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Paramount recently announced that ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’, which had been slated to open June 29, 2012, will not be released this year; instead, it has been moved to premiere in March 2013 so that they can convert the film into 3D. It is single-handedly one of the worst moves a film studio has made since Legendary Pictures converted ‘Clash of the Titans’ (2010) to 3D.
3D is already a polarizing issue in our society. There are three basic camps for the uprising of 3D in the last five to six years: those who like it, those who are indifferent to it, and those who dislike it. The pro-3D people enjoy the extra layer of involvement that 3D, when done properly, adds to a film. When used the right way, 3D gives the illusion of joining the characters in a movie on their adventures. Positive examples of 3D are ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ (2010), Avatar (2009), and Toy Story 3 (2010).
However, 3D also has many downsides. For example, it adds an extra handful of dollars to the already absurdly high ticket prices at the box office. Thus, studios have been misusing the technology in order to gain higher profits rather than concentrating on making the film better. The shift from relying on good storytelling to relying on expensive tickets is a bad sign. Moviegoers know that making money is important to film studios, but blatantly slapping 3D on every film discourages sales.
Furthermore, the recent trend of movies converting to 3D rather than filming with 3D cameras is visually frustrating. Last minute conversions damage the visuals of a film by darkening the colors, distorting the outlines, and muddying the overall quality. The most infamous example is ‘Clash of the Titans.’ Already a mediocre movie, the hasty 3D conversion made it one of the worst cinematic experiences in a long time.
If one could forgive the choice to convert ‘Retaliation’ to 3D, there is still the fact that many fans are angry and disappointed that they cannot enjoy the film this summer. ‘Retaliation’ was no stranger to advertisement. It had trailers in front of most of the summer blockbusters and actually started building buzz in Fall 2011.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has been faithfully tweeting links, interviews, and on-site anecdotes about shooting the film, thus drawing in his own fans as well as those of G.I. Joe. Millions of dollars have already been poured into advertising ‘Retaliation’ and increasing hype since the previous film was a large disappointment. This one even seemed to fix all the problems—removing the annoying Marlon Wayans, downgrading Channing Tatum’s role, turning Cobra back into a legitimate threat, and downplaying the camp factor.
Paramount has demonstrated a startling lack of appreciation for its fans and moviegoers in general. It would be one thing to delay the movie for production problems, fine-tuning the script, or even re-shooting certain scenes, but this move is strictly done for profit. It has already alienated a large portion of the fans and angered the anti-3D movement even further. The quality of a film is based on the hard work of the actors, the writers, and the film crew.
It is not based on how the film is viewed, whether in 2D or 3D. Furthermore, there is no law dictating that every theater in the world will have to show the film in 3D. Most theaters show movies in both 2D and 3D, leaving the option up to viewers, so this decision to stall the movie a year just to convert it to 3D is even more illogical.
Paramount is going to have difficulty putting out fires in the upcoming year. People still want to see ‘Retaliation,’ but their frustration with the studio will have an effect on the profits they seem to be so concerned about.
Image Courtesy of G.I. Joe