According to some of the fans lucky enough to catch an early screening, the 3D version of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (coupled with the director’s usage of marvellously modern high speed cameras) made them feel dizzy and disoriented. We’ll be able to catch the film in the format of our choice, whether that be cheap and cheerful 2D, the more deeply textured 3D, and/or the no-holds-barred Grand-daddy of them all, IMAX. But, with a veritable Boxing Day buffet of choice on our hands, we’re starting to feel a little overwhelmed. And what in the hell is 48 frames per second really going to be like, anyway?
With the release of The Hobbit bearing down on us faster and faster (D-Day is December 13th, folks), we’re sure that we’re not the only ones who are starting to panic just a little bit. Here at the Farm, we’re all champing at the bit to get our tickets booked (some of us have had to be locked in a darkened shed until we calm down) but all of these choices are causing us to dither like a dog in a lamp post factory.
We could plump for 2D – it’s nice and simple, it’s what we know and love, and we’d still get to see what all this 48 frames per second fuss is about. Then again, we could go for 3D. Love it or hate it, it seems to be sticking around for the foreseeable future, and it would certainly pep up all those ‘flying over the snow capped peaks of Middle Earth’ shots a treat. But, as we have heard, if you suffer from the lamentable condition known as ‘Moviegoer’s Migraine’, you almost certainly won’t get through Peter Jackson’s hi-def Hobbit in three dimensions without at least one of your eyeballs popping out in protest. Some things man is not meant to see (or at least, not with such incredible picture quality).
What ‘48 frames per second’ essentially means is that The Hobbit has been filmed using shiny superfast cameras capable of capturing 48 frames per second instead of the bog standard 24. According to Jamie Lendino at pcmag.com, “…the result either looks more lifelike than ever before, or it seems oddly cold, and too much like digital footage from live sports channels or daytime television.”
Or (in the case of some viewers anyway) when shaken with 3D and served over ice, 48 frames per second becomes the cinematic equivalent of hearing the voice of God; like Ben Affleck in Dogma, our heads will explode at the sheer glorious magnitude of what we are witnessing. Throw IMAX into the mix and suddenly the crackpot idea that the world is going to end this month doesn’t seem quite so crackpot.
We’re seriously considering going the whole hog – 48 frames per second, in 3D, and IMAX. At least we’d die happy, right?