Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Magical Power of 3D Glasses

Two weeks ago, I went to the movies to see Ted.

It was a movie that I had been waiting for quite some time to see, as I consider Seth MacFarlane to be a genius, Mila Kunis is gorgeous, and I have a slight* man-crush on Mark Wahlberg.


But when I got to the theater, I was disappointed to see that MovieFone had crushed my soul.  The times that they had given me were all wrong, and the last showing of Ted had started thirty minutes before.

Already at the movie theater and armed with the concealed gummy worms that I bought at the local convenience store, I decided to see something else.

I really only had one choice, however, as it was after 11PM on a Sunday night, and everything else had begun.  I could see Savages, which I also wanted to see, but it had begun ten minutes before.

Magic Mike and The Amazing Spiderman were just beginning, and I could see them in their entirety.

I am sorry to disappoint you all, but if I picked Magic Mike out of those two movies, I don't feel like I would be writing about it.

So The Amazing Spiderman it was.

Back when I saw the first trailer for The Amazing Spiderman, I had decided that I would "wait for Netflix."  Overall, it felt like a purely money-making venture.  It was the same story, told a different way, and with CGI that hadn't really progressed much in ten years.

But whatever.  I was out of options.

"One for Spiderman," I told the attendant. 

"Fifteen dollars," he said.

"Why?" I asked.

"Why what?" he asked in response.

It seemed like a lot.  Movies are expensive.  We all know that.  But fifteen bucks?

He slid me a pair of 3D glasses and I had my answer.  This movie cost more because you weren't just given a ticket stub, you were also given a movie-watching apparatus.  The last time a box office attendant had bestowed such a prize to me was when I went to see Avatar.  And that was awesome.  Not only was it the most visually stunning film I have ever seen, but it also made me wish that I had an all-powerful ponytail that would allow me to ride cool animals and to make sexy-time with blue women.  I am pretty sure that it didn't cost me $15 to see Avatar, but it was certainly $15-worth of entertainment.

The Amazing Spiderman  was actually quite decent, though it wasn't anything groundbreaking. 


Considering it had, you know, already been made.

But it held my attention the entire time and had all of the classic elements of a movie nowadays: beginning, middle, end, and open-endedness for a sequel.  Not to mention the pitter-patter in my heart every time Emma Stone appeared on screen.

But despite how much I actually enjoyed the movie, it still only felt like $11 worth of entertainment.  Not $15.

Honestly, aside from making me slightly cross-eyed, the 3D glasses hadn't done much.  There was one time when Spiderman shot a web towards the audience.  And there was another time when we were presented with an overhead view of New York City and we came eye-to-eye with the tip of one of the skyscrapers.

But other than that?  Not much.

As my fellow movie-goers and I exited the theater, a worker was guiding and encouraging us to place our glasses in a receptacle.  He was attempting to reclaim his magic glasses, which we had apparently only been renting at a rate of two dollars per hour.  I looked down in my hands to see the 3D glasses, which had chaperoned my eyes for the duration of the movie. 

Everyone else was obediently placing them in the cardboard 3D-glasses return bin like mindless zombies.  They didn't seem to care that they had paid $4 for nothing in particular.

Source: West McGowan
And it was then that I realized that for $4, the glasses must serve some other purpose.  Surely, the movie industry wouldn't charge that amount of money for nothing.  And since the glasses had done next-to-nothing in the actual movie theater, their purpose must be for something else.  For four American dollars, these glasses unquestionably had to serve some completely sensational purpose. 

Perhaps something secret or dangerous.

The $4 charge wasn't there to make the movie more enjoyable.  It was there as an insurance policy in case someone smuggled one of them out into the world.  The glasses might not have served their purpose in the actual movie theater, but if I could somehow smuggle them out into the real world, the possibilities would be endless.

I stuffed the glasses into my pocket.

Looking ahead, I saw the movie attendant, who was observing the herd of mindless movie-goers.  He cracked his whip and barked orders at the people, who mindlessly placed their glasses in the box without a second thought. 

It would be difficult to smuggle the glasses under his watchful eye.

I needed to blend in with the rest of the crowd.  He couldn't know the realization that I had just made and that I was now self-aware.

Observing my movie-going comrades, I tried to mirror their actions.  I made my eyes as droopy as possible and stared forward as I walked, reducing my pace to a slow waddle.  I occasionally made some low moans and burping noises, like some of the especially fat ones were doing. 

When I got to the box, I reached out my empty hand and pretended to drop the glasses. 

At that moment, I could feel the attendant's eyes on me.  Surely he had seen right through my pathetic attempt at trickery.  He had seen my empty hands.  And he had, without a doubt, not heard the thunk of plastic meeting plastic when I pretended to drop the glasses.  I shut my eyes as I walked, envisioning him raising his whip and waiting for its impact on my body.  I could only hope that he would only take the glasses, and spare my life.

But his whip never fell.  Somehow, my deceitfulness had gone undetected, and my attempt to procure the $4 glasses was a success.

I busted open the door and ran out of the movie theatre.  Panting, I stepped into my car and immediately locked the doors.

Carefully, I slipped my prize out of the pocket of my hoodie, as I observed its beauty.  Sure, the glasses were cheaply made.  And sure, they were so un-stylish that Elton John himself wouldn't wear them in public.

But holding them in my hands, I could feel the power emanating from them.

I placed them on my head and drove home.

I must say that the drive home was a completely different experience.  Though it was nighttime, I could tell that everything looked different.  The lights on cars really stood out, because everything else was much dimmer and harder to see.  This made the drive home seem much more exciting than other nighttime drives that I have had before.  There was much more honking, much more guessing, and many more close calls than I am used to.

Overall, it was pretty much the most exciting ride I had ever taken.

The glasses really were magical!  Apparently, they made everyday experiences more exciting!

Or so I thought.

After I got to my apartment, I made a checklist of all the places I wanted to go with my glasses and all of the things I wanted to see.  But every single one of these things proved to be the same exact experience, only darker. 

I wore them to McDonald's, but just got the same funny looks I usually get there.  And the food tasted the same*.


I wore them to the mall, but people thought I was blind and tried to help me walk around.

I wore them to church, but did not see God.

I wore them on a date, but did not see my future wife.

I was dejected.  I had risked my life to steal the glasses, thinking that they served some magical purpose.  But aside from protecting my eyes from the sun, they were as worthless out of the movie theater as they were inside.

But then I had an epiphany.  It came -- as most of my epiphanies come -- while I was taking a shit.

I had been sitting in my apartment and watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with the 3D glasses when, all of the sudden, I had to go to the bathroom.  And I mean go.  It was McDonald's fault.

I will try not to get into too many details, but I'll use some of the words used in commercials for The Amazing Spiderman to describe my bathroom experience:




"Will bring tears to your eyes!"

Needless to say, I was happy to have survived the experience, and when I was done I looked into the toilet bowl to see the damage.

But there was no shit.

I couldn't believe my eyes.  I had just gone through a very trying time in my life.  Surely I had left some mark, some trace of my "evacuation."  I had had phantom poops before, but this was nothing like that time.

I took off my 3D glasses to get a better look.

And there it was. 


It made my heart skip a beat.  Such a sudden and grotesque sight, seen all at once.  It reminded me of those YouTube videos that ask you to stare very hard at a field of daisies, and then a goblin jumps out and screams at you.

I put the glasses back on. 

No shit.

Just an empty toilet bowl, with water so clean that you could drink right out of it.

Glasses off.

Disgusting.  Vile.  Smelly.  Shit.

I threw the glasses back on and flushed the toilet.  I was afraid that I was going to throw up, not because of the putrid smell, but because of the revelation that I was having.  I felt like Keanu Reeves, when he first realizes the truth of the real world in The Matrix

The truth was hard to grasp, yet undeniable:

3D glasses make you unable to see shit.

This is the reason why movie attendants ask you to return your 3D glasses when exiting the theater.

They don't want you to know the truth.  That instead of being creative and developing new plots, storylines, and characters for movies, studios are just pumping out tons and tons of the same old shit, throwing in one or two 3D elements, and handing you 3D glasses so that you don't see the shit that they have sculpted into a movie.

To prove my theory, I went to go see The Amazing Spiderman again last night, sans 3D-glasses.

And it was terrible.

Emma Stone was beautiful, of course.  But other than that, there were just a bunch of poop-puppets that were posed as actors.  Consequently, the only scene that made any sense was the one in the sewer.

But it wasn't just that.  I realized that I had seen it before. 

And not that I had literally seen it the week before. 

Not even that I had seen the original version ten years before. 

But I see this movie every time I go to the movies nowadays.  Every movie is The Amazing Spiderman.  It is the same damn story every time, and nothing seems to be creative or surprising.  Yet, these movies are still produced... just in 3D and on bigger screens, for which we have to pay extra.

It's not fair.

I was disappointed with what the 3D glasses really did, and even more disappointed with what they represented.  But I didn't throw them out.

Because they can make some great movies even better. 

Batman Begins is entirely the same movie when wearing the glasses.  The only difference is that Katie Holmes is actually interesting. 

When wearing the glasses, Katherine Heigl actually dies at the end of Knocked Up, which feels wonderfully justified after having to endure her for the entire film. 

And when you wear the glasses while watching The Matrix, Keanu Reeves is replaced by any other actor.

So I always keep my 3D glasses handy.

Because let's be honest.  If something can mask the shit that is Keanu Reeves, then well, I guess they really are magical glasses.

-Youngman Brown 

Linking up with the other cool dudes at Dude Write.  Head on over there to check out some fantastic writing by some fantastic male writers.
Dude Write


  1. Amazing post! I always find myself sneaking off with my 3D glasses. I think I do it for the thrill, but I now just have a collection of completely useless glasses.

  2. Hilarious!!! Plus, I'm glad to see that someone else appreciates going to the movies alone.

  3. What a revelation. No doubt you will be Sir Youngman Brown any day now. And thank you for NOT showing us the toilet filled with shit. I think you should stay away from Mickey D's.


  4. Oh, those are gummy worms stuffed in your pants?

    Oh thank God. I thought, I thought, well nevermind what I thought.

  5. I have several pairs, if you would like some back ups. After all, who wants to see shit?

    Apparently, though, it doesn't work if you don't pay the extra four dollars. Regular movies are not improved by them. Or... well, maybe they are, if you don't want to see anything.

  6. And I chuckled. Mainly because I think everyone has a look to see what kind of damage they made. Not me though. Never me.

  7. You may want to keep those glasses for the upcoming presidential election.

  8. What Joe said! Better hang on to those shit blinders!

  9. I see what you did there...but I wasn't wearing my glasses...or was I?

  10. This is the funniest thing I've read all day.

  11. I've never gone to a 3D movie, I refuse to pay the extra price for something I could care less about. But now, with all the amazing things they do, I might have to pay for them. If all the shit in my life would disappear though, what would I have to blog about? Decisions, decisions.

  12. Well done sir, well done. Brilliant post.

  13. If those glasses make Katie Holmes interesting in Batman Begins, do they completely erase Maggie Gyllenhaal's extremely offputting face from The Dark Knight? Or, I guess, any other movie she's ever been unfortunately cast in?

  14. Great post. I've always wanted some glasses that make shit invisible. Might make my hospital visits a little more bearable.

  15. Such a great post! Your eloquent and fascinating story mirrors a conversation I had with my husband concerning 3D TV. I mentioned to him that unless the providers improve content, it's a bit like polishing turds.

  16. This is so, unbelievably good Youngman. Well done!

  17. I might need to steal a pair of these glasses now. They make poop disappear. If only I had discovered them back when I was working in daycare.

    I was excited about the Savages movie. It's can wait for Netflix. I actually walked out on it because the dialog was so horrid.

  18. You are ridiculous, and I love it :-)

  19. What's wrong with Magic Mike? I saw it twice already!! Now that's a movie that I would love to see you write about ;) lol

  20. As a cattle farmer, I need to be able to see the shit. It gets me in a lot less trouble on laundry day.

    Great post!

    1. Also, last winter I saw Ghost Rider 2 with 3D glasses and it still sucked. Either my glasses were faulty or the incredible suckiness of Nicholas Cage over-powered them?

  21. The Amazing Spiderman is not the same story as Spiderman, this is a follow on from the "The Amazing Spiderman" comics (which was a reboot of an existing comic series and turned out to be better) and not the "Spiderman" comics. From the comics it was a re-interpretation of the origins and ultimately what spiderman becomes as a hero. Even the villains are different in the two comics.

    and I thought this was such a better movie than the Toby McGuire atrocity. And I saw it in 2D.

    That is why it is a re-boot, but yet its own comic book hero moive at the same time. Because it was re-booted in comic for first. My head hurts.

    Brilliant and funny as always Mr Youngman Brown

  22. Brilliant and hilarious post! I always wondered why I could never see the food at the concession when donning the glasses outside the movie.

    P.S. Savages was not very good, but Ted is hilarious. So, go see Ted... not Savages.

  23. Hey there!
    I gave you an award coz your blog is super cool and awesome so come and collect it :)

  24. I love it! Haha! If I could use them as x-ray glasses, that would be the best.

  25. Saw Ted and laughed but not as much as I expected. I think a male perspective on the movie would be entertaining. I think it is one of those movies where the sexes will see it very differently.

    I have no interest in Spider-man for the same reason. It's all the freaking same. You can redo the movie all you want but the plot it never that different. No thank you.

    I've never stolen those glasses but you are a freaking bad ass for doing so! And finding out that they have shit negative properties is...well...that is ground breaking! Have fun with those.

  26. That was great. I have had the same disappointment with those glasses as well. Why pay extra money for one or two effects in the entire movie?


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