Went to go see the 3-D conversion of The Nightmare Before Christmas yesterday. Goodrich Quality Theaters recently installed a digital system in one of the rooms at the Eastside 9 (nee 10). The only other 3-D title they’ve shown is Fly Me to the Moon, which I saw a few weeks ago. I was just marking time until Bolt comes out, so Nightmare was a pleasant surprise.
However, they managed to ruin my day. The projection was wrong so the eyes were switched. This is often called “pseudostereo”, and causes visual confusion, headaches, and nausea. Doesn’t give a decent 3-D effect either, but because your system is getting weird stimuli, it doesn’t look flat, so many viewers don’t know what’s wrong.
After the trailers were over and the movie still didn’t look right, I spent the next five minutes convincing myself the eyes were really switched and then did what you do when that’s the case- flipped my glasses over. Told T to as well.
Ah, much better. The 3-D conversion is pretty impressive, but, more exciting, they ran the trailer for Coraline, which is made by the same crew, the same way, but actually shot in 3-D. Yow! Could be the best 3-D movie ever. They said it was the first stop-motion shot in 3-D, which isn’t so (that’d be The Adventures of Sam Space- and yes, I’ve seen it), but it’s probably the first feature.
The row behind us was full of guys complaining about the 3-D. I tried to tell them to flip the glasses over, but they didn’t listen. Even after I explained it during the closing credits.
This brings us to several problems. First, “Goodrich” Quality control is obviously “low” or “no”. Modern digital 3-D projection is pretty straightforward. This is about the only thing that can go wrong, really, so they need someone there to make sure it doesn’t happen. They charge a $2 premium per ticket for 3-D. I expect them to deliver.
Second, it gives audience members a bad impression of the process, if not the movie itself. You can bet those guys sitting behind me will tell everyone that the 3-D conversion was worse than worthless. And some people in there might’ve been turned off enough by the physiological effects that they couldn’t enjoy the show at all.
After the movie was over, I went out to find someone to ask/tell about the projection problem. I asked a worker who I should tell about projection problems in the 3-D room, and she said, “Oh, just turn your glasses over!” Yes, I told her, but we shouldn’t have to do that, and the other people in there who don’t know to do that are going to have a miserable time.
She used her radio to summon a woman in a suit who told me they’d recently replaced “the [ polarizer ] glass” because they were getting double images with the old one. They’d had it a few weeks and hadn’t heard any complaints. I told her that didn’t mean much- no one complained from this show but me, and, let’s face it, I’m an expert on this stuff.
Bottom line is that I hope they get their standards up to snuff. I was so happy to finally have a 3-D-capable digital house in town, but so far they’ve not done better than random on getting things right. Next one will be the tie-breaker, and if they blow it, you’ll know it.