Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: Concerning Hobbits, and AVENGERS 2

FACT: After a lukewarm response from this year’s Cinemacon, Warner Bros. is re-shaping its plans to run THE HOBBIT in its native 48 frames-per-second (fps). The film will run in 48fps in limited markets, (24fps in wide release) with the possibility of expanding if the feedback is good.
Frame rate is the number of frames, or images in one second. The industry standard has been 24fps for over a hundred years. Director Peter Jackson’s HOBBIT adaptation will be the first major feature to give the new 48fps a whirl, which is intended to provide better detail on the screen.

OPINION: This feels like a knee-jerk reaction from Warner Bros., all due to the feedback received from the 10-minute HOBBIT preview at Cinemacon, which a lot of people reacted negatively too. The first problem WB is going to have here is marketing; how will they market the new look to a general public who have no idea what fps even means? It’s certainly not as recognizable as 3D. The other factor is how the film will look when converted down to 24fps when it was created on the spot at 48fps; will it look weird, or slightly off? Warner Bros. must certainly know by now that faster frame rates are the future of cinema. The 24fps was chosen because that’s what the technology was limited to at the time, and it never changed. If WB wants to be at the front of the new tech, they need to go all out with it.

FACT: Writer/director Joss Whedon, who helmed THE AVENGERS to well over $1 billion worldwide and overwhelmingly positive reviews, has finally been confirmed to direct a second AVENGERS film.

OPINION: There is an old Vulcan proverb; only Nixon could go to China. The success of a film franchise often depends on having the right person doing the right job. Only Coppola could create the atmosphere for THE GODFATHER, only Ford could play Dr. Jones, and perhaps only Whedon can be in charge of the most successful superhero/comic franchise to date. Whedon’s unabashed geek nature and talent for fleshing out ensemble casts seem to make him perfect for the job. There are no details yet concerning what kind of deal Whedon has made (you know Marvel wanted him back badly), but chances are he made out well money-wise, and likely given the freedom to develop films he otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to make. The potential for more good movies is always a good thing.

What say you?

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