The Super Bowl And 3D – Was It Worth The Hype?

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Last night on The Super Bowl, network execs gave us a sneak peek into the newest 3D revolution. It’s a technology intended for the movies, and so to score extra points, a 90 second trailer for the Dreamworks film Monsters vs Aliens aired during Half Time and tonight, the NBC sitcom Chuck benefits from the updated gimmick.

So, did it work?

Everybody at my Super Bowl party had a pair of the flimsy, cardboard cut-outs (thanks to my local Target store) so when the big moment arrived my living room looked like a still photo of a 1950s movie theater. Here are some comments from the scarfers at my buffet table:

Stella K.: “Wow! That paddle ball thing looked like it was really coming out of the TV! Does Bruce Springsteen know how to play paddle ball, do you think? I really hope so.”

Joey D. (why is there always a Joey D at every Super Bowl party?): “After that 3rd Heineken I somehow put the glasses on backwards. So for me the effect was ruined since now I know the end of the movie. But it was good though.”

Grandma: “Thank you so much for giving me these glasses. Now I’ll be ready on February 17th when TV goes away forever. Hey, where’s Joe Namath?”

I personally held off on the libations until after the spots were over, so as to report to you a sober analysis of the new high-tech gizmo. My impression? It was better than the funky glasses I’ve used before, which were just repackaged X-Ray Specs from the back pages of every DC comic. I have very good eyesight but I’ve never experienced the 3D effect with what is known as the old red/blue shifted anaglyph technology.

As Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg explains, these updated goggles are based on a new and  totally digital system known as Intel InTru 3D and ColorCode 3-D. JK has been leading the revolution to 3D as a way to reinvigorate the movie going experience. (Hey Jeffrey, it might have been cheaper orchestrating an economic recession – the box office in January alone has netted a record 1.028 billion dollars.) But if this trick is any indication of what to expect in theaters, then Jeff has a ways to go yet.

I noticed that the only objects that really popped were round. Like the paddle ball in the first few seconds. A knife throw in the Chuck ad was the only other object to leave the screen, but it suffered from its linear shape. To me, this means that 3D is actually a distraction. If we’re waiting for everyone to play a ball game, or see the earth spinning off into space, the story suffers.

3D or not though, the movie looks hilarious and worth the price of admission. (Rumors are that a one dollar fee will be tacked on to all those who show up without the glasses. At least the version I saw were made of plastic and can be re-used. But c’mon Jeff. Suck it up.) In keeping with Dreamworks animation tradition, there are plenty of over-the-top villains with a super-ego complex and pop culture references abound. I’ll certainly be hitting my local cineplex come March 27th.

What about you? Did you have a pair of 3D glasses? What did you think? Let us know with a comment below.

And hold on to your goglles for a look at tonight’s episode of Chuck.

We’ll be watching (in 3D) on Fancast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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