The Hobbit Might Look Too Lifelike

One of the things that has me most interested in this upcoming movie season is the news that The Hobbit will be made available in 48fps High Frame Rate 3D in as many as 450 different theaters across the country.

Having the option to see a particular movie in differing formats, 2D, 3D, IMAX, IMAX Digital, IMAX Digital 3D and so forth is a pretty boggling thing for the average movie goer.  But when you throw in the idea that now you will have something call “HFR” thrown in there, well, what’s a popcorn eater to do?

High Frame Rate is the process that shows a movie at twice the number of frames per second that is what you have always seen movies, no matter film or digital.  That traditional rate is 24fps, but The Hobbot director Peter Jackson, has decided to film and show the movie at 48fps (and in 3D).  The first of this was seen at a theater owners convention earlier in the year and the reaction was not good.  The intention is to bring you a movie experience that “more lifelike”, but from the reactions to those that saw it, more lifelike wasn’t something that also made for a good moviegoing experience.  The effect of HFR is a continuation of movies looking less like film and more like extremely detailed video.  Some have compared the differences to seeing a BluRay movie for the first time, but HFR also can change your perception of movement within a scene.

Knowing it will create a giant question mark over people’s heads, Warner Bros. is attempting to head people off at the pass with a HFR primer (right, click for full version), which they released earlier this week.

As mentioned above the movie will be offered in as many as six formats: HFR Imax 3-D, HFR 3-D, Imax 3-D, Imax 2-D, regular 3-D and boring old 2-D. Additionally, and for added excitement, a small number of ready screens will be using Dolby’s new 64-channel Atmos sound system.

This link will tell you if there is a theater near you that will be showing the movie in HFR-3D.  Luckily the list shows my local theater of preference will be one of those… So I will give a full report, pending my eyes don’t melt.

Advance ticket sales went on sale Wednesday.