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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Late to the party.


May 14 2013, 7:53pm

Post #1 of 15 (920 views)
Late to the party. Can't Post

I got round to watching the 2D version of The Hobbit - on the last official day of UK release, having seen the 3D 48fps version earlier. From what had been a confused jumble of disjointed imagery - half live play, half fairground ride - watching the 2d 24fps version was a revelation. I was seeing the book on the screen for the first time.

There was an interesting theory somewhere on the internet that, at 24fps, your brain can just get the fact that it's a series of still images - like a flip-book, and that this makes the brain focus on the narrative - you're literally seeing a story book come to life. With 48fps, you lose this focus on narrative, and you're back to looking at mundane reality. But you know that what you're seeing isn't actually real - so it jolts you out of involvement in the story. Anyway, I think that's what happened to me when I watched the HFR version. Which is why I prefer the storybook style of 24fps. Does anyone else have a similar take on this?

Tol Eressea

May 14 2013, 8:16pm

Post #2 of 15 (443 views)
For me, the 3D was the major problem... [In reply to] Can't Post

I totally agree with you that I found the 2D 24fps version far preferable to either 3D 24fps or 3D HFR. I personally find cinematic 3D too distracting - my eyes don't see 3D in such an exaggerated way in real-life, the depth of field, etc., is far more subtle. I don't hate 3D per se, apart from the encumbrance of having to wear the glasses - I loved the animated film "Legend of the Guardians" that came out a couple of years ago, which was absolutely stunning in 3D, but for TH, it was a major factor in taking away the realism that we had come to expect in LotR, although it helped give AUJ the fairy-tale feel PJ was going for.

As for HFR, I think I need to see 48fps in 2D in order to be able to make a conclusive judgement, but I definitely found it to be a bit too much like being on stage with the actors, when I'd rather be on the outside looking in, if you get what I mean!

"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
¯ Victoria Monfort


May 14 2013, 8:27pm

Post #3 of 15 (442 views)
The problem I had with the HFR was ... [In reply to] Can't Post

The 48fps fell apart as soon as there was a lot of CGI. Take the prologue for instance, yes, there was no blur, but my god, Smaug's fire was awful. CGI isn't up to the scrutiny of HFR. The HFR excelled in landscape scenes, and scenes that were indoors, with little action (Bag End, Rivendell etc), and little CGI.

I believe CGI lets HFR down. A film with little to no CGI would be phenomenal in HFR.

This was further confirmed when I watched the blu-ray film on a smart TV for the first time - it was phenomenal - there is very little blur at all, and yet it's in 24fps. There are no gimmicky effects.

I'm glad that some people did like it though. It's just not for me. Instead of going to a HFR showing first, I'll see the next two films in 24fps first.

Tol Eressea

May 14 2013, 10:15pm

Post #4 of 15 (360 views)
I found [In reply to] Can't Post

i was watching a camcorder video or a HD news broadcast version of Middle Earth. Plus youre all over the place, theres no focus, everything is seen and it seriously detracts from the story.

And the price...

Not again for me. Next two film, always 2D and cinema style, not TV style.

Vous commencez à m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


May 14 2013, 10:21pm

Post #5 of 15 (366 views)
I loved the 3D 48 HFR the most [In reply to] Can't Post

For me, the ability to get up close to the action, so to speak, is my preferred choice, and I found that scenes were sharper and therefore clearer in the HFR than in 2D, although I also liked the 2D.

I saw the film twice in ordinary 3D. The first time it was horrible – very dark and blurred, but the second time, at a central London cinema, it was OK.

Old Toby
Grey Havens

May 14 2013, 10:29pm

Post #6 of 15 (359 views)
Sorry, but I preferred the 3D 48fps hands down [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw it several times in regular 2D, but it was flat and colorless by comparison, not to mention the blurring. I got totally drawn into the movie in the HFR 3D version, no problem.( I wonder if the varying reactions have something to do with the venue and the quality of the hardware it's being shown by.) I didn't bother going to see it in regular 3D. Didn't see the point.

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


May 14 2013, 11:32pm

Post #7 of 15 (348 views)
Needed the DVD, actually [In reply to] Can't Post

before I was convinced. I did see this at the theater in regular 3D...twice. Don't have a local 48fps screen but in retrospect wish I had made the effort to travel to one and will do for DoS. However, this is a film that has so much in it (regardless of format), that my (middle aged) eyes/brain really couldn't take it all in at the 3D showings. I admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed and maybe on the "meh" side both times. (Not usual for me.) My appreciation of the story and the performances didn't kick in until the DVD (BluRay.) Lesson learned: choose my theater carefully...and go more than once. Smile ILM buddy told me (btw) that studios like 3D because it's so hard to tape a pirate copy from a handheld in the theater. Not sure about that, but he seemed to believe it rather firmly. I should say former ILM buddy...his crew all got pink slipped same day that the SW franchise changed hands.


May 15 2013, 3:09am

Post #8 of 15 (298 views)
Loved the HFR 3D! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think people's brains are wired differently, judging from how people have totally different experiences concerning 2D, 3D and HFR.

I personally loved the HFR and thought it looked amazing. I believed I was there in Middle Earth, and I felt the pacing and editing was made with this format in mind. Normal 3D, on the other hand, felt rushed, confusing and dizzying. 2D is standard great, but the pacing seems a bit strange.

Superuser / Moderator

May 15 2013, 3:50am

Post #9 of 15 (314 views)
It took me three tries [In reply to] Can't Post

but 3D HFR finally won me over. (The second time was with 2D, and when I followed that with another 3D HFR viewing I realised how much I had missed in the 2D screening.)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


May 15 2013, 7:13am

Post #10 of 15 (283 views)
Telling a tale. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm interested in the science behind this - and this theory that perceiving a series of still images (24fps) is what allows some (most?) people to create the story for themselves. After all, I don't see my 40-60fps normal life as a narrative, more an experience. Which is how I perceived the HFR version of The Hobbit. Likewise the two people I saw it with.

I think the lack of day-to-day realism enhances the story for many: for me, the most realistic version of the story is the book - just lines on paper.


May 15 2013, 8:28am

Post #11 of 15 (261 views)
Very interesting point! [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that HFR 3D felt more like 'an experience' rather than 'a picture book'.

I think AUJ was edited in HFR, which is why when reduced to 2D some 'experience' scenes felt a bit dragged out and pointless, like the Stone Giants, and the majority of Goblin Town. When I finally saw the scenes in HFR 3D, these scenes were breathtaking -- not to mention that I could finally see what was happening.

At the same time, I felt that some shots with more traditional cinematography techniques did not work very well in HFR, such as close-up shots of something in the foreground where the background is intentionally blurry. In 2D this is beautiful, but in HFR 3D, your brain can't help but wonder why the background is blurry.

I don't think HFR is suitable for every movie and every kind of story-telling. Even in AUJ maybe it's not done *perfectly* yet, as this is still very new. That said, I'm still looking forward to seeing the other 2 movies in HFR. :)


May 16 2013, 6:59pm

Post #12 of 15 (157 views)
I'm on the fence... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I watched it on opening night in 3D HFR at my nearest IMAX and I must say the experience was great because everyone was laughing and buzzing with excitement and it felt like the whole cinema was going on an adventure. However, now I have watched it in 2D in cinemas and on blu-ray I have picked up more and I can't help but feel 3D distracts me, just my opinion. Tongue

I simply walked into Mordor.


May 16 2013, 7:03pm

Post #13 of 15 (150 views)
Only One MovieHouse Offered all 3? [In reply to] Can't Post

HFR, 3D and Dolby Atmos sound.
That was the best of the over
10 times Bomby saw it.

Kangi Ska

May 16 2013, 9:10pm

Post #14 of 15 (152 views)
Well [In reply to] Can't Post

get off the fence and while you are at it get out of my yard.Evil

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.


May 16 2013, 9:36pm

Post #15 of 15 (159 views)
many viewings.... [In reply to] Can't Post

i was initially hesitant to see it in hfr, because of all the negative press.

december (2x): i saw it first in 3d, at a high-end theater. it seemed really dark, the action was hard to follow, and there was a lot of confusing blur. thought the film had some definite pacing problems. saw it once more in 3d, at that theater.

then, there was a gap (january), and i started to seek it out in earnest in...

february/march (15x-16x): saw it in 2d and 3d at theaters farther afield (had to drive farther to see it). the 2d was in a supposedly good theater, but it was very, horribly dark, and seemed out of focus. i reported it to staff, who said that "it's digital," so there shouldn't be any problems. (huh.) 3d was about the same as previous viewings.

then, i had to drive even farther to see it, as it was disappearing from theaters. i drove 40 minutes to see it in a mega-multiplex, that always is showing something imax/3d.

at the multi-mega-plex, saw it in +spectacular+ 2d. the screen was +huge+, the sound system wonderful, and it was better than 3d. just superb.

during this time, i also saw it in imax (1x) (intense, impressive, but gave me a headache) and the very last showing of hfr in a four-state radius (1x). the hfr was +astounding+. i loved it. wished i could have seen it more times that way.

all of the variations had their own characteristics. i thought the best were the hfr and the 2d in the +spectacular+ theater with the huge screen. i think the huge screen and sound system made a critical difference.

interestingly, the more i saw it, the less i noticed/was bothered by what i didn't care for in the initial two viewings. the pacing seemed fine after a while. things that initially took me out of the film (radagast, cgi) i just blipped over.

i +can't wait+ to see desolation in hfr.

cheers --


aka. fili orc-enshield
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


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