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. solojones Chosen One

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    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I will say to Jabba, though, that he's also left off that Skyfall didn't have 3D ticket price inflation like AUJ did for its box office total. Nor did LotR. So when you take those into account, the actual number of tickets sold to AUJ is indeed fairly lower than the very top tier of blockbusters. And I think part of that's due to the really mixed reviews. Which I think are largely mixed because the press was all forced to watch the HFR version before ever seeing the film another way, and I genuinely think most people would probably find that makes it hard to concentrate on the film itself. I get annoyed at the low reviews I see for the film because I think it's a better film than that.

    But okay, packing.
    Last edited by solojones, Jan 14, 2013
  2. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    Using motion capture for Smaug makes sense since Benedict vaguely looks like a dragon in real life.
  3. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    I for one love your serious art of filmmaking posts, Rachel. I may not always agree with you, but I certainly love reading what you say on the subject. :)
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  4. Everton Chosen One

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    Jul 18, 2003
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    I agree that if you want to get your film reviewed for it's content then forcing critics to view it in HFR is a bit of a false economy. A brand new format is always going to unfairly dominate assessment. I didn't know it was mandatory.
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Fair point about Skyfall and 3D ticket premiums, but I don't think the reviews were mixed because of HFR. The content critiques are so consistent across the reviews for a reason: because they're valid criticisms of the movie that have nothing to do with HFR. If your argument is that HFR makes critics less forgiving of obvious substantive flaws, then I wouldn't know what would constitute good evidence for that.

    In my view, HFR needs to be incorporated into 3D if 3D movies are to become a valid cinematic medium. The problem may be that the frame rate isn't high enough yet. I don't know if that's true, but maybe the medium needs some technological improvements. I think it's wrong to suggest that because 3D doesn't work well at 24fps, then no movies should be made in 3D. 3D is still awaiting a decent format, and has been for more than a century. HFR brings it a step closer to a valid artistic medium.

    In my view, if a movie like the Hobbit has valid artistic reasons to be shot and projected in HFR 3D, then it should only be shown in that format. Since that's not commercially viable, and big budget movies must be shown in standard 2D and 3D formats, then I think solojones is probably right. Speaking as someone who enjoyed the HFR 3D presentation, I still believe that It is an artistic failing, basically cheating the audience, to make a movie in this format if the majority of people will never see it in that format.

    If anything, I think the fact that most people are unable to see Hobbit in HFR hurt the movie commercially. The 2D 24 fps version just wasn't as good. The story and pacing and inexplicable adaptive choices are just as problematic in 2D 24 fps, but the format lacks any of the compensating magic of seeing it in its visually exciting intended format.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 14, 2013
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  6. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I liked the HFR.

    I finished the book. It was a breathe of fresh air, I have not read anything like it in some time. It is basically a kids book and is a detailed summary of events. A trilogy? 9 hours of film? Easy. The battle of 5 armies was 2 pages of a 330 page book. In the film it'll be at least a 30 minute climax.
  7. laurethiel1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2003
    star 4
    @solojones
    By all means, when you pack your suitcase, do not forget your pocket handkerchief, like a certain Hobbit of our acquaintance... Such an omission is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

    Cheers,
    Lauré :)
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  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Mar 19, 1999
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    If some people are right about how the remaining story will be parceled out among the last two movies, then the battle of the five armies will have to go 1 1/2 hours.
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  9. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Jun 2, 2007
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    Well, that's pretty much how long the Battle of Pelennor Fields lasted, so why not?
  10. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
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    Folks complained that the film was too slow paced. I say the book was too fast paced despite my acknowledement that it is a summary sort of storytelling. The book reads like ,"Ho hum here out of nowehere is Bard dead Smaug."
  11. Bacon164 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
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    Even in the Extended Edition, the Battle of Pelennor Fields lasted for less than twenty minutes long, even including Gandalf's soliloquy about death. If you're talking about the sixty minute action sequence surrounding it, that is all intercut with material derived from the chapters Shelob's Lair, The Choices of Master Samwise, The Passing of the Grey Company, The Ride of the Rohirrim, The Siege of Gondor, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and The Pyre of Denethor. A hypothetical hour and a half action sequence adapted from a two page scene isn't remotely isn't a favorable comparison with a sixty minute action sequence juggling seven chapters of information.
    Last edited by Bacon164, Jan 14, 2013
  12. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Plus some people have a vendetta against certain formats or genres. I saw a critic put Lion King 3D as one of their Worst Films of the Year simply because it was 3D as if that suddenly made the content of the film terrible. One may not like 3D, but a great movie converted into 3D is still great just perhaps presented in a way you may not like.

    And despite what HFR improves for a movie, I think the added cost of production in that format without any additional ticket price above that of a regular 3D movie may well lead to it being abandoned by many directors unless they do what Cameron did with Avatar and increase the price for their own movie above the standard rates (thus increasing box office revenue and giving the false impression that the movie was the most popular ever).
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Jan 14, 2013
  13. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
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    They were? I guess that explains why they all seemed to have seen it in that format. But how could they be forced?
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Jan 14, 2013
  14. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    oops
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Jan 14, 2013
  15. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    Dec 26, 2000
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    That got me thinking - wouldn't the total number of tickets sold be a better parameter to compare the success of films, rather than the total sales? I mean, you wouldn't need to adjust for inflation or higher price of 3D tickets... (or much lower ticket price in certain countries...) Are there any statistics that compare the films based on how many times they were seen, instead of how much they earned?
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  16. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    I think adjusting for inflation does that to an extent because it looks at how many tickets were sold for a movie and then adjusts the price of those tickets to match current figures thus altering the overall figure.

    Gone with the Wind regularly tops the list of top grossing movies when adjusted for inflation because it sold a lot more tickets than many films over later years.

    Here is a useful list (and another reason Star Wars still rules)
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Jan 14, 2013
  17. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

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    Apr 5, 2000
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    You also have to remember though that films used to be out in theaters for a MUCH longer time. Back then theaters usually only had like 1 or 2 movies that they would show; my dad likes to remind me that Star Wars was in theaters for almost a year.

    And yes, going by actual tickets sold would be a much fairer way of judging than sales.
  18. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Plus weren't most auditoriums in the past much larger in terms of capacity (having around 2000 seats in some places)? More like theatres than modern-day cinemas with lots of smaller-capacity screens.
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Jan 14, 2013
  19. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

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  20. Adam of Nuchtern Force Ghost

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  21. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Well, I consider "The Battle of Pelennor Fields" to be everything from the moment the first catapult fires to when the Army of the Dead cleanse the city. I know that's not an hour and a half, but the point is it's still a very hefty action sequence.
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  22. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Same. Everything that happens in Gondor, from the first catapult attack to the dead cleansing the city, is part of the battle.
  23. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    You know, one of the great things that has come out of this whole frame rate kerfuffle is that I think it's gotten people who wouldn't have even known what a frame rate was to actually be interested in the issue. It's actually got people talking (and being informed) about a purely technical aspect of filmmaking. I find that very interesting and a net gain, in that it's gotten people thinking in a different way about movies.
  24. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    I can't add too much to the discussion, as I hate 3D and thus will not see HFR. (Call me biased or not, but it gives me a headache.) However, it does seem silly to put a movie out in multiple formats. I'd be interested in seeing 3D versus 2D sales, if such figures are available.
  25. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Well, I promise I'm not just lambasting HFR, but here are some more honest responses to your claims the other day, Chris:

    See, to me it just created a different way in which the technology could compete with the action. It solved one problem only to create another, one which to me was arguably more distracting than normal 3D.

    I just couldn't see it at all. I've never had a 3D film feel more artificially layered. Every CG character really stood out from the background. And then even the real characters were moving in a hfr, fast-looking manner, and so they stood out as well.

    Those didn't look great in 2D, but they were less distracting. And it's possible the reason they look weird in 2D is because they were rendered at 48 fps and had to be downconverted. When I saw the 2D version I noticed extra strobing and juddering in the CG characters that seemed to indicate that's what they did, and I would imagine so, because otherwise what would have been the point. But this is just another example of how they sacrificed the 2D 24fps look of the film, the way it will always be seen from now on, for the sake of a gimmicky theatrical experience. I definitely think that's a choice of flashy technology over creative considerations.


    And that's the exact attitude I hate. The notion that films are just technical demos. It was Cameron's whole approach with Avatar. He didn't give a crap about the story because he just wanted to see what he could do with the technology. So no, I definitely don't think that just because these films are visual stories that this means we should constantly try to 'fix' something about the format. Just because something's old doesn't mean it's bad. And in fact my viewings of this film proved to me that the oldest format was the most effective.

    I will repeat what I have said all along: if Jackson wanted to experiment with this, he ought to have done it with a personal project or a short technical film, not an existing property with an established look that absolutely didn't need new technology to 'improve' upon it.


    Fantasy films are the last place that the plethora of fake, not real-world based sets, characters, and creatures should be made to stand out in a 'realistic manner'. Because they're not real. It only highlighted the artificiality of the whole process. It's like when a good looking woman wears far too much makeup.

    Maybe for rides, nature docs, or CG animated films. Even then I'm not quite sure. But as SLG pointed out, sorry, this just isn't something that's getting a good response amongst the types of people who are responsible for what films get made how.

    No, because the industry realizes that most people seeing this film don't even know about HFR. They just pick a showtime and don't know what the technobabble is. They may or may not like the look, but they don't know what's responsible for it. Aside from some nerds, no one was lining up specifically to see the HFR version. It wasn't a selling point. No one knows or cares enough about it.


    They only needed a couple films to realize smell-o-vision was a bad idea. As I said, it might find a niche. And Cameron will try to push it with his 60fps Avatar sequels. But I don't think almost anyone else will care to shoot their film that way. The people who know the most about this stuff dislike it, bottom line.
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