Mark Kermode reviews Transformers 3

Critic hates Transformers 3 violently…that’s not news is it? But what I find interesting is Mark’s assertion that this is the death throws of 3D. Something I’ve been saying well before Avatar is that 3D has always been a gimmick, it will come and temporarily ‘save’ (or be the last creative gasps of) the industry as it did in the 1950’s and late 1970s, but then it will go away for 20 odd years.

Why? Well unlike the development of sound or colour which went through the novelty phase to aid the realism and storytelling (visually or otherwise) of the director, no-one has ever integrated 3D yet to be anything other than a spectacle, a gimmick – like the Lumiere lantern shows at the circus, it’s a freakshow. As Mark says in another video it follows the rules of the Blockbuster, in the realm of 1000 channels of TV it’s event cinema – something everyone will go to because it cannot fail, there is too much money invested. And it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, certainly being popular does not mean it’s good (remember turkeys such as Waterworld? Pearl Harbor? Batman and Robin? Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? Big Momma’s House?).

Worrying in a lot of these films is how the CGI has literally taken over the plot and stage – the people are secondary. So in the likes of Battlefield LA or Skyline people are powerless against the invasion, and just little CG specs running away from the big monsters. This is the Rise of the B-Movie Machines to A-Movie status…at least in Star Wars and Jaws the people were centre stage as protagonists, but in many of these movies you could take out the people and it wouldn’t really change anything. Cynical and depressing.

If cinemas TRULY want to see 3D last another summer, they should put it in the hands of artists and people who make art films. Sure, you might not get the big draw of Transformers 3, but really there needs to be a film where 3D is part of the plot, the actual medium helps tells the story, rather than being a hindrance or just a shiny. Until someone does true ‘3D’ storytelling, where the story is in three dimensions as well, a bit like non-linear storylines and editing changed how we see time – well until then 3D will be just a ‘Smell-o-rama’ type gimmick that will fade away and come back when Hollywood has run out of new ideas.

Although for succintness this initial Mark Kermode review beats all:

Irony is I’m seeing Harry Potter 7 in 3D on Wednesday – here’s hoping that the 3D addition to the HP franchise (which is one of those rare recent blockbusters that actually focuses on people rather than monsters) actually adds and doesn’t take away from a quite magical (and old-fashioned) series.

Relatio Clash

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