Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

3-D Movies

The gimmick: From Clash of the Titans to Alice in Wonderland to The Last Airbender to Jackass 3D, 2010 was a decidedly mixed bag when it came to Hollywood 3-D offerings. Of course, as is usually the case with the industry, once it starts something, it will drive it into the ground. The 3-D wave continues in 2011 with offerings that include The Green Hornet, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Martin Scorsese's Hugo Cabret.

This isn't the first time pundits have heralded 3-D technology as the future of cinema. As early as 1922, a New York theater was showing a rudimentary series of 3-D films dubbed Movies of the Future. The format gained widespread acceptance in the 1950s with schlocky films such as Vincent Price's House of Wax. Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (above) was possibly the pinnacle of the movement, and while the format gradually died down, there have been spurts of (unfortunate) interest ever since — Jaws 3-D, anyone?

The result: Box office returns have been mixed, but this latest revival may have legs. Maybe the future is finally here to stay.