Do I need to see Avengers in 3D and/or IMAX?
May 13, 2012 3:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm pretty agnostic about 3D and IMAX both. But some films really should be seen 3D (e.g. Avatar) and/or IMAX (e.g. Dark Knight). So...if I view Avengers 2D and/or in non-IMAX, will I be missing out? Each option limits my field of showtime options (and increases expense)...
posted by Quisp Lover to Media & Arts (19 answers total)
I'm not a big 3-D fan, but they did a pretty good job with that format on The Avengers.
posted by DudeAsInCool at 3:50 PM on May 13, 2012

I just saw Avengers in 3D yesterday after first seeing it in 2D last week. I much preferred it in 2D. Anything moving quickly seemed more blurry and hard to follow. The only scene I remember looking more interesting in 3D is one where there's a crowd of people standing still.
posted by des at 3:54 PM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I am a big 3D fan, but I don't think you need to do Avengers in 3D. The 3D parts weren't very substantial in my opinion.
posted by curtains at 3:54 PM on May 13, 2012

I agree--don't need 3D for the Avengers. In fact, during some early battle sequences, I took my 3D glasses off because the scenes were so dark that it was worth seeing slightly blurrier movement just in order to get stronger brightness/contrast.
posted by tzikeh at 4:04 PM on May 13, 2012

Not at all. I saw it in 2D and it was awesome. I haven't seen it in 3D or IMAX, so I can't directly compare, but I don't feel like I was missing anything at all. Why pay extra when cinema is such an immersive (and expensive) experience already?
posted by mekily at 4:05 PM on May 13, 2012

The problem with IMAX is that some so-called 'IMAX films' aren't really IMAX format. Example: the previous Dark Knight movie..... if you saw it in an IMAX theater, most of the scenes were "letterboxed", and those were not shot in IMAX with an IMAX camera. The half a dozen or so scenes that filled the screen top to bottom were shot in IMAX using an IMAX camera.

Most alledged "IMAX" film and most "IMAX" theaters, in other words, aren't true IMAX, and it does make a difference. Just because it's on a giant screen doesn't make it true IMAX.

(yeah, I'm an actual IMAX projectionist.)
posted by easily confused at 4:11 PM on May 13, 2012 [5 favorites]

Avengers in 3D wasn't that great. A lot of things got really blurry if there was too much camera movement or movement in general, which kind of defeats the purpose of a super hero movie.
posted by astapasta24 at 4:13 PM on May 13, 2012

Only see movies that were shot from the get-go with 3D cameras (e.g. Avatar) or animated films, where the 3D can be inherent to the dev process. Everything else is a conversion that simply must include visual shortcuts, because the conversion process literally creates visual data after the fact.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:15 PM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I saw John Carter in 3D and wasn't too impressed. When I went to buy Avengers tickets, the only way to see it in IMAX was to also see it in 3D. It blew my fucking mind, honestly, but I'm also big into comics and was really looking forward to the movie. I can see how 3D is a personal preference and not the Next Big Thing (i.e. color.) It's not perfect: objects coming from outside of the field of vision are disorienting, the film was converted to 3D rather than shot in 3D, and there were only a few shots where I can say they really took advantage of it. I would certainly shell out for IMAX, though; like, say, 2001, that movie positively begs to be seen on a screen as large as possible.

As far as the darkness issue, that depends on your theater. There were a few moments in a few scenes where I thought it was too dark, but it was no better or worse than a too-dark scene in a regular movie. I'll agree that the blurring was an issue, but I don't regret seeing it in 3D at all.
posted by griphus at 4:15 PM on May 13, 2012

What Cool Papa Bell said. The 3D in Avengers (and most recent 3D releases, with Coraline and Avatar being exceptions) was done in post-production, which means it actually reduces the visual content of the film. It's just a gimmick that allows theaters to sell some tickets at a higher price point.
posted by Tobu at 4:25 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I should add that during pretty much every movie I've seen in 3D in the past, I've spent half the time thinking that the film would've looked just as good or better in 2D.

So I'm just not a fan of 3D in general. But you asked for an opinion.
posted by mekily at 4:30 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks, good stuff. Since Avengers wasn't shot in 3D or in IMAX, and people are reporting the usual downsides of blur and darkness from the remastering, I'll just go regular 2D for this one.

As I said, I'm not a particular fan of 3D either. But it'd have been silly to see, say, Avatar in 2D.

Re: Dark Knight, I knew only 30 mins were actually shot in IMAX. But they were, IMO, spectacular, and I felt sorry for anyone who hadn't viewed in that format. And, yeah, I'm always careful to hit the large/genuine IMAX theaters, rather than the shrimpie rip-off ones.
posted by Quisp Lover at 4:31 PM on May 13, 2012

I've seen it in both 2D and 3D IMAX and I'd day it was worth it. Required? Definitely not, but if you can, I'd recommend it personally.
posted by Twain Device at 4:49 PM on May 13, 2012

I'd say 2d. 3d is well enough done, but completely non-essential.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:40 PM on May 13, 2012

i've always loved 3d movies, but I gotta say it really depends on the tech. The passive polarized glasses (which I saw Pixar's UP using) are my favorite...the glasses are lighter and the image is definitely brighter. supposedly they're not as sharp (greater liklihood of 'crosstalk'), but i've never noticed. The active-shutter glasses (like the last Star Wars Episode one) made the movie just about unwatchable for me...dark and murky, and the glasses were so heavy they kept sliding down my face.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:21 PM on May 13, 2012

Just saw Avengers on Friday. Really liked the movie, did NOT like the 3D. A lot of the action scenes were really blurry, it's a dark film so the 3D made it even darker to make it difficult to see details of the set. I was super annoyed with it and I think it might be the reason I will purposefully seek out non-3D films in the future.
posted by like_neon at 2:02 AM on May 14, 2012

I have heard that the 3D in the Imax release is good, but that the 3d in non-imax adds very little.
I saw it non-imax 3d and I think the 3D was fine, but added nothing. I'd probably have preferred 2D.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:08 AM on May 14, 2012

If the movie was designed to be shot in 3-D, see the 3-D. If not, then you can by all means skip it. That's usually a good rule of thumb for these things.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:55 AM on May 14, 2012

I think one of the differences which made Avatar a great 3D movie is that they shot it with 3D in mind. As I understand it (but haven't taken the time to find out myself), Avatar was edited to have longer holds between cuts, so your eyes had a chance to focus on what was going on before the next cut happened. With modern action movies having a bazillion cuts a second during action sequences, your eye has to do a lot of work in 3D to keep up with what's going on.

I haven't seen a film yet that was improved by 3D, although I have enjoyed a few of them. Avatar was the best one that I saw, and I liked the pixar films. All of the others that I saw were made worse by the 3D, since it was so much harder to track everything that was going on without getting a headache.
posted by markblasco at 7:36 AM on May 14, 2012

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