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November 28, 2022

Gravity - Redux: Movie Review

By Bernie Pilarski

There were no new movies last week that fit into the Piker Press movie review budget constraints. I'm not saying there were no good movies, it's just there are limited resources that must be spread like the last dollop of homemade jam on a biscuit, and not the tube biscuits either, the real homemade thing. In fact, one of these days when The Fifth Estate and 12 Years a Slave hit Netflix, I will get my son-in-law to put them in the queue. I admit, however, to having no interest in Carrie -- didn't when it first came out and don't now again.

But I do have a confession to make. Two weeks ago in my review of Gravity, the sci-fi blockbuster that has people talking, I said the following:

I don't go to 3-D showings of movies. It's a cute technology, but of the movies I've seen in 3-D (even the much-heralded Avatar) I've never found it worth the extra money (yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a cheap SOB). Gravity might just be a movie that will chase the moths out of the change purse and get me to cough up the money to see it in 3-D. I haven't yet, but I just might.

Well, I did. I put on the Groucho glasses and went back to the theater, plunked down the normal admission price, and then I dug deep into my pockets and produced the extra three dollars for the 3-D showing. I succumbed to all the hype that this was the movie to see in 3-D.

Was it worth the extra bucks?

In a word, no.

I am not anti-technology. I went to see this movie to begin with because of the spectacular special effects, and I was just as impressed this time around by the beautiful and mind-boggling views of life in space. However, I have yet to see a movie that gives me a reason to want 3-D. It's like a Kindle e-reader. I get that technology. I haven't made the jump yet, but it makes sense -- you don't cut down the trees, there is the potential to have thousands of books in roughly the space of a Spiderman comic book, you don't have to worry about Book Beetle larvae eating their why through your collection. However, when civilization falls and all the battery factories shut down, how long are you going to have access to your library of ebooks? Just sayin.' I think that there is still a need for hardcopy. But what's the point of 3-D? What does it do for me? Does it save me any money, space or ecological damage?

There apparently was a big push to get people to see Gravity in 3-D, and the marketing people did a great job. Kudos, Marketing. However, I am now totally and officially done with 3-D. I join the late Roger Ebert in his comments about the technology: "The notion that we are asked to pay a premium to witness an inferior and inherently brain-confusing image is outrageous." Ebert quotes from a letter written to him by Walter Murch, an Oscar winning film editor, who concludes that 3-D produces a film that is "dark, small, stroby, headache inducing, alienating. And expensive. The question is: how long will it take people to realize and get fed up?"

So there. I apologize for suggesting that you may want to see this film in 3-D. Go ahead if you want too, but to me, it's just money down the drain.

Article © Bernie Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-10-21
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