Saturday, January 02, 2010

Avatar in 3D

Last night we saw Avatar in 3D at the Cinemark Egyptian Theater at Arundel Mills Mall. Thomas was impressed. Don got motion sickness and had to leave the auditorium and go throw up.

I've found a lot of discussion online about the question of whether the stunning new 3D process used in Avatar is making people sick. The consensus seems to be that it's all hype, or that any momentary discomfort goes away when one gets accustomed to the process.

Not so.

I am easily subject ot motion sickness. I don't go on roller coasters or similar rides. reading in the car makes me queasy. After watching Avatar for about half an hour, I was sweating, had a headache, and felt sick to my stomach. I would have suspected low blood sugar, but I'd just had a meal. I tried taking the 3D glasses off and watching the movie without them, but that didn't make it any better. For a while I sat with my eyes closed, hoping the feeling would go away. But eventually I had to excuse myself and go to the rest room to vomit.

I sat on a bench outside the auditorium until the movie was over (it's 2 hours and 40 minutes long). My stomach wasn't settled; Thomas drove home and I went to bed.

Now, I have seen other 3D movie in theaters, and have never had any trouble before. None of them have been the "REAL D 3D" used in Avatar.

The theater staff was awesome in their complete disregard for my distress. After coming out of the rest room, I approached the nearest staffer and said, "Do many people get physically sick watching that movie?" The woman told me that she'd never heard of anyone getting sick, and she bustled off about her business. A little later, an official-looking guy in a suit walked by with a walkie-talkie blaring; I caught his eye and he said "Can I help you?"

I told him that I'd gotten sick watching Avatar in 3D. I said, "I've got a friend still in there, so I guess I'll sit here until it's over." He said, "Okay" and sauntered off.

Did anyone offer me a place to lie down (which I desperately needed)? No. Did anyone suggest a refund, or a comp ticket, or anything of the sort? No. Did anyone say "I'm sorry" or anything similar? No.

So here's what I've learned.

1. No more 3D movies.
2. No more Cinemark Egyptian Theater at Arundel Mills.
3. Next time, throw up in the middle of the hallway.

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