Tuesday, August 10, 2010

3D Despicable

Yesterday I wanted to see “Despicable Me.” I went to the theater and as I was about to buy the ticket, I saw that it was in 3D. I wanted to see the regular movie, but the cashier explained that even though it was listed in the newspaper, they were now only showing the 3D version.

That’s despicable! Why are so many movies (especially animated ones) presented in 3D only? For one, they can charge more. But the more insidious reason is the disappointing reality that just like “supersizing,” “over-stimulating” and “more technological advances” are our cultural gluttony. Sadly More is More is our motto.

I go to the movies every week.

That’s right, EVERY week.

When I miss it for scheduling reasons, I watch movies I’ve taped on my DVR. I LOVE movies, but especially seeing movies in a theater. The big screen, the hushed darkness, the surround sound, all make the experience one that has thrilled me since I first went to see “Fantastic Voyage” at the Palace Theater when I was eleven years old.

But 3D is just not for me. It’s distracting, it’s dingy looking (it’s darker than the “normal” movie version), and those glasses, PLEASE!

I was so disappointed that I was going to have to pay extra to see a version that I didn’t want that I left and raced across town to a different theater to see it there, even though I missed the first five minutes.

Even Roger Ebert agrees with me:

“The sad thing, I am forced to report, is that the 3-D process produces a picture more dim than it should be. “Despicable Me” is technically competent and nowhere near the visual disaster that is “The Last Airbender,” but take my word for it: Try to find it in 2-D. Or, if you see it in 3-D, check out the trailers online to see how bright and cheery it would look in 2-D. How can people deceive themselves that 3-D is worth paying extra for?”

And now on to the movie: it was charming, visually exciting, imaginative and had a message: it’s never too late to try and fix your mistakes, especially in relationships. It was a familiar story of orphans and manipulative adults, much like Annie. But the twist is that the villain is actually the hero.

I enjoyed the way the main character, Gru, who is voiced by Steve Carell, is illustrated to resemble him. Even though he’s thrown on a quasi Russian accent (Boris and Natasha anyone?), his expressions and distinctive phrasing come through.

The outlandish world of Gru and his nemesis, Vector, intersect seamlessly with normal people, their odd homes smack dab in the middle of beautiful suburban streets. Gru’s transporation contraptions look like giant mutant submarines as they roar through neighborhoods and don’t turn anyone’s eye. When the humongous rocket lifts off from behind Gru’s Addams Family style mansion, it does rate a gaping stare from a neighbor washing his car.

I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would; at first it was a lot of blowing up disasters and artillery seemingly inspired by James Bond-like gadgetry. But as it went on, I really became invested in these characters with all of their flaws and charms, and the ending was very satisfying.

No comments:

Post a Comment