“The Hobbit” comes out next week. Early reviews are middling: There's a general consensus that it's too long, and that Peter Jackson may have over-extended the book a bit by turning it into a planned film trilogy. We'll withhold judgement until seeing it. (The guy did make one of the best film series of all time, after all.)
But the lackluster reviews aren't the big news to come out of the film's overseas premiere. That would be the filmmaker's decision to make the movie in 48 frames per second, double the normal rate—a technological advancement that is supposed to give the film a sharper image, but really is just making people dizzy. From Business Insider:
“The Hobbit” won't be playing in the U.S. for another week but it has screened in New Zealand, and some people are claiming to feel sick afterwards.
According to the Daily Mail, viewers told the Sunday Times the controversial high-frame rate version of the film left them nauseated and dizzy, and compared the viewing experience to that of motion sickness.
“My eyes cannot take everything in; it's dizzying,” said one fan. “Now I have a migraine.”
Basically it works out like this: The normal frame rate that you watch movies and TV is 24 frames per second. This film doubles that rate, so images are coming way faster than you're used to seeing, which has caused filmgoers in New Zealand to basically get motion sickness. This move by “The Hobbit” will make the movie look better, but much like you had to get used to the ultra-clear HD TVs when you switched from standard definition, there will be a period where you have to get used to this. Don't think it's going away either. Filmmakers are gung-ho for it, and they expect to use it in many of their upcoming blockbuster films. From Entertainment Weekly:
Other filmmakers are also excited about the prospects of higher frame rate: After seeing The Hobbit, director Bryan Singer tweeted that he was feeling “some serious frame-rate envy,” and James Cameron is exploring the possibility of shooting the Avatar sequels at 48 frames, saying, “If there is acceptance of 48 [fps], then that will pave the way for Avatar to take advantage of it.”
Personally, it makes me want to see “The Hobbit” even more. Always down for a good test of the nerves.