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The dying of the light

This is an excellent article by Rodger Ebert

The dying of the light

“There may have been a reason consumers shied away from 3D. An expertly written article by Ty Burr in the Boston Globe reports that some 3D projectors, particularly those made by Sony, produce “gloomy, underlit” images of 2D films. His article must have hit a nerve; and I've seen it posted and referred to all over the web. The newspaper found dark images on eight of the 19 screens at the high-end AMC Loews Boston Common on Tremont Street.

Burr wrote: “This particular night ‘Limitless,' ‘Win Win,' and ‘Source Code' all seemed strikingly dim and drained of colors. ‘Jane Eyre,' a film shot using candles and other available light, appeared to be playing in a crypt. A visit to the Regal Fenway two weeks later turned up similar issues: ‘Water for Elephants' and ‘Madea's Big Happy Family' were playing in brightly lit 35mm prints and, across the hall, in drastically darker digital versions.” His observations indicated the problems centered on Sony projectors: “Digital projection can look excellent when presented correctly. Go into Theater 14 at the Common, newly outfitted with a Christie 4K projector, and you'll see a picture that is bright and crisp, if somewhat colder than celluloid.”

He says there is a reason for this: “Many theater managers have made a practice of leaving the 3D lenses on the projectors when playing a 2D film.” The result is explained by an anonymous projectionist: “For 3D showings a special lens is installed in front of a Sony digital projector that rapidly alternates the two polarized images needed for the 3D effect to work. When you're running a 2D film, that polarization device has to be taken out of the image path. If they're not doing that, it's crazy, because you've got a big polarizer that absorbs 50 percent of the light.”

Thank You Rodger. Another reason why 3D is ruining movie watching. This 3D craze has made me not want to go to the theatre anymore. This is coming from someone who has worked in the business and has seen a lot of movies in the theatre. I will check the next time I see a digital film in glorious 2D. Most of the time movies look better on my Data Projector at home. I repeat, I am a person who used to see a lot of movies in the theatre even though I have over 1000 movies at home on all formats from Laserdisc to Blu-Ray. Not now.

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