When you walk into the cinema, you are faced with several decisions. What movie do you want to see, do you want to take out a mortgage to buy a drink and some popcorn and do you need to tinkle before the show begins. Of course you could nip out for a potty break after the 30 minutes of adverts, but by that point the cinema is dark and you could return to the wrong seat and accidentally step on the foot of a big burly man and get punched. It’s not worth the risk.

A new decision that has been added to the movie theatre experience recently is 2D or 3D? Back in the 90s I remember we dreamed of the future, fantasising about these incredible three-dimensional movies that would put us in the middle of the action. Well, 3D is here and those dreams haven’t exactly been realised.

T2 3D Battle Across Time

In 1996, the Terminator 2 3D movie attraction was officially opened in Universal Studios Florida. In this twelve minute cinematic experience, you were treated to an extension of the Terminator 2 movie in which things came from the screen to point directly in your face. Remember in the T2 movie where the mean looking cop dude’s hands turned to spikes? Imagine that coming out of the screen so it looks like it will stab you in the face causing everyone in the audience flinch. Well the only time I have ever flinched in a 3D movie since then is when the guy tells me how much my ticket cost.

Going to the cinema pricey enough as it is, but the cost of seeing 3D movies borders on insulting. And of course you have to cough up a little extra if you need the special plastic glasses that cost pennies to make. It’s like they don’t realize you can get the Blu Ray of that movie for an extra fiver a few months down the line, allowing you to watch it endlessly on repeat should you so desire. 3D movies are nothing more than cash cows for cinemas.

Generally you have to pay an extra £2 for the privilege of watching a movie in 3D. But what does your two pounds sterling get you? You have to sit wearing stupid plastic glasses looking like an extra from an 80s sci-fi film for two hours and sometimes a rock on screen looks like it is marginally in front of the action you want to concentrate on. Value for money? I think not.

So just choose to watch the 2D version right? Well that is harder than you’d think. Because the cinemas know they can make so much more from 3D movies, they cut down the number of standard screenings to a couple a day and bump up the number of 3D screenings to significantly limit your available options.

I went to go see Thor 2: The Dark World the week after release; a huge, colossal release title only a week old and there were only three standard screenings. How many 3D showings? About twelve, maybe more. Because my busy day didn’t allow me to wait about, I had to cough up the extra dough. And in that several hundred seater theatre, how many seats were actually taken? Twelve.

Thor Tom Hiddlestone
Don’t worry Tom, i’ll protect you

Am I saying Thor 2 isn’t worth seeing? Not at all. Brilliant movie, and my man love for Tom Hiddlestone grows every time I see him. But did the 3D treatment add anything to the experience? Of course it didn’t.

So dear movie makers. If you really must make a movie in 3D, please utilise the technology and at least try to add something extra special to the film. The only film I’ve seen that came close to realising the potential of the third dimension was Pocahontas in Space, I mean Avatar. And dear cinema owners, please stop ripping off your customers, you just might get more people through your door in these tough times.

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