Dear Peter Debruge: about your defense of 3-D...

From Nathan Donarum, Red Hook, NY:

I just read Peter Debruge's letter to the editor defending 3-D. The problem is, where's the defense? I didn't see any. All I saw was an attack on Roger Ebert's article against 3D. And the problem is, I don't really think that those defending 3D have much of a case to make.

3D is a gimmick. At least right now it is. I saw the Toy Story double feature in 3D, which Debruge holds up as an example of 3D done right. My issue is that, if that's 3D done right, then why are we doing 3D at all? It didn't improve the movie. It didn't make the movie better. It just changed the experience, and not in any significant way. There were many times throughout the two movies that I wanted to take off my glasses, but then remembered that the picture would look messed up.

And that's, I guess, where my problem is. If 3D doesn't improve a movie, then what's its point? Is there a rational reason to do it for the audience, for the viewers? I can't find one. And if there isn't one, then we have to accept that 3D is simply a way to get more money per seat in the theater. Ticket sales are not doing as well as studios would like. Neither are DVD sales, nor Blu-Ray sales, and now you have studios like Fox trying to figure out a way to make streaming websites and websites like Netflix illegal.

So where does that leave us? It basically leaves us with a gimmick that, while fun (sometimes), doesn't really offer us anything special, and doesn't really improve upon or better the films its attached to. It gives us a DIFFERENT experience, but a different experience does not necessarily mean a better one. 3D is, I think, here to stay. But we should all be aware of what it really is, and not make high-flying remarks about how its "the future of cinema". If, in the future, all movies are in 3D, I will be greatly depressed.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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