As anyone who went to see Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D last weekend knows, a viable, attractive, non-headache-inducing 3-D technology now exists for feature-length films in regular theaters (albeit ones outfitted with a special projector). Unfortunately, it's still not being used as a storytelling tool so much as an attempt to impress people -- look, it's Brendan Fraser, spitting water in your face! -- but maybe James Cameron will fix that soon, what with his plans to film a low-key drama in 3-D after he finishes Avatar. In any case, now that Journey has proven the mettle of the format (the 800-some theaters showing it in 3-D made up for more than half of the film's opening weekend gross, and rightfully so), you should probably expect to wear goofy plastic glasses with increasing frequency.

Case in point: Sony's announcement yesterday that its previously-announced adaptation of the children's book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will be the first digital 3-D release for Sony Pictures Animation. The movie (which I believe still has Anna Faris and Andy Samberg doing the lead voices) is about a scientist who tries a radical approach to solving world hunger only to wind up with food coming down from the sky, which doesn't turn out to be as awesome as it sounds. A Sony exec provides an amazing quote to go along with the announcement: "The story is about 'food weather,' and so food falling from the sky lends itself so well to 3-D." No kidding.

I anxiously await the day when 3-D is used to tell better, more engaging stories rather than to provide the equivalent of a novelty theme park ride. Maybe soon.