Wonderful advances in technology meant the clunky nature of prehistoric 3D was replaced with a sleek in your face visceral fun. Even the 3D glasses handed out at cinemas for an extortionate amount are smooth and shiny.
But the idea of being immersed in the action on paper sounds great and financially studios have reaped dividends up until now; more than two thirds of revenues were from that third dimension in the post-Avatar 3D boom.
Just as it seemed 3D was getting white hot; the rear-guard of traditional film making has reared its flat head. Of course one of the biggest blockbusters of the year Avengers was shot and released in 3D.
But two of the other biggest blockbusters of 2012 turned their backs on 3D. The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall both shunned the medium.
My main bugbear with 3D is the laziness it inspires in directors. You can have a wonderful story with a wonderful screen treatment, yet because of pressures from studios looking to cash in set pieces have to be shoehorned in.
I went to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (a travesty as a film in itself I know) in 3D and all the pointy swords in my face and over-elaborate set pieces were frankly distracting.
And this is before you even come onto the colour palettes, which are grim. It’s like someone has switched the lights off on Stevie Wonder.
Most irritating though is when 3D films are then converted for the average 2D viewer. The depressingly obvious fast food thrills of the 3D scenes make me want to vomit all over the punter sat in front of me.
The 2D version of The Hobbit had a big problem with the picture quality due to the change in frame rates and the colours didn’t exactly have the vibrancy of Sonny Crockett’s shirts.
Our little cinephilic troupe is unanimous when it comes to the merits of 3D. My good friend Mo says that 3D “forces movies to contain unnecessary shots to accommodate the 3D effect e.g pointing at the screen.”
Christopher Nolan who helmed the Dark Knight trilogy said in an interview, “The question of 3-D is a very straightforward one.
“I never meet anybody who actually likes the format, and it’s always a source of great concern to me when you’re charging a higher price for something that nobody seems to really say they have any great love for.
“It’s up to the audience to tell us how they want to watch the movies. More people go see these films in 2-D, and so it’s difficult data to interpret. And I certainly don’t want to shoot in a format just to charge people a higher ticket price.”
Nolan opted to use bulky IMAX cameras (which has a frame 10 times bigger than standard cameras) to shoot half of The Dark Knight Rises finale.
But Nolan isn’t totally averse to the idea of 3D and says he welcomes it if he can find a way of enhance storytelling, saying that his film Inception may have been a good candidate for the 3D treatment with its dreamscape sequences.
It seems IMAX seems to reign supreme when it comes to quality. Skyfall also got the IMAX treatment.
The first James Bond film to be shot digitally, the 23rd Bond is just as spectacular visually as it is in terms of plot and character. Speaking before Skyfall’s release producer Barbara Broccoli said: “We’re in IMAX, which we’re very excited about and I think that experience will be great, not quite ready for 3D yet.”
As it stands 3D for me is simply an unnecessary tax on the cinema goer. And unless a film that incorporates 3D in an awe inspiring way that blows you out of the water emotionally as well as visually, I won’t be convinced.