Thursday, January 3, 2013
Richard Armitage in The Hobbit
For any of you who are aware of my weakness for all things Richard Armitage, (oh my, that deep basso voice!) you will not be surprised to hear that I took The Squire to see The Hobbit this past week. I admit freely to never having read The Hobbit. I think I will read it now however, as I thoroughly enjoyed it. Richard Armitage and the dear Martin Freeman may have something to do with that however.
I admit to some surprise when I heard that my Richard was going to play a dwarf. I mean really, a 6'2" dwarf? Some special effect trickery brings this off (I mean look at the photo above-he is a giant!). And he is the biggest, hunkiest, bravest dwarf of course. But even a very heavy costume and a load of hair cannot conceal this handsome man from the rest of the world now. Hollywood has noticed him. Or his voice at least. And he sings...oh he sings!
Oh, I guess I had better let you know how I liked the film. Ahem, sorry for digressing. Yes, the film is very good. In general, except for the Harry Potter films which I have watched faithfully, fantasy films are not really my cup of tea. I saw none of the Lord of the Rings films. But this one was very enjoyable even to someone not acquainted with the story. The special effects are fairly impressive. The acting is wonderful. The scenery makes you want to jump on a plane for New Zealand immediately.
Some of you may not know that my day job is as an optometrist. Normally, this has nothing to do with my interest in period film. But I do have to weigh in on the 3D, 48 frames-per-second, nausea controversy. First of all, I do not like 3D films. I see the world in 3D every single day. I know what that looks like. And 3D films, particularly this one, in no way resemble real life. In The Hobbit, there is a distinct foreground, and one or two midgrounds and then the background. And then every once in a while, something pops out and dangles above the head of the person in front of you. Hmmmmmm. Not impressed. And many amblyopic and strabismic patients are paying extra for what they see as a regular 2D film. They cannot see the 3D, but have to wear the glasses anyway.
But on to the blur/nausea controversy. Some are saying that they have to leave the film during the action sequences because of blur and nausea. I can absolutely agree that the action scenes are not enjoyable. However, I don't think it is because of the 3D or the 48fps. I think that the super large screens as well as the quick movement in the foreground especially is just too hard for the human eye to follow. I have seen 2D 24fps films that gave me similar blur but this film may have been a bit worse for whatever reason. I would have thought the 48fps would have reduced this blur in the action sequences. I think to paraphrase The Emporer in the film Amadeus, "My dear fellow, there are in fact only so many things the eye can see in the course of an evening!"
Thank-you, my rant is over. As a side note, I like the large screens and the amazing detail of digital film for slow moving period films. I saw Jane Eyre 2011 in an Ultra AVX theatre and it was amazing! It felt like I was right there with Rochester and Jane by the fire. But there is not much action in Jane Eyre to cause blur or nausea!
And for those of you who would like to see RA without all the hair and make-up, here he is as the wonderful Mr. Thornton in North and South. If you have not seen him in this please do yourself a favour and purchase this DVD for your collection. You are going to want to see it a few times. Trust me.