Wednesday, December 19, 2012

48 Frames Per Second - HFR revisited directed me to this blog by Pulitzer-prize-winning still photographer Vincent Laforet. He saw The Hobbit three times. Once in HFR 3D, once in normal 3D, and once in 2D. His thoughts on the different projections types and the effect they have are fascinating and well worth the read. I had a chance to catch The Hobbit in 2D on Monday, and it is a better movie in that format. Many of my original complaints seemed less significant. The opening was easier to follow and the story was more immersive, even though it was the second time I'd seen the movie, while Azog's CGI was less noticeable. Official recommendation: See The Hobbit at 24fps. 2D or 3D is up to you. Afterwords, if you're still interested, check out the HFR, but don't see that version first. Regardless of what Peter Jackson and James Cameron think, this isn't going to be the future of cinema any time soon.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Long Expected Hobbit

Martin Freeman is a perfect Bilbo Baggins
It has finally come. The long-awaited prequel to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy has made it through years of development and hit theaters in a brand new 48 frames-per-second 3D format. The original films rank among my favorite of all time, and I grew up with an audiobook of The Hobbit, so this is a story and world I'm familiar with. I'm not alone in this, so the film is landing with tremendous expectations. Added to that, this time around Jackson and company have decided to split a short novel into three long films. After the jump, I'll take a look at how this has worked our.

Richard Armitage is Thorin Okanshield
First, I should take a minute to talk about the high frame rate (HFR). HFR is weird. It's as jarring as the introduction of 3D, and in a film like The Hobbit, it's hard to say either technology adds anything. I will say HFR compliments 3D. Action in 3D tends to be jerky, and HFR smooths that out. Unfortunately, it speeds everything else up, so action looks great and people look weird until you get used to it. Of the people I saw the film with, one didn't even notice the difference, and most of the others said they got used to HFR after 15 or so minutes. I took over an hour before I was completely adjusted. I get the feeling that after seeing a few HFR movies, it's not going to be an issue, but I don't think The Hobbit was the best place to introduce the format. The film itself has a few issues and doesn't need the complaints HFR is going to generate. I mean, here I want to write a review of the movie and get sidetracked by the frame rate.

Now, on to the actual movie. Below there be spoilers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'Man of Steel' trailer shows off moody Superman

Here's a full-length trailer for Zach Synder's take on Superman. Snyder is responsible for the visually spectacular Sucker Punch, as well as the comic-based 300 and Watchmen. I actually liked Sucker Punch, though it certainly had problems. However, this time around, DC has Christopher (Dark Knight) Nolan producing, and it's definitely given the movie a dark and brooding feel. I'm just not sure that's a good thing. There's not enough Amy Adams here, that's for sure. Of course, it's too early to tell what any of this means, but it's unfortunate this trailer doesn't have the same "F*** Yeah," quality seen in last week's Star Trek Into Darkness trailer. Also, there's a shot-by-shot breakdown over on io9.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


The first teaser for Star Trek Into Darkness is here. I've written before about my love of the previous film from JJ Abrams so I'm looking forward to this one. Not to mention the fact that it has added one of the best actors with the absolute best name in show business: Benedict Cumberbatch. I really hope there's a blu-ray special feature at some point of Chris Pine shouting "CUMBERBATCH!!!" with his best Shatner impression. That's all I need from this film. Also, there's a Japanese version of this teaser with an extra fifteen (count 'um, FIFTEEN) seconds of footage. Check it out.