TOP 7 Other Reasons Why 3D Sucks

We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.

There are the obvious reasons. 3-D is corrupting the genuine nature of film – whether it’s the filmmaker who challenges the purity of his/her image, or it’s the audience’s naked eye having its direct connection with visuals on-screen impeded upon. 3-D is especially evil when considering its greedy nature, and most post-production conversions anchored by studios have only lead to visual disasters. 3-D has still barely moved beyond what it used to be back in the early 80’s, when movies like Friday the 13th: Part III came out – a gimmick. Talk about something that actually can give you a headache.

Here’s a list of good* non-animated 3-D movies released so far in 2010:
(*certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes)

Piranha 3-D
Jackass 3-D

I’m still convinced that 3-D is a form that, when it comes to live action, should still be reserved for Hannah Montana concert movies, mega-documentaries that play at science museums, and fully dedicated visual experiences like Avatar (hopefully Tron Legacy). We don’t need 3-D as much as we are provided it. And we especially don’t need fleeting wannabe spectacles like Clash of the Titans to be in 3-D. As a frequent moviegoer, I am of course very open to the chance that some movies will prove me wrong. But if Avatar reminded us of anything, it’s that great graphics do not alone make a great film.

And now, here are the other, less common but still important reasons as to why 3-D sucks. I’d like to dedicate this Top 7 to the fifteen dollars I am inevitably going to lose to Saw 3-D. Damn you, Jigsaw. You manipulative bastard.

7. Wearing 3-D Glasses Makes Me Look Stupid

Brace yourselves, internet folk, but I have a revelation. I wear glasses. Real ones – with black frames, and lenses prescribed to my specific eyesight. It’s a weird concept that not many people can relate to (don’t worry, my eyes are indeed still working. I am not a robot.) But when I journey to “magical,” 5/10-tastic experiences Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, I have to wear the 3-D glasses on top of my prescription spectacles. Nowhere else on this planet would I be able to get away with a look. But apparently now since I’m in the dark, even if I’m amongst a hundred people, it’s not foolish for me to wear glasses on top of glasses. Black rims on top of black rims. For some, I imagine it must be worse. Next time the 3-D movie you pay a lot of money to see isn’t offering you enough bang for its buck, just turn around and look at the audience members. Try not to giggle malevolently. Take that, six eyes-ers.

6. 3-D Is Now Becoming A Part of Pop Culture

As the years go on, the times we live in now will share the embarrassing memory of 3-D, and how the visual gimmick made its way into being a universal fad. Not only are we filling our movie theaters with a 3-D movie seemingly every week, but we are surrounding ourselves with the name 3-D, as if the quality of 3D should be associated with good things. For example, here’s a picture of a band shirt that uses 3D and the old-fashioned glasses as its central hook. Now, here’s a picture of Crest 3-D Whitestrips, which the “3-D” apparently means “three days” … but I’m not buying it. This usage of 3-D, and countless others that pop up in non visual products like Whitestripes, are not only lame association, but they are leading encouragement towards the thought that 3-D is normal. NO. 3-D IS NOT NORMAL.

5. 3-D Glasses Have Wrongly Become Fashionable

As for pop culture, it gets worse … leave it to the youth of today to make the cycle of 3-D’s stupidity spin even more out of control. Have you seen this? These whippersnappers, whose demographic stretch from tweens to misguided hipsters, have adapted the 3-D glasses to be makeshift Ray-Ban glasses. The kids leave their screening of My Soul to Take, poke out the dimmed lenses, and try to pass them off as cheap thick-rimmed specs. From the Facebook pictures I’ve seen such of tomfoolery, it looks like it’s an attempt for an individual to present an inner geek. (Instead, it’s their inner idiot.) I doubt that the intention behind this look has to do with a person desiring to proclaim to the world, “Yes, I just paid fifteen dollars to see Step Up 3D!” Instead, this look is saying, “I got conned into a 3-D movie. I am going to look dumb in public as my punishment. Oh yes, and it still says ‘Real 3-D’ on the side also. That’s cool, right?”

4. 3-D Jokes

The consistent presence of 3-D in the general mainstream has brought about a horrible era for the unwritten art of Casual Comedy. Ladies and gentlemen, I am referring of course to the numerous jokes that use 3-D as the punchline. In recent times, they have somehow become acceptable, and worthy of even the tiniest pity laugh. For example: There’s the ironic joke: “Is it going to be in 3-D?” asked by a person after the For Colored Girls trailer plays. Or, there’s the “Whoa! It’s like 3-D!” quip that your lame friend says when an object comically gets close to their actual eyesight. Or even worse, when someone like me punches them in the face. Yes, 3-D is itself a joke with its own sad punchline. So stop making it worse, bro.

3. 3-D Televisions

The only good thing about 3-D televisions is that it is going to privatize the foolishness of watching 3-D – I’d be able to have my embarrassing six eyes experience in the privacy of my own home. Everything about 3-D television is evil. You see, television should be simple. Movies can be more complicated when it comes to their experiences because you have to go out to see them. But television should look as natural as possible. So, the reality of HD … good. The idea of wearing glasses to watch a goshdarn movie sitting on my cheap-ass couch … bad.

2. The Image Is Too Damn Dark

There’s a reason I don’t wear sunglasses when I watch movies. I like to watch movies with the proper amount of lighting, (no lamps on at home). I don’t like looking at a picture quality that consistently has me dreaming of just taking off the damn glasses, and suffering through the skewed image, for the ironic sake of maybe being able to see what is going on – such as with Piranha 3D. Did you see those rushing underwater sequences? BECAUSE I COULDN’T. It was much too dark to decipher what was going on. And even with the post-converted images of Clash of the Titans , I couldn’t fully get movie-involved into the landscapes that were on-screen. To quote Christopher Nolan, someone who knows a few things about [good] movies, “I find the dimness of the image extremely alienating.”

1. Going To See Bad Movies Costs More Money

I love going to the movies. I am extremely lucky to say that I go to the movies a very good amount each week, and I can easily say that I never really get tired of it. And while a great film can certainly provide that wonderful enrichment to the movie soul or mind, the bad films should never be forgotten for the other type of movie-going amusement that they can provide. Unfortunately, 3-D wants to suck away this fun, as if the movies in question didn’t suck enough themselves (especially the ones that aren’t screened ahead of time). I can’t venture to Resident Evil: Afterlife for some Sunday afternoon sh*ts and giggles without throwing down the amount of money I would pay to see Inception again, plus a few more dollars on top of that. I didn’t see the supposedly awful, probably hilariously-bad My Soul to Take for this reason (or even Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore). Technology to supposedly “enhance” film has gone too far when it starts to reduce from the joy of simply going to the movies.

There’s the Top 7, now what should be in the Top 10?


  1. Megan Lehar says:

    I don’t know what’s wrong with you, I look amazing in 3D glasses. Especially the old red and blue ones.

  2. Calhoun says:

    I’d like to throw in that some people can’t see 3-D. Like, literally, my eyes can barely register 3-D so it really just looks like shoddy filmmaking with blurry lines. This, of course, leads to headaches so those are my 8 and 9.
    10. Every time I see an ad for a 3-D movie I hear some line like “it engages the audience with the characters and their environment” but I have yet to see an instance where it actually does. Sure, sometimes it adds an “ooh” factor, but are we really counting that?

  3. snickers says:

    8. Follow the money: It slows down internet movie piracy…

    9. Follow the money: They get to charge an extra 3 dollars, or more…

    10. Follow the money: We’ll all have to buy new TV’s, AND when they make 3D glasses no longer needed we’ll have to buy more TV’s…

    I wear prescription glasses too. Maybe the optometrists will come up with 3D glasses for us as well…oh, did I mention, follow the money…


  4. generic_name says:

    I’m not ganna lie, but you are a retard. Why does it matter if there is something between our eyes and the screen? If it’s translusant enough, which I will admit some aren’t, but others are, why does it matter? Would you lobby to make people not wear their seeing glasses when they watch a movie simply because there is something between them and the movie.

    Other than that you barely made any comments on why 3d isn’t good. You just bitched about why people look dumb or how it’s becoming main stream or other opinions BESIDES talking about why 3d actually is a negative thing compared to watching it in 2d. These things don’t necessarily take away from 3d, especailly the mainstream part. Why does that matter? I mean so much good as come out of making something main stream, so simply making 3d mainstream isn’t a bad thing. I’m not even going to comment on the rest of them because I can simply make the same argument for the rest…IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE THERE IT DOESN’T NECESSARILY MAKE IT NEGATIVE.

    The only thing that partly agreed with you on was that it makes shitty movies more expensive. Ok, so what. If people want to see a shitty movie for more…go them. The real problem is when they make an awesome movie in 3d and then the 3d itself sucks because they made it for people who don’t want to watch 3d (they don’t have the double image spaced out enough which makes the 3d). For instance, when I saw tron, the previews were better in 3d than the movie because they spaced the double image more in the previews than the actual movie.

    IF YOU CANNOT STAND WATCHING 3D MOVIES, DON’T. Stop watching them so the people who make the movies in 3d will make the movie look good in 3d instead of shitting all over it and making the previews better than the movie.

    But like I said before…you suck as a reviewer of topics because you don’t even hit on why something is bad, you just bitch about irrelevant topics that are associated to the thing you hate, but it doesn’t actually take away from the thing necessarily.

  5. Eli Roth says:

    You’re good at bitching too. It is very translucent.

  6. Dave says:

    Oh my god, I never thought I would find anyone else who would feel the same as I do about 3D movies. By the way, I saw Tron Legacy in 3D. I wish I hadn’t. It ruined the depth.
    And no, Mainstream is not a good thing.

    WOO! I’m commenting on an almost year old article!

  7. sdhasd says:

    I haven’t seen 3d yet because i do not go to a theatre to watch movies i download 1080p blu ray rips..and i havent got a 3dtv yet but i might one day, the movies that get released on blu ray 3d arent that great because they are gay childish movies and not all movies are released in 3d, so wuts the point of gettin a 3d blu ray player when most of the movies u watch will be in 2d..and the only thing i like about 3d is the games that support it (havent seen 3d yet) but games are a good thing when it comes to 3d

  8. Pizza Sauce Dude says:

    3-D looks more like layers over layers without any real depth at all. So many movies keep adding 3-D and 3-D again and again like it’s really the best thing for entertainment.

  9. Alex says:

    generic_name’s comment back on December 10 is typical of 3-D defenders. They don’t come out and give a reasonable rebuttal. They call people names, they get angry, they spout and they spray … which says to me they don’t believe what they’re typing. Either that or the only people willing to defend 3-D are trolls. Me, I find the experience of watching 3-D removes the immersion of the experience because I’m having to remove the glasses frequently to stop the nausea and headaches. If I want that experience it’s cheaper to buy a DVD and watch it after downing a bottle of Tequila. The dimness and lack of colors in the image are the other issue. Also, no one has ever been able to provide a sound rationale for exactly what 3-D actually adds to the storytelling. Color and sound actually offer legitimate storytelling enhancements. 3-D does not. (Now, true 3-D as in holographic in-the-round 3-D is different as that would allow actual audience interaction in a story. But looking at a cheesy optical illusion which is what current 3-D is really doesn’t cut it.)

  10. great article, Nick. i hate that the industry has been trending 3D. such a gimmick. Tron:Legacy was sweet in IMAX 3D, but that’s the only 3D film I’ve seen that warranted the treatment.

  11. Brandon says:

    All of your points are correct. But it does manage to make it easy to produce the films. It’s true that the props are computer generated and that almost anyone can work on 3D films and make them on lower budget with the help of 3D, even amateurs. But charging people EXTRA for a film which seems faked would be making a fool out of people – I know 16 year olds who make 3D stuff just for fun with ease and post it onto the internet as short films. And simply saying it costs more to produce is like making a fool out of the audience. I rather watch a more realistic look movie with ACTUAL props, casts and costume designs rather than paying EXTRA for a fake one.

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