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In praise of - less cinematic choice.

CALL me a geek, but I booked my tickets nearly five weeks in advance for The Hobbit film.

Boy, was I excited. But I was worried too. In particular, I didn't want to see the movie in 48fps.

What's flippin' fps? It's "frames per second", an expression that'll soon be on all our lips, cinematically speaking. Most movies are shot at 24fps, but Hobbit director Peter Jackson shot his at 48 as, he said, it avoided blur in fast 3D action but also made everything more realistic.

It does, to the point of being like a home movie. It's horrible and takes away all the magic of cinema. Critics panned 48fps at early previews of The Hobbit. Chastened, Jackson decided to offer the film in both 24 and 48fps.

And, of course, I ended up seeing it in 48fps. This was, unequivocally, the cinema's fault. When I booked online, I was presented with a choice of 2D, 3D, Real 3D and IMAX. I didn't want IMAX as, by all accounts, it blasts your earlobes to smithereens. So I went for Real 3D (not being clear what Unreal 3D is).

I searched the site for references to fps, but there were none at that time. Reports said such showings would be rare anyway, as few cinemas were equipped to deal with it. I thought I was safe.

But, no, a movie I'd been looking forward to all year was ruined. And I say again: not my fault. I'm an intelligent man, even if I cannot supply references to support that claim.

The choice offered by the cinema was bewildering enough. But, ironically, there was none where it mattered. FPS, dear boy: 24 or 48?

But, really, doesn't it make you yearn for the days when your only major choice at the movies was popcorn or pick 'n' mix?

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