On my way to the cinema the other day I considered the recent phenomenon of 3-D.
Current cinema prices are ridiculous, with tickets in central London costing up to £22.00, so the fact that they charge more for 3-D is a bit of a choker (especially when it’s a cartoon and the glasses slip off your kids’ tiny noses and they’d rather watch it in 2-D anyway but cinemas never seem to show the 2-D version anywhere, which is kind of forcing you to buy an expensive option you don’t want rather than giving you an even choice, and that is a kind of tacit admission that they have to force you into the more expensive option because otherwise no one would ever choose it because the 3-D is kind of shit and makes the whole thing much darker).
But it was only today that I thought how brilliantly the movie studios and cinemas have managed to carry off a pretty shameless scam: yes, it costs more to make a movie in 3-D, but it also costs more to shove a load of CG monsters into a movie, or pay Scarlett Johansson to be in it, or to film it in lots of sexy locations all over the world, yet they don’t charge more for any of those things.
So why, when they ‘enhance’ a movie in this particular fashion do you have to pay £2 (plus another bleeding pound for the bloody glasses that you always forget to bring with you even though you now have a 3-D glasses mountain at home)?
That is, of course, a rhetorical question, the answer to which is ‘money’. They’ve left us grumpily paying for something we don’t want because if we want to see the basic movie we don’t really have a choice. Clever.
And I have nothing against charging a bit more for an enhanced experience. All those fancy-schmancy cinemas which serve martinis and brownies and give you a massive leather armchair to sit in are fine by me; you pay your money and take your choice. But 3-D is an illusion in more ways than one, and the move bastards have really managed to pull a pretty impressive double-fast one.
And they wonder why people pirate their precious art…