What is a 3D Movie Like for the First Time?

by Vladimir Olszewski

So, what's it like to watch a movie in 3D?  You probably know a 3D wave have hit, as a constant stream of 3D movies have been released for the past year or two.  Maybe you already went, maybe you still want to but haven't.  Maybe all the hype has made you think 3D films are the best thing since sliced bread!  What can you realistically expect?

Well, last night was my first time viewing a movie from the current wave of 3D films that's been going on for the past year or two.  Well, you can call it my first time, except I did see a very impressive 3D film at MGM or Universal Studios or something in 1993, a short version of The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. But that was very, very impressive 3D. The movie I saw last night wasn't that impressive in its 3Dness.

Anyway, since the current re-awakening of 3D moviegoing, it was my first time. Here I will document the experience. 

Some people are blessed to have been able to see Avatar in 3D. Unfortunately back then the nearest 3D showing theater was 2 to 3 hours drive away from me. I sort of planned a few times to go but never got so far as to go.

But about a year ago or so, another theater about half an hour's drive from me started showing films in 3D. Now I was closer to viewing my first (again) 3D film. 

Anyway, so I go to the theater. They're showing Puss In Boots in 3D. Well, I'm late, but it won't help to stress because the lady at the cashier can't manage to get the charge onto my credit card. A lot more time wasted until I finally just pay cash.

Then, it takes some more time to buy a drink and pop corn and wine gums. The lady who sold me the wine gums ask me for a wine gum so I give her a wine gum. "A red one", she says. Her fellow worker also behind the counter says we should ship her (the one who got the wine gum) off to Mozambique. I ask her if she thinks that's far enough.  Begging snacks from people she just sold the snacks to.  Interesting concept though.  And I didn't mind really. 

Anyway, I finally get to enter the cinema and get my first look at the current wave of 3D films, with the 3D glasses on my face.

My first impression was that it's not impressive at all.

The theater's quite empty so I can try out a few seats. I first watched it from far away but that's no good. I then moved to the middle of the theater. Better, but it's still not nice.

I finally tried a row much closer to the screen. Getting better.

I moved another 3 rows closer to the screen. Perfect!

It is now my belief that 3D films look best if you sit close to the screen, dead center.

As for viewing a digital 3D movie, it takes some time to get used to. Especially when it comes to the cuts (edits) in the film from one scene to another. Your eyes are still focused on a certain distance and then they simply just cut away from that and for a brief split second your eyes are out of focus and you need to readjust.

However, acquiring the skill to watch a 3D film soon becomes second nature to you. It also takes some time to get used to the 3D composition of shots.

All in all, I rather enjoyed viewing a movie in 3D again after so many years. I'm not wowed as in blown away, but it was nice and I'll do it again should the opportunity arise.

As for Puss In Boots the movie itself, there were cute parts but I can't say the story is as impressive as Shrek. You'll only like it about one quarter as much. Not bad, just not wow in my opinion. But still cute.