Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is Technology Ruining Movies?


Over the past decade technology has improved dramatically. 3D movies have become more and more common, and numerous directors have attempted to create the "next best 3D movie." While some of the attempts have led to great success, such as Avatar, many have failed greatly. Directors have put the story line in the backseat, and spent the majority of their time and money on the visual aspect of the film. I am all for mesmerizing affects, but there comes a point when the plot needs to be in the forefront. Movies are meant to make the audience think, and create personal connections to real life events. If you take a look at a list of the greatest movies of all time you often see movies such as The Godfather, Citizen Kane, and Casablanca. All three of these movies have incredible, complex story lines and lack any advanced technology. It is not a coincidence that most movie critics consider movies with these qualities to be the best of all time. Directors need to take a long look at where they are spending their resources, and resort back to what has made movies great in the past. Stop trying to make every story into a 3D fantasy-world, and start proving us with good old-fashion realistic plots.


  1. I agree with the author on this one. All these "3D" movies are slowly killing our society. I'm pretty sure nobody has any interest in seeing "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island." Just because the movie is in 3D and you get to wear disposable 3D glasses, doesn't mean people want to see it. The visual effects may be cool, but most people don't want to pay for a visual effects show. Most people want to see a plot, developing characters, a thrilling climax and a ending that makes you leave the theatre shocked. Now 3D movies aren't all that bad if done the right way. Avatar was a complete success, and the 3D effects really made the movie something special. Trying to force 3D will never work, as we need to get back to what makes us love movies.

  2. Sam and Justin - I completely agree with both of you! It seems that oftentimes, 3D effects are used only to bring back movie-goers in the face of declining audiences and decreasing box office success. Of course, this phenomenon is due to the easy accessibility of movies in today's society. For instance, if you can watch movies instantly on your computer, TV, or iPad, why are you going to pay $10 and take the long drive to the theatre? Therefore, 3D effects have become a strategy for studios to reclaim their audiences and give people incentives for making the trip to the movie theatre. People often feel like by going to a 3D movie they are getting something special that they would be unable to otherwise get in the comforts of their own home. However, oftentimes 3D is not used to its best capabilities to enhance or improve upon the movie. I think Avatar was an example of a great way to use 3D effects; the plot of Avatar was all about a fantasy world, and the 3D and special effects really worked to enhance this storyline. I truly believe that the only 3D movies that really enhance the original movies are science-fiction fantasy movies or children's films. For example, some of my favorite 3D movies include Avatar, Toy Story 3, Up, and Alice in Wonderland. These films do not attempt to be realistic while incorporating special effects. Instead, they are self-aware of their position in filmic culture as pure fantasy. However, other movies like Step Up, Final Destination, and Glee: The 3D Concert Movie seem to be unaware of their filmic status. These movies attempt to be realistic, while still incorporating the use of 3D technologies. As a result, these movies often become disappointing in the public (or at least in my) eye. As Justin said, trying to force 3D technology will never work. Instead, fantasy movies should continue using special effects to enhance the fantastical nature of the original film. And other movies that are not trying to be fantastical need to stop spending their resources in unnecessary areas and start focusing their attention on things that actually matter: the plot.

    Mallory Harwood
    The Magic Circle