Amph The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, Battle of the Five Armies

Discussion in 'Community' started by -Courtney-, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    I don't think he'd pledge "and my axe" five minutes later if he didn't have spares.
    Last edited by Todd the Jedi, Jan 13, 2013
  2. Lugija Force Ghost

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    It was Gloin's axe he used.
  3. solojones Chosen One

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    Serious question, did the characters in 3D look to you like they were part of the environment they were in? Especially the CG ones? That's where I definitely felt it. And again, I was surprised to see that it was more the 3D in combo with the HFR than the HFR itself. Looking at the HFR in 2D wasn't so bad. It was unnecessary and too clear, but not bad.

    See those wide panning helicopter shots just look straight up like something rendered for a game.
  4. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    For the most part, yes - especially Gollum. I did have problem with the physics-defying sequences such as the Comic Slide to Goblin Town and then the Fall of the Indestructible Wooden Platform, but those looked fake even in 2D. :p

    As for the wide panning helicopter shots - this is something that really irritates me in regular 24 fps films (both 2D and 3D), when I watch them in a cinema. I mean, it physically irritates my eyes - I have to blink several times because of the blur and flickering. This is not as pronounced when I'm watching a film on my computer screen; but it's more noticeable on TV, and it gets worse as the screen size increases (it's the worst in a cinema). So the smoothing out the HFR offers was like a balm on my eyes - for the first time I could actually enjoy the wide sweeping shots, without having to blink.

    If it's the 3D that bothers you so much, I wonder if for the other two films there might be an actual option to see the film in 2D HFR. I'd be quite interested to see that.
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  5. solojones Chosen One

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    See, I've never ever had a problem with that. Those moves look fine to me normally and looked fake now because my brain associated that smoothness with video games. Especially when there were also CG characters in those shots, as with the whole Radagast chase. And I was really pretty dizzied by a lot of those ultra-smooth movements, especially flying down the tunnel, which really just felt like Star Tours.

    I don't think they have any plans to ever do a 2D HFR release of the films. I mean, the problem is the motion would still mess with dramatic and comedic timing both. I might be interested to see one film that way just to see how it looks. But at the end of the day, it still messes with motion and our perception of motion. It's just not as insanely pronounced as it was with the 3D HFR, where every camera move/character move combination was really dizzying and distracting.
  6. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    So you associate real life with video games, too? :p

    Honestly, I think the biggest "issue" (which I don't consider to be an issue at all, hence the quote marks) is that there is a 40-plus-year history of using 24 fps as the film standard and everyone simply got used to that and considers it to be "normal" - even the negative effects of motion blur and strobing. "It's not a bug, it's a feature." Yeah, no, I still think it's a bug. So now that there is a format that improves on that, and fixes the said bug, people will call it "unnatural" and "fake", because of the 40-year-old bias towards 24 fps.

    I think it's not too unlikely that in 20, 30 or 50 years, 48 fps will become the standard in filmmaking and most people will think "OMG how could those people in the past endure the awful blurry, strobing 24 fps". :p
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  7. solojones Chosen One

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    But there's the problem - why on earth should every film look like reality? This is a fantasy film. It definitely shouldn't look like that. There may be some films you could use it for. I'm someone who believes that all sorts of formats should be available because there are all sorts of creative reasons to use different things. But this wasn't done for creative reasons. And no, 48fps also doesn't present the amount of motion blur we see in real life either. It's part of why it feels so unnatural. Around 30fps, the standard video framerate, is when things look the most natural. So both 24 and 48 are unnatural. But their effects are really different.

    As I pointed out in my long post, the appearance of 48fps actually completely changes timing and perception of performance. It's not just a technical feature. And more than anything, the degree of camera movement you can perceive in 48fps... oy. No, we've had the ability to shoot differently for a long time. The choice of 24fps isn't just a technical or traditional one. I personally think it presents the best dramatic experience.

    Whenever there's a new tech, for some reason people are always eager to jump to the argument of "people always resist new things at first but in the future we'll look back at this and laugh once the new thing is standard!" The problem is, this ignores the fact that most experimental technical things fail. Most of them turn out to not really work or be desirable. There's a long history of this in film. And I can tell you, at least from talking to the people I know in the industry, the reaction to HFR amongst the majority of people working behind the scenes in the industry is pretty negative. James Cameron will do what he wants, but I can't see many other people wanting to do that. The bottom line is that almost no one in the industry likes the look. At least, that's been my experience. So it's a bit irrelevant if some viewers like it, because I don't think it's going much further.
    Last edited by solojones, Jan 14, 2013
  8. Kiki-Gonn Chosen One

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    That's why in the EE Gloin is all, "I know you didn't just break my axe on that ring!"
  9. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

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    Mar - I don't want to sound like a ****** (I can insult myself in the TOS, right?), but coming from the world of CGness....the 48 is not going to become a big thing. It doesn't work well with CG. The hobbit barely got away with it because it's so beloved, but do you really expect people to go see michael bay movies at 48 fps?
    Last edited by NYCitygurl, Jan 15, 2013
  10. Random Comments Force Ghost

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    Do you really expect people to go see Michael Bay movies at all?
    Last edited by NYCitygurl, Jan 15, 2013
  11. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

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  12. Random Comments Force Ghost

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    Personally, I thought it looked fabulous...(the film in 48 frames, not a Michael Bay movie)
  13. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    I wouldn't know, I've only seen two Michael Bay films (Armaggedon and Pearl Harbour) and I have no intention to see more. :p
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  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Hobbit Episode 1 will fail in its bid to become the fourth $1 billion movie of 2012 and earn at least $100 million less than the deplorable Skyfall. $900 million is still good enough for a fourth place finish. Looks like Hobbit Episode 1 will finish its run with about $920 million worldwide, nominally close to the global box office of the Two Towers. Considering inflation, that's a significant decline in audience. If it had equaled the attendance of Return of the King, Episode 1 would have challenged Avengers at the box office.

    I don't know what the final box office tally of the franchise would be, but given the mediocre reception of Unexpected Journey, I would not be surprised to see a decline in box office for Episode 2, akin to the box office erosion between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. If Part 3 recovers and makes something close to $1 billion globally, that could be $2.7 billion in global box office. Probably much better than the Hunger Games. Probably considerably less than three Avengers movies.

    Considering there were nearly four billion dollar movies in 2012, The $1.5 billion of Avengers has to be seen as the new minimum benchmark for a megablockbuster. It's hard to imagine anything coming in 2013 that can hit that level. Certainly not Hobbit Episode 2.
  15. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    $900 million is mediocre? o_O

    Also, The Desolation of Smaug will have the dragon. I'm pretty positive it will get higher numbers than An Unexpected Journey.
  16. Everton Chosen One

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    Jul 18, 2003
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    I'm glad you saw it in HFR, Rachel, and glad you came to a conclusion not based on prejudice. I don't agree with you, but now you can lambast the format to your heart's content. :p

    - HFR makes 3D easier to watch and makes the picture clearer. This in no way means that it's automatically a good creative decision to use it.

    Doesn't mean it's not, either. ;)

    - I don't like 3D, I don't think it's ever added anything to any film I've seen both in 3D or 2D. So making the whole film look odd just for the sake of better 3D is really dubious to me.

    As a rule, I don't like 3D either. Prior to AUJ I'd not seen a film where it added anything to proceedings. In fact, for me it always detracted from the experience - so much so that only when I'd scuttled back to a 2D showing did the film come to life. Then I saw AUJ in HFR and much to my amazement, the majority of my concerns went up in smoke. I'm glad you agree that it helps eye strain in 3D rather than makes it worse, and that it makes the image much clearer, but I also felt that the 3D suddenly felt at home on the big screen. Because the 'traditional' problems with the format (dull image, focusing, etc...) were eliminated the technology didn't feel like it was competing with the action for my attention. The director and his technology felt as if they were in harmony. There are a few notable exceptions (Thorin's head suddenly appearing front-right in Erebor, for example) that still looked terribly 'layered' (which is something that drives me crazy) but on the whole I found there was a very satisfying and subtle depth to the picture that I'd never encountered before. In landscape shots I felt like I was truly looking into the distance (plus reduction in motion blur finally enabled me to engage with what I was seeing), and in close-ups ('Riddles', especially) I felt like I was caught in the same space as the characters. 3D wasn't actively competing with the lighting, direction, production design, and staging (as a gimmick does); it was sat comfortably alongside them as another tool. '3D' might even be an incorrect term for what I saw. Whatever it is, this is the effect I'd always hoped '3D' might one day achieve.

    Any problems with the CGI, for me at least, appeared in the 2D version too - Radagast's sleigh, and as Maria points out the "Comic Slide to Goblin Town and then the Fall of the Indestructible Wooden Platform".

    Especially not one that exists in a universe where they've already established a totally different, soft, filmic look in the LotR films.

    I can understand this concern, that of consistency, but ultimately it's something we're going to have to tolerate. These films are so visual that directors (particularly those inclined to take the projects on) are always going to want to look to the next horizon - even if it does turn out to be a mirage. Consistency for me is more about content than looks, though. I love the filmic look of the LotR films, and I love the traditional cinematic look of 'normal' films in general, but when I first saw HFR I was immediately enthralled by how much more I could see. I was delighted.

    If I could see LotR in HFR I'd leap at the chance.

    At the end of the day, it's not the goal of filmmaking to be as clear and pristine as possible. It's the goal of filmmaking to suspend your disbelief and tell a story as well as you can. The bizarre elevation of the technical over the creative in the whole discussion of HFR should really speak for itself. There is so much more to a visual approach of a film than having high resolution and clarity.

    Surely the goal of film making is to make your film as you see fit? If you want to have a soft, 'filmic' quality to things then you can, but if you want to burst off the screen you should be free to do that, too. I think it's terribly presumptive to decry a new format, suggest it definitely impairs suspension of disbelief, on one film.

    There is so much more to the visual approach of a film than having high resolution and clarity, but that does not mean having high resolution and clarity is therefore a disadvantage.

    This is a fantasy film. It definitely shouldn't look like that.

    I disagree. Workshops and studios like Weta and Weta Digital are producing such amazing work that fantasy films feel like the natural home for a bright, clear, sharp picture. I want to see all that work. I want to feel like this fantasy world is as real as the world I'm sitting in. As detailed. As lively. I want to feel that the detail Tolkien placed in his text and subtext, and that fills my mind as I read his stories, is replicated on screen. Or at the least, I think film makers and audiences should have the option. Indeed, if it's not going too far (and it may be) Tolkien's imaginings fit HFR better than perhaps any other - being as they are a stab at a real mythology of ancient England - of a real place. It's fantasy yes, but it's 'history', too. Every film shouldn't look like reality, but I'm very happy that HFR was debuted in Middle-earth.

    I can't say whether or not the format has a future. I hope it does, though, because I think there's enough in there to warrant further exploration. Particularly in how it aids 3D (which I think has a genuine future if HFR is given a chance). I'm glad that PJ took a chance on such a high profile film. A smaller scale production could so easily have been brushed under the carpet. Instead, we're having the discussion (as, I imagine, the industry is on a broader scale). That's good. You're right when you say that most experimental techniques fail, but how many of those experimental techniques have been embraced with such confidence by someone like PJ, and used on a tent pole release? I can only think of Avatar. There must therefore be a degree of confidence that HFR is more than a simple experiment; that it can break through if given the chance. To be honest, I think that the second film (and even the third) will be a far better gauge. AUJ was the first toe in the water; it gave people a proper look at HFR. 'The Desolation of Smaug' HFR needs a wider release still, and then we'll know if audiences are willing to come back to it. If they do, they maybe 'the industry' will start to examine the format in more detail and consider how it can be refined? After all, I'm not saying HFR is a complete success - I reckon any new technique will on its maiden voyage have successes and failures. Be rough around the edges.

    Still, on one showing it's hard to say for sure that the long reliance on 24fps is the reason why HFR has received a lukewarm welcome (this is my gut feeling, though), or to say that it's just another experiment that will fail. If this is to be a fair test, then more time is required. To deny HFR that time would be as bad as blindly insisting it will be a great success.
    Last edited by Everton, Jan 14, 2013
  17. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    Man, all of you are taking this movie way too seriously.
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  18. Everton Chosen One

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  19. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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  20. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Point taken.
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  21. Everton Chosen One

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    Not at all. :p Taking fiction too seriously is what we do. :D
    Last edited by Everton, Jan 14, 2013
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  22. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    That wasn't aimed at you, E. :p
  23. Everton Chosen One

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  24. solojones Chosen One

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    Well for me it's not about taking the story too seriously, it's about taking the art of filmmaking seriously. Also, this is like the third time this week I've seen people being criticized for talking seriously about creative decisions in amph threads. I don't think you guys understand what amph is for.

    Everton, I will reply to your comments later on, but I'm about to spend all day flying so I should probably pack or something :p
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  25. Everton Chosen One

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    Yes, pack! :p I always leave packing too late. :p