It used to be everywhere, but now it’s nowhere to be found. Almost every new release of a film now comes with 3D glasses. Of course, money was a major factor in this. To capitalize on the 3D medium when James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar” swept the box office, the studios released every substandard effort with an extra pair of $3 glasses included in your ticket. Compared to James Cameron’s film, which was born and bred for 3D viewing, most of these movies were not designed to be viewed in 3D. You don’t need to spend your money watching 99 percent of movies in 3D; the film does not benefit at all.
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Since the release of “Avatar,” the number of 3D-enhanced films has been limited to a handful. To put it another way: The 3D studio scam hasn’t worked out as planned in terms of artistic quality, which is why “Avatar” sequels are purportedly being developed in another medium. It was hinted at back in October that the movie may be viewed in 3D without the need of 3D goggles.
The following is an amended list of the top 10 best 3D movies I published for WatchMojo in 2014. Choosing a list of the finest 3D movies was surprisingly easy considering there aren’t many films out there that still choose to shoot in 3D. We got these 10 treasures, but the rest of the time we were subjected to flicks that made us feel like we were being cheated out of our hard-earned money for those goofy-looking glasses. Since its release in 2011, I’ve added two more books to my reading list.
#10: “Tron: Legacy” (2010)
In his search for his long-lost father, a young man finds more than he bargained for when he discovers a digital universe developed by his father. Light-enhanced action sequences shot in 3D and a boldly built 3-dimensional landscape – all set to a thumping Daft Punk soundtrack – make up the bulk of the visuals in this 2010 sequel to 1982’s cult classic. There are plenty of visual and auditory pleasures in this one, making it worth the extra cost of admission.
#9: “Up” (2009)
Pixar’s modern masterpiece features a cranky old guy, a fat kid, and a house atop helium balloons, but there’s so much more. In this story, the 3D experience is used to enhance the vibrant graphics and visually beautiful computer-animated characters. Emotional and beautiful, “Up” tells its audience that adventure awaits them, making it the first animated feature and 3D film to open the Cannes Film Festival.
#8: “Toy Story 3” (2010)
“Toy Story 3,” with its great use of 3D, sent us back to “infinity and beyond,” making it difficult for any third film in a franchise to succeed like its predecessors. A new 3D version of Toy Story returns with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the Toy Story crew as they struggle to avoid the evil bear Lotso and find a way to move on. This movie exceeded our expectations in terms of entertainment, but it also exceeded our expectations in terms of moving us to tears.
#7: “Dredd” (2011)
When Sylvester Stallone appeared in “Judge Dredd” in the 1990s, it was a disaster of a movie. Instead, “Dredd” (2012) was a truly visionary film. The cruelty represented on screen by director Pete Travis was transformed into something beautiful. The film’s avant-garde edginess was well matched by Paul Leonard’s exalting techno music. Moreover, the 3D was the best of the best. Color and slo-mo were used to their fullest potential in Travis’ picture, creating a work of art that was entirely auteur-ed and singular in its vision. Remember that the screenplay was written by Alex Garland, who made his debut as a director with “Ex-Machina” last year. There were no unnecessary gimmicks in his lean, harsh storyline, unlike most action films nowadays. “Star Trek Beyond” star Karl Urban is a must-mentioned actor for his performance as the titular character.
#6: “How to Train Your Dragon” (2010)
This film, directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, revolutionized 3D animation. “How to Train Your Dragon” tied with James Cameron’s “Avatar” as the Venice Film Festival’s Most Creative 3D Film of 2009, using its 3D to enhance an already imaginative and artistic film. As a surprising success, this tale of a young dragon-hunting Viking who forms an unlikely alliance with the enemy was full of stirring action, stunning cinematography and, of course, dragons!
#5: “The Walk” (2015)
Once the phony French accents and ridiculously long set ups of Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk have been dealt with, what we are left with is an incredible 17-minute moment that employs 3D to its greatest ability, making you feel like you’re right there with Phillipe Petit as he walks on the tightrope. It does better than the wonderful 2008 documentary Man on Wire, which this movie is based on, in that regard. When it comes to a stunt that crosses every line in the book, it’s a stunning piece of performance art. A dancer on top of his game, Joseph Gordon-Petit Levitt’s walks on the one-inch steel braided cable with aplomb. Crowds gather around the World Trade Center’s main entrance, in shock and amazement. Throughout the film, the audience is right there with him. Some screening reports have stated that people became physically ill while watching the film because of how dizzying the 110-story drop from the rope to the earth was. The rest of us were awed and moved by what a human being is capable of accomplishing.
#4: “Life of Pi” (2012)
Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s seemingly unfilmable novel, made up of parts live action, parts CGI, and all in 3D, was well-deserving of his Best Director Oscar win. A youngster is trapped in the middle of the ocean with just a ferocious tiger for company after a terrible tragedy at sea. In addition to stunning visuals, Lee’s film is known for its outstanding 3D moments that literally leap out at you. “Life of Pi” is a 3D feast for the eyes, a journey of adventure and passion.
#3: “Hugo” (2011)
Martin Scorsese’s first foray into family-friendly fare and 3D with this film, which tells the story of a young child who lives in a Paris railway station, was a success. That doesn’t sound like a match made in heaven, but it was: “Hugo” is a love letter to cinema done in the most fantastical way. The film won five Oscars thanks to director Martin Scorsese’s contention that 3D allowed actors to express their emotions more fully than in traditional films.
#2: “Gravity” (2013)
With its two astronauts stranded in the worst conceivable location — deep space – this picture was doomed to be both confined and unrestricted by its situation. “Gravity3D “‘s was not only praised for its actors, direction, and storyline, but also for its dizzying, dazzling, and unsuitable for claustrophobes opening sequence. Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi masterwork is a step beyond the others because it makes you feel like you’re trapped in space alongside the characters in the movie.
#1: “Avatar” (2009)
“Avatar,” the film that ushered in a new era of 3D and inspired filmmakers to experiment with the technology, is a visual masterpiece that has yet to be surpassed. It was so anticipated in South Korea that cinemas erected additional 3D equipment to broadcast this future picture about a lush, far-away planet. An extraordinary 3D experience, “Avatar” is a film filled with aliens, nature and the wonders of Pandora that will leave you in awe.