Has Peter Jackson gone too far?
Ten minutes of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that screened today at CinemaCon 2012 has some movie buffs concerned that the unusual manner in which the film was shot has spoiled the look of Bilbo's big adventure.
So what happened? Read on...
Without getting too technical, we can tell you that Jackson shot the film at a record 48-frames-per-second, which the director says is far superior to the current 24-frames-per-second standard of pretty much anything else you've seen on the big screen.
The Hobbit presentation kicked off with a message from Jackson, who said his technique made the picture "much more gentle on the eyes, without the strobing or as much flicker, and much less eye strain." And, he hopes to "start the process of changing the entire industry to higher frame rates, which quite honestly provide a much more attractive experience, especially in 3-D."
But do exacting J.R.R. Tolkien fans care about such things?!
Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican said that the screened footage looked more like footage from a set visit, rather than finished pieces of a film (though he also praised the storytelling).
"Here's what The Hobbit looked like to me: a hi-def version of the 1970s I, Claudius," wrote Devin Faraci of BadassDigest.com.
"Saw ten minutes of Hobbit in 48fps 3D. Very exciting, but I'm now very unsure about higher framerates. 48fps feature films will likely divide moviegoers — I expect to see stronger hate, more so than 3D," added Slashfilm.com's Peter Sciretta.
But not everyone who caught a glimpse of Jackson's latest cinematic-boundary-pushing opus gave it a thumbs-down, of course.
"You can not get a more genuine, realistic viewing experience than this unless you are watching a performance live," wrote About.com's Rebecca Murray, though she noted that it takes your eyes a moment to adjust.
"You're right there and it's breathtaking," noted Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeff Wells. "No strobing, no flickering, pure fluidity and much more density of information...It's the best 3D I've ever seen and probably ever will see in my life. 48 fps 3D is so much easier on your eyes than 24 fps 3D."
So, what does that all mean to fans?
You're more excited to see The Hobbit than ever, aren't you?