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Monday, December 26, 2011

IS 3D ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MARKETING HYPE?

In a word, yes!  For example, exactly one year ago I purchased a SONY Bravia 3D set.  In January the SONY Hawaiian Open (a golf tournament) was televised in 3D.  This was fabulous.  There was a commercial where a porpoise jumped out of the screen, my hand by reflex action moved to protect my face.  Fantastic!

That was the last live televised program I saw in 3D.  Worse, the 2012 Sony Open probably will not use 3D.  Yes, you can play a Blue-Ray 3D DVD, but they are expensive and, well, it's just a movie.


Certain major sporting events, like the London Olympics (above), will be televised in 3D, but might not be broadcast as such.  Australia has already taken down it's 3D transmitters.  I would say that 3D television has been a gross failure.  Yes, other suppliers now are selling cheaper goggles, and if the price of the set is not much more with 3D as without, okay, buy it, for there are three pluses:

  1.  There is an option to see any regular program in quasi-3D.  Not bad, actually.

  2.  Someday, 3D programming will improve.  When?  I keep getting told any month now.  That was a year ago.

  3.  The 3D effect will improve.  Some day, no goggles.  Great!  I'm now stuck with the old system.

So I thought I would see how 3D was doing in movie theaters.  I stopped going to animated films a long time ago so went to see: 

  -  The Darkest Hour went wrong everywhere.  Dumb title (there was nothing significant about an hour), vapid performances, almost invisible aliens, predictable sequences and mediocre 3D.  Mind you, if you can afford it, 3D is better than 2D.  But is it worth those extra few dollars, plus the need to wear dark glasses?  Eveything occurs in Moscow, much of which was badly damaged, but they left the Kremlin unscathed this time (as opposed to Mission Impossible 4).  Interesting that the Tomatometer had a score of 20%, while 71% of the audience liked it.  I don't understand this.  Someday this could actually become a campy re-experience.  Oh, I think they are planning to make a second one, maybe to be called The Shiningest Hour when Humanity recovers and re-conquers, like in Independence Day.

  -  Hugo was okay, maybe even a top 10 film this year, but, again, the 3D was marginal.  Rotten Tomato gave this flick a 94%/84% rating.  Not only did Martin Scorsese direct it, but Johhny Dep was the producer.  You'll recognize a number of actors, but Jude Law is on screen for all of a minute.  You might recognize certain real-life characters, such as Django Reinhardt, Salvador Dali and James Joyce.  This Paris story is, no doubt, mostly about Georges Melies, you know, that early French filmmaker who directed Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon), the first science fiction film.  You only have a few days to see this Hugo, as it is sure to be dropped soon.

Ben Kingsley (below) is a dead ringer for Georges Melies (above):



By the way, on 6April2012, just about a century after the Titanic sank, James Cameron will re-lease his 1997 movie in 3D.  Now how did he do that?  Apparently, re-production electronic magic today can convert any 2D film into 3D.  Titanic once held the box office record with $1.8 billion, only to be replaced by the 3D Avatar (which you can watch in 3D if you have the right goggles), also from Cameron, which now has worldwide revenues of $2.8 billion.

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The Dow Jones Industrials slipped 3 to 12,291, with the Orient down and Europe up.  Gold fell $17/toz to $1589, while the WTI crude is at $101/barrel and the Brent Spot at $110/barrel.

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