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September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D" 
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Gaffer

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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
If JamesB feels so strongly about this topic then he could have voted with his wallet (which will get movie companies attention) and not paid to see Wizard of Oz in 3D.

I've still never been to see a movie in 3D and, based on what I've heard about it since Avatar, have no plans to ever do so.


Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:25 pm
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
Wait until you guys see GRAVITY. The 3D there is awe-inspiring, immersive, hell every buzzword you can think of. My thoughts on it are that it should really only be utilized by elite filmmakers who understand it, and Alfonso Cuaron fits that category. And it's in the service of a movie itself that is relentlessly suspenseful.

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Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:12 pm
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
darwin wrote:
If JamesB feels so strongly about this topic then he could have voted with his wallet (which will get movie companies attention) and not paid to see Wizard of Oz in 3D.

I've still never been to see a movie in 3D and, based on what I've heard about it since Avatar, have no plans to ever do so.


I didn't pay for it; I saw it at a press/promotional screening. I knew I was going to write something (didn't know exactly what) and I feel it's unethical to write about something when you haven't seen it.


Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:08 am
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
KWRoss wrote:
Wait until you guys see GRAVITY. The 3D there is awe-inspiring, immersive, hell every buzzword you can think of. My thoughts on it are that it should really only be utilized by elite filmmakers who understand it, and Alfonso Cuaron fits that category. And it's in the service of a movie itself that is relentlessly suspenseful.


From my review of GRAVITY (should be posted tomorrow):

If ever there was a case to be made for 3-D as a valuable cinematic tool, Alfonso Cuaron has made it... The immersive quality is undeniable and in some ways indefinable. Cuaron's stated goal with GRAVITY is to put the viewer in space with the characters and he accomplishes this admirably. The film will lose something if viewed in conventional 2-D and it will lose more when shrunk for home viewing... [3-D is] the way Cuaron wants it to be seen. That's how he envisioned it, developed it, and filmed it. Hollywood has so badly overused and abused 3-D, turning it into a gimmicky cash cow, that it's almost shocking to see what it can add to the theatrical experience when used by a director who knows what he's doing. GRAVITY isn't just a movie; it's an experience. And the visceral element of that experienced is enhanced by the 3-D.


Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:10 am
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
James Berardinelli wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Wait until you guys see GRAVITY. The 3D there is awe-inspiring, immersive, hell every buzzword you can think of. My thoughts on it are that it should really only be utilized by elite filmmakers who understand it, and Alfonso Cuaron fits that category. And it's in the service of a movie itself that is relentlessly suspenseful.


From my review of GRAVITY (should be posted tomorrow):

If ever there was a case to be made for 3-D as a valuable cinematic tool, Alfonso Cuaron has made it... The immersive quality is undeniable and in some ways indefinable. Cuaron's stated goal with GRAVITY is to put the viewer in space with the characters and he accomplishes this admirably. The film will lose something if viewed in conventional 2-D and it will lose more when shrunk for home viewing... [3-D is] the way Cuaron wants it to be seen. That's how he envisioned it, developed it, and filmed it. Hollywood has so badly overused and abused 3-D, turning it into a gimmicky cash cow, that it's almost shocking to see what it can add to the theatrical experience when used by a director who knows what he's doing. GRAVITY isn't just a movie; it's an experience. And the visceral element of that experienced is enhanced by the 3-D.


At my screening, I arrived a little later than usual, so I was stuck with a seat at the front. Didn't matter. Sitting in the third row, looking up and being overwhelmed by the images.... now that's something I'll pay the surcharge for.

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Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:43 am
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
KWRoss wrote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Wait until you guys see GRAVITY. The 3D there is awe-inspiring, immersive, hell every buzzword you can think of. My thoughts on it are that it should really only be utilized by elite filmmakers who understand it, and Alfonso Cuaron fits that category. And it's in the service of a movie itself that is relentlessly suspenseful.


From my review of GRAVITY (should be posted tomorrow):

If ever there was a case to be made for 3-D as a valuable cinematic tool, Alfonso Cuaron has made it... The immersive quality is undeniable and in some ways indefinable. Cuaron's stated goal with GRAVITY is to put the viewer in space with the characters and he accomplishes this admirably. The film will lose something if viewed in conventional 2-D and it will lose more when shrunk for home viewing... [3-D is] the way Cuaron wants it to be seen. That's how he envisioned it, developed it, and filmed it. Hollywood has so badly overused and abused 3-D, turning it into a gimmicky cash cow, that it's almost shocking to see what it can add to the theatrical experience when used by a director who knows what he's doing. GRAVITY isn't just a movie; it's an experience. And the visceral element of that experienced is enhanced by the 3-D.


At my screening, I arrived a little later than usual, so I was stuck with a seat at the front. Didn't matter. Sitting in the third row, looking up and being overwhelmed by the images.... now that's something I'll pay the surcharge for.


I'm going to write a follow-up to this ReelThought that talks about 3-D as it relates to GRAVITY. Since this got a lot of attention on Reddit, with several thousand comments, I think it warrants an additional column. Most people didn't understand (or bother to understand) that my point was less about the quality of the OZ 3-D than about the ethics of it. The comment that "it doesn't bother me as long as the original is still available" doesn't rebut the argument that converted 3-D is analogous to colorization. Back in the '80s, when Turner was colorizing classics, the b&w versions were still readily available. That's not the issue. The issue is that these films were composed and developed in a certain way and making such a fundamental change (b&w --> color, 2-D --> 3-D) screws with the aesthetic.

The number of young people who disagree with this says something about society, I think, in terms of how we currently view movies. They have become entertainment. Period. Art has been taken out of the equation.


Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:58 am
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
The irony is that The Wizard of Oz was made during a time when nobody would have referred to movies as art, lest they risk their credibility.

In my view, the argument about the availability of original versions only applies when it's the original filmmakers (or somebody endorsed by them, as it was with Richard Donner and Michael Thau) doing the tinkering. There is no scenario in which it's appropriate for an entertainment conglomerate to appoint a team that is utterly disconnected from the original production to mess with somebody else's work.

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Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:08 am
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Gaffer

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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
Ken wrote:
In my view, the argument about the availability of original versions only applies when it's the original filmmakers (or somebody endorsed by them, as it was with Richard Donner and Michael Thau) doing the tinkering. There is no scenario in which it's appropriate for an entertainment conglomerate to appoint a team that is utterly disconnected from the original production to mess with somebody else's work.

It's an idea that I think has become somewhat lost of late: once a work is released, it's released, and you don't get to call it back and change it. Star Wars from 1976 will always be Star Wars from 1976; wanting to "update" it just shows the creative bankruptcy of the people proposing it.


Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:11 am
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
The only reason I'm not sympathetic to that view is that there have been several cases in which the original theatrical release was not the best version, and in some cases was a severely compromised version. Blade Runner, for example, or Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

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Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:57 am
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Gaffer

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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
Ken wrote:
The only reason I'm not sympathetic to that view is that there have been several cases in which the original theatrical release was not the best version, and in some cases was a severely compromised version. Blade Runner, for example, or Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

I regard this as an incentive to get it right the first time.

(I have no objection to a director's cut, if (as you point out) it's done by the director, and if the original version is still out there. It's becoming clear that there are lots of small changes even between different countries' theatrical versions -- they're not always so blatant as in Planes, where one of the minor characters has an accent localised for the market where it's playing.)


Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:02 pm
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
James Berardinelli wrote:
From my review of GRAVITY (should be posted tomorrow):
If ever there was a case to be made for 3-D as a valuable cinematic tool, Alfonso Cuaron has made it... The immersive quality is undeniable and in some ways indefinable. Cuaron's stated goal with GRAVITY is to put the viewer in space with the characters and he accomplishes this admirably. The film will lose something if viewed in conventional 2-D and it will lose more when shrunk for home viewing... [3-D is] the way Cuaron wants it to be seen. That's how he envisioned it, developed it, and filmed it. Hollywood has so badly overused and abused 3-D, turning it into a gimmicky cash cow, that it's almost shocking to see what it can add to the theatrical experience when used by a director who knows what he's doing. GRAVITY isn't just a movie; it's an experience. And the visceral element of that experienced is enhanced by the 3-D.


I've been waiting for JB's review of GRAVITY for (seemingly) weeks. After the headache-inducing Pacific Rim, I swore a blood oath that I would never again see a film in IMAX 3D. Looks like I'm going to eat those words this weekend.


Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:53 pm
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
James Berardinelli wrote:
I'm going to write a follow-up to this ReelThought that talks about 3-D as it relates to GRAVITY. Since this got a lot of attention on Reddit, with several thousand comments, I think it warrants an additional column. Most people didn't understand (or bother to understand) that my point was less about the quality of the OZ 3-D than about the ethics of it. The comment that "it doesn't bother me as long as the original is still available" doesn't rebut the argument that converted 3-D is analogous to colorization. Back in the '80s, when Turner was colorizing classics, the b&w versions were still readily available. That's not the issue. The issue is that these films were composed and developed in a certain way and making such a fundamental change (b&w --> color, 2-D --> 3-D) screws with the aesthetic.

The number of young people who disagree with this says something about society, I think, in terms of how we currently view movies. They have become entertainment. Period. Art has been taken out of the equation.


I think it also says something about how annoyingly dominant the fanboy culture is in society that people get their panties in a bunch when George Lucas makes changes to his own movies but just shrug when someone else messes with a classic.

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Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:22 pm
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
Well, that's a matter of what specific people care about and what they don't care about. There isn't a huge overlap between Star Wars fandom and cinephilia, though it seems like there would be.

But yeah, the odd specificity of the nature of some fanboy complaints is troubling. I know I've pointed this out at possibly tiresome length, but I'll use superhero movies as an example. People are ready to raise hell when, say, an actor they don't like is cast in a movie they're looking forward to seeing. (I don't think I need to name examples here.) But as soon as the issue comes up of one of the original creators getting screwed out of their due credit, or of the creators openly objecting to the movie being made, everybody's suddenly all "Oh, fuck those guys. Just give me the movie." It's a very selfish, morally bankrupt consumerist mindset that doesn't care how this thing they love is made, as long as they get to have it. It's especially disturbing when there's a superhero involved, because superheroes are supposed to care about truth and justice. One would hope that it rubs off on the fans more than it seems to.

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Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:36 pm
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
mrguinness wrote:
Quote:
Orson Welles (who, according to Harlan Lebo, begged friend Henry Jaglom, "Don't let Ted Turner deface my movie with his crayons"


That OW quote encapsulates him perfectly!

I could've sworn the actual quote was "Keep Ted Turner and his goddamned Crayolas away from my films!" (which I even more bluntly Wellesian ;) ), but whatever.


Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:54 am
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
Ken wrote:
In my view, the argument about the availability of original versions only applies when it's the original filmmakers (or somebody endorsed by them, as it was with Richard Donner and Michael Thau) doing the tinkering. There is no scenario in which it's appropriate for an entertainment conglomerate to appoint a team that is utterly disconnected from the original production to mess with somebody else's work.


So no one should be allowed to do a remake if the director/writer/producer (whomever) is dead?


Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:29 am
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
A remake, not being the original work, is quite beside the point.

Although much of the time, it's a bad idea for other reasons.

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Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:49 am
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Post Re: September 29, 2013: "The Vandalism of 3-D"
Quote:
The irony is that The Wizard of Oz was made during a time when nobody would have referred to movies as art, lest they risk their credibility.


I was reading about the introduction of popcorn into theaters and the resistance it had from theater owners who saw their movie houses the same as other high brow art venues like opera houses or staged plays. Sound changed the audience and their movie going habits much like video games and 3D have changed the modern audience.

“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create.

When films added sound in 1927, the movie theater industry opened itself up to a much wider clientele, since literacy was no longer required to attend films (the titles used early silent films restricted their audience). By 1930, attendance to movie theaters had reached 90 million per week. Such a huge patronage created larger possibilities for profits–especially since the sound pictures now muffled snacks–but movie theater owners were still hesitant to bring snacks inside of their theaters.

The Great Depression presented an excellent opportunity for both movies and popcorn. Looking for a cheap diversion, audiences flocked to the movies. And at 5 to 10 cents a bag, popcorn was a luxury that most people were able to afford. Popcorn kernels themselves were a cheap investment for purveyors, and a $10 bag could last for years. If those inside the theaters couldn’t see the financial lure of popcorn, enterprising street vendors didn’t miss a beat: they bought their own popping machines and sold popcorn outside the theaters to moviegoers before they entered the theater. As Smith explains, early movie theaters literally had signs hung outside their coatrooms, requesting that patrons check their popcorn with their coats. Popcorn, it seems, was the original clandestine movie snack.


Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:03 pm
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