Wednesday various

  • James Cameron doesn’t like Piranha 3-D:

    I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but that is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip..

    Something tells me he’s going to hate Jackass 3-D.

    Frankly, though, it’s films like that — cheap horror movies with visceral, jump-out-at-you scares — to which I think 3-D is actually most ideally suited. Cameron may be throwing his full weight behind it as a tool on the artistic palette, but even in Avatar I thought the 3-D was a lot less impressive than advertised. It has its uses, but even at its best, I don’t think it rises above a gimmick. (For which you trade a not-insignificant amount of brightness and comfort.) So a film like Piranha, which embraces it fully as gimmick, may actually be exactly what the technology is meant to do.

  • Eye chart for geeks.
  • And interesting look at Yiddish in America:

    The survival of Yiddish in America is an on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand story. Yiddish, once the language of the Jews of Eastern Europe, is undoubtedly moribund, with its last full-throated speakers, Holocaust survivors, now well into their 80s and 90s. (A smattering of their children speak it through sheer willpower whenever they can buttonhole a comprehending ear, but some, like this writer, grew up nagging parents to speak English and regrettably saw their first language wither.)

    On the other hand, the language is booming among Hasidim, for whom it is a lingua franca, mushrooming so prolifically that by some estimates the ultra-Orthodox will form a majority of American Jews by century’s end. [via]

  • Have you been reading Kaleidotrope contributor Jason Heller’s weekly Frequency Rotation posts at You really should be.
  • And finally, based on this clip, I would totally buy Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton rap album. [via]