Well… I have taken the plunge, so to speak.
Into the era that is 48 frames per second.
Yes, I saw The Hobbit the other night. Only one of two people in the theater for a late afternoon viewing.
Being a fan of the novel and having enjoyed the extended versions of all three Lord of the Rings films, it was inevitable that I would do so. And I will undoubtedly see it again.
On the whole, I enjoyed it. But the whole 48 fps thing? It only stood out a few times. Only really grabbed my attention once or twice. I guess I will need to see the other two episodes of the story to decide if it really works. And of course, the extended versions of those films as well. I know of at least a few scenes we didn’t see that were before the camera. Especially about Hobbiton and the Shire.
Technology always keeps changing. As digital film making continues to march on, I suspect as audiences we will see and experience something new and interesting. At least, that is my hope. But a good story? It always wins out before new technology. Give me a tale that I can be engrossed in. Characters I can empathize with. If I can be transported elsewhere and forget world outside the theater, technology can be a help in that process but not the total package.
Folks have taken Peter Jackson to task for dragging out an amusing tale into three long films. Yes, the story is there and I am one willing to plant my butt in a chair to sit through it. Sure, I know how it ends. Would not miss it, however.
The problem, if there is one, lies in exposition. For those of us who are familiar with the story, we already know what to expect. We know the world in which the tale lies. For those who do not, the world must be created and explored. To leave this undone is more of a disservice than the time it takes to tell of it.
There are plenty of good stories I already know. Take for example, Mr. Dickens “A Christmas Carol”. Must have seen it on film/television a couple hundred times in all it’s various incarnations. The classic Alastair Sims performance. The biting cold of George C. Scott. Or the lively Patrick Stewart. Yet tonight, I am off to a reading of the story. Looking forward to the sharing of the tale. Expecting to be entertained by those taking up the challenge. And that is what it really is all about.
The Hobbit has much of the same for me. It is a comfortable tale. In the end, we all know that Bilbo ends up safe and warm, back at Bag End. The dragon defeated and dwarves again under the mountains. Since I was first introduced to the tale in high school (as have so many been) I have read the story many times. Each time I manage to find something new to enjoy. To me, that may be the best that can be said of any good story.
Count me in for the next two chapters of The Hobbit.