Some worrying news has come in regarding The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Peter Jackson’s decision to film using the higher frame rate of 48 fps. While some are saying the new filming technique is stunning to watch, many others have written reviews claiming the higher frame rate does not always work in the film. It would appear that the big action set pieces really benefit from the new format, while the gentler moments of calm suffer from it. There have also been reports of the 48 fps causing some audience members to need to rush to the bathroom to be sick, but more worrying is the reports that the format has caused some to suffer from vertigo.
Exactly how serious this is remains to be seen, and might very well be people blowing the whole thing out of proportion. Jackson himself has said that the new format will take sometime to adjust to, but let’s share some recent comments in reviews, and you can judge for yourself if you want to see the film in the new format, or stick to the more traditional 24 fps:
“In close-ups the picture strobes,” one viewer said according to The Week. “I left loving the movie but feeling sick.” Another film goer reported even more side effects, saying “My eyes cannot take everything in, it’s dizzying. Now I have a migraine.”
Steve Pond at The Wrap says “its hyper-clarity courtesy of 48 frames-per-second projection, a little disturbing and uncomfortable”
Over at The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy says, “The results are interesting and will be much-debated, but…while striking in some of the big spectacle scenes, predominantly looked like ultra-vivid television video, paradoxically lending the film a oddly theatrical look, especially in the cramped interior scenes in Bilbo Baggins’ home.”
Peter Debruge at Variety went in to even more detail:
“More disconcerting is the introduction of the film’s 48-frames-per-second digital cinematography, which solves the inherent stuttering effect of celluloid that occurs whenever a camera pans or horizontal movement crosses the frame — but at too great a cost. Consequently, everything takes on an overblown, artificial quality in which the phoniness of the sets and costumes becomes obvious, while well-lit areas bleed into their surroundings, like watching a high-end homemovie. (A standard 24fps projection seems to correct this effect in the alternate version of the film being offered to some theatres, but sacrifices the smoother motion seen in action scenes and flyover landscape shots.)”
However, my suggestion is see for yourself, and it is doubtful that a filmmaker like Jackson would have taken chances on something so important. Some who I know that have seen the higher frame rate have said it is quite brilliant, and is as if you are right there with them, like looking at the person standing next to you: it is that clear.
Anyway, fear not, for to cheer you up we have some new clips from the film, plus a twenty minute behind the scenes featurette, all below for your viewing pleasure. However, the behind the scenes featurette may contain spoilers, so approach with caution! The featurette has been supplied by Collider.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will open on December 14th, 2012.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will open December 13th, 2013.
- The Hobbit: There and Back Again will open July 18th, 2014.
Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Elijah Wood, Christopher Lee, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom,Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Evangeline Lilly,Ian Holm, Billy Connolly and James Nesbitt.
“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
For more on The Hobbit, click here
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