Hollywood Goes to the 3D CircusS

There's nothing Hollywood likes more than a new toy; Smell-O-Vision, the casting couch, Pauly Shore. In their day they've all been played with to death by the dream factory. And now, they've got hands on another treat — Digital 3D.

Of course, filmmaking tools don't kill people; out-of-control directors kill people. Or at least they kill audiences. 3D in the right hands can and has been used for good as well as evil. American's delighted to soar through the air with Mr. Fredricksen in Up and see tumbling race cars fly off of the screen and chop their heads off in Final Destination 3D.

But once a couple of kids in the class start playing with their Pokemon cards, its only a matter of time before the whole class is flinging them at each other, stuffing the cardboard down each others' throats and burning the school to a ground in a bonfire of trading card rubble. So it has been with 3D; suddenly little Jimmie Cameron shows up with his immersive trailer and everyone's gotta have one.

The madness started yesterday when director Paul W.S. Anderson (the Resident Evil one, not the Boogie Nights one) announced that he was remaking swashbuckling classic The Three Musketeers. Anderson said he is looking to give the period epic a contemporary feel, and what says contemporary like Digital 3D.

Then Steven Soderbergh jumped in on the act, announcing that he will film a musical about Cleopatra starring Catherine Zeta Jones. In 3D of course, because how else would you want to see a musical about Cleopatra?
"Cleo is going to be a total party," he promised.

And with all this going on, who could expect Jon Favreau to stay in his seat and just make a little 'ol Iron Man sequel in pathetic little 2D. So suddenly out of nowhere, Iron Man 2 will be, it seems, in digital three dimensions.

Lost in this pile-on is the question whether 3D actually makes the movie going experience any better or does it just provide pointy things coming out of the screen to distract viewers from the Mariana Trench-wide potholes and the matching holes in their wallets where a hundred dollar bill used to be before they showed up with their families at the multiplex