Friday Movie Roundup: Is 3-D Here to Stay?

Before a recent Saturday matinee screening of Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D — which, for the record, is a unabashedly bloody excursion into B-movie mayhem — I took in trailers for no less than five new 3-D movies: Resident Evil: Afterlife, Tron: Legacy, Green Hornet, Jackass 3D and Saw 3D, all of which and more (including the next installments in the Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia series) arrive on the heels of this summer's avalanche of like-formatted fare. —-

But is 3-D's return to prominence here to stay? Historically astute movie fans know the faddish format died a quick death in the early 1950s due to its reliance on uncomfortable glasses and its unwieldy, two-strip technology. The format's resurgence in the early 1980s was just as brief, despite a more conducive projection system and slightly more comfortable glasses (apparently Jaws 3-D failed to persuade audiences of its future glories).

Several things are different this time around, perhaps none more important than the fact that the cinema's prominence has been threatened by the rise of extravagant home-entertainment setups aided by mondo-sized HD TVs and bombastic surround-sound stereo systems. Why, it's often argued, should we leave the comforts of our own home if the experience —

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