As I am sure you are well aware, The Hobbit releases tomorrow in cinemas across South Africa. The big question on every bodies lips is “Should I watch it in HFR (48FPS)?” Well we can’t give you the answer but we can arm you with all the knowledge required.
HFR (High Frame Rate) is a new format for cinemas where the movie is shot and broadcast at 48 FPS (Frames Per Second) as opposed to the standard 24 FPS that all movies to date use. Why this is important is that it allows for double the amount of frames per second, meaning more detail can be shown and camera motion is much smoother.
So The Hobbit is launching in both the standard 24 FPS as well as the new 48 FPS format (in selected cinemas only). Which format should you watch it in? Well there are a lot of conflicting views. I recommend you read IGN’s article which debates this exact point and recommends that you watch it in standard 24 FPS first then in HFR a second time. I don’t know about you but I am not so keen to shell out cash to watch a 2hr movie twice (even if it is a Tolkien classic). I’d rather wait and buy the Blu-ray when it comes out.
IGN are a bit negative about the HFR version in that article and it had me thinking. However I then read The Hobbit review on Wired which got me all excited about HFR again.
In my opinion the opportunity to watch a movie in a brand new format that brings realism to the big screen like never before is a no brainer. By all accounts it looks to be the future of cinema and will be seen again with James Cameron’s Avatar sequel. It may be a bit rough around the edges showing up some of the make-up / special effects / sets etc… but it won’t be long until these standards are increased in line with the new frame rate. Don’t be a dinosaur and embrace the new technology, support the local cinemas for trialing the new format and enjoy the beauty of the New Zealand countryside in glorious 48 frames per second.
You can watch the Hobbit in HFR at Montecasino (NuMetro), Sandton City (SterKinekor) or Gateway (SterKinekor).