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Hobbit Movie Screening Draws Mixed Reviews

Peter Jackson and Warner Brothers released a 10 minute sneak peak of the upcoming “The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey” film which is due to be released in December of this year.  With the 10 minute sneak preview, Jackson implored theaters to show The Hobbit in its native filmed 48 frames per second (fps) format that it has been shot in.  Jackson says that by doing so, pictures will be more dynamic and have a much more “real look” than that of the industry standard of 24 fps.  James Cameron, director of Avatar, is another proponent of increasing the frame rate, claiming he will be shooting the sequel to Avatar in 60 fps.

Those that were lucky enough to see the 10 minute preview expressed mixed reviews.  There were many that said the opening aerial footage of the landscape showed beautifully dynamic in the format.  Others said that the indoor scenes felt like a “made for TV” movie feel.  Either way, people have associated the motion blur of 23 fps with cinema.  Although, this change may take time for people to adjust to, in the end, I believe this format will make movies much more beautiful and cinematic.

What do you think?  We would love to hear your thoughts!

  • Dez

    If I want a “real look” I’ll stay home.  Movies need to stay looking like MOVIES.  If it ain’t broken don’t fix it!!!

  • lei

    This is gonna be EPIC!!!!

  • brandon

    I agree with Dez

  • Nicholas Caplin

    I don’t want The Hobbit  to look like a Spanish soap opera. Sure it’s very good for all the visual effects that it’s shoot in 48fps but there is no need for it to be shown in that frame rate. There is a reason why I go to the MOVIES to watch a MOVIE. Cameron has to understand that just because he made the most successful movie in the world money wise, doesn’t mean that he can change an entire industry. Let movie be movies.

  • Beautiful_music_freak

    …if it’s going to make me vomit like the last “real look” film I went to – I’m not going near it (all I can say is, lucky I wore a hat to that movie)

  • My tv has the tru motion on it that speeds up the fps and i like it for some things but most of the time it over soaps it.

  • Joe VanDalsem

    I personally hate the look of 48 and 60p.  Looks like the motion of interlaced TV formats / telemundo soap operas.  I’ll take 24 all the way. I’m a bit perplexed by this movement, for ages people have been demanding that consumer video camera’s shoot at 24p so that our home movies no longer look like bad TV content. Now our actual movies are going to look like infomercials.

  • jay

    I think we should get to see the preview for ourselves! 

  • Kris

    Cameron and Jackson have something in common in that they both seem to have this drive to push people and technical limitations further than most. Both made some pretty bad movies before their successes. And both have some pretty lame ideas occasionally about what will work on screen. I’d call it the brute force approach to movie making – and generally after a whole pile of money and failures they tend to get where they are striving for. Higher frame rates will look crap as an industry standard without the budgets for everyone to pull it off. I hope Jackson didn’t wreck Hobbit by bringing out the big (48fps) gun for this one. Maybe it’s time though – we will see.

  • liltit

    Jackson is trying to enhance the cinematic experience. I’m so fucking excited to see this film. My full trust is in Peter and the crew.

  • Marian

    so, all this time cinema was 23fps? My whole life was a lie!

  • VGISoftware

    All this quibbling before the fact over frame rates is stupid and irrelevant.

    Pixar won its reputation reputation for quality work by adhering to its “Story is King!” motto.

    Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” series struck a chord with audiences for the same reason.

    We’ll just have to wait and see if these frame rates add to or detract from THE STORY, and then just how well he told “The Hobbit” story.

  • More frames is the way to go

  • Human progress has been made possible by people who had the courage to explore and discover new things, …then dared to make the changes. I tip my hat to men like James Cameron and Peter Jackson!  

  • Carlrodd200

    i go to the movies to escape. i don’t want it to like like ‘real-life’. if i want to watch a documentary, I’ll do so. when i watch a film, i want to be transported to a different time and place. what if tolkien’s books disregardedhis created languages altogether, and replaced them with words that were more familiar to us, and “easier”. that’s how all this seems to me. in fact, peter jackson seems to suffer from thiis misconception in his story-telling. he has been quoted as seeing the lotr as “such a human and emotional story.” any connections made to contemporary human emotion and experience in his books is done so sublimely, that you are never removed from the trance of inhabitting tolkien’s beautiful, foreign land and time. the connections are whispers….remote, half-forgotten. in jackson’s middle earth, you are su jected to a world that expects that you can-t possibly be swept away without him telling you EXACTLY how to do so, through the actions of characters that seem more like 21st century inserts into middle earth, than actual native inhabitants. jackson’s trilogy is to tolkien, what vampire diaries is to vampires. this feame rate crap is just more reason to suspect he will mess the hobbit up similarly. this project derailed when del toro jumped ship.

  • You call projecting a movie in 48 FPS instead of 24 human progress??? Ins’t that a bit too much?

  • I disagree. Sometimes “more” doesn’t mean “better.”

  • Morgil

    I just do not get this. Now i’m no tech guru, but for the last several years i’ve been constantly hearing people bitch about clarity and hi-def and all that crap. But then a movie tries to make itself look just as good on the big screen as it would on a small HDTV in your own house, and suddenly people are all flying off the handle saying they DIDN’T want this. I’m just confused.

  • Mmmm we just can wait to see the resultswe just can wait to see the results in order to give a comment, I don’t know Avatar was cool in that format, let’s give the opportunity to the Hobbit

  • We just can wait to see the results in order to give a comment, I don’t know Avatar was cool in that format, let’s give the opportunity to the Hobbit

  • Peter does not disapoint when it comes to movies, not to mention most people are bitching for the sake of complaining very few have seen the actual screening and those that have saw a very early rendition that has only been in post production for a month

  • Bob

    I don’t like being teased, let us see the preview too. 🙁

  • KJF

    I understand people having mixed feelings about 48fps. I have a large HD TV and am shocked by the clarity, especially faces. You believe you can see an actors facial pores…strange, but true. Overall, I am excited to see the Hobbit filmed with such clarity. I think the characters will be even more lifelike than in LOTR (and that is saying something).

  • Ferrarifanatic09

    None of you have any freaking clue about the difference of 24 and 48 is. I’ve seen it myself, and it will be spectacular. Shut up and quit acting like you know what you’re talking about…”more isnt necessarily better”…wait, what? That guy is clueless.
    And stop saying “I don’t want it to be too real!”…are you kidding me? if you didn’t want it to be real, you wouldn’t be asking for the actors to wear costumes. Think about what you’re saying before you talk about it

  • So where’s the link to the preveiw?

  • Dancingclouddragon

    I don’t see much, I have severe eye problems, so for me the sound of it will be more important. FPS will be academic for me anyway, as I will wait for the DVDs, so that I can sit six inches in front of the screen to watch it! I hope the score is by the same composer as LOTR.

  • Dunarwen89

    I think that we should trust Peter Jackson because he seems to know what he’s doing and he pushed cinema technology with TLOTR and Gollum and that was great. I agree that we shouldn’t knock it till we’ve tried it. EXCITED!!!

  • Kris

    The irony here is too great to resist passing a comment to you. Yes – sometimes less is more (a message strong in the Hobbit novel) – and as Tolkien reminds us – sometimes there is truth in myths.
    With film, the way it’s produced, processed and presented – there is a lot going on basically between these things, and our perception of the story being presented to us. It’s a bit more complicated than ‘more is better’. There are some other commentaries on the screening that suggested that the wide panorama scenes benefited from the higher rates. But that the smaller scale set staging suffered. I’d imagine the actors / characters would sometimes benefit – sometimes lose out.
    (I’d like to see Golum/Smeagle’s weird motions in high fps !)
    What I’d like to see is a bold move from Jackson to try to combine the higher rates with the more conventional 24fps in the one film. Meaning – play some scenes in hybrid 24/48 by duplicating every frame – but switching to true 48fps when it’s appropriate (when you actually get the percieved hightening of experience).
    That’d be innovative – and pretty couragious I think. Ralph Bakshi did Hobbit in cartoon form many years ago and did something vaguely similar with his mix of rotoscope for reality and war scenes, together with conventional cell animation. Respect.

  • Kris

     Correction Bakshi’s film was LOTR – but only part of it.

  • Jay

    I completely agree. 48 fps does make it look like a soap opera. i can’t stand watching movies that way, and the fps do make a big difference. It looks like a different movie.

  • Daniel Natzke

    THANK YOU!!!!!! I’ve been dabbling with the idea of Hybrid Frame rates for some times for a while now. 24 has a judder issue, 48 can overload motion information, but only in certain spots, why not combine the two?

    When I look at higher frame rates, and then look at reality, I don’t see the same way. Frame rates can never completely replicate real life, because we don’t see at any frame rate. It’s all open shutter with our eyes. playing with higher frame rates should only be to distracting artifacts such as judder and motion over-articulation. 
    Thanks for bringing this up Bro!


  • Daniel Natzke

    Interesting History lesson. During the 1960s a new film format was being tried in theaters Called Todd AO. The first two movies they filmed (Around the World in 80 Days, and Oklahoma!) were filmed at 30 frames per second. As the story goes it lead to motion sickness and thus is the reason Todd AO never filmed at said frame rate again.

    Those who forget History are Doomed to repeat it.

  • Argaliad

    I am fully confident that the quality of the picture will be spectacular.Are you not curious about new technologies and implementations.Why should we stuck in the obselete 24 fps format.

  • Chrisglover14

    However, if it can be made better why not improve it?

  • Chris

    Cameron? I think you mean Jackson.

  • Pete

    Haha! Wait,what?! You’re saying he failed with lord of the rings?

  • Leigha

    But like every other art form, movies will evolve and expand.  This is an exciting moment for filmmakers- we’ve sort of reached a wall with modern movies and it will be exciting to see how things change in the coming years.  Shooting new flicks at 48fps may seem unnecessary to some but of course it’s progress, no? Filmmakers have been shooting at 24fps since the dawn of the industry because supposedly it’s the lowest frame rate that allows the human eye to perceive motion smoothly.  It’s become the modern standard even though it’s not easy to convert and motion blur is an average occurance.  If I’m honest I’d say it’s rather outdated.  
    To my understanding, higher frame rates are associated with the “soap opera” stereotype because television is shot at 29.97 (30) fps.  Upping the frame rate makes it more difficult to hide flaws with the lighting, quality of the set, actors complexions, etc, etc– and on lower budget productions can really wreak havoc.  But the people at Weta with Jackson at their head are prepared for this.  They’re veterans.  They know what they’re doing and have proved this particularly in the last decade.    
    Someone mentioned in an earlier post a skepticism regarding Gollum’s “weird motions” being viewed at a higher frame rate.  I am critical of this for a few reasons.  Gollum’s character was a pioneer in motion capture animation which means that, although he was an animated character, the vast majority of his movement was completed by a live actor (I doubt I need to remind anyone of Andy Serkis but I had to say it).  This means that all of those “weird motions” that make Gollum Gollum should be able to translate no matter the frame rate.  Considering that The Lord of the Rings was released a decade ago and that work on it began well before that, I’d say the original Gollum is allowed some leaway with his movement (even though he remains one of the most successful and best looking animated characters to date). Animation itself is generally created at 30fps anyway and increasing that frame rate wouldn’t diminish the quality or believeability of a character on screen; the contrary, they would be more capable of meshing into a live action scene successfully.
    Ah I feel as though I opened a floodgate so I’ll leave it at this.  Movies will always ‘look’ like movies.  Some argued (and still argue) that the original appeal and quality of film has been lost with the coming of the digital age.   Some are making basically the same argument now in regards to 48 fps.  I’m confident to make the assertion that most people go to the movies to get immersed in a story- even more confident that trying out new things won’t change that fact.