Sunday, June 12, 2011

Some Theaters Show 2D Movies With 3D Lenses

So I went to see Super 8 on Friday. When we finally see the "creature" or "monster" in the cave, I had to squint. I complained to some Trekkers at that the movie was badly lit as the "creature or monster" was hard to see. One Trekker, nameed Jonbec, told me that some movie theaters do not change the 3D lens when they run 2D movies. Not believing that, I saw Super 8 at another theater. At the second theater, the picture was crisp and clear. So, he was right. I did some research and here's what I found.

Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr did a story on movie theaters refusing to change the 3D lens on projectors when they show 2D films. Here's the story. At a Boston AMC, Burr describes 2D movies being shown with the 3D lens on. The problem? The 3D lens polarizing effect darkens the picture, sometimes as much as fifty percent. Trust me that stinks and that's what caused me to have a difficult time seeing the creature. The machines he notes that are causing this problem are Sony's 4K digital projectors. So why don't theaters just change the lens? According to Burr, the digital projector requires a special technician and costs money to change.

So how does a moviegoer avoid watching a 2D movie with a 3D lens and or get his money back. Here's what I would do.

1. At the box office, there will be a D next to the movie. That means digital. You can ask too. "Digital? Change the lens?" Digital doesn't mean bad because the theater owner could have changed the lens. Still that's a red flag. Also note that Burr names a particular chain that does not change the lens. I would take Burr's article with you. Seriously.

2. If so far they've satisfied you, then sit down. Now watch the movie. Look at the projection booth. According to Burr if you see two lights coming out of the digital projector, one stacked on top of another, it's running with a 3D lens.

3. Now you can see the results on the screen. A 2D movie with a 3D lens looks darker. It has a hazy feel almost as the director of the movie used a filter to shoot it. When I saw Super 8, the first scene with Joe sitting outside with the snow looked like it was shot with a filter to drain the light. Other outside scenes were okay. But night scenes were mud. And of course, when Director Abrams revealed the "creature or "monster" it was very difficult to see or view any detail. That's because of the 3D lens used to project a 2D movie.

4. Now if you're at the beginning of the movie, get up. Demand your money back. They might give you a pass but hey, it's better than nothing.

Movie fans, we need to know the problem. Then complain to the theater. Complain to your local film critic. Complain to any film industry professionals that you know.

No comments: