BLOG Star Trek Into 3D

A few days ago some big sporting event here in the States featured a new preview for Star Trek Into Darkness. I didn’t watch said sporting event because I had to work, and I didn’t watch said preview because I’m trying very hard to remain spoiler-free for said film.

However, through Twitter, I heard about the chance to grab tickets for an early screening of the film on 15 May. Always the type to jump at advanced screenings, I asked my husband to try to get tickets through the film’s mobile app (apparently, that’s how you had to do it at that time – though now I see you can buy them via typical online outlets, too) while I headed out to work for the night. I’d already planned on attending a midnight premiere on 17 May, but I thought this was even better.

Work was busy that night, and I was a bit stressed, but I received a text shortly into my night that made me happy in spite of all that. Hubby had managed to procure tickets for us and one of our good Trek friends to see the early screening. I was ecstatic.

It wasn’t until later that I realised that the tickets had cost slightly more than I am accustomed to paying. I didn’t think anything of this at first, as it was a sneak peak and I thought perhaps they had just bumped up the prices. But a bit later still, something suddenly occurred to me. 3D movie tickets cost more than regular ones. And suddenly, I was struck by the fact that I might have just purchased tickets to a 3D movie, something I avoid like the plague.

I downloaded the official Star Trek Into Darkness app on my phone and pretended to buy more tickets. Nothing said anything anywhere about whether the movie was in 3D. So I Googled it. Articles about the advanced screening were easy to find, but they were also a bit cryptic and didn’t say anything specific about the format of the early screening of the film. Finally, I went to the website of the cinema that I had tickets for, and it informed me that I was, in fact, booked to see the movie in IMAX 3D.

I felt dirty. I felt like I’d been tricked into doing something wrong. IMAX is fine, but I have historically treated 3D like the devil I believe it is. I have wanted no part of it. My first inclination, therefore, was to try to return the tickets, which of course wouldn’t work, or sell them to someone else. But my husband was so happy to have gotten them for me that I just didn’t have the heart to do so. Besides, I really want to see this movie as soon as possible. I’m a total spoiler-phobe, so anything I can do to see it early is a very good thing for me. I’m pretty savvy at avoiding spoilers, but an advanced screening makes my life so much easier. And our friend was excited about going, too. I couldn’t just bail on this. So though I was torn, I felt like I had to go. But you know what? The more I think about it, the more I’m okay with it.

The dilemma

See, I have avoided 3D for several reasons. One, I’m prone to headaches and motion sickness. I’ve heard about some moviegoers having issues with 3D movies in this regard, and I don’t want to sully any movie by feeling ill throughout it. Two, I wear corrective lenses, and while I usually wear contacts, sometimes I wear glasses, and I would like to have the choice of which to wear to the movies. 3D glasses, I think, limit me to contacts, as who wants to wear glasses over their glasses? Three, I despise 3D on principle. I think it’s silly, and the higher ticket prices for it irritate me. I don’t like being forced to pay more for something like that, and the limitations some films are putting on 2D screenings bother me a lot. So I’ve avoided it.

However, this has all been done on principle and theory. I haven’t actually seen a 3D movie in about 30 years, so I don’t actually know if I’ll get a headache or feel sick. I don’t know if the glasses will bother me, and though I have my doubts, I don’t know for sure if maybe, just maybe, 3D is pretty cool and might be worth the higher ticket price after all. So, since I already have the tickets, and since there are other circumstances that mean it’s hard for me to back out of using them, I have decided to just, well, go boldly. I’m going to see Star Trek Into Darkness early and in 3D. And then I will form my own opinion about all this 3D brouhaha for real before atoning for my sin by seeing a second show in 2D later in order to make up for buying a 3D ticket (for shame!). That doesn’t seem like such a bad plan.

After all, seeing a film like this early enough to hopefully avoid major spoilers is worth a bit of flexibility in my stance on 3D, right? I think so. Maybe. Possibly. Oh, let’s face it. That remains to be seen. But at least I’ll be able to pontificate on the 3D matter with an informed opinion after this. This is my trial by fire. No matter what, though, I think I’ll be pretty stoked to see the movie and hang out with Trek friends. And I’m going to take tummy medicine before I go, so you never know, it might work out fine. Here’s hoping, right?

But I still take issue with this early screening apparently only being offered in 3D. I still feel like I was tricked into it. Had I known it was in 3D, most likely I would have waited the whole day and a half until the normal release date to see a 2D screening. Then again, perhaps not. I might have been enticed to still give it a try, for all the reasons I have already listed. But it would have been nice to make an informed choice. The screening format should have been made clear. After all, the default setting is still 2D. A 3D showing should be obviously labeled as such. Too bad the powers that be didn’t think about that and the consequences it might have for us excited Trekkies who just bought tickets in a fervour. I realise that was the point, but seriously, not cool. I still love you, Star Trek, but… not cool.

Laura McConnell