Tonight, Jenn and I finally made it out to the rerelease of Star Wars Episode 1 in 3D. This is the first 3D movie I’ve ever seen in theaters. My brief experiences with 3D in the past have not been good, most of them have ended up with me getting eye strain and headaches. I do believe that the 3D technology has improved since Captain Eo first premiered in Disneyland.
3D or not I’m happy to see Star Wars back on the big screen. There is just something special about seeing a movie like this on the big screen with a crowd, people cheer, laugh, applause at the opening logos. It’s a communal experience. So any time that Star Wars returns to the big screen, is a good thing for me.
Now, I’m not a big fan of 3D. However, I do understand the appeal of 3D in theaters. Beyond the extra money that theaters and film studios get to take in, 3D is a reason to go to the theater. 3D makes sense in the theater, but I do not want 3D in my home. But that’s a different rant for another time.
Star Wars in 3D is mostly “depth-based.” I may have just made up a new phrase there, but it’s the only way to describe it. There is almost none of the “coming out of the screen” type of effects. That is the effect that really hurts my eyes, and it was nice to not have to deal with that. The best 3D moments were the action scenes, especially the space battle at the end, there was a good immersive effect. You really felt like you were zigging and zagging along with the fighters. That made me very excited to see what the opening battle of Revenge of the Sith or the Trench Run in the original Star Wars would be like.
On the flip side of that, the 3D seemed mostly pointless throughout the majority of the film. Most of the matte paintings felt more like paintings in 3D, very flat with cut-out characters floating on top of them. This was the most distracting part of the 3D conversion, and it was especially noticeable in the beginning of the film. The scenes on Tatooine and Naboo were not quite as flat. Maybe it’s the difference between a CGI matte painting and an actual set.
In the end, my thoughts on 3D are pretty much the same as they were before I saw the movie. I’m not a fan. My eye-strain was not bad, but it was there. After a 2 hour movie it was comparable to a really stressful day at work. I really have no urge to put myself through this again, especially if I have to pay extra to experience it. I will go see Star Wars as it continues in theaters, but nothing else beyond that.
2 D’s are enough for me, I don’t need a 3rd.