A film that for me was easily one of the slowest, draggiest and most suffocating viewing experiences of 2012 has earned more than $1 billion worldwide. What does that tell you about the future of the species, much less the taste levels out there? The same kind of lazy, thoughtless, ball-scratching consumerism is the cause of many social ills.
As far as I’m concerned the Chinese now have two things to answer for — forking over $37.3 million in 10 days to see The Hobbit and continuing to buy elephant ivory in the belief that it increases sexual potency.
I loved the 48 fps format, but beyond that I found The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey “a major slog,” as I wrote on 12.3. “I began looking at my watch at the 25-minute mark, at which point I moaned and muttered to myself, ‘God…over two hours to go!’ It’s like being on a long dull plane ride to Alaska without wifi. It’s ponderous, meditative and glacially paced, and sporadically or episodically cranked up in the usual Jackson style.
“The acting is always broad (except for Martin Freeman‘s low-key Bilbo Baggins), but everything is always frenzied and amplified and compounded with the heroes facing terrible, insurmountable odds, and the action scenes always ending in a cliffhanger with the ‘oh my God!’ rescue never happening until the very last second, and with nobody ‘good’ ever getting seriously hurt, much less killed. They might be unconscious and look dead, but they’ll wake up sooner or later.”
Once again defending high frame rates: “Once you’ve seen a big, empty, splashy, FX-driven film at 48 fps, you’ll never again be fully satisfied with seeing a big, empty, splashy, FX-driven film at 24 fps. 48 fps is perfect for comic-book whack-offs, Star Trek or Star Wars flicks, monster movies, vampire movies, pirate movies, adventure flicks, zombie flicks, animated features…anything that isn’t straight drama or any kind of impressively written, character-driven adult fare aimed at anyone with a year or two of college.
“My personal preference is that straight adult fare should be shot at 30 fps because it looks a lot cleaner than 24 fps and reduces pan blur and makes the action seem smoother. And all the rest of the films (i.e., those described above) should be shot at 48 fps. And believe me, the harumphs will eventually ease up and settle in.”