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As I Have Said Before

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Mark Kermode | 09:36 UK time, Tuesday, 20 December 2011

I've kept up my campaign against 3D throughout 2011 but as this rare peek into the Kermode Uncut archives shows it's not the first time I have warned against fads and fashions in cinema. As you will see I have always been right in the past...

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Related Posts on Kermode Uncut
Come in Number 3D, Your Time Is Up
Did someone actually make a good case for 3D?
The 3D Guy Writes Back 3D or 3Don't?
How 3D Really Works - the science part

Mark's reviews on 5 live
Clash of the Titans - Mark lays into the retrofitted 3D

Hear Mark Kermode review the week's new films every Friday from 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live. Kermode & Mayo's Film Review is also available as a free podcast to download and keep.



  • Comment number 1.

    I agree completely with what Dr K is saying. I for one do not think this new fangled Internet thing will catch on either and that goes for fire, the telephone and the wheel!!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    a sarcastic sign of admittance?

    take it you have seen the prometheus trailer or something

    enjoy your alphabetti spaghetti dr

  • Comment number 3.

    Let's face it it's not the first time weve been plagued by 3-D, and everytime it crops up it doesn't 'catch on'. However i'm sure in 10 or 20 years time we'll be having 'this Hologram thing will never catch on'.

  • Comment number 4.

    When you think it took Hollywood about 2 years to perfect sound and 2 strip colour wasn't much good the same may apply to 3D. When i saw Avatar i thought "3D isn't going to last" but as chance would have it i'm going to see Hugo 3D this afternoon purely on Mark's recommendation so this could prove to be the break through film.

    Plus i seem to recall Mark saying in a previous blog that if 3D was still going 2 years from now he would eat his shoes or something like that, so would you would you like fries with that?.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm pretty sure that this Dr K. championing 'The Artist', a SILENT film in BLACK and WHITE and in the academy box Aspect ratio: 1.37 : 1 and no 3D. Proving that a film a film in 2011/12 can still make it without all current fads.

    Although since colour, sound and widescreen have become the norm for the most part, (heaven forbit 3D forllows suit) it seems that the buzz around 'The Artist' is to do with that its black and white and boxed and silent. So do these things make it a fad within our cinema today?

  • Comment number 6.

    I think this is what is technically known as a 'joke'.

  • Comment number 7.

    If Dr. K is having a go at the use of sound, colour and the move towards wider aspect ratio then he is off is rocker! I understand the whole argument about how the introduction of sound may have regressed the evolution of cinematic language but to actually say that those things are superfluous for a film to be actually good, then you know what, this is where I get off.

    Sure who the hell needed Jack Cardiff's colour? Ben Burtt's sound design really detracted from the whole experience of watching the Empire Strikes Back! You know what? Lawrence of Arabia would have been better 1.33:1

    I think Dr. K is just bitter that Scorsese has shown him up with Hugo and proven that there is a place for 3-d outside of the realm trashy b movies. At this stage Dr. K is just digging

  • Comment number 8.

    The 1st 3-D film I saw was 'Transformers 3' this year. Not only do the glasses make everything annoyingly dim, I had to keep taking them off whenever there was no action going on, as for some reason, the 3-D effect made people look very 2-D, very much like someone standing in front of a green screen, which I just found incredibly annoying.

    The only good thing about my 1st 3-D experience, was being almost hit in the face with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's knicker clad behind in the first 5 mins of the film. After that, is was all pretty much down hill.

    And the film sucked.

  • Comment number 9.

    So let me get this straight... Are you saying with this post that you are in fact wrong about 3D? That you have now seen a film that has made do a complete 180 and think that now, done right, 3D is no longer a gimmick but a viable storytelling device?

    Dr. K I am ashamed of you.

    I think and still think that it is a gimmick. Even when watching the best example of 3D in Hugo I still thought that it was nothing more than a gimmick. The 3D did nothing for me and I would've much preferred to see the film in 2D. At least then it would've been cheaper.

  • Comment number 10.

    The Joke


    Your Heads

  • Comment number 11.

    Nice plug for The Artist there Dr K...

  • Comment number 12.

    I think the essential point is that sound, colour and wide screen add something without taking anything away. 3D doesn't do that. It's still a trade off. Darkness, headaches, etc. I do hope it'll become perfected, though.

  • Comment number 13.

    I stopped following this blog some time ago because, almost every time, it descended into a boring criticism of 3D, regardless of the original topic. Returned recently and, guess what...? This is clearly a Dr K joke. The Artist looks interesting. If you like 3D - watch it. If you don't like 3D - don't watch it. I agree there's too much of it, but don't kill it just because YOU don't like it. I'll be back in a year to see if any of you have managed to move on.

  • Comment number 14.

    That is just wonderful. Actually, the only argument I can come up with in favour of 3D is that, at the advent of the sound film by the end of the 1920s, most serious critics (Arnheim, Balasz, Panofsky) dismissed sound - and especially dialogue - as an entirely uncinematic, art-destroying fad, while others (Eisenstein) only wanted to use it as a - there we go - Brechtian alienation device (thank you good doctor). We might argue, and the old Marxist in dr. K. would appreciate this - that the succesful use of 3D in Hugo - in which the device attracts attention to the mechanics of cinema - corresponds to Eisensteins theories, which served the latter well when making (very good) communist propaganda films.

    So much for a technnology that is supposed to save the capitalist culture industry that is Hollywood from the anarcho-marxist downloading pirates then.

  • Comment number 15.

    With a silent film like "The Artist" gaining popularity I think there's more chance of seeing films take on a less modern approach to film making. A renaissance. A resurgence of classic film making.

  • Comment number 16.

    Great piece of silly Christmas cheer. Unfortunate that the humour and Dr K self deprecation was lost on some. Can't believe you missed out: "No smoking in the cinema, actually being able to see the film and'll never catch on!" Happy holidays looking forward to Friday podcast. PS given our 24 million plus podcast downloads and blog followers will you ever resurrect the Christmas video film review advent calendar? Ta

  • Comment number 17.

    As I'm American, I have to ask.... this sarcasm?

    Ok, that was good fun, and it's a shame the archives don't go back far enough to witness the births of the Magic Lantern, Ed Muybridge, the Camera Obscura, and Indonesian Shadow Puppet shows. On the other hand, you could have chosen to muddy the waters with Sensuround, Odorama, and William Castle's plethora of less health and safety approved gimmicks (Tingle, anyone?)

    Obviously you'd have to rule the Zoetrope out, these rants get quickly repetitive... rants get quickly repetitive... rants get quickly repetitive... rants get quickly repetitive... rants get quickly repetitive......

  • Comment number 18.

    Wouldn`t it be lovely, if a silent, black and white movie won a best film Oscar in the twenty first century, Chaplin would chortle. But lets face it, it still isnt in Gold Rush league

  • Comment number 19.

    Even if you've often been wrong, at least you've aged well, Mark.

  • Comment number 20.

    Prometheus. Proper 2D to 3D conversions of Titanic (whatever floats your boat) & Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. 2012 will be something of a second wind for this 'fad'.

  • Comment number 21.

    @ Matth Stil

    A second wind of this 'fad' in 2012? Not really. Unless you count Hollywood re-releasing 2 films to cash in on a 'fad'.

    They are re-releasing films in 3-D because like Mark Kermode has pointed out in the past, you cannot download/pirate 3-D films as easily. Hollywood just want to 'cash in' on this 'fad' while it lasts, to try and make some money. Simple as.

    3-D will never be the norm. If it was, we would also all own a 3DS. But we don't, cause it's s**t, pointless, doesn't make the poor games any better, and it hurts your eyes.

  • Comment number 22.

    #22 ...and we're not all Nintendo-fanboy gamers.

  • Comment number 23.

    Thanks for making me smile. A nice little joke, not only against yourself, but also against those who compare you to the people who disliked widescreen/colour/sound. All of these enhanced the cinema experience while 3D doesn't. And for those of us with less than perfect eyesight, the problem of having to wear two pairs of glasses at once remains as uncomfortable and distracting as ever.

  • Comment number 24.

    Am I being silly- or is what we watch already without the glasses not 3D? least I thought we were watching 3D images 10 years ago before the glasses came in? Of Course they're always going to try and push technology- but let's be real, ' 3D ' ( with the glasses ) hasn't caught on as well as they would have hoped.

  • Comment number 25.

    Widescreen *does* strain your neck if you sit in the front row as anyone who has sat at the front of that massive screen at the O2 will know, I hate it AND it makes your tv screen smaller because these black lines appear at the top and bottom.


    Thing is though, audiences DID like colour, widescreen and sound. As soon as they saw it they wanted it. I remember black and white television but as soon as I saw colour I thought black and white was stupid (even as a small child) and that's the difference with 3D. we shouldn't have to "get used" to something. it's either good or it isn't.

    Sorry Scorcese but you are a fool.

  • Comment number 26.

    I've never considered this a good argument. Martin Scorsese made it in a recent interview about Hugo. It led to him asking why we couldn't simply have a hologram of the actor appear in front of us? Well, because that would be a $300,000,000 theatrical play that could've been put on for $3000 with real people.
    Not all revolution is innovation. Sometimes, it's just pushing us closer to Idiocracy. The fact that the most talented, respected directors in the world have made 3D work for them doesn't say a damn thing about the medium.

  • Comment number 27.

    What stops 3D being a natural evolution of cinema, unlike colour and sound etc. is that it only benefits certain types of film in certain types of venue. Large scale, popular, genre films to be precise. Would 'Stalker' be improved by 3D? 'Tokyo Story'? My personal experience is that you also need an IMAX screen that can fill your field of vision so that the 3D really works. I've watched footage on a widescreen TV and it just looks weird, like a pop-up book. 3D is a sign of desperation in a film industry (Hollywood) that is working to an outdated economic model and has seized upon this shiny gimmick as its saviour. It ain't.

  • Comment number 28.

    3D 'Titanic'? What happened to James Cameron's fundamentalist disapproval of shoddy 3D conversions? Ah, right, it vanished underneath a pile of hundred dollar bills....

  • Comment number 29.

    Don't be too quick to mock Dr Kermode; 3D may yet prove to be the work of the devil. Personally, I feel unpleasantly violated by the apparent 'additional' dimension foisted on us by Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

    (Mark - It's steg-off-ill-ist)

  • Comment number 30.

    A good joke!

    But jokes can be a way of communicating a controversial point though under the guise of humour.

  • Comment number 31.

    SCENE: 1600. A Room in Southwark, The Playwright is at his desk. Enter A Critic.

    Critic: Will, hast thou seen Mr Hollar's engraving of the theatre? 'Tis devilish realistic!

    Playwright (scribbling): Two dimensional representation? Pshaw! It will never catch on.

    Happy Solstice, Mark.

  • Comment number 32.

    Is Kermode's yuletide joke becoming a tradition? Certainly gives my Christmas cracker competition, "What's brown and sticky... Parcel Tape"

  • Comment number 33.

    My view, for what it's worth, is that silent/sound, widescreen/normal ratio, monochrome/colour, 2-D/3-D - all are of secondary importance when it comes to the most important aspect of any film - telling a good story well.
    That's what I remember when I think of all my favourite films - using film to tell me a good story well and, like all good art, making me think differently about the world or some aspect of it.

  • Comment number 34.

    Thanks for the smile Dr K. Got to love fads. Where would we be without them?

  • Comment number 35.

    This has nothing to do with the above video. Is just my review of Exorcist 2.

    OK. before I start, I just want to say. "Mark Kermode, You are wrong Exorcist II: The Heretic is not the worst movie of all time. Yes its bad.In fact in terms of screenplay,its pretty much appalling. The trouble is that Mr Kermode rates the Exorcist as his all time favourite movie of all time. So I can quite understand his hatred of its first official sequel. So firstly I would like to point out why people dislike Exorcist II: The Heretic so much.

    1)The screenplay is terrible.It really doesn't hold water. We are supposed to believe that Regan still has that demon Pazuzu trapped and suppressed inside her and the only way to uncover the truth is to use a hypnosis strobing machine so that another person can travel in to her subconscious and witness the events of father Merrins death in the first movie. Plus we find out the Regan can cure the sick ,see the future and draw scary pictures depicting forthcoming events that only father Lamont can decipher.

    2)The acting.. Well its pretty much hilarious. Richard Burton made this movie when he was fighting his Alcohol addiction. Half the time, he seems to be reading all his lines off cue cards. This makes his performance both mesmerising and infuriating. Linda Blair fairs little better. She really hasn't got much to do and Like Burton she is saddled with terrible dialogue that keeps her character two dimensional though the entire film. This also applies to Louise Fletcher who had just one a deserved Oscar for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. In this movies she is forced to say the the most inane lines, with which she speaks with total indifference. Kitty Winn, James Earl Jones and Max Von Sydow fair only slightly better with Ned DELIVERANCE Beaty having a great cameo as the Pilot.

    And finally

    3)John Boorman. A great director who seems totally out of his depth with this material.The trouble is that Boorman has always been a straight story teller but the film storyline is so all over the place that no director could rain it in. The original worked because it presented its story in the most realistic way possible. Its almost scientific in its presentation of good verses evil leaving its meaning up to its audience. Boormans film is overly complex and as a result it becomes slightly pretentious.

    So you may ask yourself, what is right with Exorcist II: The Heretic and why did I give it a 6 stars when most people have given it one or even none. Well. I think its is one of the most visually stunning movies ever made. I personally watch it for the visuals alone. Strangely Exorcist II: The Heretic is as film of many different plaits and styles and although some say this is a weakness in my humble opinion it is one of its strengths. Also the films horror elements have a strange and eerie beauty to them. from the opening where the possessed women burns to death to the aerial demon riding the wind sequence with reminds me of those cinema virtual roller coasters. There are also tremendous visuals that utilise models, such as the climb to the cliff top Temple. Plus the African Locust attack. All these sequences have a dream like quality to them that is as good visually as anything we can do to day with computer graphics. I should also mention Ennio Morricones excellent score. Although it seems out of place in some sequences it is non the less powerful and works well with some of the visuals. To sum up.

    As I have said before Exorcist II: The Heretic is not a good movie. But its isn't no where near as bad as certain critics would have you believe. Over the past 10 years I have seen many movies that I would class as a lot worse than Exorcist II: The Heretic.

    Take the film 2012. A movie made by accountants." Yes Mr Kermode,I'm quoting you. Then you have THE TEN COMMANDMENTS which suffers from all almost all the problems that Exorcist II: The Heretic. It has great visuals but suffers from, Bad dialogue, hilariously miscast actors but it is based on a best selling book. I could also mention titles like Sex In The City 1 and 2. Australia. "The movie not the place". Glitter,Meet the Spartans, Mac and me, Troll 2 and many many more.

    I believe you should try watching Exorcist II: The Heretic. Or if you have already seen it and hated it. Try watching it again it may grow on you. It did on me. To me Exorcist II: The Heretic is like a Wedding video where someone has filmed you dancing like you dad or doing Karaoke. You know you shouldn't watch it, but some how you can't help yourself. Plus secretly you quite like it.

  • Comment number 36.

    I quite agree Dr. Kermode! Furthermore, I doubt film criticism will ever catch on either! I mean, audiences don't want to be told what to THINK for goodness sake! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the palladium to watch the latest moving picture from the great auteur Kevin Smith.

  • Comment number 37.

    Future of film… less screens, much, much, much bigger screens -IMAX. Movie going will became more of an event and NOT like any experience we will be able to recreate in our homes. It's most likely that some form, or future variant, of 3D will be part of that experience.

    Broadcast TV/Internet, it'll all end up in the same place as convergent mass Media, with far more emphasis on multiple niche viewing options being made available to individual consumers. This will most likely be the home of on-demand premiere releases for most movies, once faster (distribution) technology has evolved and an agreed, robust, set of global standards for licensing product are in place.

    Just an opinion but one that's maybe not too far off the mark, I'd say.

  • Comment number 38.

    Lots of stupid people here...including the guy who, for some reason, has presented his review of Exorcist 2...thanks for that. :/

  • Comment number 39.

    Nice video Mark, had a good laugh at that one :P Given the fall in ticket sales and the slow uptake of 3D TV, untill they sort the format be glasses-less, your prediction will ring true.

    @ashley wetherall nicely random post there... quick question, is the best selling book you mention with regards to The Ten Commandments the Bible ?:O

  • Comment number 40.


    i don't think 3D is on the way out. Its merely going through a phase whereby instead of seeing 3D squeezed onto 42" HD colour flat screen we are now moving into an era where the next jump in technology will be taking 3D to a ne level. Seeing 3D images moving around in your own home or perhaps within a particular space will create a very real experience which is currently being refined. New TV systems and new ways of making the making the home and cinematic experience very real by having character interaction going on around your front room or within a specified space.

    Steve Garry BSc (Hons)

    (Lead actor, Rough and Ready 1 by Jim Dickinson of Wakefield City Council, Independent comedy feature with names attached)

  • Comment number 41.

    Never mind, Dr K. You can console yourself by laughing with sweet satisfaction at all those morons who are, right now, buying for Christmas 3D televisions and 4 pairs of 3D specs for their family and friends to 'enjoy', oblivious to the fact they'll not only look like buffoons wearing them, but they'll also look silly when the technology eventually becomes obsolete (or preferably abandoned through lack of interest).

    3D is the cinematic equivalent of someone telling you that if you put a mirror on your wall it will give you more space. This illusion is, of course, demolished the moment you walk into the bloody thing. Once you become aware of the illusion, it ceases to be an illusion!

  • Comment number 42.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Talking about 3D again?






  • Comment number 43.

    I have never seen a "3D" film. Yes, I have sat in cinemas wearing eye-hurting glasses looking at something that touts itself as 3D, but it's not 3D, it's 2D images on different planes. It would be truer to say that such films are animated versions of those crap things you can buy from craft fairs where someone cuts out bits of a card and sticks them on top of other bits of the same card to create an illusion of depth. You know the things - they've got a bloody silly French name which I can't remember...

  • Comment number 44.

    @ 35 you made me laugh, and i thought i was an anorak. May i suggest less is sometimes more.

  • Comment number 45.

    God forbid if ever the wireless, television or cinema catch on. Whatever will they think of next: electricity, inside toilets...?!?!?!

  • Comment number 46.

    Absolutely crazy - luckily I have very funny things like to cheer me up!

  • Comment number 47.

    Just came across this and thought you might like a laugh


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