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Peter Jackson Shows Off 10 Minutes of 'The Hobbit,' 48FPS Isn't Looking Good

04.26.12 @ 4:53PM Tags : , ,

Ten minutes of glorious 48fps footage from The Hobbit was recently shown at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. It’s unfortunate that RED couldn’t show any footage at their NAB booth, but I’m sure fans of the series were delighted to get a glimpse of Peter Jackson’s new epic film (pun intended) shot on RED Epic in 3D at 48fps. We’ve talked a little bit about frame rates before, and what they mean for our industry, but this is the first time a film of this scale is going to be filmed and exhibited at 48fps in 3D. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the 270 degree shutter is helping things, as the results aren’t impressing many of those who watched it.

Update: Looks like Peter Jackson has responded – he wants people to see the entire film before passing judgment.

While there were some positive comments, many were put-off by the hyper-realistic nature of the footage. The LA Times Blog had this to say:

Indeed, the footage shown did seem hyper-realistic. An opening aerial shot of dramatic rocky mountains appeared clearer than the images in most nature documentaries. But the effect was different when applied to scenes with actors dressed in period costume, whose every move — and pore — was crystal clear. Such realism put off some trade show attendees, who complained the footage didn’t feel enough like a traditional film.

If you wanted to expose the digital sensor exactly the same as if it was shot at 24fps, and get more similar motion characteristics, you’d have to shoot at 360 degrees, or completely open. Usually with digital 24fps, we are shooting at a 1/48 of a second (1/50 with DSLRs) or 180 degree shutter. 270 degrees should actually have a more staccato feel to it, because it’s being exposed less and thus there is less motion blur than 24fps at 180 degrees. I haven’t tested any of this, but it actually might feel more filmic at 180 degrees and 48fps, because part of what makes higher frame rates feel so strange is that there is a lot less motion blur with the added frames. (Update: Marden Blake in our comments posted a great example of 24fps vs 48fps using the same settings as Peter Jackson)

IGN Movies was also there to cover it, and here’s a quote from that review:

I didn’t go into CinemaCon expecting to write anything less than great things about The Hobbit, but the very aesthetic chosen by Peter Jackson has made me very nervous about this film. It just looked … cheap, like a videotaped or live TV version of Lord of the Rings and not the epic return to Tolkien that we have all so long been waiting for. I still have hope for The Hobbit, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say my expectations for the film have now been greatly diminished.

If this is what’s in store for 48fps then I’m not really sure it’s the way of the future. People are unconsciously trained to know what TV looks like and what movies look like, mostly thanks to frame rate. It seems like many could not get over the massive difference between the motion characteristics of 24fps and 48fps, and the lower shutter doesn’t seem to help much. This doesn’t bode well for what James Cameron might be trying to do with the new Avatar, because 60fps is an even further jump from 24fps. The good thing about 48fps is that a great-looking 24fps master can be pulled from the original material, so all hope is not lost that the film can still look like we’ve always expected it to.


If this movie ends up looking like people are saying, the best place to see it might be in a 2D theater with a film projector. It’s hard to change what people feel when watching a film, and 24fps for a movie just feels right, because we’re used to it. The fact that 24fps is slower than the way our eyes see makes a film feel less real and more distant from reality. In a way, 24fps actually allows us to become more engaged and drawn into a film because the distancing effect gives us more time to savor all of the details. Unfortunately, it’s looking like 48fps doesn’t allow for that distancing – and it’s very hard for viewers who’ve been watching movies the old-fashioned way on film projectors at 24fps to handle the change.

A lot of this talk reminds me of the sheer hatred that was thrown the way of Michael Mann when he released his film Public Enemies. That film was shot at 24fps, but because Mann wanted the film to feel more like live TV coverage, most, if not all, of the film was exposed at a 1/24 of a second or 360 degree shutter. This made the film feel more present, exactly what Mann was hoping for, but it actually disengages the viewer quite a bit because there is no distance – no time to allow the viewer to absorb what is happening.

Many films that have been shot on Panavision Genesis have used a more open shutter – usually around 270 but occasionally at 360. Part of it is the look, since some DPs don’t like the staccato or stroby feel of the Genesis, but many also like having another 1/2 to full stop of light. It seems that most films shot on Genesis have been shot with something other than 180 degrees. This is something I’ve really never seen with films shot on RED or Alexa, thankfully. Even though some are bothered by strobing, it’s a natural occurrence with 24fps material if the camera is moving too fast.

Personally I don’t have a problem with what 24fps looks like, and I’m only slightly bothered when the camera is panning or tilting too quickly. Stu Maschwitz had a great post on his blog not that far back about new TVs ruining movies because they feature all sorts of smoothing algorithms. Even with those smoothing and anti-judder options turned off, 120hz and 240hz televisions feel different than 60hz. Technically a better 24fps picture can be derived from 120hz or 240hz since it doesn’t require a pulldown, but I still prefer what films look like on a 60hz TV at 24fps.

I would imagine that the new Hobbit film might feel something like one of these 120hz televisions with all of the anti-judder and smoothing settings turned all the way up. If that’s the case, count me out, and I’ll stick to watching it at 24fps in a non-digital, non-3D theater.

Can The Hobbit succeed at 48fps, or will audiences be turned off by the hyper-real feeling a higher frame rate creates? What do you guys think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

[LA Times Blog & IGN Movies]

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  2. 'The Hobbit' Continues Terrific Behind-the-Scenes Video Blogs with On-Location Shooting
  3. 25 Years in 25 Minutes: Behind the Scenes of Pixar with John Lasseter

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  • 24-25 fps tends to properly mimic the human eye, which also experiences motion blur naturally with similar effect at 180 degree shutter for most film cameras. Even if you up the framerate and change shutter speed, you lose part of the equation that properly mimics the eye’s image signal. However there’s much to be said about how video is changing this standard through digital trickery, finding other ways to get the same effect, and fiddling with shutter speed looks like it’ll be part of the tookit for most DPs now. Sad to hear that 48 fps with algorithmic motion blur garbage matting didn’t turn out to be the holy grail the guys thought it would be, even though anyone who knows their way around cadence knew it wouldn’t work. Motion blur isn’t the only issue, you also have to consider gate weave, highlight smearing, blooming, etc. to recreate the full effect.

    • Daniel Mimura on 05.4.12 @ 6:50AM

      24-25fps does not mimic what our eyes see. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% behind keeping fps’s at 24fps (unless when you say fps, you mean First Person Shooter, in which case I want it faster.)…but a 24fps movie is broken up by 1 or 2 additional fan blades to keep the image from strobing.

      Trumball’s experiments when he was creating showscan found that people generally reached a threshold of perception at 72fps. Everyone has different internal “frame rates”, or whatever you want to call it. Persistence of vision has different thresholds that varies from individual to individual.

      • Daniel Mimura on 05.4.12 @ 6:52AM

        I meant to say 1-2 fan blades per frame. 24fps strobes without that.

        With digital, it just refreshes more often and that works (even better) than the mechanical fan blades of film projectors.

  • @Joe Marine: I think you wanted to write Panavision Genesis instead of Panasonic, right?

    On topic: I see the higher framerates in a more evolutionary way. You look at the 48fps (or higher) movie and instantly compare it with “what’s right in your head” and therefor come to the conclusion that it doesn’t look theatre-like. Maybe if you’re someone who watches a high fps movie (i.e. The Hobbit) as his or her first one in a theatre, you’d think it’s normal. After that, you watch another with 24fps and think for yourself “that looks weird, so blurry”. I could easily see a future where no 24fps will be around. As of right now, 24fps is dominant. Pushing the acceptance of higher framerates forward will be a hard job, especially for the pioneers. Maybe those first films (incl. The Hobbit) will get less positive responses as they should get, just because of being displayed in 48fps.

    • Yep, fixed. Don’t know how no one else saw that. I think I’m still a little disappointed at Panasonic for their poor NAB showing.

  • john jeffreys on 04.27.12 @ 12:24PM

    Yeah I’ll be watching this in 2D on a film projector for sure! I don’t care if I sound like a total luddite.

  • I work as an AC on “Ain’t It Cool With Harry Knowles”. We just did an interview with Douglass Trumbull (Blade Runner, 2001, Silent Run, etc.) And we talked about the hyper-realism of high frame rates and the future avenues of cinema.
    I highly suggest checking it out, he has a new project that is going to be an experience no one has ever experienced thus far in cinema.

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/55257

    • Stu Mannion on 04.27.12 @ 7:31PM

      Thanks for posting that. Very interesting.

      As an independent filmmaker I have no plans to go for higher frame rates or even higher definition. Anything more than 1080p 25fps is too sharp and too revealing when you don’t have the budget to make every detail in your frame perfect. I like the softness of the 5D, i see it as a crucial part of maintaining a suspension of disbelief for the audience.

      3D is different from 2D and maybe higher frame rates work to deepen the sense of immersion but as Trumble said it demands a whole new ciematic language. If you just up the frame rate and shoot (and design, light, makeup, act) the way you did before you get the reaction people are having to the Hobbit footage.

      • “3D is different from 2D and maybe higher frame rates work to deepen the sense of immersion but as Trumble said it demands a whole new ciematic language. If you just up the frame rate and shoot (and design, light, makeup, act) the way you did before you get the reaction people are having to the Hobbit footage.”

        exactly. as is said in one of the articles about the hobbit footage, the longer shots were more pleasant to the eyes. as trumbull says, the bell curve is the best around 66fps… for what, for EXCITEMENT! :D so it may be a great tool for action flicks, for rides as the classic back to the future ride (i remember how that was awasome when i was 15yrs old in a visit to USofA! i went to that ride sober and stoned and it’s one of the best experiences i had with moving images!! :D :D)

        so i think that in the future, after this “i’m right, you’re wrong” technological battle, people will realize that more and more with the digital tools, we gonna have different possibilities… for example, for a drama or a slow paced movie, 24fps is more than ok, since it will relax not excite your mind… for an action flick, showscan would be perfect, since action movies are all about excitement ( that’s why teenagers and young adults and males in general love this gender!)… so, not just black and white, color, 3D, 2D, mono, stereo, dolby, holosound, with time even frame rates will be part of the tool set of the artists.
        like, a blurry image shot at 24fps is more like an french impressionist painting. a 48fps image is more like a renascence painting, etc… for example, a ingmar bergman movie would suffer from a hyper real image from 48fps the same way some of the old classics from jackie chan would have been great if shot with showscan.

        Why to choose only one default frame rate, if digital projectors can project in lots of them?

    • Yeah thanks a million for posting the video interview! I just updated my article (http://7dblue.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/lame_rates/) to reflect the new info. As interesting as the article was, I am still left wanting; I wish Harry would have asked Trumbull why he demonstrates the “conform” process in the video, yet supports the 48fps shoot and display process. I’m assuming he says that Jackson’s decision is a “step in the right direction”, because it’s bringing higher framerates to a large audience and opening minds to the possibilities held therein. I’m excited to see what’s to come. Thanks again.

      P.S. I’m quite jealous of you, you lucky lucky bastard (for having been in a room with Trumbull).

  • Seems like human habit trump technological innovation.

  • “The good thing about 48fps is that a great-looking 24fps master can be pulled from the original material.” – so when you convert 48fps movie to 24fps the motion blur will reappear?

    • Depends how it’s converted, the ideal way would be to probably conform it so that you can get a clearer picture but the motion still looks correct – just without as much blur. You should also be able to remove the additional frames to get to 24 – which should look the same as 24fps.

      • I wonder how it would look like in 24fps version…

      • Unless you apply a motion blur effect, the motion blur of the new 24fps master would be the same as it was when at 48fps. The frames themselves aren’t changing, only the rate at which they are being displayed. However, you might perceive the amount or intensity of blur to be different, though if you were to do a frame to frame comparison, they should be identical. This is assuming that the software you have used isn’t doing anything but the conforming and stretching process, ie; conform to 24 and “slow/stretch” to half speed.

        • Right, perceived motion blur. My point is that technically you could remove every other frame instead of conforming – theoretically that should be exactly the same as if you shot it at 24fps – since you’re just taking out extra information.

          • I see what you’re saying now. Though, to my knowledge, conforming just make the 48fps play at 24fps, this is why we see it as slow motion (there’s twice as much info per second), but when “stretched/slowed” to half-speed, you do exactly that “…remove every other frame…” and you get 24fps footage with the motion characteristics of 48fps frames. Forgive me if I’m coming off as aggressive; this subject is just one that’s always fascinated me, and I rarely get to have conversations about it.

        • While it’s true that the motion blur won’t be what you’d get from 24 at 180 degree shutter, the actual shutter speed is 1/64 as opposed to 1/48 which isn’t a huge difference (in degrees it’s like 135 vs 180)…and a lot of films shot on film use 1/64 instead of 1/48. I have an old 16mm Beaulieu R16 camera, and it has a fixed shutter speed of 1/64 in 24fps mode.

          • Yeah, I would say that you wouldn’t see drastic differences until you get into higher framerates; I assume that’s why they are shooting as high as 120fps with Showscan. Though, they are using a full-duration shutter (shutterless) which at 120fps is still much “faster” than a 1/48 (180 @ 24fps) shutter.

            However, a 180 degree shutter for 48fps would be 1/96 which is a great deal faster than 1/48 or even 1/64 for that matter. When speaking in terms of fractions of a second even 1/10 can make quite a huge difference. Not contradicting for contradiction’s sake, just trying to propagate “Good science”.

          • I guess I forgot that the footage (the test and The Hobbit) is being shot at a 270 degree shutter (hence your reference to 1/64). I am curious as to why they went with a longer (relative to framerate) duration shutter for the 48fps? I’m becoming more and more curious to see the footage.

  • Josh: So the 24fps version wont have more motion blur and will have more staccato feel to the contrary?

  • Charles Brepsant on 04.30.12 @ 5:51AM

    Highly against higher frequency TVs, the image looks horrible, even if only because we were used to 24fps all our lifes.
    Thumbs up for 24fps and a real cinematic image.

  • 48 FPS in 3D. 24FPS in 2D for me. 24FPS in 3D makes me sick, 48 doesn’t.

  • please stop pontificating and masturbating over frame rates and simply concentrate on a genuinely new idea, eh? christ you’d think most people visiting this site were cinematographer of the year or something, or were working on a film anyone might actually be bothered about watching.

    no offence.

  • I just watched the bassment examples, thanks for posting those.

    I preferred…

    48 fps footage: basketball movement, camera pan
    24 fps footage: foot that was kicking the basketball, the box and the soft toys that fell to the floor

    From my pow, you just have to know what you’re doing and combine the technologies as you yourself feel is the best, clearly there is a big difference to the material.

    Cheers,
    Ufomaster (Finland)

  • AD Stephens on 05.3.12 @ 4:40PM

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but could this negative response to 48fps simply be attributed by the higher framerate and thus, lack of motion blur or that 24fps ‘stuttering’ (which I actually quite like, just my opinion) looking, from a non-technician point of view, too much like 50i/60i (I’m from the UK so for me it’s 50i) TV? Obviously it wouldn’t have the interlace movement artifacts but having twice the framerate of what is considered to be a cinematic standard would always be a bit of a problem for some people. I think we can all agree that we can see what Jackson is doing, but perhaps trying to demolish that ‘cinematic’ experience and turn it into something more perceivable as reality isn’t what Cinema needs. Perhaps our escapism into cinema needs something that takes it away from reality in terms of image perception?

    By the way I’m yet to see any Red Epic stuff shot and shown at 48fps so this is all personal conjecture, but I am downloading Marden Blake’s example of 24 vs 48fps, and also I fully agree with Peter Jackson’s comment saying we should watch the film in it’s entirety before passing judgement. It might be an alarming effect, simply because it’s something different, that disappears when we’re (hopefully) immersed into the film.

    I really appreciated the point mentioned about the newer HD TV’s having that horrible feature (I think they call it TrueMotion or something in some TV’s) where it smoothens out the 24/25fps image, I remember when I first saw it, I coined it the ‘Eastenders Effect’ (for those not living in the UK Eastenders is a shitty soap show, the epitome of low budget TV), it made The Matrix look like it was shot with an HD handicam!

    Apologies if I’ve touched on anything that has been mentioned before, I didn’t read through all the comments before posting!

  • Higher then 24fps stuff is nothing new. We’ve been watching shows shot and presented with higher then 24 frames per second rates for years: news, sports, reality shows & budget narrative tv. And when we were forced to shoot our indie projects with 29.97 cameras, they looked like garbage.

    We never started thinking 30 fps looked better then 24 (for narrative projects), we went digging overseas to get PAL cameras and the old DVX changed everything by getting cheap video back to 24… so why would going to even higher framerates for narrative films suddenly be a good idea?

  • “he has a new project that is going to be an experience no one has ever experienced thus far in cinema” Woo…ooo – good luck with that. Mr. Trumbull could tell you all about his “success” . He is correct in everything he believes. But take a look at his struggles.
    You can compare this to people complaining about the change to sound all you like. Not the same. When something looks like crap, it looks like crap. No one likes Garbage forced down their throats in the name of progress. Can you say Vista?
    Mr. Science in his lab is one thing. You can push all the envelopes you want. But when the Peter Jackson’s start ignoring Mr. Schmoo and his girl going down to see the latest flick ,you’ll see. Would be very sad to see Jackson fail. You think it can’t happen? Wait till the rumor mongers start fanning these flames.

  • Geoff Longford on 05.3.12 @ 7:42PM

    I’m no tech head but I do know that stuff that is too sharp looks like you are looking at things through a window.I don’t want that in a feature film.The thing looses all sense of mystery.I’m overdosed on reality as it is.If I want reality I stick my head out the window.

  • I for one welcome the new soap opera look, they’ll go great with our modern soap opera crap films that are plaguing our theaters.

  • When I was studying cinematography at film school, one of my teachers; Paul Wheeler used to say that the human race has been watching movies in the cinema for so long now that we are subconsciously used to the 24 fps flicker of the motion. So when we see something a movie that doesn’t have that flicker, we find it a bit strange. It’s a cultural thing.

  • For 2D… I feel we can leave it at 24 fps… but in 3D… something HAS to be done about the jittery-stuttery motion. It’s so degrading of the image that I’m considering giving up on watching 3D until it’s fixed.

    I have yet to see a 3D movie without being distracted by movements that almost feel like mistaking the field-order of interlaced footage. Avatar being the worst offender in this, because with all that thing foliage my eyes where scrambling to make sense of all the shapes that were jumping all over the place.

    If higher frame-rates are a remedy to this… then by all means bring it to us! Then maybe I can actually enjoy the depth fully.

    And that would only leave the “comin’ at ya’!”-feeling that has never materialized for me… it just becomes double-vision and I have to actively re-converge my eyes to get it that far out of the screen. And by that time they have cut to something else, so I once again I need to reconverge… oh and during all that time? I’m totally outside of the movie, thinking technicalities and not paying attention to any story or look.

  • I feel me distracted by this color movies.
    And not to forget that sound – uhh.
    And 24fps!!!!

    I WANT BACK MY ~18 FPS B/W BUSTER KEATON MOVIES. THAT WERE THE ONLY REAL MOVIES EVER.

    OK, just joking…

    In a nutshell:

    Everytime a new technology comes up some nay-sayers come up and say they don’t like it, they find it distracting, it will not work out and so on.

    We had that really when sound film came up! Go to the archives…
    We had that with color film.
    We had that with television.
    We had that with CRT to CCD.
    We had that with CCD to CMOS.
    We had that with Digital Projection.
    We had that with 3D.
    We had that with simply every new evolving advancement ever.

    I don’t say those people are really wrong in the perception that they have a different feeling experience when watching the new stuff. But technically this new stuff is a major leap in terms of temporal and also spatial resolution. The increase in resolution is DRAMATIC.

    I am not talking about the fact that these movies are being shot at 5K RAW 48fps (if not even 96fps), but that surely adds upfront a lot of additional information. Many may not know that just the fact of 3D is adding a lot of resolution too, because our human eye can derive a lot more information from the two perspectives – more than from the sum of the two.

    Test yourself. Close one eye, check what you see. Close the other, check again. Compare what you see with two eyes. More? Right. Not? Go to the doctor :)

    Next thing is additional frame rates increase, that again adds a lot of information. If you ever had a steenback and have been rolling the film in fast forward mode, the image became dramatically sharper.

    Unfortunately, the very stable sensors lost some of this effect compared to noise unstable film, as the film does basically a more random and therefor better sampling. But all effects like 5K etc. help compensating.

    If Buster Keaton ever had an EPIC 3D camera or even better tool, he surely would have choosen that and we would have skipped *centuries* of backwarded discussions.

    Gladly, those who don’t like 4K 48fps 3D can stay at home and hear some good old LPs on their phone player. Don’t forget to turn the crank… :P

    Everything that is now a “past” in terms of technological advancements will become “look from the past” tool of story telling. Like shooting in Super8 style to simulate old movie. I bet my heart that at some point 2K 24p will be a “style” to make something looking so early 2000-ish” :)

    What will happen when NHK is ready with 8K * 4K @ 60 Hz TV for everybody?

    Cheers,
    Axel

  • Daniel Mimura on 05.4.12 @ 10:39PM

    No offense? Really? You say something like that on a forum of filmmakers and dare to question our integrity or interest in such matters, just because (most of us) haven’t won awards or made any big films.

    I’m a dp (steady-op professionally, DP only semi-professionally…on low or no budget gigs.) These changes to frame rates are important to me 100% whether I win awards or not. It’s especially important as technologies are now changing with the rapidity of Moore’s law, now that the dominant formats are digital. Film (24fps 35mm 4-perf) was the dominant projection medium for 90 years…now look how fast things are changing.

    HDTV came about 10 years later than originally expected & only a part of it was technological…the biggest hurdle was standardization…so when something is looking to become standardized, we really need to weigh ALL the pros and cons & learn to read through the vested interests behind each and every format.

    I’ve read about > 24fps a lot…& because the two big films coming out with it (Hobbit & Avatar 2) happen to be geekfest fantasy crap (don’t get me wrong Star Wars ’77 is what got me into films as a kid), I’ve read a huge amount of misinformation about this technology because of these sci-fi fantasy blogs (cuz nerds may have a tendency towards hi tech, but most aren’t coming from a film background). Anyway, I see a lot written about it elsewhere, but I don’t bother posting about it or even bother reading comments on comicon type movie blogs. I get my reading about camera technology and best practices here, on The Black & Blue, CML, and cinematography.com.

    Keep these debates coming. Koo, E.M., & Joe almost always end articles with a question, inviting opinions and dialog. Of course, a good film must start with a good idea…but this particular article is not about screenwriting, or pitching projects or brainstorming those kinds of ideas, it’s about framerate and how people have differing opinions about how that new technology is affecting audiences. These are important things to think about both for camera tech people as well as producers (who really need to be concerned with audience tastes and preferences). These *are* “new ideas”…if you mean just screenwriting & story ideas, maybe stick to commenting about that stuff if this is too technical for you.

  • 48fps and 60fps isn’t a new technology, so what does that have to do with color and sound (which at those times were actual new technology). 24fps is the way to go if you don’t want your project to look like a videogame.

  • Been watching the film yesterday (well today, really), in 48fps, and have not been able to see any difference !

    I had read about this “dramatic” change that would affect our perception of the images, that would be ultra-real and ultra-sharp. I was aware there would be a “big difference”. And I just failed to see it. Really.

    Was reminded of it only today when reading that some spectators (strangely enough, only in the UK so far -I’m in France-) have experienced a strange feeling, a “sickness”, as they have put it in the papers. Headaches, migraines and whatsnot.
    Tried to tell us it was all because of the higher frame rate.
    Found it difficult to believe, though, knowing that TV films are all shot whit a high frame bit, and that there has been a few films shot in 60 fps. I guess the crowd and excitement at an ungodly hour (it was released after 12.00 everywhere) had a part to play in their sickness. But I’m digressing …

    The point is, the audience is just used to being exposed to a wide variety of techniques, and quickly adapts. At 20, I have been watching analogic films, digital films, 2D animated films, 3-D animated films, watercolor painted background, digitally-colord pictures, 3D enhanced films, REAL-3D films, IMAX and this and that, and ‘ve even gone all the way back to Black and White and silent films last year ( The Arstist, remember). The last decade has been bursting with new or revisited technologies, and we’ve eaten so many we cannot even tell the difference anymore. Very few have this kind of romantic attachment to old-times cinema that I’ve read about, with people not wanting to go and watch The Hobbit in 48 fps, not even for GK’s sake.

    Add to it that the Hobbit is a heroic fantasy film with much action and little psychology (well, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that the characters have no depth), and then you may see that a higher frame rate might not be unwelcome (after all, the decor is pretty much the same as in LOTR, and there are not that many details to be spotted, and the whole thing is so purely fictional that no-one can ever reject it for being TOO real to get into). In that case, real is even better, so that you can believe the unbelievable !

    If I were to criticize the film, it would be more directed towards a few fails in cuts (the chasing scenes are totally illogical, and that bothered me much) and the childish silliness and slowness of the 20 first minutes (the Trolls scene, for God’s sake !), the latter being forgiven when really getting into the action, when the rythm dramatically changes, with a new ambush every 2 minutes. At some point, it was not filmed like a Heroic Fantasy film any more, but really like an action movie !

    As for the image itself, I thought it was fairly OK, maybe too bright (on closeups, it sometimes felt as if the sky was a painted decor), and sometimes too blurred (Galadriel has more aura than a 50s-film-heroine).
    The SFX looked like they were design as part of a video game, and that’s what I thought all along ! It really looked like it, and not like a movie. I had the same feeling watching the escape for the Gobelins hall as I had with the one in Moria in LOTR. Really the same !
    The battle scenes were only OK, compared to those of LOTR, but they were short, put there as flashbacks, so it didn’t matter.

    As a complete neophyte, that’s about all I could spot. I think that frame rate think is a pros-only debate.

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