The Hobbit: An Unexpected Nausea

KTVI in St. Louis reported ”The Hobbit Making Some Movie-Goers Sick” on opening night, blaming the movie’s novel 48 frames-per-second rate for giving some viewers upset tummies.

David Bratman saw The Hobbit screened in the traditional format – he says it’s the movie itself that made him sick:

I saw it in 2D, 24 fps, and I still feel as if I’ve been bludgeoned by a giant stick.

Nobody who loves the book should be wooed thereby into seeing this movie (unless, poor sods like me, they feel they have to). Nobody.

I doubt I’ll have any more to say until the bruises begin to go down.

I expect to see it in the next couple of days and will report any adverse effects… 

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7 thoughts on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Nausea

  1. It’s amazing how movie critics like to put down what they don’t understand. For ages it was regular 3D films that were supposedly giving everyone headaches, making them nauseous, and so on – Roger Ebert slammed every single 3D movie that he reviewed. But after a few years he eventually had an epiphany, and now thinks they’re mostly all right (and sometimes very good).

    Now it’s 48fps 3D that’s a problem – I bet if there hadn’t been all the publicity about it no-one would have noticed. Instead every media outlet parrots what they’ve seen somewhere else.

    I can’t speak to how the book of The Hobbit translated to film, but it does seem like considerable overkill to spread a short book across three episodes.

  2. I have gotten sick watching several films, one which was the 3D AVATAR, which I put down to sudden shifts in motion. My sense of balence is dependent on my vision, since my ears were damaged at birth. The other films I have gotten ill watching were the large screen formats of hand held “shakey cams” used in “found footage” movies. This was the reason why I will not take in such films, and why I left the theater during a viewing of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. It was the fear of vomiting.

    Not likely to watch any #D films, now down one eye. A DVD of THE HOBBIT might be watched.

    Understand? Sorry. It does happen.

  3. I’ve only seen 48fps in short bursts. There are a few short films they made as demos, one of which was by Warren Miller and that one did effect my stomach, though the IMAX film Speed in the 1980s at Great America used to have the same effect. It has more to do with the kind of motion and less to do with the presentation media, though bigger does tend to be more over-whelming, which would explain why I didn’t get ill at all during Blair Witch.

  4. Big screen. Well, medium screen. The AMC in Saratoga in the littlest of all the screens. Bigger than the widest wise-screen, but less than 150 seats.


  5. I remember that David didn’t think much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy of movies, so his disgust at the new The Hobbit film is unsurprising.

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