Someone watched the movie for the first time in this handicapped format and, after hearing what a fantastic movie it was from everyone in the world, wondered 'hun? why the love for *that*?'
We oldtimers were blown away by the quantum leaps in special effects of first "2001" and then the first "Star Wars" (which was the original title of what's now called Ep. 4, A New Hope, kiddies) when we saw them on the big screen, but it's impossible to explain how different - and astonishing - those movies were at the time to people who grew up watching them on VHS or DVD.
My mom says the same thing about "The Wizard of Oz" and seeing a movie in color.
I watched it on a relatively big screen and sat a couple seats to the side of the center of th screen, pretty close and down, but not so far down i had to crane my neck.
There were one or two places in The Hobbit where things felt flat - the first scene of Rivendell, for example, but mostly it was fantastic. What impressed me the most was the subtlety of it - characters in a 30 ft x 30 ft space all appeared to be in different places depth wise with nothing awkward about it. I didnt feel I was watching things pasted on, but something really in front of me.
And letting my eyes roam to the sides is where I felt The Hobbit did better than Avatar. In The Hobbit, I could look around the screen and things would still be in focus. In Avatar, often, things would be blurry other than looking toward the center. This is just my own experience, though, and I've only see The Hobbit once and Avatar 3 times in theaters.
The Hobbit forum has gotten so crowded that it's impossible to follow unless you are visiting it very often. I will come back a day or two later and all the threads will be different. I'm interested in news and people's opinions on the movie, but it's just too active to properly follow. Instead, I've been tracking the other forums more because it's easier to do so.
Based on results so far, my hypothesis is not supported.
[In reply to]
It looks like about half the people who saw the movie in 48 fps first love it and half have mixed feelings. The same is true for those who did not see it in 48 fps first. So the format first seen appears to have no affect on people's feelings about 48 fps, at least as can be understood by the results so far. Distinguishing between 2D first and 3D/24 first is impossible right now due to sample size.
I saw the movie on the premiere in 3D 48 and it was terrible. It didn't ruin the movie for me, but it was distractingly terrible and it obviously took up much of the attentions from reviewers instead of the actual movie.
Then I went to see it in regular 2D and that was much more like it.
A good movie don't need 3D and that fancy stuff to pull you into the story. The Hobbit doesn't need this.
Unless it's something I really, really want to see eg: The Hobbit or Life of Pi. I love my big screen HD telly, but for me nothing can ever equal the excitement of the lights going down in a movie theatre, and the big screen experience. And I quite like that grainy, old-school look.
and secretly wanted it to be horrible, because I just figured it was another egregious attempt at a money grab by the big studios ( which it is obviously...) but now that i've seen it, i'm hooked. I also went to 2 of my 3 48fps viewings at the 10:00 am showing, and it was only $12 ! That's 50 cents less than the standard version, so if you plan ahead, it doesn't cost much more either.
I thought the 24fps looked muddy and drab compared to IMAX 48fps 3D.
Another question I have regarding the entire 48fps debate, is how it affects folks who wear glasses. Thankfully, I have superior eagle eye vision, but having to wear 3D glasses over everyday glasses must cause issues with the experience and comfort levels during a 3 hour film....no ?
I wear glasses at all time and have no problems at all with wearing the 3D glasses over them. I believe some poeple who wear glasses have trouble with this or find it uncomfortable, but I just heard form my Dad, for whom The Hobbit was his first ever 3D movie, that he had no trouble with it either. (He did have big problems with the changes to the book, however...)
I watched it three times in 3D 24FPS and loved it more each time. The theater was old, uncomfortable seats, smudge on the screen, lousy sound (it'll be demolished this year so they don't really bother anymore), and I was absolutely immersed in the film. 4th time I went to a different cinema with excellent seating, sound, huge screen, and 48fps, and I went in open-minded. The moment OldBilbo came on screen I thought to myself "Oh my God I hate it." The whole film I spent analizing this technology, and how it made me feel, and there was no room left for me to emphasize with what was happening on screen. I don't know if this was because I had already seen it three times and didn't need to pay attention to every sentence anymore, but I repeatedly caught myself thinking about the image, and not the story, and that bothered me. To be honest I cannot say whether I like it or not (so mixed was a good choice for me). I admit it is impressive. But for long stretches of the movie I had the impression I was watching a "making of" of the movie, rather than the movie itself. Especially the cliff close ups of the stone giant scene, and the Riddles scene. I wasn't "there in Middle Earth", but I was "there in Wellington", and I don't think that should be the result at all. Yesterday I watched Life of Pi, and I really would have liked to have seen that in 48fps in comparison. As for the Hobbit, I will try to avoid 48fps at all cost for the next two installments.
I saw the movie for the first time in 2D (I was going with someone who cannot see 3D anyway). The second time I saw it in regular 3D - I took my sons, who enjoy 3D but not long car rides, and HFR is not available at our local cinemas. The third time, I saw it in HFR 3D in a large multiplex closer to the city. I did not find the HFR at all distracting; my main impression of it was that the 3D seemed better. Objects in the foreground stood out even more, things "seemed" deeper, and most importantly, after 3 hours of watching 3D, I did not have any eyestrain or discomfort, something I occasionally experience in 3D movies.
I did feel I caught more detail in the Goblin Town escape sequence too, but I suspect this could be an artifact of it being my third viewing, rather than a special benefit of the HFR. Since I already knew the general outline of what was going to happen, I was more able to drink in the details of the spectacle, rather than worrying about how our heroes would get themselves out of this mess.
...and although I didn't hate HFR, I certainly didn't love it. I appreciated actually getting to see more of the details of the action sequences, particularly the escape from Goblintown. But I kept adjusting the format, and then being pulled out of the story by something that looked fake, or when the lighting seemed strange. It felt like I was constantly critiquing the format instead of getting sucked into the story.
When I first took this poll, I had mixed feelings about 48 fps after seeing the movie once in that format. Now I would say that I love the movie in 48fps and I have now seen the movie in 3D/48, then 2D/24, then 3D/48 again. The movie didn't look fake anymore in 48 fps. After 5 minutes, I had adjusted to 48 pretty well and no longer saw any speed-up or other such illusions. After about half an hour, it no longer even looked weird to me.
Honestly, I felt the 48 fps allowed me to see the acting performances better. That's what I liked the most. I really love Armitage's Thorin in 48 fps, while I think I miss some of the subtleties of his performance in 24 fps. I also like the action scenes since the blur is gone, but the dramatic scenes and facial expressions seem the most improved.
I caught the midnight showing at the local theater and came out going; "that didn'[t look any different..."
Because it was plain old 3D.
Saw it in 2D 3D and finally HFR. I LOVED the HFR (yes it looks slightly off at first) because I can now see whattheheck's going on in those action scenes.
At one point i watched theHFR version followed immediately by a 3D Imax. The Imax appeared to have greater depth to the 3D but the action, even in the slow-moving bucolic Bag End scenes, was so blurry by comparison I couldn't stand it. Also, the theater felt the need to have the Imax at rock concert sound levels (where thebleep are my eaqrplugs?!?!).
and would have loved to see one of my viewings of AUJ in that format, but it just didn't work out this time. I had wanted to see it for the first time in 2D 24fps anyway, so i guess i was a little cautious about it, but i'd been interested in HFR since the late 80s when i first heard Roger Ebert extoll it's virtues. So i will definitely see DoS in 48fps, but again probably not the first time.