Will faster frame rate in 'The Hobbit' successfully buck 85 years of tradition?
Likewise, Mike Ryan of the Huffington Post says, “Most of the scenes that take place outdoors look fantastic, but indoors it was difficult to stop being conscious of the fact that we were staring at a movie set.”
In fact, in one scene, Ryan adds, the image was so crisp that he couldn’t help getting distracted by Gandalf’s contact lenses.
Other critics have been more positive. “After a minute or two of adjusting,” writes Ethan Sacks of the New York Daily News, “the higher resolution is eye-popping, similar to discovering HD television for the first time.”
And Wired’s Hugh Hart says, “Middle-earth in 3-D looks so crisp it’s like stepping into the foreground of an insanely gorgeous diorama.”
As with any new technology, some backlash is natural.
Speaking with the Telegraph, Jackson said, “I remember when CDs came in and there was a nostalgic feeling that the sound of a needle on vinyl was what music should sound like — suddenly you've got this pristine clarity and a lot of people were naysaying it."
Whether or not 48 frames per second — or even 60, as some filmmakers have suggested — becomes the new standard will depend on how audiences react.
Other filmmakers, though, have already expressed interest in the new format — among them, James Cameron, whose 2010 film “Avatar” was met with similar criticism for its pioneering use of 3-D technology.
Speaking to the West Australian at the New Zealand premiere of "The Hobbit," Cameron said, "We charged out ahead on 3-D with ‘Avatar,’ now Peter’s doing it with ‘The Hobbit.’ It takes that kind of bold move to make change."
He also added that, "If there is acceptance of 48, then that will pave the way for 'Avatar' to take advantage of it.”
However, not everyone will have the chance to see “The Hobbit” in the higher frame rate.
Only around 450 theaters nationwide will offer the option of 48 frames per second, including six in Utah.
For a list of all the theaters showing the new format, moviegoers can visit 48fpsmovies.com.
A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.
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