Thursday, March 11, 2010

Down with 3D surcharges

I saw Alice in Wonderland last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which now has a 3D screen. I'm hoping they'll find some better use for it other than the mostly dull Alice (retrospective programming perhaps? Would love to see Flesh for Frankenstein in comin' at ya form again). As a BAM member I paid $8 for the film-but there's no break on the $3 rental surcharge on the glasses, the standard price here in New York (I think it was $2 or $2.50 when I saw Avatar in Baltimore).

Off with its head, I say. It's all the same Real 3D process so one size fits all, whether you're seeing Avatar or Alice or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or Coraline. And the only movies that really benefit from 3D at all are the ones conceived with the process in mind from the get-go, like Avatar or the surprisingly promising Tron Legacy, due at Christmas. Many of the rest, like Alice and the Clash of the Titans redo, are converted afterwards, for a few unremarkable, fall-down-the-rabbit-hole cheap thrills. Nothing to see here, folks--so why pony up the extra dough? Families coughing up an extra $2 or $3 per member must fume at this something-for-not-much deal. Enough ire from ticket buyers and the 3D "revolution" (already a bit of a snooze) will be stopped dead in its tracks.

I recommend seeing the 2D versions of the non-event ones. Trust me, Alice gains little in the format. Re; 3D, until the studios drop the surcharge (which they'll be loathe to do given the golden eggs it's yielding) the work-around is to hang onto your glasses the next time you see a 3D movie, pay to see a different, surcharge-less movie when it's time to see another, and sneak into the 3D auditorium with your purloined specs. I don't condone this kind of sneaky behavior but the 3D surcharging is a ripoff in any dimension.

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