Editor's Note: Today marks the debut of "Movie Matt-ers," a movie advice column written by — you guessed it — a guy named Matt. If you've seen his work as a columnist for the movie site hudakonhollywood.com, you know that Matt Kaiser's specialty is answering reader questions. What's not going to kill me at concession stand? What PG-13 movies should I sneak my 10 year-old into? How do pick a movie that keeps my wife happy while not making me want to stab myself in the eye at the same time? If you have a question for Movie Matt-ers, email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Fire away!
This week, Matt tackles men enjoying "Twilight" and advice on picking which 3D flick to splurge on. Enjoy …
Question #1: "The wife keeps trying to get me to watch the Twilight movies, and tries to sell them to me by saying they have vampires and werewolves and action. I keep resisting because I saw the first movie and hated it. What should I do?" —Tom
Answer: Hmmm … Well Tom, let me start by reminding you that if you don't do it, you'll probably never hear the end of it. As you know, most spouses tend to push issues until they get their way. Well, sometimes ya gotta bend a bit in order to keep the peace. Of course, if you hated the first movie so much that it creeped you out and, like a lot of people, caused nightmares of sparkly, fairy-like, fang-less freaks, then maybe you ought to stand your ground.
To your wife's defense: The movies do have vampires, werewolves and action. The rest of the Twilight films are also different from the first one. Who knows, you may actually enjoy the other two? It's only a few hours of your life. Maybe you'll even pick a side, Team Edward or Team Jacob? Of course, wearing a "I like sparkly freaks" T-shirts will lead to forfeiture of your Man Card.
My advice is to try to watch one of the movies and do your best to dwell on the vampires. If you just can't get into it (or the wonderful acting), enjoy the (not quite often enough) violent acts that befall them. Also, try to enjoy the werewolves by picturing them as cute little puppies that got too big for their britches. If you aren't enjoying the action sequences, then start actively rooting for Kristen Stewart's Bella to be eaten alive. It won't happen, but it's something.
Speaking of Bella, I know she's not the quintessential heroine, but her character becomes strangely amusing if you contemplate the theory that her best chance for romance is a shiny dead guy or a Wookie wanna-be.
In conclusion, the trepidation you feel for watching the continuing exploits of the Twilight saga seem to be a bit unjustified.
Answer: Remember that the current 3D is still a new technology, and it's only been a few years since the PT Barnum-esque sideshow that was Avatar (great 3D, okay movie) upgraded the technology.
My number one rule when deciding whether or not to catch a flick in 3D is: If it’s not shot in 3D, I don’t spend the extra dough. Putting in 3D effects during post-production is the Hollywood equivalent of giving a five year old some scissors and construction paper and telling them to go to town.
My second rule is: If the movie doesn’t have a tagline like, “Witness the destruction of all you hold dear!” or “The greatest space adventure … ever!” then you probably can skip the 3D. Movies that benefit most are those with intense special effects, creative filming styles, and of course, eye popping cartoons. If you want to see Pride and Prejudice in 3D, then I doubt my advice (or anyone else's) will help you.
The third rule, and probably the most important: If you can’t afford the extra ticket cost, don’t see it in 3D. Yes, moviegoers need to support the technology if we want to see it grow. But the $14-$17 a family of four will spend to see someone jump out of the screen could be better spent on the important things in life — like up-sizing your combo meal. Besides, most of the time you can see the same exact movie in 2D anyway.
I see a movie for plot, acting, dialog, and most of all … enjoyability. Random crap floating in front of my eyes is not exactly necessary for an enjoyable movie experience. I personally am looking forward to the 4D experience. Yep, 4D, movies you can smell. You may laugh, but they have already been experimenting with it. Ahhh, to be able to smell the grass in Field of Dreams; to experience the powerful odor of napalm in the morning; to know what the "Scent Of A Woman" really is; to discover the pungent odor of the Klump family during the dinner scene in The Nutty Professor. (Ok, maybe not that last one …)
To sum it up, spend your money wisely and make the most informed choice you can when picking your next 3D flick.