Do 3-D glasses work for you?

While Zombieland seems clearly headed for a number one spot on this weekend’s box office, the other big story out of this weekend looks to be the continued dominance of 3-D movies: So far, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 double feature are firmly placed at number 2 and 3 respectively. In other words, what was once thought as a bygone fad from Hollywood’s golden age has become a certifiable force at the box office, and that’s before Avatar, James Cameron’s highly anticipated foray into 3-D filmmaking, steam-rolls its way into theaters this December. Yep, 3-D is here to stay.

And my boyfriend could not be less happy about it, because, put simply, 3-D just does not work for him. Sitting at a 3-D showing of Up last May, he even turned to me during one of the 3-D trailers and said, “I think maybe it’s just that my glasses are broken. Switch with me.” Suffice it to say, it wasn’t the glasses — while his eyes are aces at registering three dimensions in real life, 3-D movies look as flat to him as a sheet of paper. Or, as he puts it, “Ooo, look at the depth, everything is so deep, ooo, look at how deep everything looks, ooo, wow, thbbbbt.” (The “thbbbt” is him making that raspberry sound with his tongue, by the way.)

Which got me wondering, PopWatchers, is he the only one? Are there others of you out there with this unfortunate affliction? And for those who can make out the third “D” in 3-D movies, do you think it’s really all that to begin with?

Comments (110 total) Add your comment
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  • Brat

    They work for me to a point but they don’t work at all for my husband. He will go with me to 3D showings but lately we’ve been saving our money and going to the 2d showings as to be honest I find the glasses irritating and the effect only works in the foreground up to about the middle of the screen. Anything 3d going on in the background is flat as a pancake. Its a neat trick when it works but mostly I think its a bit of a waste and if the movie is pants then no amount of gimmickery will make it work.

  • mark

    I’m totally cut out of the 3-D experience as I don’t have any central vision out of my left eye. 3-D movies just look burry to me and give me a headache after only a few minutes.

    • tammie

      I have the same problem! I was so sad =(

  • Diana

    I just got out of the Toy Story dble feature and was excited about the 3D because I’d never experienced it before. I was a little disappointed because everything was pretty flat except for the Jim Carrey Christmas Carol preview and the Walt Disney World castle/fireworks openner. I may have ooooohed outloud with all of the kids there too. And I’m 30.

  • Dan S

    Do they really not work, or is he just expecting too much?

    The best thing about the new 3D tech as opposed to the old red-blue fad is that filmmakers are using it to create depth instead of pulling sight gags where stuff flies out at you every minute.

    I think a lot of people who claim they “don’t work” are simply expecting the old gimmick instead of the new, more subtle, effect.

    • MeMyself&I

      They don’t work for some people. We aren’t expecting to much just 3D withour 3D glasses. It’s flat and annoying and we are wearing stupid glasses.

  • jim zale

    It’s not the depth, so much as the draining of color. Recently watched the 3-D version of Coraline and thought it was dull. Put in the 2-D side and, because of the color, found a much better movie going on.

    • brandon

      Yeah, I noticed this too with Coraline.

      • Ryan

        I loved Coraline so much more the second time without the 3D! It wasn’t just the draining of color, the glasses to these movies are always so pinchy that they start to hurt the sides of my head halfway through the movie.

      • Jon

        If you flipped it around you were clearly watching it on dvd, which is a different 3d technology than if you had seen it in theaters

      • simplychad

        Yeah, the 3D of Coraline in the theatre was breathtaking. But that type of 3D requires two cameras to produce. The DVD is a different type of technology and looked terrible. I was so disappointed when the DVD set came out.

  • brandon

    At a recent Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs I thought the Christmas Carol trailer looked much better than movie itself. But 3D remains little more than a gimmicky distraction to me. The glasses become uncomfortable after an hour or so. I can put up with it for a kid’s movie, but watching a serious movie, I think 3D would simply be a constant distraction from the storytelling. One notable exception: U2:3D, which was only about an hour long, worked really well in 3D, but of course, it’s a concert film, so it ‘s all about listening to the music and watching the band.

  • DavidJ

    The 3-D works for me–I just don’t think it’s worth the trouble. After the first 10 minutes the novelty wears off, and then you’re just stuck watching a movie with really uncomfortable glasses on for 90 minutes.

  • Laura

    They don’t work for me. I have a really bad astigmatism in my left eye and I’ve never been able to see 3D movies or the amusement park rides that use it. I can’t see those Magic Eye pictures, either. I’m really looking forward to TRON next Christmas, but I’m a little bummed that if I do go to the IMAX 3D screening of it with my friends, it won’t really be as cool as it should be.

    • JenR

      I can’t see the magic eye pictures either and the red and blue 3-D glasses give me a headache, but the new 3-D glasses work for me with no headache. IMAX 3-D is amazing. I saw a show about dinosaurs at the Smithsonian this summer and the dinos were right in front of my face!

    • JenR

      I just want someone to restore “Dial M For Murder” to its original 3-D. Every time I watch it, I am jealous of all those people who got to see it in 3-D in the theater.

      • PubbyPab

        I was lucky enough to see a 3-D showing of “Dial M” some years ago at a local rep house. It was fantastic! Hitchcock utilied the added depth of field in a very artistic way which reflected the themes of the story. It wasn’t about objects flying out at the audience; it was much more subtle and interesting.

    • MsSunidaze

      I can’t see the magic eye pictures either. The 3-D glasses give me a headache half way through, and I get distracted when something pops out of the screen. Plus my little girl who wears glasses finds fitting the 3-D glasses over them very uncomfortable. They just need to show both versions.

  • potomac79

    For me, 3D is a major bust. Sure, I see the effect, but it’s at the expense of diminished color fidelity as well as the discomfort of the glasses when I already wear glasses (unless you’re Robert Stack, how many glasses does a person need to wear, really). While I certainly has its place in research, until/unless they can make true 3d where the viewer doesn’t need some device, for the general public it will remain a gimmick to be trotted out every couple of decades.

    • kim in kentucky

      nice AIRPORT reference!! LOL

  • Allie

    i think that 3d glasses work for some movies, like “the dark knight” and “harry potter” for example, but i’m tired of seeing every new disney movie coming out in 3d. like the re-releases of toy story and toy story 3. why can’t they be released in the original way they were first released, 2d? i don’t think 3d is anything special, although i think those 3d rides are cool. haven’t been on one yet, though.

    • Joe

      Neither of the movies you mentioned were shot in 3D.

  • Kate

    Wearing the glasses gives me a terrible head, so I’m not a huge fan. I don’t really see the need to make it 3D anyways.

  • Tasha

    I went to see Harry Potter 6 at the IMAX which portions of the beginning shot in 3D. It might work “well” with cartoons but with actual people it’s a mess. While faces were differentiated from necks the actual facial features (nose, eyes, mouth, etc.) were really flat and it simply ended up looking funny; Harry Potter’s face looked more like a pancake with eyes, nose, and lips than an actual head. And even in cartoons it bleaches the color which is a shame, especially for Disney/Pixar films. While it can be fun I’d rather save the extra few bucks and see a normal, 2D, full color production.

  • plushpuppy

    Anyone who can’t see 3-d should be going to the eye doctor because they have a vision problem.

  • rigmarole

    No, they absolutely do not, and it’s always irritating to be left out of the fun.

  • Ian

    I can’t see 3-D in movies. I think I almost saw it when the fifth Harry Potter movie was in IMAX 3-D…mostly I just fake it

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