EDITORIALS

Christopher Campbell's The Moviegoer - My Bloody, Dying Format

by
January 19, 2009

My Bloody Valentine 3-D Directors

I should have gotten wasted before seeing My Bloody Valentine 3-D. After all, I typically see movies as they're meant to be seen. And Lionsgate literally advertises the horror film as being better when you're drunk. Well, the real copy is specifically, "It's actually '4D' if you're wasted." Being in 4D doesn't necessarily mean it's better. Unfortunately, I went to MBV3D totally sober. And not simply because I saw an early show, at a time I typically figure too early to begin drinking. The truth is I've gotten drunk before and during horror films in the past. Once, for a press screening of Zombie Strippers, the alcohol was even supplied to us by the publicists prior to the movie. But each time I ended up nauseous.

So, because I had never seen a horror film in 3D before (I was too young to have gone to the old analog 3D horror films like Amityville 3D and Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D), and it seemed like it'd be more dizzying than a regular horror film, I opted not to bring booze along. That may have been a mistake, though I can't be sure my experience would have been any greater. Truth be told, this was my least favorite encounter with digital 3D yet. Even worse than Beowulf.

Overly dark, consistently deceptive and mostly dull, My Bloody Valentine 3D is so awful as both a film and as a spectacle that I'm nearly willing to throw in the towel on digital 3D movies altogether. If this is the best Hollywood can do with the new technology for a live-action splatterfest, then perhaps I was wrong to be so supportive of what I've thought to be the saving grace of the cinema. Maybe I was just let down because of the other ads, the ones on TV that promise flames jumping out of the screen and a helmet light that shines around the auditorium. Sure, I know such ads are silly and somewhat fallacious, but I was at least expecting a lot of gimmicky kills. Unfortunately, the in-your-face pickaxes and poked-out eyeballs are few and far between. And not once does fire or a beam of light seem to pierce that fourth wall.

A recent New York Times article detailed the current woes about the slow progress with 3D, speculating that the format is "in danger of becoming Hollywood's latest flub." A week ago, I was still shrugging the idea away, but now I'm beginning to side with the negative outlook. However, I don't believe it's only the economy and the past issues with digital print fees that should be blamed for the potential death of digital 3D. Weak product, in place of films serving as pioneers of the format, is what will ultimately signal public disinterest and the commercial demise of 3D.

Just looking at live-action narrative digital 3D movies, the first, Journey to the Center of the Earth, was exploitative enough of the technology to be a neat advance of cinema. Now the second example, My Bloody Valentine 3-D, is likely to bore moviegoers right out of their 3D glasses forever. It would honestly be a fine, guilty pleasure addition to the format if it came out sometime after digital 3D proved itself a worthy attraction. But it's no revolutionary film deserving of its early placement in the technology's history, and it sure isn't worth the additional surcharge that comes with 3D movies.

Those of us who have been advocates of digital 3D for a long time could just keep hoping that James Cameron will turn things around with Avatar. But with a release date as far away as December, I'm starting to think that even if the film is totally groundbreaking, it might just be too late anyway.

Okay, now I really need a drink.

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  • Darunia
    Another 3D hater? Get on with the times son. Oh and most of the people actually really liked the 3D effect in this movie. I really can't understand these 3D haters, seriously, wtf.
  • L
    If you like it, that is awesome. I wish I could like the gimmick behind it.
  • Heckle
    The 3D was fine in the movie. You cant really mess up 3D. It was the movie that was terrible. And thats what he has a problem with. Why attach 3D to such a crappy film? If you want people to keep coming back to 3D films then make them good nut just gimmicks. Because people will sour to the whole thing after seeing a bad film like this.
  • max
    Aww, i was looking forward to see it. I kinda have/had the same thoughts about it as you before. I think i will go see it anyways, just witness how much it sucks, when it comes to the theaters here. I see a lot of potential in the 3D technology, but movies like Journey to the end of the world, and probably this, really ruin it. They should make a movie like Indiana Jones 6 on 3D.. Im sure like Spielberg/Lucas wouldnt make a TOTAL bullshit movie (DONT GET ME WRONG Indiana sucks ass..). 3D needs a decent money making movie, which cant be too artsy so it would attract the "action-movie" watchers. Maybe Avatar will be THAT movie, we will have to wait and see. Hopefully there will be at least some 3D movies worth going to see between now and December when Avatar premieres. Nice read. ps. ill try to remember to take something alcholic to the theater when i finally go see it! 😀
  • Daniel
    So................I take it that you really didn't like this film at all, did you XD
  • Spike
    Come'n guys, not every movie is made to be a blockbuster success like "Dark Knight", however, from time to time a company can make a movie just for fun. I went on opening night with a group of friends in a crowded theatre, purely for a fun night out of something we had never seen before in theatre. While horror movies, this one doesn't rate too high on the spectacular meter, it was entertaining to hear the crowd and go "boo" to my friends when the scenes came up with guns and picks right in your face. I understand campbell has to go to these things and write up about it comparing to other greats that he has seen, but remember buddy, sometimes, a movie is just a dumb fun movie with your friends. I recommend to the readers to grab a group of friends and head out to see this movie (don't go alone). P.S. I wonder how the movie would have been if I was high???
  • Nick
    Alex, you constantly say how much you hate 3d films, and now you are an advocate? Really? You have done nothing but spout ignorant and uneducated statements about how much you dislike 3d film technology and now you are claiming you are a supporter?
  • I must admit, I was a bit wary, but I HIGHLY enjoyed MBV3D. It was really in your face fun and didn't disappoint 3D wise and atleast the story made a good amount of sense unlike THE UNBORN and almost every other horror flick today.
  • CMK
    I really have no desire to see this flick, regardless of it being in 3D. I'm a little confused though, in how I always read about how Alex dislikes 3D movies, and then writes: "Those of us who have been advocates of digital 3D for a long time..." So... now you do want to see 3D effects? I don't get it. I think that getting a proper handle on how to properly use 3d effects within a film is a hard one to grasp. I do think that Cameron may be the man to do it, though.
  • Ajax
    Guys, Alex has never been an advocate of 3-D. This is written by another dude.
  • Carlos
    Would you say its worse than Night of the Living Dead 3D? :l cuz f anyting, that was the WORST 3D experiance Ive ever had... 😛
  • LC
    @ # 7 and # 9 obviously you 2 guys didnt read who the author of this article was. Because.... it wasnt alex smartass!
  • duca
    Wow, the ignorince here is amasing. This article wasn't written by Alex, but by Christopher Campbell. I mean come on people, his NAME IS IN THE TITLE TO THE ARTICLE. This dude has completely different views on 3D from Alex. Also, if you think this site is such bullshit why are you wasting you're time commenting and bashing it, eh? Just stop coming here. They have plenty of great things to say about other movies, but everytime there's a negative article there's someone going 'This is gay, you guys don't get it.' This isn't a article saying that the movie was bad. This is not a review. This is a article about the use of 3D in a movie that is subpar. Christopher thinks that 3D is the new 'sound', that it can truly be used to further the movie going experience an exeptional way. However, if 3D is used simply as a 'gimick' by the studio then it will never progress to that level. I agree. A 3D movie should not depend on 3D to simply fill seats. It should use it as another tool in the box, just like sound or color. If you don't want to read peoples PERSONAL OPINIONS on different aspects of cinema as a art form then this probably isn't the best website for you, eh? This is a movie blog, not a film critics website.
  • I liked the film, thought it was better than these other dumb remakes. The 3D was a plus! I thought it was great
  • "Sure, I know such ads are silly and somewhat fallacious, but I was at least expecting a lot of gimmicky kills. Unfortunately, the in-your-face pickaxes and poked-out eyeballs are few and far between. And not once does fire or a beam of light seem to pierce that fourth wall." I thought that most complaints relating to 3D stemmed from loathing the use of gimmicks during the film making process...No?
  • Philbert
    Anyone who goes to a movie thinking he should be drunk before he goes in is obviously predisposed to to not liking the film. Sounds to me like your a wino, not a film critic. You'd be better off sitting on the curb with a bottle of brandy in a paper bag. You don't really get paid for your lack of talent, do you?
  • Nick
    My bad. I assumed it was Alex. That being said, there is nothing about this website that is a personal movie blog. With press releases straight out of Variety, paid reviews by the studios, and credentials to Sundance, this site would aspire to being "entertainment journalism." So if it's going to present itself as entertainment journalism it should at least fact check and have knowledge on the subjects it writes about. I should stop coming here, but it's like a car wreck. You sometimes just can't look away.
  • CMK
    Oops, my bad for not reading the byline. Though, I'm not sure this website falls under the definition of "movie blog"? It seems to strive hard to be seen as a movie site, that works to have a sort of journalistic feel to it.
  • CMK
    "Wow, the ignorince here is amasing" Though, that line, just by itself, is... amazing.
  • duca
    I'm sorry I forgot to spell check my entry CMK. It appears that I'm an idiot too, eh? Oh well. It just made me angry that people can have so little respect for the person who is actually writing the article that they won't even bother to check who it's by or to read the title of it. I'm confused though. I mean, all the big movie blogs I go to have the same content and opinion mixture as firstshowing, and it's in blog format, so I assumed it was a movie blog. My bad. Of course that doesn't change the fact that this is not a review but an opinion piece by someone who isn't Alex, which was the point of my comment. Opinion piece = personal opinion of the author. Besides, there is a distinct difference between a website such as this and a website such as IGN or Variety, is there not? I always assumed the goal of firstshowing was to promote discussion of movies, not to report strictly on the news. Thus you always hear the opinion of the person presenting it. *shruggs*
  • CMK
    Ah. Well, duca, I would recommend reading First Showing's "About Us" link.
  • Jason
    I loved My Bloody Valentine! I'm a huge Jensen Ackles Fan. And I saw it twice already. I saw it opening night with my younger brother. Then again 4 days later with my wife. I watched this movie because #1 I like Horror movies. #2 I like Jensen Ackles. #3 I wanted to support Jensen Ackles. I thought it was a little too bloody for my taste, But it was a good movie. I also can't wait to see Friday the 13th Feb 13, 2009. Which has Jared Padalecki. Both Jared and Jensen play on Supernatural which I am also a huge fan of that show. Thursday nights 8pm CW33. WATCH IT. YOU WON"T REGRET IT! JARED PADALECKI is also a great actor as well as Jensen Ackles. If you want you can email me at strgjas@aol.com to discuss the movie or Supernatural. Or if you prefer we can talk about Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki. Thanks Jason

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