Cruise has taken the release of his film "Mission: Impossible Fallout" on Blu-ray as an opportunity to tweet from the set of the currently in production sequel to Top Gun an urgent appeal against motion smoothing (movement interpolation) which is widespread on home TVs.
Together with director Christopher McQuarrie (among others of "Mission Impossible Fallout", the latest Tom Cruise film) he explains the undesired consequences of the function, which is actually intended to minimize blurred images on high-resolution televisions during fast movements (e.g. sports), but often leads to movies getting a soap opera look, i.e. making them look as if they were shot with a video camera and not in Hollywood.
But how does this effect come about? Movies are classically recorded at 24 frames per second, movements are not displayed as fluid and appear slightly blurred - an effect that helps to make moving pictures look like "film", because we are accustomed to life-long experience that (Hollywood) movies (among other things in this particular way) look different from reality.
Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie
How important the frame rate of 24fps for the film look was shown in Peter Jackson&s film adaptation of "The Hobbit", which was recorded at one of the double frame rates of 48fps and shown in many cinemas - to the displeasure of critics and many viewers, who didn&t like the resulting "video look" and its hyper-reality at all.
A similar thing happens in televisions with motion smoothing activated: the film recorded at 24 fps is extrapolated to 50 or 60 frames per second, i.e. the missing intermediate frames are interpolated using an algorithm, which usually leads to a better (i.e. more realistic) representation of movements, but also destroys the familiar 24fps film look due to the high frame rate.
The motion interpolation was originally intended for the better representation of sports events, where such fast movements are not shown jerky, but more fluid due to the additional intermediate images. Depending on the complexity of the image content, motion smoothing can also lead to artifacts and the image can be deteriorated instead of improved.
Many users don&t know that the Motion Smoothing function is responsible for this and are only surprised by the unattractive presentation of movies that otherwise look much better in the cinema. Tom Cruise therefore calls on behalf of all those involved in film production to manually deactivate the function that is active by default on most HD televisions in order to make a film look like it was intended by its makers.
In recent years, several well-known Hollywood directors such as Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson and Jonathan Mostow have spoken out against Moton Smoothing and even called on Directors Guild of America to talk to TV manufacturers to give filmmakers back control over the look of their work on TVs. Several well-known filmmakers and actors have already responded to Tom Cruise&s tweet and expressed their support.
Since the motion interpolation settings on televisions of different brands are found in different menus (and can also have different names such as "Video Interpolation", "Motion Plus" or "Motion Smoothness"), Cruise recommends searching the Internet with the following keywords "Disable Motion Smoothing" and the name of the make of the TV. If you have the manual of your TV at hand more quickly, you can of course also look there. "By the way, "Top Gun: Maverick" will be released in cinemas in June 2020.