Sunday, February 5, 2012


So I saw Underworld: Awakening in 3D last week. I haven't really been into this whole 3D movie craze, and I've occasionally wished it would die. An interesting thing happened when I saw Underworld, though. It felt really different. Something about the way the 3D was calibrated seemed deeper, like they'd turned the depth dial up to 100. And weirdly, it worked.

I think I've figured out what's annoyed me so much about the 3D trend: most movies just use 3D as a way of slightly altering the picture, giving you a tiny bit of depth. Objects that are miles away seem like they're a few feet behind the screen, and objects that are in the camera's face feel like they're a few feet in front. Underworld does something different, though. Scenery that's miles away actually looks miles away, while stuff that's close to the camera still stays comfortably close to the screen. What it does for the film is give the illusion that you're not staring at a movie; you're actually there. Peter Jackson recently said something similar about filming The Hobbit in 3D at 44 frames per second (twice the rate of normal films): that it's like "pulling back" the screen and looking directly into the film's world.

From now on, I really hope that more films go all-out with their 3D instead of watering it down. I'd actually like to see more 3D that has a real function.