Is the 120 Fps Version of 'Gemini Man' That Bad Compared to the 24 Fps One?

In this video by John Hess from Filmmaker IQ, you will see how 120 fps affects the experience of watching a film in a way you probably haven't thought before.

At first, I thought about "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and "Public Enemies" and was ready to skip the video, proudly declaring "I know it all." Nevertheless, I decided to watch it until the end, because Hess has always interesting points, even on well-known topics. If you have worked with VFX and 3D in your filmmaking, you know that high frame rate (HFR) has its place in the digital universe. It delivers footage with less motion blur, which makes it easier for keying out actors and objects on scenes filmed on chroma key backgrounds. The good news for the lovers of the 24 fps look is that you can convert the footage back to your favorite frame rate speed and add motion blur. Everyone who has compared 24 to 50 or 60 fps knows the difference and how the HFR version "looks too real" and kind of like a TV soap opera. This is not what amazed me from John Hess' review. It was his perception of the quality of acting of experienced celebrity actors. The 120 fps didn't work in their favor, but made them look anything but A-list actors. It is surprising to see how the same acting performance can feel cheap or cinematic just because of the frame rate speed.

Did you have such an experience with high frame rate movies, especially with "Gemini Man""

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8 Comments

Benoit Pigeon's picture

OK, so does the tv itself has to be a newer model to see HFR? My mother in law has had a tv for the past 3 years that makes any older movie look like 80' tv show. I can't stand that look.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

The "feature" is called "Motion smoothing" and can be disabled on these TVs.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Ok, thanks. Don't know if she will let me but I may try. What drove me nuts is that no one else was bothered by the effect.

Colin Shawhan's picture

I noticed this when I tried to watch "Orange is the New Black" on a cheap tv at an AirBNB with ROKU, or similar service. At home I use a Win10 PC with ethernet, etc. Rather than being engaging it seemed like a rerun of "Saved By the Bell"!

I felt like a competent high schooler could put this crap together. Must have been that "motion smoothing" - I personally hate these cheap processing gimmicks on low-end electronics, for sound or video. I am okay watching a show on a Wal-Mart 24" TV while I'm on vacation, just please don't process my favorite shows until they look like "ALF".

Ryszard Błogowski's picture

I've always wondered what's wrong with HFR. For me it has always been simple: more FPS = smoother and more realistic image = better image.
It turns out that the HFR is too good and too realistic so you can see to many imperfections :P
Shooting 24 FPS is like using vaseline on the lens to soften the image and hide skin imperfections.

"Is it the new face of cinema? Indefatigably...no."

Definition of indefatigable. : incapable of being fatigued : untiring an indefatigable worker.

Get this man a dictionary! :D

I think he meant to say "Emphatically...no."

He might mean that he'll never get tired of saying no.

I actually loved it in HFR 3D. The frame rate didn't affect the performance for me at all. It just made the experience much smoother, more lifelike and mow enjoyable. I grew up on 24fps but have now become used to higher frame rates, so i don't perceive it the same as others.
I think it's all about perception and what you're used to. If you're used to 24fps then it'll seem weird ti you and too real. If you're used to smooth video then it won't have the same effect that makes things look fake and performances seem forced.