Yesterday a friend happened to mention Cave of Forgotten Dreams on Facebook, which reminded me that I'd really wanted to see it. I had a free afternoon and there was a 12:10 showing nearby, so I was all set. When I put on my jeans, I found $17 in the pocket, which was exactly the cost of a movie ticket, a small popcorn and a bottle of water. It was fate.
The movie is an amazing look at the cave drawings and paintings at Chauvet, some of which date back 32,000 years. It also includes some commentary by scientists and visuals of the surrounding area. I can definitely understand why Werner Herzog chose to present the movie in 3D because the contours of the rocks on which the artwork was drawn are a big part of the viewing experience and the 3D adds significantly to the feeling that you are there in the cave.
However... This is where I'd like to point out that I have been completely out of the loop on the latest 3D trend. I didn't even see Avatar in 3D, much less any of the other movies that quickly jumped on that bandwagon. I can't even say that I was avoiding them deliberately, other than a general unwillingness to pay extra to see a movie that is playing in 2D elsewhere in the theater. But I'd missed the whole modern 3D experience so far.
So I got my 3D glasses and sat down. The movie started and the artwork was breathtaking, the things the scientists were learning from the depictions of prehistoric animals were really interesting, the cave bear bones covered in thousands of years of mineral accretions were fascinating, etc. It was all very cool.
Unfortunately, the longer I watched the movie, the more nauseated I felt. I'd been eating popcorn, but I could tell it wasn't the food that was the problem. The feeling subsided when the documentary focused mainly on the cave artwork itself, but it got worse on exterior shots and interview segments. I found I had to turn away from the screen during those sections of the movie. Toward the end I was even wondering if I might have to just get up and leave.
I am not generally prone to motion sickness, but it was obvious that the 3D and I were not compatible. It took at least an hour after the movie ended for my stomach to feel completely normal again.
It turns out that 3D sickness is not uncommon. From what I've read, I probably made it worse for myself by sitting too close.
I was actually quite grateful that I'd seen a sedate documentary rather than some kind of action movie. It would have been embarrassing to have barfed in front of a whole theater full of strangers.
It's easy to see that 3D is not going away, so now I'm left with the quandary of whether or not to ever attempt to see another movie in that format. It's possible that sitting further back in the theater would help, but what if it doesn't?
Have you had any bad reactions to 3D or do you consider it a wonderful frontier in movie watching?
Photo credit: Hisakazu Watanabe
3D not only makes me nauseous, but I can't properly see it. Something with my eyes, the left eye is just slightly slower than the right. It infuriates me when I pay good money for something and the little intro movie is in 3D - for example, the Butterfly Palace in Branson. While the kids enjoy the show, I surf the web on my phone. Sigh.
Yeah, and I could never see those magic eye things when they were all the rage.
Posted by: cagey | May 22, 2011 at 09:22 AM
I don't have trouble with 3D, though I know others that do. In my opinion, 3D is just way too overused. It rarely adds to the film.
And because of my eyes, I never could see those magic eye "puzzles," either.
Posted by: Karl | May 22, 2011 at 09:27 AM
I have no problems with 3D, but really, don't you think 15 minutes to a half an hour would have sufficed for Cave of Forgotten Dreams? I am very puzzled why people loved it so. I was dragged by a male friend who surprisingly bought my ticket and dinner, so I'm not really complaining. He thought it was WONDERFUL. I kept peeking at my phone to see how much tedium I still had to endure.
Posted by: Barb Holter | May 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM
If God had meant us to watch movies and TV in three D, he'd have given us one red eye and one blue eye !
This fad is one I hope passes very quickly.
Posted by: Keith | May 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM
I am avoiding them at all costs, since I have developed a tendency towards motion sickness as an adult (gratefully mostly when doing something rare like driving through the mountains etc)..... I know its a recipe for disaster for me.
Posted by: Melanie | May 22, 2011 at 02:01 PM
I saw Avatar in 3D and *hated* it! Both the movie & the 3D experience. We sat way close (because those were the only seats available), but I still have no interested in any future 3D experiences. I don't like getting sick at the movies.
Posted by: May | May 22, 2011 at 06:52 PM
3D movies give me an awful headache. Luckily our theater also shows the 2D version of all the 3D movies so we don't have to see the movies in 3D.
Posted by: Rachel | May 23, 2011 at 03:24 PM