As digital projection has turned 3D from a silly once-in-a-while gimmick to a viable format, Hollywood has been remarkably careless in rolling it out. For every movie that attempts to exploit the format’s artistic possibilities (Avatar, Coraline, Hugo, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas), there have been at least as many others (Clash Of The Titans, The Green Hornet, The Last Airbender) that either made negligible use of the format or botched it entirely. The average (or even the above-average) consumer doesn’t often know whether they’re in for a wondrous diorama or an experience that’s like 2D, except darker and murkier. Either way, Hollywood wants its surcharge.
More often than not, the difference between good 3D and bad 3D depends on whether a film was specifically crafted for the format or shot in 2D and converted in post. (Caveat: Yes, there have been excellent conversion jobs—G.I. Joe Retaliation, for one—and useless “real” 3D movies. But we’re speaking generally here.) Phil Dhingra has put together a site called realorfake3d.com that’s as simple and useful as it sounds. So before forking over that extra few bucks for Man Of Steel or World War Z this summer, it’s worth following that link.
And because we’ve now mentioned 3D, we now have an excuse to revisit the trailer for Albert Brooks’ directorial debut Real Life. It’s a nice reminder that 3D is a tacky device and that Brooks is a national treasure: