Quick Thoughts on the Hobbit in 48 fps 3D

Originally I had planned to see The Hobbit in IMAX 3D so I could catch the 9-minute preview of the new Star Trek film, but at the last minute I changed my mind, figuring I should try at least once to see it how Peter Jackson intended.  I’m glad I did it for the experience, but I probably won’t see a live-action film in that format again given the choice.  Some of the exteriors were breathtaking, but overall it had more of a videotape feel to it.  Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned over the years to associate the video tape look with cheapness and I don’t think that’s going to change, at least not for our generation.

No doubt that everything is much more detailed with the 48 fps format, but maybe too much so.  It certainly makes you feel as if you could step right out in that world, and this worked great for the wide-shot exteriors, but not so well for the interiors.  I was never able to get past the feeling of watching a made-for-TV version of Lord of the Rings.  I wouldn’t say it looked fake so much as unreal, especially since the look of Middle Earth had already been established in the original LOTR trilogy.  And the closeups of characters in exterior shots often made the distant backgrounds look flat, which probably wasn’t helped by the 3D acting in conjunction with the frame rate.

Taken apart from the frame rate, however, the 3D was perfectly fine, so if you want to watch it in 3D, see it in IMAX in the normal 24 fps frame rate.  That experience will be more like what you’re accustomed to seeing, and at least that way you’ll also get to see the Star Trek preview.  I, however, am thinking about going back to 2D for the next two installments of the trilogy so that their look will feel more synchronous with the Middle Earth established in the LOTR trilogy.

As for the movie itself, it was well done, with nonstop action once they finally left the Shire.  It doesn’t have the same stakes as Lord of the Rings and I can see why some people think the material felt stretched to accommodate the split into three films, but there is a lot to like, particularly the Gollum scene, and it’s always nice to revisit Middle Earth.  Personally, I think I could do with another viewing where I can watch the film for just the story rather than spending most of it preoccupied with the 3D and the overly-detailed picture.

Films have essentially looked the same since the early days of Hollywood.  This new technology isn’t like upgrading from black and white to color, or even to 3D.  It’s a fundamental change in the way films look.  I understand why Peter Jackson wanted to introduce it, but I don’t think we’re quite ready for it.

Final verdict: definitely worth seeing, but I’d avoid the 48 fps version.

 

Writer, traveler, photographer, hiker, film/TV addict, amateur chef, casual gamer, and occasional tennis & saxophone player . . . in real life I do web design.

Tagged with:
Posted in Cinema

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Follow Michael Rappa on WordPress.com
Archives
Categories

Join 298 other followers

Instagram Feed
Old Trail Town, Cody, Wyoming - August, 2017 During my long drive across the entire state of Wyoming I stopped in Cody for a visit to Old Trail Town, a recreation of an old west town using authentic buildings collected from around Wyoming and Montana. The buildings were disassembled, moved and reassembled at Old Trail Town. Among the buildings here are original cabins used by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a saloon frequented by Cassidy's "Hole-in-the-Wall Gang," and the home of the Crow Indian scout who led Custer to Little Big Horn. There are also tons of historic Old West artifacts and grave sites of several notable Western figures. It's a nice little diversion on the way to or from Yellowstone for fans of the old west. #cody #historicbuildings #NorthAmerica #oldtrailtown #oldwest #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #wildwest #Wyoming
Needles Highway, South Dakota - September, 2017 This was taken during my drive along Needles Highway, a scenic, sometimes treacherous road winding through granite “needle” rock formations in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The road has a number of one-lane tunnels cut through the rock, wherein you have to be careful and make sure nobody is coming from the other direction before driving through them. Needles Highway was the first leg of a grand loop scenic drive I took through Custer State Park that also included the Wildlife Loop and Iron Mountain Road before ending at Mount Rushmore. If you’re planning a trip to Rushmore, I highly recommend taking this loop if you have the time as the landscape is often spectacular. #BlackHills #mountains #needleshighway #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #rocks #scenicdrives #SouthDakota #Travel #UnitedStates
Multnomah Falls, Oregon - August, 2017 The lower portion of Multnomah Falls. #MultnomahFalls #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #Travel #UnitedStates #waterfalls
Multnomah Falls, Oregon - August, 2017 On my way from Portland to Mount Hood I decided to take a detour to view the majestic Multnomah Falls. It was well worth the stop. #hiking #landscapes #MultnomahFalls #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #waterfalls
Mount Hood, Oregon - August, 2017 This photo features Timberline Lodge (lower left) sitting beneath a blanket of mist and clouds while Mount Jefferson (upper right) rises above the cloud cover. #clouds #landscapes #mist #mounthood #mountjefferson #mountains #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #roadtrips #TimberlineLodge #Travel #UnitedStates
Mount Hood, Oregon - August, 2017 A view of the mountainside looking down toward the valley while riding Timberline Lodge's "Magic Mile" ski lift on Mount Hood. I liked the contrast of the white trees against the landscape. #clouds #landscapes #magicmileskilift #mist #mounthood #mountains #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #TimberlineLodge #Travel #UnitedStates
Mount Hood, Oregon - August, 2017 When I reached the top of the "Magic Mile" ski lift on Mount Hood I was treated to this spectacular view of Mount Jefferson peeking above the clouds. I wonder if anyone was standing at the summit of Mount Jefferson at the same time, looking across at me and enjoying a similar view of Mount Hood's peak above the clouds. #clouds #magicmileskilift #mounthood #mountjefferson #mountains #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates
Mount Hood, Oregon - August, 2017 This shot was taken as I rode up Timberline Lodge's Magic Mile ski lift toward the summit. At the bottom of the photo is a house that almost blends in with the landscape. Above that is a patch of snow dotted with skiers (they look like ants from this distance). The lift is definitely worth the ride if you're visiting the lodge, or you can choose to hike up to the top. Had I had more time, I would have at least hiked back down from the top, but I needed to get back to Portland to catch my plane to Montana, so I rode both ways. #landscapes #magicmileskilift #mounthood #mountains #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #roadtrips #TimberlineLodge #Travel #UnitedStates
Mount Hood, Oregon - August, 2017 Sunset on Mount Hood. #mounthood #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #Travel #UnitedStates #sunsets
Mount Hood, Oregon - August, 2017 Berries on Mount Hood. #hiking #landscapes #mounthood #mountains #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #Travel #UnitedStates
Mount Hood, Oregon - August, 2017 Looking up at the summit of Mount Hood, shot while hiking above Timberline Lodge (aka The Overlook Hotel), where I stayed overnight. #hiking #landscapes #mounthood #mountains #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #Travel #UnitedStates
Portland, Oregon - August, 2017 This is Mount Hood looming over the city of Portland, shot from my viewpoint in the Japanese Garden. A few days after this photo was taken, I drove all the way out to Mount Hood to stay at the famous Timberline Lodge (aka Overlook Hotel) near its summit. #cities #Japanesegarden #landscapes #mounthood #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #Portland #Travel #UnitedStates #mountains
Portland, Oregon - August, 2017 A rock garden in Portland's Japanese Garden. #Japanesegarden #landscapes #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #Portland #Travel #UnitedStates #rockgardens #zengardens
Portland, Oregon - August, 2017 Waterfall cascading into a pond in Portland's Japanese Garden. #Japanesegarden #landscapes #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #Portland #Travel #UnitedStates #ponds
Portland, Oregon - August, 2017 Portland's Japanese Garden is so sublime that you almost forget you’re in a major city. #Japanesegarden #landscapes #NorthAmerica #Oregon #Photography #Portland #Travel #UnitedStates
Michael is reading…
%d bloggers like this: