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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2010!
Assistant Editor / Co-moderator: Terence Nuzum

Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eleventh calendar year!
Number 525  (Vol. 11, No. 16). This edition is for the week of April 12--18, 2010.

3-D...So What?
3-D...So What?
Readers' Comments


3-D...SO WHAT?
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010

-- THE FIRST DECADE --
Crazed Fanboy's Most Memorable Moments, 2000--2009
As submitted by PCR writers, compiled by Chris Woods
LA FLORIDIANA: MOVIE REVIEW OF LIGHT OF BLOOD
From 2005, Will Moriaty's Florida Independent Movie Review of Gustavo Perez's Light of Blood.
This year seems to have inaugurated another period of the time-worn sales gimmick for movies and TV known as "3-D" or three-dimensional viewing, usually through a pair of specially-treated glasses, to "enhance" the movie-going experience. The December 2009 release of Avatar has seemingly created an obsession with everything being released in "3-D" along with its premium pricing. Now, new HDTV's are being developed that are being advertised as "3-D capable" whatever that means. Same gimmick, different decade....or century.

Since time began, it seems, the human artist/illustrator has strived to bring life-like tendencies to his work in order to best document to his audience a scene at its most vivid and compelling. The Renaissance period, in particular, marked a time when creating an impression of depth in paintings became an obsession with a virtually scientific approach to things like perspective and vanishing points. Even the camera obscura was developed as an artist's tool to render a scene as photorealistic as possible. Subtle irony there. When the obscura became a "camera" for mass consumption, experimentation with 3-D viewing wasn't far behind.

My first 3-D experience was likely the Viewmaster back in the '60s. A little device, kinda looked like miniature binoculars. You'd insert these circular cardboard things with embedded 16mm color slides in it for separate left and right eye viewing that would create an extremely realistic three dimensional image when viewed through the Viewmaster. Frequently, the subject matter was television shows of the day, but there were all kinds of subjects. I remember thinking if they could make two reels of film "project" through these gates you'd have the ultimate 3-D viewing experience. I still pretty much feel that way.

That particular gadget wasn't a new idea. My father gave me his first 3-D "stereoscope" he had as a kid, built of metal and wood that basically did the same thing, only the target was printed on heavy cardboard and had two black-and-white stills next to each other.

The '50s movies like Gorilla at Large, It Came From Outer Space, and The Creature From The Black Lagoon (among dozens of others) created a short-lived sensation with the concept of 3-D as a marketing tool, by handing out cardboard specs with red and blue "anaglyph" lenses to separate the left and right views of a black and white film. The novelty wore off after several years of headaches produced trying to view movies this way.

Later, the "polarized" glasses were all the rage because they allowed full color movies by separating left and right views with polarization techniques. Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1974) was the first film I ever saw this way.

The problem with these approaches (besides the headache) were twofold: first, there was a feeling you were viewing a film through sunglasses, as the lenses would cut down light from the screen by nearly 50%. This was somewhat attenuated with James Cameron's Avatar where new lenses were developed that allowed much more light through, but kept the 3-D experience intact. The second problem, which is even more compelling, is this: the three-dimensional experience can't save a dull movie. Oh sure, the 3-D gimmick is cool when you're in the theater, but the movie itself might be forgetable (as Cameron learned the hard way at this year's Oscars).

The best modern-day application of 3-D, in my humble opinion, is the big theme park attractions that combine moving seats, surround-sound audio, AND the 3-D movie. That is truly an "immersive" experience and very enjoyable.

All the current talk of 3-D this and that shows that every generation of producers figures it just HAS to work for them. But in the end, the movie is either good or it ain't. With all the new hi-tech development, I'm not sure how permanent the pervasiveness of 3-D TV and movies is likely to be. At worst, it could be like the inclusion of CGI in everything we watch now -- something we live with because we know it isn't going to go away. At best, it will be another "fad" that will die a graceful death as soon as the powers-that-be discover it can't save an otherwise awful production.



Readers' Comments

The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! The comments below are listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
J.MILLER [19-04-2010 15:00] 
Chris - My bad...I figured there may have been some confusion since Nolans review is so damn difficult to find...Thanks for clearing that up

Nolan - Thanks...That review is worth re-reading every few months to give myself a laugh
Nolan [19-04-2010 07:44] 
To Juicy: Lonnie and Vinnie are two different people.
Nolan [19-04-2010 07:37] 
To J. Miller: My "Light of Blood" review is in issue #273 from 2005. Go to the 2005 Archives and scroll down to #273 and click.
Chris Woods [19-04-2010 07:15] 
John - This week's Memorable Moments is not your pick. Someone picked Will's review of Light of Blood. I know that you picked Nolan's, I do remember that and have it on your list. That one will be posted sometime later in the year.
Petrey [19-04-2010 04:27] 
Encoding more THRILLER episodes featuring Boris Karloff. Check the Message Board under DVDs, Television, etc. Also watching the original BAD NEWS BEARS while doing so. Sweeeet!
Juicy [19-04-2010 03:48] 
Im confused. Are Lonnie and Vinnie the same person? Is Vinnie a nickname for Lonnie? They are two different people, right?
Steve Beasley [18-04-2010 22:26] 
50th Anniversary of Eddie Cochran's death. Believe it or not, he was in a taxi and the driver slammed into a lamp post flinging Eddie through the windshield. He would have been 71 on April 17. Gene Vincent was also in the taxi and was wounded badly. The taxi driver received a 6 month jail sentence for dangerous driving, plus a 15 year suspension of his driver's license.
J.MILLER [18-04-2010 20:12] 
Chris - We got the wrong Light Of Blood review in the memorable moments section this week...Sorry I didn't find the one I wanted in advance...I just spent close to an hour looking to put in readers comments and cant seem to find the damn thing myself...Maybe the verbal curb stomping / spiked baseball bat to the head Nolan wrote in response to Gus Perez's Light Of Blood is a figment of my imagination...

If any readers ever find a copy of this obscure classic piece of PCR history please send me a link!
Lisa Lisa [18-04-2010 10:19] 
Happy belated birthday Lonnie!
Michael [17-04-2010 21:06] 
I still have a "See A Show" projector, with many strips of Hanna Barbara's best, mostly "The Flintstones." Ah, the good old days. I can still remember turning on "The Flintstones" and watching Fred and Barney hawk cigarettes just like a good cartoon character should. And the government was worried about Joe Camel!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAExoSozc 2c

Damn, I need a Winston!
Get Off My Lawn [17-04-2010 20:40] 
the best 3-d movie ever was House of Wax.
William Moriaty [17-04-2010 14:35] 
New Schlockarama. "Sting of Death"!
Petrey [17-04-2010 13:33] 
From birth to earth and what lies between is the padding we supply that remains to be seen.
Tea Bag Party [17-04-2010 05:54] 
There are other reasons to attend, too. Men of passion, men of vigor, men of action gather together for much pleasure at our Tea Bag Parties! Mmmmmmmmmmm!
The Tea Party [17-04-2010 04:08] 
Angry Old Man have you ever considered joining us? You would be a perfect fit!
Elderly Cartoonist [16-04-2010 18:17] 
Get this? What happens when Owen Wilson provides the voice of a wacky, wise-cracking CGI-animated dog? Well, you get MARMADUKE, of course.

This movie features Marmaduke moving to Orange County, California and attending a high school for dogs. Oh the plot!

Some have attributed this film to Owen Wilson's love of senile cartoonist Brad Anderson, while others simply see it as a way for him to legitimize any future suicide attempts.

MARMADUKE will hit theaters this June!
Kickin It [16-04-2010 17:44] 
KICK ASS! Anyone going to see this awesome movie?!?!? Betcha TEZ will love this one... the ultimate fanboy film!
Angry Old Man [16-04-2010 11:29] 
Billy Dee Williams?!?!? BAAAH! Star Wars... BAH!!! Star Wars and all those fancy effects. In my day, we didn't need effects to tell stories! We didn't even use words! Nope ... in my day, we just banged two sticks together to tell a story! Those are the days I miss! GRRRR....
Phatness in South Tampa [15-04-2010 20:24] 
3D film is an oxymoron, as humans optically view everything in 3D. 3D film and tv only a marketing prole.
Chris Woods [15-04-2010 18:32] 
ED - I'll have to check the commentary to Eaten Alive. I knew Hooper had to be on something making that film. I enjoyed your article on Equinox. I've always I remember when I first heard about the plot of the film I was like, hey, this is Evil Dead! Rami most of seen the film when he was younger.
Crazed Fangrrl Lisa [15-04-2010 11:15] 
Sorry, no column from me this week. There wasn't time to write up the Ybor Film Fest before I had to head over to the Sunscreen Film Fest. This year's local film fest schedule is insane! (Sarasota's FF and the Florida FF in Orlando are going on now too.) But I got to meet Billy Dee Williams (!!) last night, so I'm not gonna complain too much.
Terence [15-04-2010 08:55] 
I thought Eaten Alive always was really something.
ED [15-04-2010 05:45] 
Chris - you need to listen to the commentary track on the Dark Skies DVD of Eaten Alive. Apparently this film was made around the start of Tobe Hooper's love affair with cocain. He had very distinct ideas for the characters and the actors were trying to portray these but they could never figure out exactly what he was asking for. It sounds like this could have really been something if Hooper could have stayed straight during the filming.
Jason Fetters [15-04-2010 02:14]  
Cool, I remember being at Sea World too, during the filming. I guess I thought it was going to be good. I was such a fan of the original Jaws and I was always upset that I was too young to see Jaws at the movie theater, so when I was older and Jaws 3D came out, I thought it was my big chance to see something good.
Petrey [15-04-2010 01:30] 
Jason, I was at Sea World when they were filming Jaws 3 and avoided the areas where they had signs up telling people they were shooting sequences for the film. Looked to be just aquatic shooting to me.
Jason Fetters [15-04-2010 01:04]  
I saw Jaws 3D at Twin Bays and it was one of the worst cinematic experiences in my short lived life. The Sea World setting didn't help at all.
Petrey [14-04-2010 23:10] 
Chris - This will probably make you and everyone else sick that's been following this conversation about our past enjoyment we had with these treasures of entertainment. I was in Video Exchange in Brandon just over a year ago and there it was. The Kenner Star Wars 8mm cartidge hand crank viewer, in package, never opened and IN THE DISCOUNT BIN!! I picked it up and put it on the counter with my over priced VHS tapes and she immediately yelled "OH NO, HOW DID THIS GET IN THERE"? Oh well, it would have been nice but after she (the owner) saw her mistake she upped the price to $250.
Steve Beasley [14-04-2010 21:08] 
Prior to owning a Major Matt Mason, I too, had a Kenner Give-A-Show projector in the early 60s and if memory serves...it came with Popeye and Woody the Woodpecker. I'm definitely sure about Popeye, but only partially sure whether the other 8mm was Woody.
Chris Woods [14-04-2010 18:23] 
New Schlock Review posted: EATEN ALIVE
Chris Woods [14-04-2010 17:41] 
Simon - Glad you liked the article. It was a great time for wrestling in the 80's and 90's. Who knows if will see a time like that again.

Nolan - Some 3-D movies interest me. I've always wanted to see 3-D movies since it was the rage in the 80's with Friday the 13th Part III and Jaws 3-D. Never got a chance to see those in a theater in the 3-D form because I was too young. Only see a few movies in 3-D in the theater and one was Freddy's Dead and that was just the ending of the film and it sucked. I do like the 3-D rides in theme parks.

I had tons of view master reels from Batman to Spider-man and tons more. Use to always enjoy them. That brings back some good memories.

Petrey - I remember seeing an add for the Kenner 8mm viewer for Star Wars back in the day. I never got that one but I did have a projector that you would put film strips through. I had one for Star Wars, but the film strips didn't have the actual film, it was drawings of scenes from the movie.
PC [14-04-2010 16:38] 
Pass Senate Bill 6! Make those idiot teachers accountable!
ED [14-04-2010 12:42] 
There was a neat variation on those crank projectors in the late 70's called Pocket Flix. The cartridges were still 8mm but the were round instead of rectangular. The projector ran on batteries and looked kind of like a movie camera with a cartridge inserted. I caught one of these on clearance as a kid and got the projector and a ton of films for cheap. My favorite was the Spiderman one with the Green Goblin. When the projector finally died, I busted open the cartridge and watched the film on a regular 8mm projector.
Nolan [14-04-2010 12:32] 
ED, you could very well be right about the Kenner 3-D product. Plus, I remember having the See-a-Show "flashlight" slide projector! Beautiful full-color cartoon slide shows.

Mr. Petrey, I also had a hand-crank Reg 8mm Give-a-Show projector in the '60s! (You guys are really opening the memory flood-gates.) My episodes included The Adventures of Superman ("Beware The Wrecker") and a Flintstones cartoon. My brother had Alvin and the Chipmunks and one other I can't remember.
Petrey [14-04-2010 10:43] 
I had a Kenner 8mm film viewer that was operated by shoving a cartridge in to the end of it and use the crank to view the film. I had KING KONG (1976) and STAR WARS (The X-Wing Final Sequence). What was great was I would buy the Tie Fighter battle on the 200 ft. reels and take the film out of the cartidge that contained the X wing material and splice it together. THEN I went to the theatre and recorded the movie's soundtrack and synced it up the best way possible and I will tell you guys right now. A kid having STAR WARS with sound and picture projected out onto a huge sheet and stereo speakers was treated well in 1978.

The other cool thing was to drop a sheet down over a shed doorway, crack it open so you're projecting from outside and seat about 4 people at a time inside. Some Bose speakers and a ride down the Death Star trench felt like an early hillbilly prototype of a ride simulator!
ED [14-04-2010 08:42] 
Didn't I light a bag of dog poop on your door step one time?
Angry Old Man [14-04-2010 08:36] 
Grrr... When I was a kid we didn't need to predict things ... back then Jesus was walking on earth and predicting stuff for us! I sure do miss those days, back when men played the roles of women in our theatre shows! Those were the days! These new fangled forms of entertainment using women to play the roles of women are just plain silly! GRRRR!!! I hate modern times! GRRRR
ED [14-04-2010 08:13] 
Nolan - there were a lot of Viewmaster-like viewers on the market back in the day. The one you described sounds like the Kenner See-A-Show viewer. It was smaller than a Viewmaster and slide a foot long sheet of dual 35mm slides through it. As you pulled the card down, the next slide pair would come into view. I never had one of these but I remember seeing them. In the non 3D category, I was always a sucker for the Give-A-Show slide projector where you could show scenes of Scooby Doo on the wall with your D-Cell flashlight projector.
Nolan [14-04-2010 07:54] 
Terence, I'm going to stop betting with you regarding "Angry Old Man/Happy Young Man". He was here right on time, just like you predicted. GRRRRR....must block happy thoughts....GRRRRRR.
Nolan [14-04-2010 07:51] 
Somewhere I have the Viewmaster sets for Star Trek, Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Land of the Giants, Batman ('60s version natch), Harryhausen's Animal World and others I can't remember. I was pretty crazy about the format. My brother had some of the "puppet" type Viewmaster concepts, the one I remember most vividly being Tarzan of the Apes.

I also had an earlier "prototype" Viewmaster that looked even more like binoculars, but featured a square slide card that traversed vertically instead of rotating. At least I think that was a Viewmaster brand! That's the one I associate with the projector. I still remember the one my kindergarten teacher brought to class. It was a Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge story, I think.
ED [14-04-2010 06:42] 
The talking Viewmasters looked like a tricorder from Star Trek with a viewer on top. It took the same size reels and could show the regular silent reels as well. The talking reels had a plastic record on the back and as you switched each scene you got about five seconds of dialog to go with the picture. It wasn't an Earth shattering innovation but it is amusing in a crude way.
Petrey [14-04-2010 05:57] 
Thanks Ed! I couldn't even remember the names for the T-stick or Rip cord it's been so long. The LIVE AND LET DIE Viewmaster was $1.15 in 1973. I do remember that. But I've NEVER heard of a talking viewmaster so I was def. far removed before that hit. I also remember now having THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE on vm as well.

Steve - Sometimes I would leave the theatre with my hair as tough as a Brillo pad from all the gunfire! Of course the movies came first ;)
Angry Old Man [14-04-2010 05:56] 
GRRRR... modern 3D is for those whippersnappers! GRRR... In my dad, we watched 1D films and then jitterbugged all the way home! GRRRR...
ED [14-04-2010 05:40] 
I have a GAF Viewmaster projector, a talking viewmaster that still talks and several of the regular viewers. I like the reel sets based on television shows and defunct tourist attractions. I the ones for Marineland, Stars Hall of Fame, Monkey Jungle, Six Gun Territory and many more. My favorite that I have is probably Space: 1999 but I would love to have the Lost in Space or Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea sets. I remember that Live and Let Die one where it showed the guy blowing up like a balloon at the end of the film.
ED [14-04-2010 05:36] 
Closr Mike, they were SSP Racers made by Kenner. It stood for Super Sonic Power. They had a gyro like wheel in the center that a T-stick or "rip cord" was threaded through and then you yanked it out with all your might and dropped the car on the ground and it flew like a bat out of hades. I have a couple of the cars that I bought mail order about 15 years ago. One of my roommates saw them and the next thing I knew we were out in the parking lot of my apartment racing them down the street! I also loved the Smash-Up Derby sets they made. Should I add those to the Retrorama file too?
Michael [14-04-2010 05:28] 
Petrey, the were called SST Racers and they ROCKED!
Jason Fetters [14-04-2010 01:13]  
I still have my View Master and a Talking View Master. I have reels for Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Superman, and many more.
Petrey [13-04-2010 20:34] 
Thanks for reminding me Simon. I had a Viewmaster projector. A little blue box that would project the VM images upon the wall HOWEVER you totally lost the 3D effect. One of my favorite things with the slide images were closing one eye and seeing what made it look 3Dish. One frame would have slightly more of the picture to tle left and vice versa. Pretty cool thinking. Wish I still had my LIVE AND LET DIE set.

Ed - Can you remember what the toy cars were that had a plastic toothed strip that would power it up when you pulled it through the body. Those things used to fly.
Simon Lynx [13-04-2010 19:54] 
Nolan - I still have my 3D View Master, My slides are of MJ Thriller, Muppet Movie, The A-Team, Star Trek, and I think Amazing Spiderman. I always thought the View Master was cool but was never a big fan of 3D movies.
Simon Lynx [13-04-2010 19:31] 
Chris - Thanks for the memories. I enjoyed your article. Funny thing, I just watched that SNME 89 recently. I miss the good ol'days of wrestling. It needs to come a long way, to be like it used to be. I think the territories shaped and molded all the old stars. All the new wrestlers are learning on tv every week, instead of perfecting their craft and then being on tv. EC DUB EC DUB.....
Petrey [13-04-2010 19:04] 
Tons of complaints from people saying the background images are near the front and the front near the back. Just a generic and greedy waste of time when they cheat like this. Also the studios are loving this cash cow. In New York there are reports of theatres charging up to $20 a ticket just because a film is in 3D.

Well, all I can say is that if this love affair with 3D dies out, I hope the future holds a better HOLOGRAM theatre experience and NOT for $50 a ticket either! Think of all those poor SOBs trashing their unusable 3D TVs if 3D programming died. Hope they can switch back to 2D in the menu, *snicker*.

(Yes, the above statement was made out of jest for I do not and hope to never know anything about 3D TVs. I already have ONE pair of glasses to look through, yeesh!)
Petrey [13-04-2010 18:52] 
Nolan - Good write-up on this 3D craziness. I don't mind the ocassional 3D film but Disney is rumored to be putting the meat to all their prints regarding 3D. They've notified theatres that if they're not digital or 3D soon that they just won't get 'prints' (hard drives).

This home 3D TV stuff has got to be a joke. The glasses are $150 a piece and I can sure see a lot of couples cuddling with those clunky glasses, ha! Imagine a superbowl party being in 3D and you have 10 guests at minimum. You'd better have $1,500 in 3D glasses or ask friends to spend a weeks pay to watch the game in 'style'.

I hope no one screams that this country is in trouble economically if 3D becomes a hit in the homes, I mean damn!

I'll tell you what IS hurting or will hurt films in 3D at the theatre and that is if the film wasn't shot in 3D originally. One of the biggest complaints is CLASH OF THE TITANS being shot in 2D and rushed to the studio to be transformed in to 3D.
Gyruss [13-04-2010 18:30] 
3D works great when films such as Avatar are filmed in it. When it is tacked on, though, much like it is in the new Clash of the Titans, it sucks. I'd rather watch the original Clash of the Titans. 3D really won't take off, though until 3D HD TV's are common.
Anyone out there able to see 3D movies with less than perfect vision?
Lenny [13-04-2010 15:56] 
Forth! YES!!!!!!
Steve Beasley [13-04-2010 13:44] 
Great article, Mr. Miller! Congrats!

If I'd known all that shooting was going on at the Britton, I'd have wanted to be there! Sounds like my idea of fun!
Petrey [13-04-2010 10:16] 
If anyone is interested in purchasing Warner Bros. Archive DVD-Rs, please read my warning first on the message board.
First In Line Lisa [13-04-2010 09:08] 
First!! Take that, fanboys. :P
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

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