I missed a recent critics screening of Jim Cameron‘s T2 3D. So I paid $21 and change to see it yesterday at the AMC Century City 15. And I didn’t like what I saw. At all. I left after an hour, or just after Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong drive into the desert to hide out and stock up on weapons.

As with Titanic 3D, Cameron has applied his 3D conversion techniques sparingly. You can tell it’s 3D, of course, but the stereoscopic effect never slaps you across the face, and so after a while you forget that it’s there. Before you know it you’re just sitting in a theatre watching plain old T2, which I’ve seen maybe 25 or 30 times because the kids were really into it when it came out on laser disc.

On top of which the illumination isn’t bright enough. The image I saw through my 3D glasses was way too dark. I don’t know what the foot lambert illumination was, but the movie looked like shit, like mud, like shade. During last October’s press junket for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, director Ang Lee said that 3D projection should be shown with 30 foot lamberts of illumination. Most 3D films are projected in commercial cinemas, he said, at much lower levels.

HE to Cameron: Have you driven down to Century City to see what T2 3D looks like? You’ve put in a lot of work to make this 1991 classic look as good as possible, and then AMC management delivers an absurdly low illumination level and basically pisses all over the film. You won’t be pleased.

I felt so irritated and bummed out by the cruddy look of T2 3D that when I got home I immediately popped in my T2 Bluray, just to flush out the murk. It looked and sounded great on my 65″ inch Sony 4K. Clean and crisp and sharp as needles. To hell with 3D conversions. In fact, to hell with 3D.