|Theaters vs Home Entertainment Systems
||[Apr. 13th, 2009|09:32 am]
I recently saw Monsters vs Aliens in 3D at a local theater. The new 3D tech was impressive and not obtrusive. The glasses felt like sunglasses (I regularly wear glasses, and these fit over them just fine. The friend I went with doesn't usually wear glasses, and also wasn't bothered by them). The most distracting them about them was playing with them to look at the polarization and how two sets of glasses interact (I'm a physicist, it's what we do).|
The movie was entertaining. It's a silly kids movie. Has some reasonable messages about self-empowerment. It also has a lot of references for adults (throw away in-jokes to things like Simeon Says, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, and probably more that I'm missing).
The movie in no way requires 3D. There were a couple of shots where I had a "okay, that was a cool trick" that worked better in 3D, but nothing major. It's been a long time since I last saw a 3D film, but I was struck that this one usually seemed to add depth to the screen, rather than have things come out of the screen. Made it feel more like a window into another world rather than an immersive experience, although it was a more immersive experience than a flat screen.
As for the subject of this post, this is something theaters can do that (for now) home entertainment systems can't. To my knowledge, there aren't any flat screens that are accepting polarization information for their images. I like there are places that can sink the capital into creating an experience that I can't get at home, that makes theaters special. If I were a theater owner/manager, I'd be all over this and clamoring for more films that gave a unique experience outside the home.
As a theater patron (and granted, I'm an infrequent one, my last in theater film was Iron Man), I want the cost of two tickets to a weekday 2:30 showing to be less than $20 (I think this clocked in at $23, and that's without any food or drink purchased). Drop the prices a bit, and you'll see me in the theater for something like this a lot more than you have. And it looks like theaters could really use the business, as my friend and I were the only ones at the show.