WWII in 3D

| January 21, 2012

Narrated by Tom Wilkinson (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Batman Begins) WWII in 3D is not a movie shot in 3D for the fun of it. The brief History Channel documentary focuses on the Nazis’ use of 3D pictures and video during WWII to create propaganda for their cause. It’s not made clear how exactly the use of 3D technology was able to accomplish any of this, but the historical experts the documentary enlists to view and react to these 3D images are very impressed with how the 3D effect draws more attention to both the foreground and background of the images.
Much of the documentary is spent trying to assure the audience that the discovery of these 3D Nazi images is an important find. It seems like if it were an important find, that idea would be self-evident, and the audience would never question their importance. But again, it’s difficult to see why the Nazis thought this use of 3D would be effective in any way to furthering their plans. The documentary does not do a good job of explaining this concept. Even though the documentary is only 45 minutes long, it is actually too long for its purpose, and the writers are then forced to fill time repeating themselves and further emphasizing the importance of this find in order to fill their timeslot.
They do try to give the piece a human touch, by showing these 3D images to people who survived the concentration camps, or had family at the camps. These segments are effective in creating an emotional resonance, but there are only a couple of times the film does something like this.
The Blu-ray disc does not come with any means of watching the feature in 3D. One might assume that it comes with a couple of sets of glasses and thus is watchable to anyone who owns a Blu-ray player (like several other 3D releases that have come out over the past few years), but WWII in 3D is made to be watched on 3D televisions. These 3D TVs are a novelty at best in my opinion and a waste of time and money, and viewing this release did not change my mind. Not that I imagine being able to watch the movie in 3D would have done anything for my appreciation for it other than made me thankful it is so short (3D movies give me incredible headaches). I can’t imagine viewing this in 3D would really blow anyone away. It feels more like the 99% of other movie releases in 3D; just trying to capitalize on the fad. The fact that it’s about the use of 3D images during WWII then feels almost coincidental. To clarify, there is a 2D version of the film to watch on the disc. It is not restricted to people who have bought 3D televisions.
No special features on the disc. You can watch the film in either English or Dutch, and there are subtitles in English, Spanish, Dutch, German, Polish, and Mandarin.

About the Author:

Joe Sanders Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: Video and DVD

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