Date Posted: 2012-12-17
Tolkien Fan Level: 8
Film Format Seen? Imax 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
At midnight on December 14th a group of friends and I were all but bouncing in our seats in anticipation for The Hobbit release in High Frame Rate 3D. The film starts as all do, with several trailers for upcoming movies, and as this was a 3D showing, the trailers were in 3D, but in standard 24 fps. They were hard to follow, rough on the eyes, and could already feel a headache creeping up from just these short glimpses.
But then...The Hobbit started. In Gandalf's own words, it felt as though "the gray rain curtain of this world rolls back", and Middle Earth was right there in front of us. There has been much controversy over the HFR format, but everyone I was with agreed, it was crystal clear, stunningly beautiful, and as smooth as could be on the eyes. Rather than a "popping out at you" 3D, it was a sort of "sunk in" 3D, like looking out a window at the world. To be fair, the heightened frame rate and realistic 3D made the special effects feel a little more out of place, such as in scenes with rain and the famous tossing of the plates in Bag End, but this is more than made up for in my opinion by just the sheer beauty and crystal clear picture. I (as well as all the people I saw it with) am not a fan of 3D movies in general, but Peter Jackson has done it right. I most heartily recommend seeing The Hobbit in HFR 3D if there is a theatre in your area showing this format. - Other than the format, they followed the book more closely than they did with Lord of the Rings, and kept in many of the most beloved scenes and lines from the book, such as Gandalf's "What do you mean, 'good morning'"?, singing in Bag End, "What's a Burrahobbit?", And many more. - The acting was absolutely superb, Martin Freeman shone as Bilbo, Richard Armitage was a brilliant Thorin, you could see the conflict in his eyes and the depth of the character in the way he moved. Ian McKellen of course returned as our beloved Gandalf with that magic twinkle in his eye. Every dwarf had their own distinct personality and shone in their own unique ways. Some were developed more than others, but will no doubt will be fleshed out more in the following two movies. By the end, you felt as though you knew each and every one of them. - The movie was funny without being forced, those who have loved the book for years will enjoy the more subtle hints at humor taken from the books themselves All in all, the movie was absolutely fantastic, and I will most definitely be seeing it again (In HFR or testing out another format) before it leaves the theatres, and can't wait for Desolation of Smaug.
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