Why 3D Movies?

There was a time, back in the late 00s (if that’s what you call the time between 2005-2010?) that some movies were also being released in 3D. And for some reason, I chose to watch many of these movies in 3D. It wasn’t until James Cameron’s Avatar was released that we learned what 3D could be. I watched Avatar in theaters at least three times (once in IMAX 3D).

I’m going to break up this post into two distinct periods of 3D:
Pre-Avatar (before December 18th, 2009)
and Post-Avatar (after December 18th, 2009).

Pre-Avatar: Watching 3D movies was great. Back when I was a kid some movies were released in “3D Vision,” which meant wearing some goofy red and blue glasses. Most of these usually featured some type of gag where a character might throw something at the audience (as seen in Muppet Vision 3D at Walt Disney World, multiple times).

In the year 2005, we saw the beginning of the 3D BOOM! In 2005, the number of 3D movie releases wasn’t that crazy, but each year it continued to grow — exponentially. By 2009, most of the big box office releases were converted into 3D — most likely for bigger box office revenue (3D tickets cost a few dollars more). People were watching these movies in 3D because we didn’t know any better.

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Post-Avatar: At the very end of 2009, Avatar was released. The 3D in Avatar was a totally different type of 3D. James Cameron created some new future-Japan cameras that would create an immersive experience (especially in IMAX theaters). Whether the movie Avatar was good or not, it definitely pushed 3D technology forward. (The world is still waiting on that James Cameron Aquaman movie, starring Vinny Chase — #ReleaseTheCameronCut!).

From that point on most studio movies were released in 3D. 3D televisions became a thing in people’s homes — people were sitting on their couch with goofy 3D glasses on while watching TV. 3D versions of Blu-rays were being sold. And of course, every Marvel movie had a 3D option.


For a while I thought, I guess I have to watch everything in 3D now. But at some point it was too much, I made a choice. I had decided to only watch movies in 3D if they were filmed specifically for 3D — not converted to 3D in post-production as an afterthought. I also began thinking this way of IMAX movies, Was it filmed with IMAX cameras? Anything Christopher Nolan is usually filmed with IMAX cameras.

In recent years, I thought 3D movies had mostly gone away — or maybe I had been avoiding them? Then of course, the theaters shut down for most of 2020 and some of 2021 (thanks to the pandemic). The other day when picking out tickets for Black Widow and the return of the MCU to the big screen I noticed they had a 3D showing. We went with IMAX (non-3D), but it was weird that the 3D was in a normal, small theater.

We’re now at a point where it’s not about 3D, it’s about IMAX, DOLBY VISION and DOLBY ATMOS (big sound). However, James Cameron is back in his movie lab creating the next two big Pandoran Adventures, Avatar 2 and Avatar 3. And when these come out, in an even more immersive 3D I feel like the film industry is going to go through another 3D renaissance, but let’s hope that’s not the case.

I feel like a 3D experience is a fun treat when it’s a rare treat. When watching content in 3D becomes a normal occurrence you barely even notice it. That’s what made Muppet Vision 3D at Walt Disney World so special for all of those years (they even have the added 4D parts where they spray you with water, plus the theater gets wrecked throughout the movie). When everything is in 3D then a ride on Star Tours becomes less special.

So, let’s keep 3D movies to special occasions. Christopher Nolan has his IMAX movies and let’s give James Cameron 3D and cool ocean documentaries.

I GOT A MOVIE PASS!

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A few weeks ago, I signed up for Movie Pass!

I love movies and I love going to the movies. What I don’t love is paying $15-20 to watch a movie in the theater. Gone are the days when I would go to a morning matinee for $4 and sneak into a second movie afterwards, bringing the total cost for each movie down to just $2.

With this movie ticket price surge I have become way more selective on which movies I “need” to watch in theaters. If I’m not 100% interested in seeing a movie (meaning it’s not a Star War, Pixar or a Marvel movie aka anything owned by Disney) then I can probably just wait until it’s on HBO. Blu-Rays now cost the price of one movie ticket. And, after buying a Blu-Ray I own that movie, plus special features and maybe even a digital copy, for life. This is why I decided to check out and ultimately sign up for Movie Pass.

After signing up I was instantly eligible to see one movie every day, but only at Merrick Park (until I received my Movie Pass card in the mail). I don’t understand how these people make any money. They charge only $9.99 a month, that’s less than the price of one movie ticket. If I see just one movie each month, which I plan to see way more than that, I’m already beating the system with my Movie Pass.

The only problem is that I can’t go to the Cinepolis in Coconut Grove, which happens the be the movie theater with the best popcorn in all of Miami. I guess I will have to sacrifice the “best” popcorn for “pretty good” popcorn just to save tons of money on movie tickets each year (and I’m fine with that). AMC Sunset Place now has cheesy and caramel-y popcorn. I can give those a shot (put them together and you got some Chicago-style popcorn. Chicago has to reinvent everything!).

Signing up for Movie Pass means that I have to get rid of one of my other monthly subscriptions. And that’s why, it’s time to get rid of HULU. I’ve already achieved my goal with HULU which was to watch Life in Pieces (Season 2), plus I finished Atlanta (Season 1) and Last Man on Earth (the entire series). It’s time to move on.

I’m fine with just Netflix, I don’t need both. Sorry HULU, but Movie Pass is way more worth it, plus I was paying for commercial-free HULU and that’s about $3 more than a Movie Pass. The only thing that HULU has over Movie Pass is that I don’t have to leave my house to use it.

MP Update: Movie Pass sent out an email last weekend stating that they were adding a few features, one being Peak Pricing. Starting soon, if I want to see a movie on opening weekend I may have to pay an extra fee. Movie Pass is becoming the new Netflix, changing their pricing and rules on us. Sure, we’ll get mad about these new features, but then we’ll realize it’s still better than our other option (which is not having it) and we’ll just pay for it anyways (as we do with Netflix).

One problem I have with Movie Pass is that they say you can “Watch one movie each day, as long as you’re subscribed to Movie Pass.” This is a lie, since multiple viewings of the same movie are not allowed. I’m pretty sure that 30-31 movies don’t come out each month.

Sure, at first you may be able to watch a movie each day for about a week or two, but once you make it through all the current selections, you’ll have to wait until each Friday to see what else comes out. Then you’ll only get about 3 or 4 more days of movie-watching each week.

Unless you have an indie theater that plays a different movie each day, you won’t really be able to watch a movie every day. And, if I lived closer to Sunset Place, I would actually test this theory. But I don’t have the time or will to test it out right now, so I’m fine with it. I’m just saying, “Don’t lie to me Movie Pass!”

So, since I don’t have the time to go to one movie each and every day for the rest of my life, I think Movie Pass is a fine investment. I will continue to subscribe, until they either go out of business, ask for too much money or start taking stuff away from me. Then I will go back to watching only Disney-owned movies in theaters, and maybe joining HULU again.

Thanks Movie Pass!

 

If you or someone you know has a Movie Pass and would like to be one of my Movie Pass buddies, please comment below.