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THE HOBBIT: Forty Eight Reasons to Avoid

Clarification right up front: As a movie, it was fine. No major problems. A little long, but whatever. My issues and the title of this blog post all have to do with the high-frame-rate screening of the film, which is, in my opinion, execrable.

I just came from seeing a 48fps 3D screening of THE HOBBIT in the widescreen auditorium number 7 at the La Jolla Arclight. All I can say is high frame rate digital s-u-c-k-s.

If I could have walked out of the movie, I would have, but dammit, I am too polite, and I was squeezed in in the dead-center of a very wide row of seats, and would have had to pull a Bugs Bunny "excuse me, pardon me, excuse me, pardon me" maneuver, climbing over tons of people and probably stepping on someone's foot.

Within sixty (60!) seconds of the opening of the film, I knew, I just *knew*, that I had made A Mistake of Unusual Size. So I had to sit there and endure 170 minutes.


Suddenly, all those 1970s too-brightly-lit, soundstage-shot British TV sci- fi programmes came crashing back. THE HOBBIT looked absolutely wretched in 48fps. I mean, really really bad.

In RIGHT STUFF terms, we just went right up to the edge of the envelope and got a peek at what's on the other side. And guess what: it sucks.

It's one thing to lose 24fps celluloid. And after seeing some movies in 4K digital, I was okay with losing the celluloid. But THIS . . . THIS is a whole 'nother story. It's like an insult to the history of film. And the future now looks not only very bright, but harshly bright and terribly artificial.

THE HOBBIT in 48fps is like a video game. And the 3D? Another insult, a gimmick by the fucking studio to wrench another few bucks out of the suckers in the theatre.

Wow. Just wow.

Never again.

Jim Cameron, Peter Jackson: you guys were wrong. This is NOT a good thing. Except in that it makes you realize, *real* fast, how precious and how magical 24fps is. If all movies go this way, well, time to give up movies.

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