Angry CinemaCon otaku were left without a grip on reality – and, in extreme cases, hefty hospital bills – in what one blind witness described as “total and utter carnage/a macabre feast for the retinas” after being shown footage of Peter Jackson’s latest vanity project, The Hobbit – the highly anticipated movie adaptation of a revered J.R.R. Tolkien masterpiece about a young man’s foray into homosexuality by way of a magic ring that makes him invisible.
Unlike traditional film, which is recorded at 24fps(frames-per-second, from the Welsh ffrâms-per-second), The Hobbit has been recorded at 48fps which, like my face after shaving, is twice as smooth as what you’re used to. Jackson claims that, where traditional 24fps film feels grandiose and story-like, this smoother look allows audiences to feel closer to the actors, as though they are actually present on set.
However, while audience reactions to the apparent realism on display varied considerably, it was clear that most were not prepared to make the switch: no longer able to discern what was real from what was not, many threw their 3D glasses on the floor in horror believing them to be orc mischief, a troupe of amateur film-makers began an impromptu version of They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengard, X-Men fans temporarily understood that Gandalf is Magneto, Richard Dawkins accidentally converted to Islam(he has since revoked his conversion on Twitter), and a group composed entirely of females… bred.
The subsequent internet frenzy was indeed frenzied, verging on frenziful, with an unprecedented number of netizens descending on Meme Generator and causing its servers to crash.
The visual issue at hand appears to be caused by perception, a recently-discovered pseudo-religious phenomenon that makes the sky appear a gentle, calming blue for you but a gaudy, sickening mauve for the person next to you on the bench. The screening was promptly cut short and Jackson, under pressure from New Line Cinema to make the film less realistic, has now completely rewritten the story to be more in line with the original and has reined things in visually, as is evident in this shot:
Production on the film has been hampered by numerous delays, with no less than three changes of director(Guillermo Del Toro was at the helm prior to Jackson but he left the project on the grounds that “it was not nearly gay enough for the target audience”) and early investors leaving due to Jackson’s refusing to read the source material on anything other than an iPad 2.
According to Jackson’s previous drafts, the story had been repackaged for modern audiences by setting it in a branch of Tesco and filming entirely on-location with a completely improvised script and using the continuity nightmare that is grocery shoppers as free extras to add realism. Gandalf had been recast as the manager; Oin, Gloin and the rest of the thirteen dwarves worked the tills; Gollum would flit between the customer service desk and crate-stacking duties in the back. The rewrite will stick close to the plotline of the book, with Bilbo and the dwarfs traveling through a forest encountering camp trolls, singing diva spiders, leading to a tense final encounter with a sexually-indecisive dragon named Smaug.
Regarding the rewrite, a New Line Cinema spokesperson offered the following statement via Twitter:
“NLC is confident the proposed changes will allow audiences to discern between their behinds and their elbows after viewing. We are very much”
When pressed regarding the spokesperson’s clearly having been caught out by Twitter’s 140-character limit, their response was succint, leaving 83 characters to spare:
“New Line Cinema does not comment on rumors or speculation”
Be it rumour, speculation or the musings of a mad, meme-ified Boromir, the proof will be in the 48 fps 3D Imax Presentation pudding.
The.Hobbit.2012.3D.1080p.TS-XviD.torrentz4lyf.avi will be available on December 2nd 2012, with a simultaneous worldwide cinema release currently scheduled for the 14th.