That was certainly different. I’ll come right out and say that I believe 48fps isn’t a suitable way to watch movies and I don’t believe it will catch on. Here’s why.
Your eyes need to adjust to it.
From the opening scenes it looks like a daytime Chinese historical TV drama. Or those high definition TVs you see in shops where everything is moving too fast and looks as if it’s been sped up. Peter Jackson has said that it will take time for our eyes to adjust at the beginning and I grant that it did. But if this is the way of Movies in the future does that mean that my eyes must adjust to the new 48 frames per second before I can fully immerse myself in a movie? This is my biggest problem. It was less obvious later on but when you start to think for a second you begin to notice the sped up frames again. Day time scenes are the biggest problem while scenes in darker areas or during evening and night are not so much of a problem.
I’m sure there was a collective WTF moment among the cinema audience during the first 20 minutes at least. It’s very jarring. In my opinion a movie should look like a movie. I can live with 24 frames per second if it means that the movie will “Look” like a movie. I believe that is the most important thing to everyone isn’t it? Movie’s distinguish themselves from Television by having their own film quality. In fact many TV shows AIM for that movie look. Take for example the TV series Red Dwarf which removed frames to get that “film look” during series 7.
It could be that 48fps is taking the clarity of image appreciation too far and I feel like I want to watch ‘The Hobbit’ a second time in 24fps to get a real feel for the film. There might be an argument that we haven’t grown up with it so we aren’t used to it but I believe after 100+ years of cinema 24fps is the way to go. 48fps looks unnatural and if reports of people getting motion sickness from this are true it’s another reason not to go with it in future.
Now the film! The Hobbit! Well I almost wonder if I could have read half the book faster than the time it took for the film to portray it. It does seem a little stretched out and there’s a big epic gap missing in the film since Sauron and the Ring are not the main focus of the quest. That is because the Hobbit is very much a proto-story to the LOTR Books. As one or two films I think the Hobbit could work better but since the reports of the third film being made came pretty late I would imagine Part 1 was completed by then. So does that mean the pacing is supposed to be like that? A shorter running time might have helped. Sometimes I got the feeling that scenes were stretched out unnecessarily to gain the long running time. Scenes have added action that they didn’t necessarily have to begin with. I think Drew McWeeny of Hitflix put it best in his review “if Tom Bombadil came from “The Hobbit” and not “Lord Of The Rings,” fans would be listening to Tom sing every word of ever song and watching him prance about in vivid 48FPS 3D this Christmas.”
The film could do with being a little more humorous like the novel too because the next two films obviously will get darker (and hopefully better).
Yet, there is so much to like about the film, it’s loving made and highly detailed although animals don’t talk in this like they did in the book nor does Gandalf say “Great Elephants!”. Peter, i’m waiting… We also have Ian Humphreys, the 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy, Christopher Lee. Wonderful cast.
Favorite moments: There is a scene where Gandalf and Radagast are talking and at the moment when Radagast says he has something on the tip of his tongue Martin Freeman as Bilbo looks around at no one in particular in a confused way. A nice homage to the office. If Bilbo had looked directly at the camera I would have died laughing.
Having read the Hobbit two years ago I had hoped seeing the book come to life would be a more magical experience like the original LOTR films were 11 years ago. But it feels a little too padded for my full liking. It is by no means bad though. I want to see the film again in 2D in 24fps for it would obviously match the feel of the LOTRs Trilogy more. Will they release a extended version of this? I can’t imagine so since the movie itself feels extended!
Favorite Quote: “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.” – Gandalf