Seen on Peter Jackson’s pet Embassy screen, with all mod cons: high frame rate, 3D, super surround sound speakers, etc.
It was groovy. Slower than it needed to be, but not so much as I’d feared. After the first half hour, it felt to me *very* similar in pacing to the LotR films. I’d give it 3.5 or 4 stars, against the 4.5 or 5 I’d throw down for the Lord of the Rings flicks.
It felt less like a coherent whole than any of the Rings films – the digressions (basically anything with no dwarves or hobbitses) really felt like digressions. This didn’t bother me in the least, though.
The big setpiece action sequence, dwarves vs goblins through mad tunnels and across wooden bridges, was too cartoony to feel of a piece with the more grittily choreographed LotR films – as if Legolas riding the shield was the default tone and not an unusual moment – but it was a fun romp and fully enjoyable to watch. (It also directly echoed, and far exceeded, the similar chase sequence in Tintin which was that film’s only memorable sequence.)
I liked it. What ya gonna do.
The HFR was *cool*. I really, really liked it. I can see why people don’t, of course, it’s definitely a different way of reading the screen, but it totally worked for me (and the 3D didn’t make my eyes tired, too, so I think it helped with that). I certainly don’t think it’s right for every film, there’s an effect of the “distance” of the traditional lower frame rate, but I can see myself looking forward to more films using HFR. I reckon Prometheus would’ve been more fun for me in HFR, for example.
Roll on part two.