Has Your Latest Entertainment Technology Let You Down?

You might love your iPad (though flash video might make it better). You might love your Netflix (though that price hike is kind of stupid). You might love your 3D movies (though you might feel ripped-off by low-grade storytelling).

The overriding question is easy: Has your latest entertainment technology let you down?

Moviemaker and mogul Jeffery Katzenberg said if many 3D movies feel lame of late, you have a legitimate gripe. In the last seven or eight months, he said, there has been n a rash of really bad movies, the worst in five years, many of the 3D variety.

"They suck," he said recently. "It's unbelievable how bad movies have been."

Much of this, he said, comes from Hollywood studios rushing to make a fast buck -- make that a fast and much larger buck -- with 3D movies. (And you still need to wear those stupid glasses!)

Not all technology is good all the time. Some have passed their time -- and prime. For example, how many music CDs have you burned recently?



Katzenberg said that things will get better. Higher-quality 3D movies from the likes of Martin Scorcese, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and James Cameron are on the way. And in 10 to 15 years, he hopes there will be 3D theatrical movies -- without glasses.

Right now, it's all about weak stories -- which brings Katzenberg (and me) to another point. Cable networks -- the 2D variety -- are making great entertainment, especially in the scripted arena. Katzenberg credited the likes AMC's "Breaking Bad" and a host of other shows.

And what does this mean? That some technology in 2011 may look great but, in fact, it's lightweight.

While Katzenberg now credits cable, it wasn't always this way. Think back to the mid-1980s. Many media agency executives had "new technology" titles attached to their positions, work that was supposed to include ad deal-making with nascent cable networks.

Back then you probably couldn't find too many cable TV program aficionados talking about all of cable's great fictional series. That's because there weren't any. In effect, that 'technology" let us down.

That was 30 years ago. With any luck we won't have to wait that long for 3D -- or maybe 4D or perhaps holographic-avatar-entertainment -- to really come around.

Until then -- to quote Katzenberg -- things may suck sometimes.

1 comment about "Has Your Latest Entertainment Technology Let You Down? ".
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  1. Michael Kaplan from Blue Sky Creative, July 25, 2011 at 1:45 p.m.

    The problem with 3D is the motivation is clearly profit-driven, rather than audience-driven.

    By jacking up the cost of a ticket far more than the minor additional costs involved in screening a 3D movie, it's pretty clear what's driving this trend. Every 20 years, there's a 3D resurgence based on "new" technology and one or two legitimate hits. Then comes the rest of the junk.

    The last 3D fad was in the 1980s. Anyone remember Jaws 3-D?

    If there wasn't the outrageous difference in ticket costs, I might be willing to try a lot more films in 3D. But frankly, I'd rather pocket the $5 ticket difference and see the 2D version. At least that way, I'd ALMOST save enough money to buy a large cup of soda.

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