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Lord of the Rings Movies Entertainment

Hollywood Acts Warily At Comic-Con 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-it-slow dept.
gollum123 writes "Peter Jackson wowed the crowd with 13 minutes of highly anticipated footage from the first of his two ultra-expensive Hobbit movies. But he also played it safe — very safe — by not so much as mentioning, much less demonstrating, the filmmaking wizardry at the heart of the project. That left big questions about the movie industry's future unanswered and added to a theme of this year's Comic-Con: Hollywood has come to fear this place. Mr. Jackson is shooting his two Hobbit movies, the first of which is to arrive in theaters in December, at an unusually fast 48 frames a second, twice the standard rate. But an estimated 6,500 fans did not have that experience when they gathered in Comic-Con's cavernous Hall H moments earlier to see the new footage. Still, Mr. Jackson, one of Hollywood's boldest directors, made the unexpectedly timid decision to present The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in a standard format here — it was not even in 3-D — because he feared an online outcry that could hurt box-office results."
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Hollywood Acts Warily At Comic-Con

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  • by Pecisk (688001) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:17PM (#40664267)

    Reading all press it sounds like too much generalisation - in fact, it *feels* like Peter Jackson was more angry about backslash and calling a "cheap TV movie" just because you are used to different frame rate. So he decided that discussion about "be or not to be 48 fps" could actually overcome discussion about movie itself. I think it was wise decision and not Hollywood fear about CC. Come on, they *love* CC - it's amplified publicity with fans all around the world. What a better way to get movie going buzz rolling?

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:32PM (#40664443)

      Well who can blame him? I couldn't make any sense of the comments on /. about how 48fps looks "too real". Isn't that kinda the point? To make the TV show or movie look like just a window on another world? It's supposed to look real. (This reminds me of those persons who claimed CDs or lossless AACs were too perfect, and they'd rather hear the sizzle of downloaded MP3s. Illogical.)

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:40PM (#40664531)

        Ya it is just something that will take time. People have decided that shitty framerates look "cinematic" and thus that is the right way to do things. In time, they'll come over. I shoot video at 60fps (progressive) for instructional videos and it looks amazing. We don't host them at 60fps since there aren't any video services that'll let you that I know of, but I wish we could. They are just amazingly smooth.

        We've been after higher spatial resolution with video for some time, it is time to look at the temporal resolution as well.

        • by Requiem18th (742389) on Monday July 16, 2012 @02:31PM (#40665177)

          I remember when I first saw a Blueray Disc movie, it was that godawful G.I. Joe movie, I dunno what the frame rate was on that but the image looked absurdly crisp and sharp. It was the clearest cleanest image I had seen on a movie, and it looked disgustingly fake.

          For a moment I thought it was because the lack of camera artifacts made it look unauthentic, kinda like how lens flare is now added to movies because people expect it. However after a while I realized that I only had problems when there was CGI on the screen. So in fact it wasn't the sharp image what was bothering me, is the that, the sharper the image, the more obvious CGI imperfections are.

          Image quality reveals fake scenes for what they are.

          For a movie with a shitload of fake imagery like the Hobbit, I can already see why people would complain. I'm pretty sure those 60fps instructional videos you shot didn't have any CGI in them did they?

          • by gorzek (647352)

            That's exactly what I've heard from articles about The Hobbit: that you can tell just how fake and orchestrated things are, because the image is too clear and perfect.

            • by PNutts (199112)

              Yes. It's kind of like seeing movie / television sets that were photographed or visited as part of a backstage tour / interview / whatever. You look at the water painted cardboard crap and wonder how you believed it the first time.

          • by JDG1980 (2438906)

            Image quality reveals fake scenes for what they are.

            I'm not a Trekkie, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that this was a real problem with the original Star Trek series. It was shot on good film (35mm?) but all the imperfections in the props and sets were covered up when it was originally telecined to NTSC for airing. When they remastered a HD version of the series from the original film, a lot of the seams started showing. (I don't know what the resolution was – did they touch it up manually i

          • by tbird81 (946205)

            The trick is to record everything in 1080p, apply a 4 pixel Gaussian blur, then add some noise and JPEG artefacts. Then no-one can see your actors have makeup on and the set is made of painted fibreglass.

          • by LordKronos (470910) on Monday July 16, 2012 @06:19PM (#40667201) Homepage

            I remember when I first saw a Blueray Disc movie, it was that godawful G.I. Joe movie, I dunno what the frame rate was on that but the image looked absurdly crisp and sharp. It was the clearest cleanest image I had seen on a movie, and it looked disgustingly fake.

            For a moment I thought it was because the lack of camera artifacts made it look unauthentic, kinda like how lens flare is now added to movies because people expect it. However after a while I realized that I only had problems when there was CGI on the screen. So in fact it wasn't the sharp image what was bothering me, is the that, the sharper the image, the more obvious CGI imperfections are.

            Image quality reveals fake scenes for what they are.

            For a movie with a shitload of fake imagery like the Hobbit, I can already see why people would complain. I'm pretty sure those 60fps instructional videos you shot didn't have any CGI in them did they?

            I don't think that makes sense. The reason that CGI looks fake at higher res is because there is a limitation to the amount of accurate fine detail that can be added without drastically increasing the artists effort, and when you see a higher resolution, those limits become a lot more visible. For faster frame rates, however, I can't think of any particular way that the extra frame rates increase the requirements of the CGI other than the 2.5 times increase in rendering time to go from 24 to 60 fps.

            If anything I'd guess the issue would be the opposite, and the real stuff would "suffer" more than the CGI, and the reason I'm thinking is to do with motion blur. When you are only capturing 24 frames, you capture a certain amount of blur in each frame. When you then play it back, your eye sees that amount of blur over a constant 1/24 second. However, when you record at 48 fps, each frame only has half as much blur, and your eye only sees half the blur for 1/48 second and then the other half of the blur for the next 1/48 second. So effectively your eye sees half as much blur. It's this difference in blur that your brain has become accustomed to and leads some people to perceive 48fps as being poorer quality. With CGI, they can render whatever amount of blur they want into it each frame, so it's entirely up to them whether to go with more blur or less.

          • I realized that I only had problems when there was CGI on the screen

            If we go all the way back to Labyrinth the few well lit puppet scenes looked like crap and ruined the suspension of disbeleif. Dark Crystal solved that by being dark. Toy Story got around that by using CGI for simple plastic objects that are supposed to look fake. Recent anime with shitloads of CGI gets around the "uncanny valley" that plagues things like Tintin by still having people drawn in a 2D cell animation style even if the backgr

        • by Dogtanian (588974) on Monday July 16, 2012 @02:40PM (#40665283) Homepage

          Ya it is just something that will take time. People have decided that shitty framerates look "cinematic" and thus that is the right way to do things. In time, they'll come over. I shoot video at 60fps (progressive) for instructional videos and it looks amazing. We don't host them at 60fps since there aren't any video services that'll let you that I know of, but I wish we could. They are just amazingly smooth.

          I must admit that part of me wants to agree with this. But I also wonder if the fact that 24 to 30 fps footage somehow looks more "distant" and less "live" is part of why people prefer it, the "distance" it puts between the viewer and the action subconsciously aiding suspension of disbelief.

          This might be wrong, I don't know- it's just a guess. I do know that I much prefer higher frame rates for my own "real life" footage though- for precisely the opposite (or rather, same) reason- even to the point of running an interpolation filter on the footage.

          • by dwywit (1109409)

            Mod this up - there is a line between the audience and the show - whether film, TV, or theatre. That line partly defines the relationship between entertainer and audience. The line can change and blur (e.g. "break the fourth wall"), and there's nothing wrong with highly-realistic footage, I think it just means that our methods of storytelling will have to adapt.

            Theatre isn't dead by a long shot, and it's one of the least realistic ways to tell a story. We just have different expectations when we sit

      • Uncanny valley (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:51PM (#40664671) Homepage Journal

        I couldn't make any sense of the comments on /. about how 48fps looks "too real". Isn't that kinda the point?

        Perhaps 48 fps pushes the animation into an uncanny valley [tvtropes.org].

        It's supposed to look real.

        I thought it was supposed to look just real enough (and conversely, just unreal enough) for your brain to suspend disbelief.

        • Re:Uncanny valley (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:55PM (#40664741)

          It's supposed to look real.

          I thought it was supposed to look just real enough (and conversely, just unreal enough) for your brain to suspend disbelief.

          from what I've read about 48fps, that's exactly the problem people ran into. people said things like "my brain was not processing what I was seeing as 'two hobbits walking up a hill' but rather 'two actors in hobbit costumes walking up a hill'". They were having difficulty suspending disbelief.

          I'll have to wait until I see it in person, but native 48fps will have to be a whole other world better than what the 120hz tv's software intrapolation does to 24fps film, cause that's distracting as all hell.

          • by krakelohm (830589)

            but native 48fps will have to be a whole other world better than what the 120hz tv's software intrapolation does to 24fps film, cause that's distracting as all hell.

            I think its distracting as hell for just a short time, once I was used to it, I can't even tell its on.

            • Then you need your eyes checked. That mode blasts any and all noise away and subsequently makes everyone look like wax figures and most fine detail is wiped away.

          • by Joce640k (829181)

            I'll have to wait until I see it in person, but native 48fps will have to be a whole other world better than what the 120hz tv's software intrapolation does to 24fps film, cause that's distracting as all hell.

            The main difference will be that they can pan sideways smoothly. Apart from that I bet you'll have to look very closely to see a difference.

          • by nabsltd (1313397)

            I'll have to wait until I see it in person, but native 48fps will have to be a whole other world better than what the 120hz tv's software intrapolation does to 24fps film, cause that's distracting as all hell.

            Most "120 Hz" TVs process 24fps input by performing 3:2 pulldown. After that, each frame is shown 4 times. This will give you some judder as some frames are visible for longer than others. You can overcome this a bit by interlacing or blending frames in some other way, but then you lose resolution.

            There are only a few TVs that support 24fps directly by showing each frame the same number of times. If you had one of those TVs, then you wouldn't notice an issue.

          • Re:Uncanny valley (Score:5, Insightful)

            by djdanlib (732853) on Monday July 16, 2012 @03:23PM (#40665657) Homepage

            from what I've read about 48fps, that's exactly the problem people ran into. people said things like "my brain was not processing what I was seeing as 'two hobbits walking up a hill' but rather 'two actors in hobbit costumes walking up a hill'". They were having difficulty suspending disbelief.

            They must have a REALLY hard time with live theatre.

            • Re:Uncanny valley (Score:5, Insightful)

              by SomePoorSchmuck (183775) on Monday July 16, 2012 @04:56PM (#40666529) Homepage

              from what I've read about 48fps, that's exactly the problem people ran into. people said things like "my brain was not processing what I was seeing as 'two hobbits walking up a hill' but rather 'two actors in hobbit costumes walking up a hill'". They were having difficulty suspending disbelief.

              They must have a REALLY hard time with live theatre.

              Actually yes!

              I love human storytelling; I love reading plays; love the art of Theatre; love the techniques and methods of Theatre; love acting and creating and characterization and directing. But I. Hate. Live. Theatre.

              Why? Because "it's one actor dressed up like Macbeth pretending to see another actor dressed up like Banquo's ghost, amidst a bunch of other actors dressed up like courtiers who cannot see the actor dressed up like Banquo's ghost".

              But I love to watch movies. Can get caught up in movies and so carried away that it's jarring to walk out of the theatre and find myself in a cookie-cutter suburban strip mall.

              I am one example of a person who needs the implied cinematic distance to immerse myself in the story. Because that's what it's about for me -- the story. Doesn't matter how crisp the textures or tangible the spray of alien blood looks. It's about that weird mental space when you can be temporarily deceived that what is being shown on the screen in front of you is what's being shown on the screen of your retina. It is the very realism and true 3-D of live theatre which pushes it inevitably out of this space. The stage is only so big, the proscenium and the band and the luxury boxes, or in small venues the proximity to the actors and the rest of the audience..... these are the very things which do not allow me to see a play as anything other than a play. It cannot ever be pure Story for me. And I have been to performances where I was assured by folks who would know, that these were top-notch productions that critics and theatre-lovers rave about.

              When it comes to hyperrealism in theatre, I live in the uncanny valley.

              • by djdanlib (732853)

                That is a fantastic reply. If I wasn't the person you were replying to, you would get a mod point.

                People have differing tastes in entertainment. Yours is quite valid and would be quite difficult or in some cases impossible to replicate onstage.

                I enjoy both worlds, the two being live plays and filmed productions. They are two very different forms of the art of storytelling as other posters have noted. Recently, I enjoyed a production of Shakespeare's Richard III. (And then wound up watching the related movie

              • Re:Uncanny valley (Score:4, Insightful)

                by chrismcb (983081) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:21PM (#40668471) Homepage

                I am one example of a person who needs the implied cinematic distance to immerse myself in the story. Because that's what it's about for me -- the story.

                Actually it sounds like the story is NOT what it is about for you. If it was about the story, you wouldn't have a problem with live theatre.

            • Re:Uncanny valley (Score:4, Insightful)

              by HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:09PM (#40667565)
              Spot on. I find it very amusing, all the people bitching about "supsension of disbelief". As if frame-rate/clarity was the hardest obstacle to overcome. Gimme a break. If you can get past the following, you can deal with a different filming technique, CGI, or frame-rate:

              A) They're fucking HOBBITS.
              B) That big giant screen/TV you're watching? It is definitely not a window into the Shire, I promise. Do NOT attempt to go through it; you will quickly be disappointed.
              C) You know that sound you hear, coming from the speakers? Try REAL hard and you can train your ears to see the millisecond discrepancy. It's always there, I promise.
              D) Remember buying the ticket? Popcorn? That drink you're holding? Remember choosing a seat without the sticky floor? Now, realize you've set all those annoyances aside after the movie started.
              E) They're still HOBBITS. These do not exist. This story is not a documentary; it is fiction. I know, I know, it's fun to pretend it really happened, or even that we are a part of it, but it did not.

              Part of the fun of the experience is guiding your thinking, accepting the fantasy as a whole new world that is real for you. It's really not that difficult to do this, regardless of the visual or audio quality. It's even possible to ignore super shitty acting (though this is probably the toughest thing to ignore). This is why people can go to see a live performance and not lose their shit about how ZOMG FAAAAKE it looks.

              I liken it to the printing industry, for I am a printer. I could whip out my trusty loupe when I'm looking at a fine-art print, examining the ink droplets to tell which pass count was used, on which printer, using dye or pigment inks, on which general substrate, and whether proper color management was used. I have the expertise and experience to determine all that very easily, but it's a shit-ton more satisfying to step back and enjoy the fuckin painting.
        • by JDG1980 (2438906)

          Perhaps 48 fps pushes the animation into an uncanny valley.

          But if that is the case, why isn't the same true for the many TV shows shot at the even higher rate of 60 fps? Or the countless video games that run at that frame rate or its rough equivalent?

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          Perhaps 48 fps pushes the animation into an uncanny valley [tvtropes.org].

          Nah. An increase in frame rate isn't going to change the film's subject matter (which is what the uncanny valley is about).

          3D is a *much* bigger change than this is and nobody brought up uncanny valleys for 3D.

      • by localman57 (1340533) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:54PM (#40664727)

        Well who can blame him? I couldn't make any sense of the comments on /. about how 48fps looks "too real". Isn't that kinda the point? To make the TV show or movie look like just a window on another world? It's supposed to look real. (This reminds me of those persons who claimed CDs or lossless AACs were too perfect, and they'd rather hear the sizzle of downloaded MP3s. Illogical.)

        Dude. If you have to tell people over and over that it's better because they don't see it in your demos, then you probably ought to think twice before spending a whole lot of money on it. If I were a theater operator, and Pete comes in and tells me I should spend tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade my equipment, but the buzz on social media is "I wouldn't pay more to see it in this format" why would I do it?

        This seems a lot like the studios and Samsung screaming at me that I should buy a 3D TV and blu-ray player, even though the ones I've tried at Best Buy are fairly craptacular.

        I'm with you on the CD / AAC thing, though. If you want to add MP3 sizzle to them, that's a straightforward problem. Going the other way, not so much...

        • by MBCook (132727)

          That's not always true. When iPhone first came out most people were very worried about how well the keyboard would work, and if you were used to going a mile a minutes on a BB it didn't work great at first. Based on that it could have been a big mistake.

          But we now know it wasn't. Some people have a preference, but for most people the software keyboard works great, or at least well enough, to trade it for the other improvements like the larger screen.

          I'd reserve judgement on 48fps until people have seen tw

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @02:14PM (#40664967)

        48fps is awful because the objective of film is NOT to look 'real'. The objective is to create a dream-state.

        The dream metaphor for film viewing is one of the most persistent in both classical and modern film theory.

        Think about it: Nothing about film is particularly 'real': Sudden cuts, temporal jumps, non-linear sequences. Film doesn't simulate reality, it simulates the dream state. Everything that technology is now doing to 'improve' the cinema experience and make it more 'realistic' is destroying the dream-state of the medium. Movies are getting less absorbing the more 'realistic' they become.

        Regular, traditional 24fps gives everything a subconscious dream-like quality. But 48fps makes everything look like television - or worse. It breaks us out of the dream-state.

        The same goes for high-def and 3D. These so-called 'improvements' to film actually wreck the medium because they present a reality that has no analogue. What other reality that you know of looks anything like HD film – where in reality can you see people's pores without a magnifying glass? Where in reality do you see the equivalent of the kind of 3D shown in modern movies?

        Shooting a 'movie' in 48fps is like shaking a dreamer awake and shouting in their face, "The dream is over!!"

        • by nabsltd (1313397)

          What other reality that you know of looks anything like HD film – where in reality can you see people's pores without a magnifying glass?

          Film has always had better than HD resolution. It is great that we can now finally appreciate that in our homes without spending a fortune.

        • by amRadioHed (463061) on Monday July 16, 2012 @03:04PM (#40665485)

          That sounds like a bunch of nonsense to me. Cinema has been evolving towards more and more realism from the start. Sound, color, higher resolution, higher frame rates, larger screens, better speakers.... None of the limitations of the cinema experience were there for artistic reasons, they are purely technical and when the technical limitation was removed the cinema experience changed. There are always people who complain about new technologies but the reality is that no one is forcing these changes on directors. If they have an artistic reason for using b/w, or no sound, or lower frame rate they can still do that.

        • I catagorically reject your declaration as to the universal objective of Film. The objective of Film is only determined in joint calaberation between the creative talents that produced the film and the audience.

      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Well who can blame him? I couldn't make any sense of the comments on /. about how 48fps looks "too real". Isn't that kinda the point? To make the TV show or movie look like just a window on another world? It's supposed to look real. (This reminds me of those persons who claimed CDs or lossless AACs were too perfect, and they'd rather hear the sizzle of downloaded MP3s. Illogical.)

        I could not care less about the technology .. I'm glad I wasn't there and didn't see some spoiler footage.

      • It's supposed to look real.

        No, it's supposed to feel real. There's a big difference between the two.

        The reason that reality-based programs are best viewed at higher frame rates is because it allows the audience to capture more details and be better aware of the action taking place (this is particularly true with sports). Conversely, those same traits are what makes 48fps undesirable in film at this time.

        Having a slightly otherworldly appearance created through the use of 24fps enhances the feeling of realism by aiding in the suspensi

    • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:38PM (#40664505)

      Fear is a poor choice of word. They want the publicity of CC, and they can't help but make a showing. But they do understand that this crowd has particular likes and dislikes, one of which is around, what I hope, is actually a dislike of technology gimmicks for sales $$$ sake.

      It's hard to understand sometimes, since 3D in particular, generates such an angry outcry, and these statements of "cheap TV movie" sound like knee-jerk ludditism. From the director's perspective, his boss wants these gimmicks in since it boosts revenue (particularly weekend gross numbers). From our perspective they are just cost adders that sometimes detract from our enjoyment (if 3D makes you sick). But that's not what ends up being put in the press, from the geek crew you just hear bitching about 3D being some sort of unformed evil being silently served in our cereal, and 48fps being a dark stormcloud on the horizon that will poison all our crops.

      It's not unreasonable for him to want to avoid that, since he's more focused (I hope) on the movie content itself. All I know is if the movie makes me want to vomit due to technology, or just poor camera technique (i.e. "shakeycam"), I'm going to hold that against him. But 3D movies look just fine on my 2D bluray or dish network spigot. I suspect 48fps will manage to work just fine too.

    • by Ryanrule (1657199) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:38PM (#40664515)

      It can also generate Internet levels of hate. Which the traditional media loves to report on.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>Come on, they *love* CC - it's amplified publicity with fans all around the world.

      Not according to the article. I quote: "But the Comic-Con crowd is a discerning one and frequently refuses to cooperate. This can create difficult sometimes impossible messes [on Twitter/Facebook] for studio marketers to mop up." For example: "The Host, a new movie project from Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight books, was greeted with puzzled expressions and tepid applause. That sent a publicist for its

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:22PM (#40664327)

    Just give me a great story with great acting in the old school format and I'm fine with that. No 3D, no 48 fps.

    People will go back to theaters when the social experience is positive again. No cell phones, more comfy seats, etc. Maybe I'm getting old but the experience these days seems to have been taken over by thugs.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:26PM (#40664377)
      48 fps isn't the gimmick, 24 fps is. Reasonable framerate should be standard, not exceptional. And yes, you're already old.
      • Funny how people expect better frame rates from their *games* than their movies. I expect some of these people crying about how 48fps looks "too real" or "video-like" would have a shit-fit if their game was anything under 60.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:52PM (#40664697)

          Cinema gets an extremely high quality temporal anti-aliasing effect (i.e. motion blur) 'for free'; video games don't.

        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          Funny how people expect better frame rates from their *games* than their movies. I expect some of these people crying about how 48fps looks "too real" or "video-like" would have a shit-fit if their game was anything under 60.

          As far as I'm aware, part of the issue with games is that movement isn't blurred, which would mean that if you showed *that* at 24fps, it would look noticeably jerky.

          I have a digital SLR with movie facility, and one of the annoying drawbacks with the video mode is that it in bright light, it frequently sets a very short exposure time (in 25 or 30 fps mode), meaning that each individual frame exhibits little or no blurring. Perversely, this actually makes the result look *more* jerky, even if it blurs less

          • My point still stands though. They expect more realism out of their games then they do live-action video.
            • by Dogtanian (588974)

              My point still stands though. They expect more realism out of their games then they do live-action video.

              No, it doesn't at all(!) That was the whole point I made and explained- did you actually read what I said?!

              If you were to be shown video or film footage that had been shot at 24 to 30fps with no blurring on each frame (e.g. because the exposure time was 1/4000 second) it would look jerky and unpleasant for most uses as well. That's why the article I linked to states the recommended exposure time is approximately half the frame interval, which *will* give blurring of fast-moving objects, even with 60 fps v

            • Yeah, and? They are two different mediums. Why wouldn't you expect there to be different expectations?

    • Theater owners could start by offering reasonable prices. I don't know how that is in the US, but here in Europe you may have to pay up to 5 Euro for a bag of peanuts. Usually I bring my own stuff, but it's still insulting.

      I'd also be grateful if Hollywood could stop ending almost every movie with a 20-30 minute long horribly exaggerated CGI action-movie sequence and instead return to normal timing and a reasonable storyline. Not every climax has to feel like an extended fake-orgasm. Just sayin'...

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Just give me great story with great acting in the old school format and I'll wait for the DVD to come out so I can watch it at home.

      Give me 3D and 48 FPS and IMAX and 12000W of audio and I'll buy tickets to see it in the theatre.

    • the last couple times I went to the theater, I went at odd times where there wasn't much of a crowd. They sounded good from reviews and actually were - action movies with cool FX but plenty of other elements.
      and don't forget smuggling in munchies (I did bulk candy poured into empty prescription containers)
      I did remember to put my own phone on vibrate.

      The Hunger Games and The Avengers, FYI. Battleship I didn't see because the reviews sounded mediocre.

  • I don't recall there being 2 books? Of course I haven't read any of them, so I don't know. (Tried to read LOTR book 1 but got bored during the initial 100 pages.)

    • by magsol (1406749)
      It's two movies in the same way the last Harry Potter book was two movies. Quite literally, more bang for buck.
      • by bigdavex (155746) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:29PM (#40664413)

        It's two movies in the same way the last Harry Potter book was two movies. Quite literally, more bang for buck.

        Or perhaps more buck for bang.

      • by Nadaka (224565)

        You have it backwards. spreading it out over 2 movies means you get more buck for the bang. 1 story, twice as many ticket sales.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>last Harry Potter book was two movies

        Ahhh. Haven't watch HP 7-1 or 7-2 yet, but I hope it's better than Matrix 2 and 3 which were boring & really should have been just one movie. Likewise I hope Hobbit 1 and 2 is not stretched out.

      • by Goaway (82658) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:58PM (#40664787) Homepage

        Remember: If Hollywood makes one movie out of a book, they suck because they cut out all those important scenes. If they make two movies, they suck because they are just trying to cash in.

    • by khr (708262) <kevinrubin@gmail.com> on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:28PM (#40664399) Homepage

      It's so that after you go there once, you go back again...

    • Because when translating it into a movie, it doesn't make that much financial sense to do what they did with the LoTR movies which is to shoot the entire trilogy but only release a part of it in the theaters and have the rest on an extended cut DVD. Plus, unlike the LoTR books, The Hobbit is fairly straightforward and there really aren't any unnecessary parts.
    • by Tanktalus (794810)

      Yes, and there were only 7 Harry Potter books, but 8 movies. (Goblet of Fire could have used the two-movie treatment as well, so could have been 9.)

      Meanwhile, Lord of the Rings was 6 books in 3 parts, and 3 movies. (Some of them could have also been split up.)

      And then there's the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was 5 books in one movie.

      Your point is?

    • by jxander (2605655)

      Money, my dear boy.

      If they make twice as many movies, you have to buy twice as many tickets. It also keeps the producers, actors, etc gainfully employed for twice as long.

    • by vlm (69642)

      (Tried to read LOTR book 1 but got bored during the initial 100 pages.)

      I had the opposite experience where the movies were all about the tedious special effects instead of the story and I couldn't handle 12 hours of british accent without starting to speak that way myself. Also I got annoyed at the movie, wheres Tom Bombadil? My guess is to save dough they're also going to leave tons out of the hobbit... bye bye elves, etc.

      On the other hand I liked the books.

    • Tried to read LOTR book 1 but got bored during the initial 100 pages.

      Me too - I feel LOTR (both books and movies) is a suitably epic storyline, but too dense in its implementation.

  • 3d (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Antipater (2053064) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:27PM (#40664381)

    it was not even in 3-D

    GOOD!

    • 3D isn't -all- bad, for example the new Spider-Man movie is pretty good in 3D, 3D won't make a crap movie better, but movies shot in 3D and intended to have a 3D release the 3D adds to the movie.
      • This.

        So if you ever see a re-release of an older movie saying "NOW IN 3D!", stay away, because it's going to be crap. You can't reliably translate a 2D-shot movie into 3D. Without that stereoscopic camera setup at the time of shooting, it just doesn't work.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:39PM (#40664527)
    Thought [blogs.com] Hollywood had butchered the books aiming at teenage action movies and introducing new characters and subplots. Also a terrible fight over royalties.

    I admire the one son who spent decades publishing his father's voluminous papers. This may be the son's only major press interview in his life. The rest of family has gotten a free ride on royalties. Especially through the efforts of Jackson.
  • It's not a theater (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:41PM (#40664549) Homepage

    It's a convention hall, not a theater. Bad acoustics, no projection room, no good audio system, folding chairs. Here's what the screens look like. [screencrave.com] Look at the screen size and quality. They have to have auxiliary screens around the room so people in the back can see. Some of the auxiliary screens are dim around the edges. That's a setup for a marketing presentation. Of course you don't introduce a new movie technology there.

    Movies with new technologies are typically previewed for critics in venues with ideal conditions, like the Technicolor Theater in Hollywood or the screening room at Dolby headquarters in San Francisco.

  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:42PM (#40664567)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/business/media/hollywood-acts-warily-at-comic-con-fearing-bad-publicity.html [nytimes.com] And I was at this panel. The highlight by far was hearing from Andy Serkis, and listening to him act out a dialogue between Gollum and Smeagol. I'm not sure about the rest of the movie, but they showed footage that proved they hit the riddle game scene out of the park.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:44PM (#40664593)
    Edison was one of the inventors of motion pictures. The cynic might say that would double his company's film stock sales. But Edison said [techcrunch.com] the film viewing experience improved to that point. Hollywood decided on the less costly half-rate standard.
  • by hawguy (1600213) on Monday July 16, 2012 @03:28PM (#40665711)

    I was involved in a phone system rollout where we rolled out high definition voice that gives noticeably better quality on calls within the office.

    Many people hated it - said the voice quality of the new phone system was terrible and wondered how could we possibly put in a new system that sounded noticably worse than the old.

    But a year later, we did a test with a few of the more vocal complainers and had them do side-by-side comparisions with the high def codec and the lower bandwidth codec used by the old system and now even they admit that the new system sounds better.

    So even if 48fps is technically better than 24fps, many people will think it's worse because it's "different" but if it becomes a standard, at some point kids will wonder how their parents could ever stand watching 24fps movies.

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