Good-evening all ,
I believe you can tell the quality of a movie by the amount of times members of the audience get up to go to the toilet. So The Hobbit was interesting. As a person who sat through an entire Lord of the Rings marathon (Trilogy, not just one movie) without going to the toilet, I was very excited to see this.
A brief summary for those ‘not from around here’ , the Hobbit details Bilbo Baggins’ adventures which eventually lead him to the ring. ( I did say brief ).
Many of the usual suspects are present, with some new faces too. Martin Freeman plays Bilbo very well and in keeping to the ‘older’ Bilbo that we’ve come to know from the first three movies. Ian McKellen is great as Gandalf, as always no complaints there. But it wasn’t the cast that troubled me. Something just seemed …off .
Within the first ten minutes it all became very clear. And by that I don’t mean that I suddenly realised what was missing. What I mean is literally, it was clear. The movie was too clear.
I took off my 3D glasses. I wiped the lens. I put them back on. It was no use; I was watching a documentary. David Attenborough may as well have narrated the entire thing. One by one, people started going to the toilet.
I later found this abomination to movie making is called High Frame Rate (HFR), which means your camera is shooting at 48 fps (frames per second), instead of your usual 24fps. What results is a clearer image, better 3D viewing, and action sequences which don’t blur as much as they do when they are shot using a ‘normal’ camera. And I have to say, all of this is true. After viewing a 3D movie I do feel my eyes have been put under more strain than normal, but this was different.
The epic battle scenes were a lot easier to follow and the HFR really paid off when the camera panned out to take in the scenery.
But I couldn’t take my mind off the daytime-TV feel of the whole thing and sadly, it detracted from focusing on the movie itself.
If you can give the HFR a chance though, it’s enjoyable. Peter Jackson stuck with the Weta Workshop with costume design, props and graphic design, who are just genius at doing what they do. Guillermo Del Toro was used for screenwriting and you can really see this coming through if you’ve watched other movies he’s been involved in (Hellboy , The Incredible Hulk and Pans Labyrinth to name a few).
The movie as a whole has a very light hearted feel to it, appropriate as The Hobbit was originally written as a children’s book, but also references the ring as the lurking evil and sign of things to come.
Do watch it. I want to know what you think of the possible new future of film making! (…or is this not new? Am I late to the party? )