First off: Great film!!
I saw it in IMAX 3D back row, center. It was AMAZING!! So here it is: "Dark of the Moon" wasn't the best 3D experience SINCE Avatar. "Dark of the Moon" was the best 3D experience EVER!! "Dark of the Moon" was a better 3D experience than Avatar. Better than any 3D theme park attraction I've been to. EVER. And I've been to the T3 3D attraction in Universal Florida. So there. I said it. And I saw both in IMAX 3D.
The difference that made this movie better is that this one looked photo-real. Probably because the whole movie was shot "practical" with backgrounds photographed in 3D and photo-real robots composited in, in 3D!! So all the characters looked photo-real. Unlike Avatar, there wasn't that slight disconnect that made me feel like I was watching a cartoon rendered in 3D (no offense, "Jim"). Also, this 3D was designed to recede into the screen, into infinity, instead of popping out at you -- which gets annoying. So when you consider the screen was my ENTIRE field of view and it was about 100 feet in front of me, it felt like I was literally looking into another world. Better yet, it felt like the screen had disappeared and I was watching these events unfold in front of me... in real life. Like July 4th fireworks display meets an airshow... on crack, and I was watching a hundred feet or less from the action. THAT's what made it AMAZING.
It was so visceral that real life just doesn't cut it anymore. The 3D in real life just isn't as good as the theaters. And the action in real life? Laughable!!
Some people (like my dad) argue there wasn't enough 3D because nothing was popping out at you. Pshh. I would argue AGAINST that kind of 3D for two reasons. First, when things pop out at you, you find yourself wanting to swat at things or back up or cross your eyes, and that's obnoxious. Second, that kind of 3D requires the edge of the screen to be wider (almost wrapping around you, like a dome theater or a theme-park attraction) so when it's presented on standard screens (and even in IMAX 3D) the object is always cut off or in a strange place in 3D space, plus the image behind the object disappears because the object in your face covers it up in either eye. Plus it's a gimmick, which is why everyone thinks 3D is a gimmick and NOT the future of cinema. It's a paradox, if it's not gimmicky like that, then people don't think it's 3D. But ask yourself: Do you really enjoy it when someone puts their finger in your face and says "I'm not touching you!!"?*
Like I said, the appeal of Michael Bay's 3D is that infinity felt like it was at infinity, so close-ups felt like close-ups. And again, it was like looking through the screen into the REAL world on the other side where giant alien robots rampage American cityscapes. It was "AWESOME." The way Michael Bay demands things to be.
P.S. I wore contacts to see both movies, but I used to wear glasses all the time, so I'm used to wearing things over my eyes. So the 3D glasses didn't distract me or detract from the experience one bit. but that said, the frames of the glasses were so retartedly thick, particularly in the nose region, that I couldn't move my head left or right even 5 degrees, or some part of the screen would be cut off. Again, this was IMAX. I can't wait for the days when they sell designer 3D glasses (like designers sunglasses), or the day they design them like laboratory safety glasses where there's no divider in the center.
*If you want a 3D gimmick, keep your eyes pealed for that 3D lens flare... which makes no physical sense, but it's beautiful. I laughed out loud when I saw it, but nobody could hear me since helicopter SFX were drowning me out. haha. The lens flare doesn't pop out of the screen, but recedes inward. Rather, it comes from infinity (i.e. the sun) and ends on the plane of the screen, making a full 3D effect.