James Dempsey: Just when you thought 3D was a silly novelty, along comes Hugo ...
ARGUABLY the most contentious quirk of the modern multiplex, surpassing the unsettling stickiness of the floors or the lunacy of the combined ticket-and-popcorn single-line queuing system, 3D has persevered long enough for the novelty to well and truly wear off.
Sporting those thick-framed stereoscopic glasses, a one-size-pinches-all pair that will later be added to the growing pile you keep forgetting to bring with you to the cinema, was once seen as a cutting-edge leap into the luscious photography of the silver screen. A mere three years ago, 3D was the next big thing in celluloid evolution, bringing you closer to the action by letting the reeling light of motion pictures caress your corneas in the full embrace of the third dimension.
Instead of idly staring up at the screen, how wide-eyed-ly we watched the knife blades, bullets, axes, balls, snarling jaws and debris come flying at our faces. Countless gliding snowflakes here, explosions of shooting sparks there, the downy fur of cutesy critters that practically tickled our eyelids. Not to mention the otherworldly Eden on the other side of the universe. Yes, 3D was a filmmaking curio that put the spectacle back into spectacular cinema.