Roger Ebert Uses His Powers For Good

Film critic Roger Ebert sometimes uses his powers for bad. But this time he is not.

In an editorial in Newsweek, Ebert explains why he hates 3D. Ebert being Ebert, his argument is directed at films, but with the PS3 getting 3D and Nintendo rolling out its own 3D portable game device, the Nintendo 3DS, many of what he says holds true for video games as well. Here are some highlights:

• "When you look at a 2-D movie, it's already in 3-D as far as your mind is concerned... Our minds use the principle of perspective to provide the third dimension. Adding one artificially can make the illusion less convincing."

• "Some 3-D consists of only separating the visual planes, so that some objects float above others, but everything is still in 2-D. We notice this. We shouldn't."

• "In a just-published article, Consumer Reports says about 15 percent of the moviegoing audience experiences headache and eyestrain during 3-D movies."

• "What Hollywood needs is a 'premium' experience that is obviously, dramatically better than anything at home, suitable for films aimed at all ages, and worth a surcharge."

Ebert also mentions how 3D creates a demand for 3D projectors. And while Ebert is not against 3D as an option, he does offer a good argument as to why it should not be de rigueur for all films.

While all platform holders releasing motion sensing controls, 3D is the next logical step for video games. But there is something about the flatness that the traditional viewing offers — much like a painting. There is no space, but an illusion of space is created and you the viewer are sucked into the game or movie world. But with 3D, that world comes pouring into your lap.

The past several years have been about HD. Well, we are all mostly HD. The HD era has arrived. And it looks great! Why not... enjoy it? Why must we start racing towards 3D? Do we really have to buy new televisions?

The answer is short, and it is simple: Money. Like Ebert, I am not against 3D. However, I don't see it as the end all for movies, and it certainly is not that for video games.

Roger Ebert: Why I Hate 3-D Movies [Newsweek][Pic]


    I personally do not understand all this 3D hype and fuss. I watched Avatar in 3D, but there were like a handful or two of moments that actually felt uniquely 3D. I understand that not every second you watch a 3D is meant to be uniquely 3D, but for a three hour movie, only 5 or so minutes felt 3D. The other 175min I felt like an idiot wearing sunnies in the cinema. Back to my point. I know there's the if you don't like it then shut up come back that's likely to come my way, but can some kind person tell me why 3D is so good? anyone?

      Most people see in 3D everyday!
      There is a percentage that can't see depth (for various reasons) and Stereoscopic 3D at the movies, home, etc will not work for them either.

      Stereoscopic 3D is meant to add immersion, not "wow it's coming outta the screen" even 5 minutes.

      Thats what was so good about Avatar; the whole movie was 3D, but it wasn't in your face it was an experience.

      I've experienced a fair bit of stereoscopic 3D (I had a setup for PC games a while ago) and found there are a LOT of factors that can contribute to eye strain - the biggest being: Easing into deeper depth and getting use to looking 'into' rather than at the surface of your screen.
      After a month of so I could play for hours in 3D at maximum depth with NO strain or other side effects. Unfortunately if the 3D is not done correctly for what ever reason it can be jarring and cause strain.

    I'll have 3D TV/Movies when I can have them in the form of a Holodeck and not before!

    To be honest, it's good that we have 3D, yes, it's an 'innovative new technology'. This is cool and all, but hell, when I want to go watch a movie, I want to have the choice between '3D' and the normal movie experience instead of it being forced apon me.

    I'm also partially apart of the '15%' of whom suffer from eye strain due to the 3D aspect of the film. Though I only feel mild strain apon my eyes, I'd really not pay $2 - $4 more just to sit in a movie that gives me eye discomfort, doesn't have anything extra added other than the fact it's '3D' and, in my opinion actually looks slightly worse than a regular movie.

    I would ask why 3D is suddenly the new big thing but I suppose the answer is obvious: money.

    So i'll just skip to the next rhetorical question: why is everyone pretending that 3D movies are a new thing? This technology has been readily available for over a decade, yet everyone has suddenly gone retarded over it. Either that or media hype is making it look as such.

    For me, the benefits of 3D isn't about feeling like you can touch it, but rather that 3D pictures appear sharper and more defined.

    My concern with 3D in cinemas is that they sell seats that are not suited to 3D viewing. Cinemas should not be allowed to sell tickets for any seats that offer a skewed perspective of the screen.

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