Sunday, March 29, 2009
Why 3D Movies Represent Everything Wrong With Our Country
By Mack Rawden
Like Battlestar Galactica creator Glen Larson and certain bonnet-wearing prudes in Upper Pennsylvania, I am skeptical of most new technologies. Oh, I try practically all of them, even smuggle a few into my bag of tricks (like Tivo), but I can’t shake the feeling that maybe, just maybe pizza delivery in under thirty minutes isn’t the brightest idea. Maybe strength training with BowFlex three days a week for a half hour isn’t a real workout. Maybe ten year old boys seeing their first pair of boobies on the internet isn’t better than mistakenly stumbling on their father’s cache of smutty magazines. Perhaps I’m out of touch; perhaps I’m that old guy in Finding Forrester. I can’t really be sure, but when Matt Damon openly wonders in Good Will Hunting whether there’s more value in working construction than solving equations, I sympathize with his moral predicament. We’re not in a recession right now because a few banks made a slew of high risk loans; we’re in a recession right now because the average American is no longer willing to work hard for his keep. And why should he when all his friends take the easy way out? You should have to work when you go to the movies, work to understand why the characters are behaving as they are. And that’s why I can’t get behind any movie made in 3D.
It’s not that I have any axe to grind with the third dimension itself. I appreciate its right to exist and even endorse Hollywood’s right to explore new mediums of entertainment. But I see where all of this is going. I’ve uncovered the ten year plan, and it’s stained with lowest common denominator bullshit. You know why the Miss American Pageant isn’t even on Network Television anymore? Because our idea of beauty is so far out of wack in this country, we secretly hate ourselves for it. The curvy girl next door with pigtails and dreams of being a nurse has been benched for the hungry slut with fake boobs trying to seduce her way into Malibu. Well, fuck that noise. Shiny things usually lack depth, and right now, the third dimension lacks purpose.
Some might argue, one day all forms of entertainment will be in 3D. Television sets will beam George Costanza and Marcia Brady right next to your couch, and CD players, which will no longer be called CD players, will let you watch Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra sing you to sleep. Hell, Ed Asner might actually yell at you and Janis Joplin might ask for a duet. I haven’t the slightest idea where technology is headed, but that stuff would only be cool because Marcia Brady is the sexiest teenager of all-time and Jimi Hendrix plays the guitar like a motherfucker. But that’s not where we’re headed. Right now, 3D movies are on pace to be just like goddamn fireworks, worth their salt on July 4th, but much more than that and they come off as hokey, stupid--forced entertainment. I’m not ready to get on board with Joe Jonas tucking me in every night. Not because I don’t want 3D representations telling me yesterday, there troubles were so far away but because I don’t want just any 3D representation telling me they’ve got me, babe.
3D movies should be awesome. We should want them more than Montag’s wife wanted that third television wall. But I can’t want it because its repercussions scare the shit out of me. I’m not here to hate on Michael Bay because this is an article about 3D movies, but he provides the perfect analogy for why I want nothing to do with this new-fangled brainstorm. I hate most Michael Bay movies because they’re just shiny things. An hour and a half of visually stimulating nothingness followed by ten minute conversations consisting of, “Were you watching when that guy got impaled on the rusty pole?”. But most of you goddamn idiots, most of you goddamn members of Ritalin Generation love Michael Bay movies because, to you, visually stimulating nothingness is everything. Well, going to the movies shouldn’t be vapid, mindless entertainment. You should cry; you should laugh; you should fall in love with the characters; you should fall out of love with the characters; you should think; you should question; you should ponder; you should, flat out, be alive. I’ve never felt any of those things because glasses tricked me into thinking actors were stepping down off the screen.
Maybe Monsters Vs Aliens will prove to me why the third dimension is, right now, more than just a daffy, eye-catching gimmick. I seriously doubt it will bring anything to the table beyond novelty. We’ll see on Friday. But just because you were visually stimulated by nothingness once doesn’t mean you want that to be your only option. If there was some sort or referendum on the ballot, I’d vote to bring Coke II back--but not at the expense of Coke.