From The Files Of... Brief 3D Thoughts

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon was the first film I've bothered to see in 3D since the abysmal Alice In Wonderland. Though Alice's third dimension added little to a film that was already lacking at least two dimensions, I was willing to come back and give it another go. I don't suffer from the headaches some have complained of. I don't think it is inherently a 'broken' medium on which to show a film. I don't necessarily and inherently hate the idea of it. But I did notice a couple of things that hampered my enjoyment this time round...

The 'Dry Eyes' Effect

As a contact lens wearer, blinking is important. Blinking moisturises your eyes and keeps your contacts loose. If you don't blink enough - which for most people occurs when playing a video game or when attempting a staring contest with a household pet... perhaps - contacts become dry, your eyes start to notice they're there and become irritated as a result. It's like you've got something in your eye. Which you have. This happened to me during Dark Of The Moon. As this has never before happened during the process of watching a film (and I watch a lot of films) I can only imagine it might have had something to do with the 3D. If this is the case (and bearing in mind that some glasses wearers already can't see 3D) then there's potentially a great deal of people out there who will find 3D uncomfortable if not downright unwatchable. Could this lower the chances of the medium sticking around for any length of time? Quite possibly.

The 'Ooh That's Shiny... Wait... What Have I Missed?' Effect

Like Avatar, Dark Of The Moon uses 3D in lots of quite subtle ways. It also, of course, uses 3D in non-subtle ways such as during explosions and to emphasise the massive guns (not a metaphor... or a euphemism) of the robots when they swing round and 'in to' the screen. The best uses though are the little bits that are picked out which you don't normally notice; bullet casings, muzzle flashes, sparks and tiny particles from explosive blasts. They add real depth of field and the effect of something flying at you has considerable and sustained novelty value. What I found this time around though was that watching these elements was distracting from the 'main action' on the screen. During the opening I was watching bullet casings when I should have been watching lots of Autobots manning a ship. During battle scenes I was watching the sparks at the bottom of the screen when I should have been watching the fight at the top. By definition, the additional depth of field means you see more of the background and the foreground. A good thing? I'm not so sure any more.

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