The Hobbit 3D High Framerate Electric Boogaloo

We saw The Hobbit 3D High Framerate version.  I enjoyed the movie and was amused to see that Radagast was played by a former Doctor Who (Sylvester McCoy).  Also had Guy of Gisborne from BBC Robin Hood with a big dwarf nose.  Anyway, aside from being 3D, the 48 frames per second version was odd to see.  I think I’m a bit prejudiced against it in up-close dialog scenes.  It looked unnaturally smooth and cheap for a movie, like some kind of TV show.  Maybe this is the same kind of situation when people claim that records sound better than CDs (which I always thought was pretty silly).  However, in fast-moving action scenes, it really helped.  You know how sometimes in a movie, the frame rate is so slow that you can’t really tell what’s going on sometimes?  Well, that didn’t happen here.  But there was also a scene where it made the special effects look fast and toy-like.  We’ll see if they do it for the next Hobbit movies, or if the criticism was too much.  (They’re splitting it into 3 movies.)  Either this will catch on and people in the future will laugh at the 24 frame per second movies of the past or it will come to nothing  Also, maybe they’ll learn to do it better and how to do the effects and lighting better for 48 frames per second.  I mean, this was the first try.

Hindi musical distortion

I was watching a Hindi movie and it seemed like it had a reasonable budget.  But then the audio would sometimes distort…especially when they were singing.  It’s like they blasted all the levels until the sound was distorted.  From what I was reading, this is a weird style thing.  Why would you destroy the songs in your musical with this wacky sound effect?

USB Genesis activation controls?

I was recently watching Wraith of Khan on Netflix.  Someone needs to build a USB version of the metal cylinder controls that Khan used to activate the Genesis device.  It’d just be hilarious to have to twist those knobs in in all kind of computing situations.  Sending a scathing email? Before sending it, Gmail would detect the words of anger and make you twist the knobs from largest to smallest while saying, “to the last, I will grapple with thee.”


We recently watched Unstoppable…a movie about a runaway train incident.  It was based on a real train incident.  You kinda laugh at the technical inconsistencies in a movie where you’re familiar with the field.  Ridiculously large needles in medical situations or telneting to an email address.  But since I know nothing about trains, I asked my uncle, who’s a train engineer, how realistic Unstoppable was.  In case you’re interested in trains, he said,

It was VERY unrealistic. The way they used the brake valves while “driving” didn’t make any sense.  You never slide the wheels like that and make all the sparks. If you did, that would “lubricate” the rail with molten metal, and wouldn’t help you slow down. The large handle the engineer kept “pumping” is the automatic brake valve. It operates the brakes on the cars, which had none! Going all the way to the right with it puts the train into emergency mode. Until the air pressure charges back up, you have no air braking capacity. They kept doing going to emergency, then releasing, then back to emergency several times. If you really did this, you’d be in trouble because you’d have depleted all the air pressure needed to apply the brakes. The “independent” brake valve operates the engine brakes. They kept stressing to alternate between dynamic braking and power braking at the same time. You can’t do that. It’s one or the other. The recommendation to do this by the FRA guy didn’t make any sense. The relationship between the old heads and the new hires was overdone, it’s not that bad and we work under a seniority system anyway.  All in all, it was a fun movie, but without the pounding musical score, it wouldn’t have been nearly as nerve wracking!