Real D: The Future of 3D Cinema

reald.jpg3-D is back, and it’s fucking phenomenal.

Ever since IMAX revolutionized the 3-D experience with liquid crystals and polarized light, I predicted that 3-D entertainment would come back with a vengeance. The only problem was that IMAX screens were almost too big, and the helmet-head 3-D goggles, as cool as they were, made me feel like I was in some futuristic biker film.

A few years ago, new 3-D hit the screens, and it is now disseminated to roughly a thousand screens in the country courtesy of RealD. If you’ve seen “Chicken Little,” “Monster House,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D” or “Meet the Robinsons,” you’ve seen this new technology.

Unlike the uber-crappy anaglyph 3-D process that was mass marketed in the 50s, the process that uses polarized light doesn’t leave that annoying, and color splotched, double image. They’ve had polarized 3D around for years, and even the IMAX experience uses it.

However, with digital projection, 3D has become near-perfect, and RealD gave a select few a glimpse of the future of movies. With the digital process, there’s no gate weave. There’s no problems when one projector isn’t lined up properly. In fact, there’s no common film problems at all because not a shred of film is used in the process. It’s nearly flawless.

Real D executives not only demonstrated the use of this in feature film animation with an eye-popping clip from the upcoming “Beowulf.” They also showed its use in many other formats, including possible live feed for sporting events, on-screen advertising and practically any other viewing experience you can think of. Imagine watching the SuperBowl, larger than life and in 3-D at your local cineplex. Trust me, that’s coming soon.

Real D is the future of 3D, and I’m sure within five or ten years, it’ll also be the future of blockbuster cinema. With the technology available and so perfect, it’s no longer a gimmick. And a slew of directors, from Robert Zemeckis to James Cameron, have sworn by 3D in future films.

Of course, there will still be a 2D medium, and I wouldn’t expect to see this in the home theater market any time soon (although, trust me, this will be coming at some point, I am sure).

I’ve enjoyed the four films previously mentioned, which have been released in RealD. And I have found other roughly-plotted films like “The Polar Express” to be much better in the experience.

The bottom line is that if it’s worth seeing in 3D, it’s worth seeing in RealD 3D.

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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