Opinion: I just want to watch a film Colin D Miller December 13, 2013 Opinion 1569 Remember when all was right with the world and going to the cinema was a simple indulgence that just required you to turn up and buy a ticket? Those days are gone, long, long gone. A few days ago, I finally got round to seeing Thor: The Dark World in 3D. As the film started, it was clear something was not quite right as it was blurry with the glasses both on and off. So I had to get up, go and find a member of staff and ask them to fix the issue and restart the film. Fortunately they obliged (we were the only people in the screening, which probably helped matters) and we sat there for the rest of the film and enjoyed it in all its Asgardian glory. But the whole thing got me thinking. Now given the choice, I would usually opt to watch a film in traditional 2D and in previous experience of 3D presentations, all the fuss studios make over the extra dimension is lost on me. Trouble is, in recent weeks I’m left wondering whether us cinema goers are given too many options these days. Gravity for example, is a film I’m pretty desperate to see and I want to see it in the best possible cinema with the best possible screen. However, the nature of my life means it’s pretty unlikely that unless I take some time off work or find a reliable babysitter, I’m not going to get to an IMAX screen within the time frame that the film is on release. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is another film coming up on my radar and as a big fan of Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings films (and The Hobbit, for all its faults), I have already booked the day off and arranged a babysitter. However, here in lies to problem. I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the BFI IMAX in London, Waterloo. It wasn’t a HFR presentation, just 3D and to be honest, I found the effect pretty disorientating. As we all know, The Hobbit was filmed at 48fps and the press had a field day bemoaning the TV-like quality it had and others I spoke to felt the same way. So now I’m unsure as to whether see the follow-up in 2D, 3D, 3D IMAX or 3D IMAX HFR. I’m probably going to settle on 2D – judging by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I personally feel that Peter Jacksons work still is more suited to two dimensions in 24fps. But the likelihood of finding a cinema that will be showing The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in a cinema that isn’t a local fleapit is wearing increasingly thin. The closest Odeon that has a 2D presentation of the film is 9 miles away. While I can appreciate that may not be much of distance for some, I live in south London where there is an abundance of Odeon cinemas. I can appreciate that with the likes of online services such as Netflix and Lovefilm Instant, cinemas need to innovate and find new ways of getting bums on seats in the multiplexes, but I can’t help but feel that by focusing on the likes of 3D and HFR, there are neglecting certain cinema goers and ultimately pushing people back into the comfort of their living rooms. I hate to be the self righteous old fart that assumes he speaks for most people, but what audiences enjoy is a good film, with a solid story and a decent presentation. We’re not fussed about 3D and we couldn’t give a monkeys about an increased frame rate. The fact that a film like Skyfall can come along and pull in the punters without any 3D gimmicks is proof of that. We just want to be able to sit down, enjoy the film in comfort without any arrogant fools picking up their mobile phones and heckling the screen. In short, invest in some ushers and spare us this techno malarky, unless it is absolutely beneficial to the film, which based on a lot of 3D films, it rarely is.