"What They Had" finds welcome humor in a tragic setting                Glenn Close, Hugh Jackman and Director Damien Chazelle to Receive Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Foster continues a hot streak with “Galveston”                Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan have captured brilliance with "Wildlife"                Amandla Stenberg, John David Washington, Yalitza Aparicio, Felix Van Groeningen & Crazy Rich Asians To Receive Hollywood Film Awards                David Gordon Green puts his stamp on "Halloween" and crafts a terrific sequel                "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" deliciously pairs Richard E. Grant with Melissa McCarthy                "22 July" sees Paul Greengrass effectively depict another tragic historical event                Timothée Chalamet and Rachel Weisz to be Honored at Hollywood Film Awards                Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet are gunning for awards with "Beautiful Boy"                "Bad Times At The El Royale" is overstuffed yet pulpy fun from Drew Goddard                87 films will contend for Best Foreign Language Feature this year                "First Man" is another stunning achievement for Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling                Updated Academy Award predictions for early October                Bradley Cooper makes a stunning directorial debut with the Oscar frontrunner "A Star Is Born"        

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – shamefully bloated

I don’t know if seeing The Hobbit part 1 of 3 in the much-discussed 48 frames-per-second diminished the viewing experience, but it certainly didn’t help. Since it’s the way Peter Jackson intended the film to be seen, it very much counts when judging the overall motion picture.

It’s neither the great savior of cinema that the likes of Peter Jackson or James Cameron would have you believe, but nor is it a bell weather of the ‘death of cinema’. It is *different*, that’s for sure. You get an unparalleled clarity of vision and a certain lifelike presentation, akin to looking at a window at ‘real life’.

The various CGI creatures look arguably more lifelike and the 3D is pretty flawless (although the screen looked even more vibrant when I took off the glasses, making me wish there had been a 48 fps 2D option). But for that clarity you lose a certain cinematic grandeur. Yes, certain introductory scenes look like live theater and yes there is an inconsistency of speed, as any number of moments will make one wonder if they’re watching the film on 1.5x speed on their Playstation 3.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

Photos by Newline/MGM/Warner Bros.

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