I've heard from a number of people who wanted to see Prometheus in 2D but have been frustrated by the lack of screens showing this format. Isn't it time we did something about the way we are being pushed into the 3D trap?

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Prometheus - 2D v 3D

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  • Comment number 252. Posted by ChrisW

    on 27 Aug 2012 12:51

    A bit late to this but we tried to see Brave last week and the 2D showing had been pushed to a ridiculous time, considering we both had to work the next day. So we were effectively forced to see it in 3D and the image was so dark I had to keep removing the glasses to see what was going on.

    I've read that cinemas are supposed to turn up the projector brightness for 3D films to compensate for the darkened image, but many fail to do so because of the prohibitive cost of replacing the bulbs.

    I complained to the cinema management to no avail. It's the last 3D film I'll see: it's bad enough that they inflate the ticket prices but then to give you a poor viewing experience as well is just ridiculous.

    If, when The Hobbit is released, there are next to no 2D showings available, I'll simply wait for the Blu-ray.

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  • Comment number 251. Posted by David Pascoe

    on 25 Jul 2012 00:19

    Just a quickie to say that I saw Prometheus in Plymouth tonight in its last week at the Vue Cinema near the Barbican. It was in 2D and I'm guessing this may be because it's been moved to a smaller screen. Maybe waiting for the multiplexes to move multiple format movies around is the way to go for those who want the 2D option only.
    As for the film itself, I found myself a little fed up while watching it when I realised that because it's setting up future movies, it wasn't going to see any of its plotlines through. The central idea is a bit old hat too (SPOILER) There have been plenty of books, films and TV shows suggesting that humans came from alien races.
    The last 40 minutes were exceptionally good though.

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  • Comment number 250. Posted by Blackfury_Rises

    on 10 Jul 2012 21:39

    In Washington I see all films in RealD 3D, RPX 3D, or IMAX 3D.

    I never have had a lighting issue while watching a film. I've seen three 3D films this year, (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man), and all but Spider-Man felt like a waste of money. (I saw The Amazing Spider-Man in IMAX 3D for around $5.)

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  • Comment number 249. Posted by Rosko

    on 3 Jul 2012 18:45

    Adela @ #218
    Sorry again if I've oversimplified your argument. The reason why I'm pushing you for a conclusion is basically this: I have seen one 3D screening as you describe, in a specialist 3D theatre - the film was a twenty minute part animated part live action piece that was specially designed to make the most of the 3D stereo effect. The brightness was fine and I can remember it vividly. Mainly, I was irritated. The insects and birds that came out at the audience did appear to be suspended in the air infront of you and before the screen, but they appeared as flat isolated objects, not part of a continuous space, not like staring down a well with a torch as you would want - some moments did make me jump slightly, but only till you got used to it. The overall impression was that it was not immersive (and less enjoyable than good photography), which is surely what it has to be if it has any real point to it. It was as if someone was projecting flat hologram images into the air in front of you, but the whole thing just seemed so fake and distracting once you had got used to it. I'm sure some of the other pieces of 3D I've seen were screened more or less correctly. I still reach the same conclusion e.g. Avitar had a complex image, but I found the dragon sky-diving less thrilling than movies containg cinematography of real sky diving. And the darkness or eye-strain was never a particular pain for me, although I can imagine how it might have bothered some other people. A cleverly constructed 2D image is far easier to lose yourself in, so what is the point of 3D...

    I don't know if you've heard the storey about one of the earlest films that was ever shown - a steam train pulling into a station filmed by the Lumieres - where people jumped up and screamed because they thought something was going to come through the screen - it was the size of the screen that did it, and the unfamiliarity of cinema, not some fake left-right contrast effect. They suspended their disbelief because they were able to concentrate without distraction and they were submerged in a realistic image.

    You seemed to suggest that even though you have seen the best 3D there is, if you had the choice you would still see the 2D. I would go further than that and say that the whole idea of stereo 3D is stupid - you mentioned the possible long term effects of eye-strain, which may support my argument, as it suggests that your brain is constantly trying to reajust itself because you are trying to focus on these 'objects' intently but your brain is telling you, 'that's clearly not real'. Basically, I believe our own visual perception and imagination (if you concentrate and have a clear view of the screen) can take a scene like the space-mobile-explorer alien desert scene in Prometheus (where the camera tracks alongside the vehicles), and create a better fake 3D effect, as if you are looking through a window into reality, than the current state of the art 3D stereo techniques can produce (e.g. unlike cinemas, military 3D training technology I have seen uses goggles with two slightly different simple vector images directly screened on mini LCD displays in front of your eyes, not something projected in the distance using a colour technique). Even if there was a good quality management system in place and prices were fair, if all screenings became stereo 3D, I would stop going to the cinema, because I just think the fundamental concept of it is unscientific, poorly tested on cinema punters and bogus, particularly in terms of immersiveness - Do you have a view on that...

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  • Comment number 248. Posted by moviebuffglaze

    on 2 Jul 2012 09:08

    Hi Mark

    I went to see Prometheus at the imax in 3D, and although I enjoyed it enough I would have gladly paid to see it in 2D. I am delighted that my imax ticket for The Dark Knight Rises is in 2D!

    Regarding your recent question about 3D being the only forced option at the cinema I completely agree. I wanted to go and see Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter (yes I know some have said its rubbish) but I wanted to see something silly and fun. As ALL of my local cinemas were only showing it in 3D I boycotted the whole thing and went to see this little film A Royal Affair instead. I was charmed by the film and so glad I saw this instead.

    So my answer to your question would be to boycott 3D if it the only option, and go and support an independant film. Its always worth it!

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  • Comment number 247. Posted by Dave B

    on 1 Jul 2012 08:17

    Hugo and Piranha 3D. Ok so Piranha was only meant to be in 3D but the conversion job was rubbish making that a frustrating experience.

    Hugo on the other hand was ridiculous. I don't care that it's meant to be the best 3D film ever made or that the Good Doctor said it was worth seeing over the 2D version, I wanted the option of seeing it in 2D for the brighter and clearer image. I had no choice but to miss that at the cinema; glad it didn't do well at the box office.

    On the other hand I had no trouble seeing The Avengers or Prometheus in 2D. Thankfully we won't get this problem with The Dark Knight Rises or Skyfall.

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  • Comment number 246. Posted by BlackMarlin

    on 29 Jun 2012 15:54

    I was able to see Prometheus in 2D, for which I am very grateful. I was, however, compelled to see Men In Black 3 in 3D because even in a city with 3 multiplex theatres and an arthouse one (Aberdeen), no one had a 2D showing available.

    Which brings me to another point. Cinemas can't be getting very good or reliable customer feedback (except the small arty ones, who adopt a different model). The reason is, of course, that now that everything is so automated there are very few people on hand to receive the information. There's no way to *tell* your local Vue or Cineworld that you want 2D screenings. There isn't a local 'comments' section on the website and, I'm sorry, you wanted a *human* operator on the other end of the phone? Mark is asking what action we can take, but I'm not sure what options are open to us if the cinemas are so determined to hermetically sealed against valid feedback.

    The only thing I can think of is snail mail. Proper letters, written on paper and posted in a letterbox, may well be the only recourse short of physically showing up yourself and asking to speak to someone.

    Non-rhetorically, then, can I ask if anyone else can see a way forward?

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  • Comment number 245. Posted by filmpunusertitle

    on 29 Jun 2012 14:36

    At my local cinema there were about 2-3 showings of Prometheus in 2D a day (granted all of them before about six o'clock) and when I went it was shown on a good sized screen but then again I am a student with a lot more free time than most to decide when to see a film.

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  • Comment number 244. Posted by The 8th Passenger

    on 29 Jun 2012 10:24

    I am definitely anti 3D and can often be heard ranting to my mates about it but in the case of Prometheus I decided to give it a chance as it was actually filmed in the format, rather than being post converted and by a filmmaker with a great visual style. My attitude towards it was that if Prometheus in 3D didn't blow me away then I would never give it another chance. The irony is that I didn't get to watch it in 3D as Movie House Cinemas in Northern Ireland still haven't installed the correct projectors in my local cinema, or the next closest. The one time I actually wanted to see a film in 3D, I couldn't. Although I doubt another dimension would have made up for the flimsy script and shoddy performances (Fassbender aside) anyway.

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  • Comment number 243. Posted by jaredlt

    on 29 Jun 2012 09:30

    Mark, I couldn't agree with you more.

    I had to search high and low to find a screening of The Avengers in 2D (and I live in London!).

    I only saw Prometheus because the cinema I happened to be near was showing it in 2D.

    I've seen enough movies in 3D now to feel comfortable in my decision to only want to watch movies in 2D. So much so that I probably won't see a movie if I can't find a 2D screening easily enough. I think that puts me in the minority as I assume most people just 'go anyway', even if they'd rather see it in 2D. All I want is choice, BUT easy choice. If the opportunity cost of trying do find a 2D screening nearby, at a time that suits, is too high? Forget it.

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