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Right between the eyes
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Published Tuesday, December 28, 2010 @ 7:43 AM EST
Dec 28 2010

I'm off to see Tron Legacy: An IMAX 3D Experience this morning with my kids and granddaughter.

This will my first real 3D movie- aside from the gimmick-laden theme park presentations like Captain Eo and Terminator 2:3D- and I'm a bit apprehensive.

My vision continues to decline as I age. My abysmal night vision limits my nocturnal wanderings to familiar, well-lit main roads within five miles or so of home. I'm a bit concerned that once I strap a set of polarizing lenses atop my existing eyewear, the effective photon throughput to my retinas will result in my having paid $11 to look at vague blobs of light accompanied by techno dance music.

And, assuming enough light penetrates my thick, Hubble-like lenses to provide usable data to my retinas, there's always the possibility my brain won't be able to merge the two images into 3D.

My right eye is significantly weaker than my left eye, so it requires additional magnification. This results in a smaller image, so that when I look at a page in a book with my left eye and then my right, the right eye registers the page as being slightly, but noticeably, smaller.

Under normal conditions, my brain so far has been able to compensate for each eye's size discrepancies, and can merge the two into a stereo image. But I'm right at the point where I could begin experiencing something called binocular rivalry. Instead of fusing the two images into a single 3D picture, my brain might allow me to see only one of the two images, or randomly alternate between them. If that's the case, then I'm out of luck.

Oddly enough, we had trouble viewing the original Tron back in 1982. But that was because the South Hills Drive-In's projectionist wanted to be home by 1 am, so he started the film ten minutes before sunset. It really didn't matter; we all still had a great time, and we're looking forward to recapturing that original experience.

Here's hoping the multiplex doesn't have some absurd policy banning pajamas and lawn chairs.


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