As I write this my retina still shake and resist me, my rods and cones curled fetal from trauma.
I lasted roughly thirty minutes with the MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D Blu-ray. I say lasted in an attempt to invoke the act of endurance required by said experience. MBV3D was unarguably my most anticipated retail title of 2009 thus far. I’ve been awaiting this disc with the same level of want as that of RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, which is to say with the same level of want as no one else on Earth. I loved the film in theaters, surmising my enjoyment in the following review excerpt:
We all know what to expect and it sure as shit isn’t a layered labyrinth of deep characters coming face to face with their mortality and unimportance in a withering small town based an antiquated economy. The only layers one should expect from MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D are of the geometric plane variety, the only labyrinth that of the mine shaft, and characters only deep enough to have a pick axe go in one side of their body and out the other. Anything else is dressing as far as I’m concerned.
However, I knew not what to expect from watching Patrick Lussier’s film in a home theater setting. This ambiguity is what made MBV3D on Blu such a must-see, most-do on my list. Like with RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL’S ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ gimmick, I wanted to see how well it had all been executed.
I’m a bit of a home theater enthusiast, which is to say I don’t fuck around when it comes to setting up my system. Put it this way; moving the decimal places and carrying the 1 in my head, if I had saved all the money I put into our home theater I could have put an additional 15% down on the cost of the house in which it will soon sit. This is ludicrous, I know, but I find justification in every person who comes over and says, “Man, this is better than going to the theater!”
Except when MBV3D is in the player. The 3-D in-theater was great, the 3-D at home is of the dreadful red-blue variety. I understand this is the cheapest thing they could do, but it is intolerable to look at. The picture loses all fidelity, smearing it in oppressive hues that one must make a concerted effort to look at. Sure the third dimension is there and the perception of that works, but the method of delivering that gimmick is shit. Watching MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D on Blu-ray is akin to trying to watch a movie after staring into the sun before getting donkey punched with an ugly green paint can.
Granted this is the only home 3-D title that I own, so others may do it differently, but as far as MBV3D is concerned, the industry is taking a colossal leap backwards. I know I’m not the only one who thinks so. A piece over at Horror-Movies.ca caps off its lament of the presentation thusly, “And I would think by now, in 2009 someone can make the technology readily available so that a 50 year old gimmick looks awesome on my 50″ plasma.” A sentiment I share dearly.
I was prepared to share my confusion as to why Lionsgate would make such a poor decision until I did some research and realized that the technology to do Real D (the non red-blue glasses variety) at home does not exist. This gives them an excuse for delivering an inferior product, but the step back remains all the same. If the intention of presenting movies in Real D (the ‘good’ 3-D) is to draw consumers back to the theater again, studios need to make it clear to said consumers that there is a difference, that they cannot get this experience at home. Sure, a nerd like me is going to look into the matter and go off the rails on his blog about it, but Joe HDTV who doesn’t have time to see things in a theater is going to pick up something like MBV3D on Blu-ray, pop it in and promptly pop it back out because even their casual eye knows shit when it sees it.
If I were Lionsgate, I would preempt the film with an unskippable frame explaining that home 3-D is different than theatrical 3-D and that until the technology exists, the only way to experience the film without wanting to claw your eyes out is to go to a theater. Hell, they can then flash a list of upcoming titles using Real D technology. At least this will be an attempt to communicate to the consumers the logic behind your business model. At least then they would consider going to the theater to see your next film in 3-D. As it stands right now, if one’s first experience with the third dimension is like what I barely endured last night, there is no way in red-blue hell that they’re going to be clamoring to spend proportionally more money at a movie theater.
Let’s face it. If you can’t make watching a nude woman run around a parking lot in 3-D enjoyable, something needs sorting.