My review of HFR & 3D in the The Hobbit at DVinfo.net

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Old December 21st, 2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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My review of HFR & 3D in the The Hobbit

Everything you ever wanted to know about HFR and The Hobbit at DVInfo.net

If you are having some issues with the Quicktime 24fps vs 48fps movie then you can also check it out here:
Everything you ever wanted to know about HFR and The Hobbit | News
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Old December 25th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #2
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Re: My review of HFR & 3D in the The Hobbit

Brilliant review, Tim. The best one yet. I personally enjoyed 48 fps - people have seen video on TV. Watching it on a big screen is something else! I'm sure people will find out ways to use this 'presence' for dramatic effect.

Peter Jackson can't get everything right the first time, so one shouldn't judge its (HFR) potential by his effort. I'm all for 60 fps now!
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Old December 26th, 2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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Re: My review of HFR & 3D in the The Hobbit

I went to see Hobbit in 3D at the RealD Theater in Beverly Hills, CA for a guild screening. Probably the most accurately aligned 3D anywhere in the world. Here are my impressions,

I was not put off so much by the vivid-ness of the HFR 48 but with the mundane storytelling of the film. I ended up leaving the theater thinking that it was like watching a 2.5 hour video game for teenagers. There is only so much suspension of disbelief available for any film, and this one used up it's quota in the first 15 minutes.

As I usually do for 3D film screenings I lifted my glasses continually during the first hour or so to see where they were placing the screen plane and how wide the IA was. It appeared to me that Jackson settled for a "Hugo" style of minimal IA even in sets with short BG throws like the first part inside the Hobbit house. I'm good with that, as BIG 3D can be quite annoying quickly. As I said earlier, the HFR 48 made things a little too sharp revealing a little too many details in makeup, sets, and eye contact lenses. I'm sure James Cameron is taking a good hard look at this film as he has committed to HFR 48 for Avatar 2, shooting in 2013.

All in all, I felt that it was just one long chase scene in 3D, and I would rather just cue up an old Fellini B&W film instead of sitting through another round 2 and 3 of these Hobbit films.
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Old December 26th, 2012, 10:19 PM   #4
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Re: My review of HFR & 3D in the The Hobbit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Schultz View Post
All in all, I felt that it was just one long chase scene in 3D, and I would rather just cue up an old Fellini B&W film instead of sitting through another round 2 and 3 of these Hobbit films.
8 1/2 or the fountain scene in La Dolce Vita? - I'd pitch a tent outside for the 48 fps version!
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Old December 31st, 2012, 11:59 AM   #5
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Re: My review of HFR & 3D in the The Hobbit

Hi Tim. Very insightful review. I learn something new every time you publish. Happy New Year!
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Old January 1st, 2013, 09:16 PM   #6
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Re: My review of HFR & 3D in the The Hobbit

Thanks Tim for your review, and everyone for contributing.

I watched it today for the first time in HFR 3D, and I must say, I enjoyed the film. I think Jackson is great at comedy, which he didn't get to play with as much in the previous trilogy.

My first reaction to HFR was YUCK! Turn it off! The very first shots had the same feel as those old BBC video comedies and soaps. And that aesthetic destroyed numerous shots, thereafter.

In fact, I think that Jackson would have done himself a great favor, if he had chosen to turn off the HFR on about 1/3 of the shots in the movie. I doubt the audience would have noticed, and we wouldn't be complaining about the look, afterward. Because I think it is mostly those shots which really suffer.

And those shots, as I remember, were mostly live action shots, with a good deal of motion, especially camera movement. Much of the early scene in which Smaug destroys the dwarf town feels like bad video, and thus, the characters looked more like actors in costumes, than something real.

On the other hand, there were plenty of scenes in which the HFR really seemed to add a lot. In particular, these were the shots that echoed what I've been calling a "greeblicious" aesthetic, i.e. tons of detail, rendered in depth, like the gold piles in the dwarf treasury, or shots outside of Bilbo's hole, with the grass providing the detail. Almost all of the narrative flash-backs/cut-aways are rich with this kind of texture, and really benefit from the HFR. All of the detail is candy to my eye!

I think camera movement played a big part in the success of the HFR, as well. Less was definitely more! Those early slow dolly shots of dwarf splendor are riveting in their beauty, whereas the subsequent chaos of the Smaug attack was mundane and ugly.

Some VFX were enhanced by the HFR (mostly the greeblicious ones with infinite texture, which Jackson is so good at). But those in which CG creatures played on real world environments (like the Wargs running on the landscape) felt fake and detached, like they had no real weight.

So, I'm pretty mixed on HFR. I'm sad that the Hobbit was released in its entirely in HFR, because I think this alone might be enough to sink the technology, before it takes off. If only they had been willing to cheat on the release, and step-print that offensive third of the movie back into 24 fps, then I think we'd all have a very different sense of its impact.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 09:41 PM   #7
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Re: My review of HFR & 3D in the The Hobbit

An example of what I mean by "greeblicious":
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My review of HFR & 3D in the The Hobbit-weed-torus-large.jpg  
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