Daily Archives: 04/25/2012

“The Hobbit” kind of…sucks?

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File this one under ‘new technology scares me and we should go back to flip-books!”

Movie industry trade show CinemaCon is unfurling as we speak in Las Vegas and showing the world’s cinema owners the latest and greatest forthcoming attractions from the major studios.

In what some are calling a minor setback for director Peter Jackson‘s forthcoming duo of “Hobbit” adaptations, early reception to a ten-minute ‘sizzle reel‘ of moments from the films was decidedly mixed, due in  no small part to Jackson’s decision to shoot the film in eye-popping 48 frame per second format – your current cinema fare is shot in 24 frames per second.

"Trust me - I know what I'm doing..."

The effect, to some who took in the footage, is rather akin to the dodgy ‘motion-smoothing’ technology which you can find on modern flat-screen tv sets and robs the footage of the classic, ‘grainy’ filmic feel that we’ve become used to (younger viewers who’ve come of age in an era of hi-def, cg animation and clean, smooth imagery might not have the same issues).  It’s an adjustment to make, apparently, but one which can swiftly be made and dissipates many of the negative side-affects which many viewers experience when viewing 3D footage in the cinema.

Dear old Movieline magazine – or what passes for that once glorious film publication currently – has rounded up some early reactions here.

I’m all for technology giving us something new to experience – though I’ve become rather ticked-off by the major studios desire to bolt 3-D presentation onto any film that stops for breath long enough, the likes of Beowulf and “Avatar” proved to me that a big movie in the 3-D format can immerse like nothing else – so I’m keen to see what Peter Jackson does with his 48 FPS blockbuster.

Do we want the barrier between film and viewer removed in the way that this film’s footage apparently does?  It’s going to make it look like nothing else out there, that’s for sure.  And in an age where you’ve got to have a new angle to get your film in front of people and grab their attention, is any negative reaction at least getting your project talked about?

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God of Thunder

A mystery bag - but what could it contain?

Right on schedule, as I hurtle towards my 40th birthday in the Autumn, comes the opening salvo in what promises to be a truly HILARIOUS mid-life crisis.

Whilst I have so far resisted the urge to buy an absurd sports car and a questionable pair of leather trews to accompany it, I have rather caved in on the ‘living out your teenage musician fantasies’ aspect of that regrettable, middle-aged bloke’s triumvirate of woe and bought…

Behold, my mighty axe! And weep in awe as you gaze upon its affordable curves and single pick-up!

A bass guitar.  Yep, I’ve resisted the urge to believe that I’m going to buy an entry-level guitar and be transformed, overnight, into Joe Satriani and instead plumped for an instrument which is, frankly, far more in keeping with my disposition.

Les Claypool of Primus - knows his way around four (or more) strings...

Just a pro-tip for anybody out there of a similar age who’s thinking about taking up music in your dotage – don’t go to YouTube and check out videos of Les Claypool from Primus in full-flight – it’ll only depress you.

Nope, with the best will in the world, I would love to keep going and learn as much as I can on the instrument, but my goal is to be able to play along to songs that I love and maybe jam with mates at some point – musical virtuosity is a boat which may have sailed, I fear, but musical competence is the middle-of-the-road goal that I’m setting out to reach.

If I could play like anybody?

I’ve been to see Melissa Auf Der Maur, and on top of being the most glamorous and unflinchingly eccentric Canadian arty space viking that I’ve had the pleasure to encounter, she’s also a kick-ass bass player and quietly distinguished and singular stylist to be reckoned with.  If I can get to approach being as rhythmically solid and cool as she is, I’ll be quite chuffed.

More progress reports will be with you as and when I, you know, make some actual progress…

 

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