The Hobbit in High Frame Rate 3D

Over the holidays I had a chance to go see the Hobbit in High Frame Rate 3D (HFR 3D). Rather than being shot at the traditional 24 frames per second, it was shot at 48, but was only shown at 48 in a few select theatres (in my case, the nearest being 300 km away). Rather than try to explain more to you about it, just watch this instead:

Prior to watching it, I had heard a great number of complaints/mixed reception about the HFR 3D. I can honestly say the following:

The high frame rate 3D was fine. There was nothing wrong with it, and it worked very well for the action scenes. Peter Jackson (and other directors), if you are listening, please continue to release action films using HFR 3D!

I really don’t get what all the complains were about. Yes, it looks different, but it definitely gives the film a much smoother feel. I also didn’t notice any strobing or flickering in any of the shots, unlike other 3D films I’ve seen. (Hugo comes to mind immediately – in the opening shot I noticed considerable strobing as the camera zooms in between two parked trains). I think it works great for the action scenes, as everything was nice and smooth.

I’ve also heard some opinions from people who didn’t like the film for various reasons. I think they fall into one of the following categories:

  1. People who haven’t read the book recently.
  2. People who last remember the end of the Return of the King, and forgot everything that had to happen to get to that point.
  3. People who are expecting another Lord of the Rings. It’s a different story set in the same universe.

If you fall into either of those two categories, go read the book! The movie really was quite close to the book (even some of the dialog was almost spot on!). Sure, there were a few creative angles taken on things, but I can agree that the changes do make the story flow a bit better and give a more definite enemy, which again, helps the story.

In short: don’t be afraid to watch the Hobbit in HFR 3D!

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