December 27, 2012

The Hobbit - a Blinkered Journey

Sadly, my local Picturehouse's 2D screenings of the first of The Hobbit trilogy were few and far between, resulting in me having to yet again don the shades for the "more immersive" 3D experience.
Is it me or does watching a film through those glasses make the experience feel more blinkered than expansive?
I noticed this feeling of my vision being restricted quite markedly when seeing Thor last year and put it down to the awful retro-fitting of 3D effects on that film, but I felt it again this year, notably with The Hobbit and also with Avengers Assemble and Prometheus. I wear black rimmed glasses anyway, so you wouldn't expect the glasses themselves to be the problem, but with the 3D specs on I'm feeling like I'm seeing less movie. It's like watching a 4:3 ratio movie on a large widescreen TV - it feels like you're missing action, that the picture is being constricted and constrained. Certainly, once I saw Thor and Avengers in 2D on my TV in HD (the latter on Blu Ray) it felt a far more natural, immersive experience.
So, most definitely still not a 3D fan. Mercifully, two of the year's better (and more financially successful) blockbusters were spared the third dimension - Skyfall and Dark Knight Rises were shot in 2D and were all the better for it. (And don't get me started on Jackson's use of 48fps - just because you can do something clever doesn't mean you should.)

A happy new year to all of this blog's visitors. Hopefully VM will add some decent HD channels next year and there will be plenty to read about here. Toodle pip!


metallicorphan said...

Ahh i couldn't possibly comment about The Hobbits 3D/48fps

I saw LOTR trilogy in the cinemas back when they were released,and loved them to pieces and then i heard all the commotion about this 48fps,so i said to myself i only need to see The Hobbit in the same way i saw LOTR

So i saw it at my local AMC(Manchester..had to look it up if they had 48fps yet,and they hadn't)...and saw it at 24fps and in 2D and absolutely loved the film

I do plan on seeing it again in 3D and at 48fps which will then decide for me which how to see the sequels next year and the year after,but right now i am all for seeing them in 2D and 24fps

Nick Smale said...

Why I still have my doubts about 3D, I must admit that I found the high frame rate to be a triumph, making the film's motion seem very much clearer and more fluid.

Cinema has operated at 24 frames per second, not because that was the 'best' rate, but because that was the limit of what was technically possible when the 35mm standard was defined in the 1920s. Today, ninety years later, modern digital projection technology means can do better. Let's not let conservatism and false nostalgia hold us back.

Phil Baxter said...

How awful 3D is depends on the method that's being used. If you're watching true IMAX, then you get massive glasses for the massive screen, and the effect is less unpleasant than usual. Other screens though (Dolby 3D is particularly awful) give you glasses so tiny it's like watching a film through someone's letter box. It's *all* ultimately something which drags you out of the film and reminds you that you're watching something artificial. It's simply nothing like real 3D, just a cheap trick which our eyes really don't like.

As for HFR, I've yet to see The Hobbit, but I'm very in favour of it. 24fps only existed because film was so expensive. It's an extremely low frame rate which means lots of judder and motion blur. 48fps should have a massive improvement.

Dan Lucyszyn-Hinton said...

I saw the Hobbit in 2d and was impressed overall. The only thing that stood out was the dwarf makeup which I presume was geared toward mitigating some of the clarity provided by 48fps.

I have yet to watch any film in stereo as it gives me a wretched, pounding headache after 5 minutes. I suspect that a significant proportion of the population are similarly affected.

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