Are we finally approaching the age where we will see the world for what it really is? It seems likely, according to entrepreneurs of the three dimensional glasses, a product whose innovation has bloomed in the filmmaking industry. Demands have grown exponentially for a day-to-day market of the visually enhancing product. It seems after much leg-pulling that the company is finally going to comply: we can expect that soon, the entire world will be in 3D. The future, truly, is now.
What has provoked the demand for everyday 3D-vision? Many point to the recent 3D blockbuster phenomena, respectively produced by filmmaking bigwigs – like the geniuses at Pixar and the ever-imaginative, champion direction Michael Bay. Bay's recent film, We Built This City To Blow It Up, has been privately screened and left audiences stunned in its wake, some even going into shock at the precision in which Bay recreates the destruction of a city.
Bay himself has remained tight-lipped about specifics of his movie, but after the film tested so well across the country, he is beginning to open up. “Explosions!” he exclaims over his plate of Taco Bell, spewing shredded cheese across the linoleum tabletop as he does. “Tell the public not to worry. We're going to blow up everything. This movie....” he pauses, chewing an edge of his tortilla thoughtfully before continuing, a slow grin lighting his sour-cream doused features, “This movie has imagined the most spectacular cities, the most sophisticated new-age world. It's the future of the city as we know it. The audience will feel like they're walking through this city, and then...” Bay trails off with a shrug, clearly reluctant to go on.
As I slowly draw more details from him, Bay grows more excitable, nearly hurling his entire taco across the restaurant and perhaps relinquishing details he does not intend to reveal. “Then we're going to blow the city the fuck up, you know? We are using the best, most pixellated dynamite imaginable. It. Will. Be. AWESOME! Fragments of superworld cities are going to blow up all around you. The'yre going to hit you in the face. In the FACE!”
Similarly propelling the demand for everyday 3D vision is Pixar's next slated release, Cute Talking Creatures Going on Adventures. Ed Catmull, a Pixar bigwig, explained to me the genius behind it. “Gosh, 3D is just.... it's the bee's knees, huh? It's making films so real that you don't even think you're watching a film. You're gonna fall in love with these characters. They're so quirky and really teach us how to appreciate and use the environment they live in, considering their anthropomorphic tendencies. It really preaches about living in reality, no matter how funny or cute looking you are.”
The film features strange but adorable amorphous creatures whose traits generally adhere to common animals. “We made them kind of ambiguous on purpose.” defended Catmull when a representative from E! Pointed out that the public wasn't entirely clear on the species of a few – well, al the characters. “What---- what?” Catmull sputtered, sending a mouthful of M&M's flying at the assembly of reporters before regaining his momentum. “Look, they're all really effing cute, right? Isn't that enough? And don't you recognize their celebrity voices? It's cute!”
When asked what it was about, Catmull faltered and almost flung another fist of candy at his interrogators. The provocative genius aspect of his face faltered for just a moment before he recovered. “It's about... you know. Cute animals – not saying what kind of animals – going on zany adventures. There's--- hey, of course there's a second, deeper meaning of course, you know, to get the mind-pieces going ….” Catmull shrugs and then gesticulates wildly with his hand, dropping his root beer float onto the head of a Fox News correspondent, “but the 3D we have planned with BLOW your mind! Blow it!! You'll feel like you're having this cute little adventure with our cute little characters right along with them! They'll walk out right in front of your face. In your FACE!”
Ever the vigilant reporter, I positioned myself outside of the after-screenings for both films and while little was to be remarked upon the plot, we heard rambunctious declarations that the best movie ever had just made its debut in America. It's understandable, of course, that time was needed to digest the second, more profound meaning of the films that were surely making a scathing commentary on socioeconomic issues plaguing our world today. It is a hard world to live in, after all.
More than anything noted was the general reluctance of the audience to return their 3D glasses. Parents were spotted covertly stuffing them into the puffy sleeves of their children's jackets, or the calves of their knee high leather boots. “Think I could get these as contact lenses?” one moviegoer asked with hope tinging her voice, nacho cheese ringing her lips and disappointment staining her face as the glasses were pried from her hands. “God, those effects were just so... in my face.” she seems perplexed as she adds without warning, “in my FACE! --- I mean, I just want my kids to have a better life than me, see more, you know? Things have never seemed so real and perfect. I wish everything was in 3D.
“Reality's just hard, you know?” our screener eyes the bins of returned glasses hungrily. “Maybe one day we can use the things we learn from 3D to fix it, but for now it's just nice as a replacement. I want my kids to experience everything as if they're there.... without them ever leaving their rooms or my sight. So they're safe. Now I can do just that.” she frowns. “The world's pretty ugly, but you understand it so much better in 3D.”
Between Bay's astounding capacity for visual destruction, and the endless possibilities of other cute-animals-in-trouble combos from Pixar, we are promised an endless tide of movies to replace the gloomy and... well, kind of a downer attitude that seems to have enveloped society. A series of grants to develop 3D glasses have been established, and parents are hoping they will be made available by Christmas. It's for the children, after all.
The Long Jump
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