"Coraline," yes. 3-D, no.
I haven't had much use for 3-D. But with the advent of RealD — and since I am, after all, the entertainment editor of this magazine — I figured it was high time for me to check out the latest state of the 3-D art. And what better film to do it with than Henry Selick's latest creation in stop-motion animation?
So I went to my local googolplex, donned a pair of 3-D glasses, and waited to be dazzled. And waited. And waited. But all I got was . . . a headache.
Well, no, not a super-huge migraine. But having to wear the special glasses over my regular glasses, and feeling oddly compelled to watch the movie more intensely because, after all, it was in three dimensions, I did end up feeling some eye strain and some temple strain by the end.
And I certainly wasn't dazzled by the 3-D effects. They were basically fine, and occasionally they were even remarkable. But were they necessary? No. After all, why should we be focusing on 3-D effects when we should really be focusing on the movie?
Coraline may not be the masterpiece that Selick made with The Nightmare Before Christmas (in 2-D, thank you), but it's a wondrous story nevertheless, with brilliant art direction. I repeat: Story. Art Direction. There's simply no need to add 3-D to those ingredients.
Maybe James Cameron's Avatar will blow me away. And hey, I do hope that all of you taking your kids tonight to see Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience will have a blast. But does anyone really think that 3-D itself will be the new savior of the theatrical movie industry? I just don't see it. "Be careful what you wish for," indeed.
— Ken Richardson