So I couldn’t resist, and why should I, thank you very much? Yes I am a museum geek but I also love epic sagas…wait…that also means I am a geek…
3D has been around now for what it feels like ions but frankly I was getting increasingly less excited about it as time went by because I couldn’t see anything really innovative with it since seeing a skull in stereoscopic 3D (that’s 3D without the glasses to you and me) at a fair in Birmingham. That was six years ago. I have been intrigued by 3D integration with AR because I do think the two go hand in hand but then again I haven’t seen ‘real’ 3D (360 objects for example) integrated that much lately, if I am wrong by all means flag it up.
So it was with trepidation that I waited for the Hobbit to come out. I loved the LOTR trilogy so why would this be any different? I was slightly weary of the huge hype this film had however. When Fellowship of the Ring came out it was somewhat subdued in comparison, nobody really expected that much from a semi-obscure director and somewhat famous cast and of a film shot as far away from Hollywood you can get without moving to Mars. But this one, oh dear…seemed everybody had an opinion about it, 3D or HFR, or both and one million comments about beards.
The thing I have always loved about Peter Jackson (PJ as we lovingly call him) is that he is never been afraid to try new things, the hell with reputation, expectations or even, in some cases, good taste. I commend him for it, he goes for it. So here we are, the introduction of HFR in a pretty much slam-dunk of a blockbuster, just for the hell of trying something new. Will he succeed? Will this be end of his career?
Well I went to see both version 3D IMAX and 3D HFR. To have an even comparison I should have gone to see HFR IMAX but this is after all Scotland (or the sticks, in the most loving sense of the word) so that’s what I had to work with.
And the verdict is:
IMAX is bigger but not necessarily better. I had to blink about ten times to refocus my eyes and not miss bits of it. Forget the actions shots or swooping panoramics, they all went into a big scooping blur with Thorin’s (divine) face coming out of it at the end. <insert wrong answer buzzing sound here> loved the film but not the format… so much.
Then it came the HFR. At first I felt like I was in a huge HD tv demo. Then I got it. When we bought our (beloved and adored) SMART tv we felt the same way. It was just too perfect and the 3D was mind blowing on it. Once you adjust to it though, the fun really begins. Remember all those swooping camera angles and actions shots I missed the first time around? Yep all there, in brilliant details, not a smidge missing. Dwarves running, jumping, fighting and yes, crying in perfect details…and still Thorin’s (now even more divine) face at the end of it. From a tecchie point of view, you basically have two bits of data where there was one so to me that works far better.<insert whoop whoop sound here>
This has got to be the future of cinematic endeavour and I am looking forward to potential other applications of it because, who knows really?
I will only say one thing: if you are a fan of vintage, grainy, Capresque black and white film, then don’t bother. But if you are, like me open to new ideas and ‘things’, then by all means enjoy. After all, I will only see It’s a wonderful life in black and white but still enjoyed this one. Who knows what the future (or PJ) will bring.
This will probably be my last post this year, more in the new year about #Ingress, quite intrigued about it really but before I can speak of it I need to play it!
Love to all, Happy Holidays and with all the evil in the world lately I wish you all joy, happiness and PEACE from the bottom of my heart.