- (Photo: Peter Jackson)
Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" hits theaters this Friday and already had fans talking about the prequel to "The Lord of the Rings."
Available to audience in a 3-D version and shot at 48-frames-per-second, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" offers an unprecedented cinematic experience where its setting in "Middle-earth" lights up the screen and captivates viewers.
At 48 frames per second (FPS), Middle-earth appears incredibly crisp because it the filming essentially doubles the amount of visual data projected onto the screen, so that 3-D action becomes smoother.
While some early viewers of "The Hobbit" have praised the high-speed format of the film, others complained of discomfort and even headaches during the screening.
Director, screenwriter, and producer of the film Peter Jackson disregarded the criticism over the film, explaining the difference in the cameras used.
"I'm fascinated by reactions, I am beginning to see that anyone under the age of 20 or so doesn't really care, and thinks it looks cool and doesn't even really understand it," said Jackson.
The world-famous director was at the helm of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which has earned him 17 Academy Awards, among many other notable film awards.
"The 48 frames allows 3-D and you have sharper pictures and more of a three-dimensional world which is interesting … It's not an attempt to change the film industry, it's a choice," he pointed out. "For me it gives it the sense of reality, and makes you feel like you're leaving the cinema and entering somewhere new."
"It's different," the director continued. "As human beings we have resistance against things that are different and there is always suspicion."
Jackson compared the arrival of CDs and to the resistance met from those using the now-obsolete vinyl players.
"I remember when CDs first came out, it was the sound of vinyl that people loved, and suddenly CDs that was threatening the sound of vinyl," said Jackson speaking to reporters. "As humans, we don't like change."
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. The Emmy-nominated actor is best known for his role on BBC's "Sherlock" but shines on the big screen portraying the fussy, repressed Hobbit.
"Martin was the only person we ever wanted for the role," explained Jackson while speaking to reporters.
"We literally could not think of another actor to do it," said the director, adding that filming for "The Hobbit" was catered to the actor's availability.
Freeman delivered an impeccable performance, carrying Bilbo Baggins from a grumpy recluse to a big-hearted adventurer in the film. Baggins, the central character, provided emotional connections in the film.
"The Hobbit" was written in 1937 by J.R.R. Tolkien, with "The Lord of the Rings" following as successor.
Richard Armitage portrays Thorin Oakenshield, the king of the dwarves. He addressed how he got into character by tapping his Catholic roots.
Sir Ian McKellan reprises his role from "Lord of the Rings" as the wizard Gandalf.
Moreover, other "Rings" veteran actors Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and Elijah Wood all reprised their roles as Galadriel, Saruman, Elrond, and Frodo, respectively.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" hits theaters everywhere on Dec. 14.
Fans can look forward to two more installment films, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in 2013 and "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" in 2014.