Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: The Mohawk Memoirs: 3-D Movies! An Ocular Treat?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Mohawk Memoirs: 3-D Movies! An Ocular Treat?

by "Rooster" Clayborne

Ever since I made the perilous decision to shave my shag of hair into a single swath of mohawk, I, the Rooster, have somehow further alienated myself from my adoring wife, Maggie. She still can't quite fathom why I—a man in his late thirties who is presently unemployed, and father to a four-year-old daughter—would do such a seemingly foolhardy thing as to transform myself into the image of Mr. T. Rather than getting into protracted discussions with Maggie about how having a mohawk will complicate my job-seeking prospects, I've been spending a lot more time with the one person who doesn't cower with embarrassment when seen with me in public—my intrepid and unabashed daughter, Paula. The two of us have been spending quality time together by going to the movies. In an effort to heighten Paula's movie-viewing experience, I've been paying a little more in admission so she could wear the over-sized 3-D glasses that obviously come in only one size—adult.

My history with 3-D is not a favorable one. I was twelve when I was first introduced to it during its trial-and-error resurgence in the eighties. I hated the uncomfortable cardboard framed glasses; the red and green, wafer-thin lenses gave me a headache coupled with nausea. Flash forward to the present day. The latest iteration of the technology has corrected most of the problems: the frames are now typically black, nerd Wayfarer, and the red and green lenses have been replaced with a clear, dense Lucite plastic.

I tested the re-vamped technology for the first time last year—sans Paula—with the release of Avatar in IMAX. Instead of giving you my thoughts about the movie (which was a mediocre, gaudy sci-fi triad mash-up of Dance With Wolves, The Last Samurai, and Pocahontas), overall it was a favorable application of the technology, and I only experienced a hint of nausea. I did notice the image seemed a little murkier as if dipped in dirty bath water, but after the first fifteen minutes I acclimated to it.

With the technology now daddy-approved, I took Paula to her first 3-D movie, the DreamWorks animated feature How To Train Your Dragon. Besides being a very entertaining film, I marveled at the use of 3-D—especially during the dragon flight sequences. For the first time ever, I felt the use of three-dimensional depth perception really added to the thrill of the medium.

Ever since then, I've been "chasing the dragon," so to speak. Each subsequent film Paula and I have seen in 3-D has seemed to pale by comparison to the dragon experience. From Shrek Forever After to even the phenomenal Toy Story 3, 3-D hasn't really added much to the content of story—which is in my opinion the true lure of why we go to the movies.

As Maggie and I put Paula to sleep the other night, It finally occurred to me to ask Paula if she liked the glasses. She flatly told me no. In fact, now that I think of it, she would never keep the glasses on for the entire movie. Maybe 3-D is yet again another trial-and-error gimmick that needs re-tinkering. If you asked my wife, she would likely say, "So does your mohawk."

"Rooster" Clayborne documents his moviegoing experiences in The Mohawk Memoirs.