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Roger Ebert Trashes 3-D Movies

Roger Ebert is one of the most beloved film writers of all time and, recently, as he’s bravely battled the effects of cancer and its treatment, the esteem people have for him has only gotten greater.

However, at the same time, he’s also been showing another side to his persona; a crotchety old man who refuses to acknowledge that video games could ever be considered an artform. While his views on video games are pretty indefensible (the computer animators who design the entire world and the writers who plot out the entire game aren’t artists?), there’s one area where his Luddite sensibilities are right on the money. In an article in the current Newsweek, Ebert claims that 3-D movies are nothing but a trashy gimmick whose only real purpose is to steal extra money from audiences and this writer, at least, thinks he’s 100% right.

The article comes with the simple headline “Why I Hate 3-D (And You Should Too)” and serves as a list of all the reasons that this trend of stretching every single movie into the third dimension is an awful idea. Some of the points are simple, like the fact that the 3-D glasses will always make the images look dimmer. Anyone who doubts that should have tried taking their glasses off for a few minutes during Avatar, the movie that is widely considered the best example of 3-D filmmaking. The “bioluminescent” world of Pandora was 10 times more beautiful without the glasses.

From Ebert’s article:

Consider Tim Burton, who was forced by marketing executives to create a faux-3-D film that was then sold as Alice in Wonderland: An IMAX 3D Experience (although remember that the new IMAX theaters are not true IMAX). Yes, it had huge grosses. But its 3-D effects were minimal and unnecessary; a scam to justify the surcharge.

Even Cameron plans to rerelease Titanic in 3-D, and it’s worth recalling his 3-D documentary,Ghosts of the Abyss, which he personally photographed from the grave of the TitanicTitanic 3-D will not be true 3-D, but Cameron is likely to do “fake 3-D” better than others have. My argument would nevertheless be: Titanic is wonderful just as it stands, so why add a distraction? Obviously, to return to the No. 2 cash cow in movie history and squeeze out more milk.”

Read the full reaction at Mediaite.

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