sense is if you were the character and even if you were that then it'll still be considered more of a gimmick then 3D is right now. I mean take out a wiimote like thing and shoot at aliens, I can just buy a game and do that at home and I can also do that with people over the internet. I can see the benefit of being able to see, feel and being able to be in the world the director intended but it sounds more like a video game then a film, I mean if interactive movies comes around then will directors have to rethink the way they film things, and will we have to watch somebody do their taxes instead of save the world?

Even if it was in theaters, it would be more of a gimmick then 3D is right now. 3D is there to give movies depth and very rarely for something to pop out, and I don't think it's gimmicky because it's using Polarized 3D and Polarized 3D is the best kind of 3D out there. I mean remember when we had red and blue glasses, now that was a gimmick!

 

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Chainzsaw replied on Wed, May 5 2010 12:56 PM

@ Taylor

"I mean if interactive movies comes around then will directors have to rethink the way they film things"

So by that means directors aren't allowed to think outside the box and there is only one way to make a movie? Sorry but that just doesn't fly. Imagine if what you said applied to filming. We would probably still be stuck with black and white cameras, and no sound.

Another example would be say for a movie like Transformers. Imagine being able to see the CUBE in 3D right in front of your face with a wii-mote like device and be able to move the cube around so you can get a good look at it (if you so wish).

I just don't like when people say something can't be done...usually those people that do what "cannot be done" are the people who get rich when they prove them wrong.

Also of course you can go out and just play games, but I was just making an example. It could be any kind of interactivity, which also encompasses gaming.

Our technology isn't there yet, but we are inching closer and closer all the time.

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I'm not buying into 3D either. The glasses should not be required and they cost a fortune all by themselves. Also, the TV's are too friggin' expensive and I'm already "technology-heavy" at this point in my life. I don't feel that it's necessary for me since I can already thoroughly enjoy standard HD movies as they exist today.

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JoelB replied on Wed, May 5 2010 4:55 PM

realneil: It really depends - polarized glasses are quite cheap and work quite well. I have no idea why shutter glasses are taking the lead in North America. I'm seeing it as a big cash grab.

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AKwyn replied on Wed, May 5 2010 9:32 PM

Chainzsaw:
So by that means directors aren't allowed to think outside the box and there is only one way to make a movie? Sorry but that just doesn't fly. Imagine if what you said applied to filming. We would probably still be stuck with black and white cameras, and no sound.

On the contrary, I do appreciate directors who think outside the box, I just don't think interactive movies is a very good idea. By the way, color is a natural progression of film. So even if what I said applied to filiming. Color, digital and all that stuff would still be there because of the natural progression of technology.

Chainzsaw:
Another example would be say for a movie like Transformers. Imagine being able to see the CUBE in 3D right in front of your face with a wii-mote like device and be able to move the cube around so you can get a good look at it (if you so wish).

Imagine the movie's flow being interrupted. You forget that movies and many TV shows have a pace that keeps it going. If the movie suddenly stopped so people can move a cube in 3D to get a good look at it, then people would be pissed because they payed "money" to watch a movie, not to move around a CUBE in 3D. You're forgetting one part of your idea, how is it going to make Hollywood profitable? People pay to see movies, not to use a wii-mote like controller.

Chainzsaw:

I just don't like when people say something can't be done...usually those people that do what "cannot be done" are the people who get rich when they prove them wrong.

Also of course you can go out and just play games, but I was just making an example. It could be any kind of interactivity, which also encompasses gaming.

I'm saying this based on what I think. It can't be done because it is impractical, very gimmicky and what I add does not add anything to whatever movie or big blockbuster it might be tagged on. It also can't be done because it'll literally change the way movies are made, movies are made with film and in order to add interactivity to a movie you're going to have to make the software. And you're going to figure out how to trigger the software in areas where the interactivity is expected. It's not as easy as you think it's going to be. There are going to be talks about whether movies using this technology can make a profit, and if you can't make a profit on the technology (that hollywood has bought, that theaters have installed) then basically the technology is a failure and your company is bankrupt faster then hand-drawn animation in 2003.

And I used games as an example because they already have every kind of interactivity. I mean look at Doom 3, you can actually use the computers and feel like you're actually there. Any kind of game can have an immersive experience that works better then "interactive movie".

If you want to prove to us that the concept is workable then you need to provide a "proof of concept', not "examples". Because interactive movies at it's current state is nothing more then a mere pipe dream.

 

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AKwyn replied on Wed, May 5 2010 9:34 PM

JoelB:

realneil: It really depends - polarized glasses are quite cheap and work quite well. I have no idea why shutter glasses are taking the lead in North America. I'm seeing it as a big cash grab.

I agree. I don't understand what the shutter glasses do. They take up batteries, you have to recharge them and I don't think they offer that much of a difference from Polarized glasses.

 

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@Taylor

"If you want to prove to us that the concept is workable then you need to provide a "proof of concept', not "examples". Because interactive movies at it's current state is nothing more then a mere pipe dream."

I'm not going to explain everything to you. I'm not here to debate whether or not MY IDEAS are good. You can think of your own ideas. What do you think is after 3d? Whats the next big thing in movies? What can you think of?

I will leave 3D for now like I said to theatres. I've already got a nice 1080P LCD TV so i'm all good. I've seen the demos for 3D TV and they aren't great.

Anybody else have an idea on what the next big thing is for theatres?

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AKwyn replied on Thu, May 6 2010 11:51 PM

Chainzsaw:
I'm not going to explain everything to you. I'm not here to debate whether or not MY IDEAS are good. You can think of your own ideas. What do you think is after 3d? Whats the next big thing in movies? What can you think of?

Chainzsaw, I think there is nothing after 3D. We already have digital film projectors, we have IMAX, we have THX-certified sound systems, what else could possibly be the next big thing for theaters. We already got everything in the theaters that directors could use to make movies. Well except motion simulators and 4D but you know how well it worked out in the 90's.

 

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OK Taylor, I can sum up an answer for you in three words, "Captain EO 1986!"
 
Not everything back then was lowbrow trailer tech. And no, all your modern technology has not just appeared within the last five years like they want you to believe just to get you to buy into it, and it did not come from Aliens :P
 
In fact that Color code 3D method(2000) is a newer approach on the older tech(1950's), developed after they realized shutter and LCD was to expensive. Unless you had Lucas, Jackson and Disney behind it.
 
I love the new Real 3D and I liked it even back in 02 with IMAX space station 3D! I must have gone back like seven times to see that one. Then again the price was only like 4 dollars more than the average IMAX.
 
Which brings me back to my original point, We should not have to pay extra for this! They should give it as a courtesy for our support! And if they feel that it adds to their movie and should be the only format for it. Then they could cut a million off the 40Million price tag of each actor to make up the difference! Or should they all start charging for each little technical achievement! How about four dollar more per ticket for the bullet time camera, or the digital motion tracker? Why just because that is the only way the Matrix should be viewed.
Like Neil says we should not be buying into this! It is their job to get us in the theatres, yet they don't have to rape us then tell us how good it was! 
 
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ClemSnide replied on Wed, May 12 2010 11:53 PM

Chainzsaw:

Your watching a movie in the theatre, it could be anything, but lets just say it's a sci-fi. There's a point in the movie where there's a huge battle going on...and it would be cool to be able to pick up a "gun" (say something like the wii-mote) and be able to participate in the battle and shoot the enemies.

That would be really cool.

Sounds like Star Wars crossed with Rocky Horror. Hey, maybe we could also have scratch 'n' sniff cards, like John Waters' 1982 Odorama film Polyester!

I mean, you could always do like the kid next to me at Die Hard (1988) did to simulate an interactive movie: Yell "Bang! Bang!" every time Alan Rickman appeared. At least, that's what he did until he mysteriously received a debilitating concussion about halfway through.

But there have been "interactive" films, albeit not quite like your shooting-gallery concept. Clue (1985) was supposed to have several different endings. During the film the viewers would vote on the killer and that reel would be put on for the finale. As with all good ideas, it didn't make it into the final cut because the hardware would have cost too much and (unlike 3D) couldn't be used in enough projects to make it worthwhile. But you got several of the endings on the DVD release. And, on the extremely small screen, there are lots of videogames that are live-action or animated movies cut up into a branching path adventure game; my favorite of this genre was Devo's 1996 project Adventures of the Smart Patrol.


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