Devalued, Dissappointed and Done

It’s time to set the get the ramps moved into position, 3D is full steam ahead towards the shark tank.  Probably a month ago by now, I went to see the opening of Thor with some friends of mine.  Admittedly, I was a fan of the groundbreaking 3D work in Avatar (which was previously blogged about here), but I started becoming skeptical based on some crap movies that simply added it as a gimmick – likely an attempt to get people not to notice how poorly developed the plotline was.  We decided to go all out on this particular showing and take in the new local IMAX screen which was actually showing the 3D version.  The first shock was the ticket prices were $15 and I am pretty sure that was matinee pricing.  Big cities may be used to that outrageous price, but trust me, this doesn’t play well in Peoria.  Now, I am probably a tad more sensitive to this than most, but I spent over $3K in LASIK so I would not have to wear glasses/contacts anymore.  Yet there I was paying for a pair of glasses to sit and watch a movie for two hours.  If you viewed the Avatar link above, you probably noticed how “Roy” cool I looked in those glasses (well, minimally, I didn’t look totally stupid in the theater).  Contrast this with the high dork level these IMAX 3D glasses produce.

A big thanks to Sung for his willingness to take my picture in the theater lobby.  Just shoot me and put me out of my misery.  To be fair, this was a big step up from the helmet we had to wear in Las Vegas to watch the last Matrix movie, but that was many many many moons ago.  The first signs of concern started with the 3D trailers.  There was some definite depth generated by the glasses that may have been even more enhanced by the concave design of the screen.  However, the depth was so large I had problems focusing crisply on objects that were moving a significant distance.  This resulted in the effect being a little blurry and almost jumpy as my brain attempted to process the visuals.  The hope was that this less than appealing effect was simply due to a poor use of the technology by the 3rd Pirates movie.  I ended up taking the glasses off for a rest before the start of the movie while rethinking the $15 premium.

Eventually the movie started.  Thor was always in my comic book reading collection primarily because they always had cool looking wolves guarding Asgard.  As a spoiler, there are NO wolves in this movie, immediately reducing the maximum stars possible to 4.  I’m not going to go into the real plot of the movie because a) I thought it was actually pretty boring and b) it really doesn’t deserve that much attention.  I’ll state for the record, that my friends thought it was okay and were at least entertained by it.  I on the other hand thought the plot line developed too clunky and the characters beyond Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings (a personal favorite of mine since seeing her in Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist) were average at best.  Loki didn’t feel right at all based on my on interpretation from the comic books, but Thor’s friends were just plain stiff.  At first I was down a little bit on Natalie, but decided it was due to having just seen Black Swan and couldn’t get those images out of my head for this more whimsical role.

My real complaint is on the 3D front.  I ended up having to take the glasses off at least twice during the movie to give my head a break.  Having to take in that big IMAX screen and then adjust to the depth effects took its toll.  The annoyance of having to wear glasses coupled with the slight headache had me asking myself “for what” by the end of the movie.  I thought Avatar leveraged 3D well to draw the viewer into the visually appealing Pandora landscape.  The 3D in this movie felt like simple eye candy that wore off after the first few tastes.  The heart of any good movie is the plot, character development and then enabling cinematography.  In my opinion, the director jumped past the first two and tried to cover it up with the latest industry trick.  Well, that appears to have backfired on the industry as a whole from my perspective.  At this point I’m probably done with 3D and there is no way in hell I’ll be spending any money on a 3D TV for the house.

Hit the jump to see some interesting pictures (also thanks to Sung) from the whole movie outing

Although the movie didn’t end up being that fantastic, the night out ended up being quite interesting.  For starters, the ticket taker at the theater decided to get into the spirit of the comic theme by dressing up.

You wouldn’t catch me wearing that in public, but he was a huge hit with the audience. There were a number of people asking if their children could pose for a picture with him and he was more than willing to do that… even for Sung who did not have the luxury of that excuse to get the picture. Before the movie started, Sung went off to get some food and drink from the snack counter. When he returned he showed us all the picture he took of the girl working at the counter.

Sung must have felt like he was back at ComiCon with all these photo opportunities.  I should point out that Sung now has an iPhone so our official LifeIntrigued man on the street photographer should be bringing us some better pictures in the future – not that I am complaining with these, but it took a long time in Lightroom to get them cleaned up for the blog.  Now if I can just get him to stop ordering the kiddie special at the theater we’ll be in business

Just kidding, I know he gets these for his kids to enjoy, but it still makes me laugh every time he comes back and sits down with the rest of us with his mini popcorn and themed cup. I think this one was promoting the upcoming Kung Fu Panda 2 movie. What a great dad!

After the movie we caught some dinner at the new Five Guys Burgers joint. From a hamburger perspective, it wasn’t that bad, but there was a significant wait between the order and when the food was ready. Strange since they had about 7 people running a food assembly line.  I watched this process for awhile and decided this was more for show because the efficiency factor appeared to be about at a D level – 4 of them were simply staring at the single burger cook waiting for the patties to come off the grill. The only reason I bring this up is Sung was able to capture a shot there of this horrific scene.

Sung was trying to be discrete when he took the photo leading to the nasty tilt.  Notice anything different in the image?  the person in the middle is a high school aged BOY.  This definitely drew some attention from the customers in the joint.  He didn’t seem to be self-conscious about it and Sung later overheard him telling someone else he lost a bet to the other guys.  This isn’t leaving a good feeling about our future leaders.

Ironically, the next day I went to Culvers (apparently burgers are a key staple in my diet) and chuckled to myself when this family came in to order.  Apparently everyone is getting caught up in the super hero theme these days.

Credit to his brother who didn’t seem in the least bit concerned his little brother was living out his fantasy.

eesh, enough hammer time (get it?). I better close this Thor post out, before the puns get worse.

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