5 December 2012 11:43 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth with "The Hobbit" at the higher frame rate of 48 is certainly a bold experiment. It's new; it's different; it's smoother; it's more heightened. But there's no question that Hfr 3-D is already causing an aesthetic divide. For some, it's jarring; for others, it's jaw-dropping. For me, it was an unexpected delight. I'm as passionate about film as anyone, but from the moment we first entered Bilbo's Hobbit Hole, I surrendered to the clarity and opulence of the journey. It was like opening a window into a familiar world yet truly seeing it for the first time. Yes, it was strange at first, as though I was on the set with the characters (and the motion was sometimes awkward in the way it was sped up or slowed down), but the intimacy greatly enhanced the experience. There was no displeasing soap opera-like video look: Andrew Lesnie »


- Bill Desowitz

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