I can't think of many things that inspire as wide a range of reactions as 3-D films.
I know people who love seeing movies in 3-D. I know people who can't watch 3-D without getting headaches. I know people who've seen "Avatar" multiple times (which may explain why it made more money than any movie ever). And I know people who get upset about the idea of seemingly every big blockbuster being converted into 3-D.
Those people may get a kick out of this: Glasses that turn 3-D movies into 2-D.
I tried Hank's glasses while watching "Thor." And, well... they work. The question is, would I ever use them again?
Personally, I don't have a problem with 3-D in general. (I'm the guy who has a Nintendo 3DS, remember?) After all, life is in 3-D; why wouldn't I want to enjoy movies in 3-D too? To me it's like asking why we need colour television.
But I do have a problem with bad 3-D. And to me, we've yet to come up with an effective technology to display 3-D, and this is where the backlash comes from.
It's very easy to shatter the illusion of 3-D. When done properly, like in "Avatar" or "Tron: Legacy," the effect can be amazing. But those are movies designed specifically to be in 3-D. "Thor," on the other hand, was shot in 2-D and converted later. And it shows. Characters look like flat cardboard cut-outs; an especially odd effect when you see how, um, "big" Thor is.
When I see bad 3-D, I'm suddenly reminded of the hoops I've had to jump through to make this happen: I have to wear big glasses. I've paid extra for the ticket. And sometimes I too get headaches in the cinema. (This happened during "Avatar" and, weirdly, Michael Jackson's "This Is It." Please don't judge me for my movie choices.)
And this is just in the cinema. There are also 3-D TVs, which have little in the way of dedicated content and require big, battery-powered glasses to work. There's the 3DS, which I like, but also frustrates me with how easily the illusion shatters. And then there are rumours that the iPad 3 will pack a 3-D screen, something which makes no sense at all for a very simple reason: Once you reach out with your finger, your brain will realise that the physical object that is your finger and the virtual objects on the screen do not exist in the same 3-D space, killing the illusion.
No existing technology has really hit the sweet spot for 3-D. It needs to be glasses-free, like the 3DS and unlike cinemas; but it also needs to be visible from multiple angles and not just one spot, like cinemas and unlike the 3DS.
Unfortunately, there seems to be little in the way of a practical solution just yet. Until then, I might just hang on to Hank's 2-D Glasses.