It's Sony being douches and not having set the infrastructure for the HFR wide release in place, in time. Look at this thread for more info: http://www.film-tech.com/cgi-bin/ubb...002838/p1.html
Maybe Sony got scared of many theaters potentially showing a bad HFR presentation and giving even more bad publicity to the film, they screwed up big time, makes me think that the tensions between Tim Rothman (Sony Pictures boss) & Ang Lee about the HFR + the bad NYFF reception led to this. I mean, they're dumping the movie in only 1100 + releases next week, it's a ridiculously small release, it's doing very well this weekend in 2 theaters though.
: Didn't see the movie yet, but Lee wanted to place us firmly in Billy's shoes, hence the POV heavy feel of it, about it not feeling very cinematic to you, are you sure it's not because of the HFR itself? Watching and rewatching the second trailer in top quality on a big screen, in 24 fps obviously, it looks really great imo, in fact, it's the best I've seen the F65 look ever and I'm a film guy. About the spurious activity you mention, Lee said that in HFR, you notice everything so much more, acting and etc, which means that you notice the extras acting. They were figuring a lot of stuff out on the spot, Lee had to rethink how to direct, production designers spoke of how much more scrutiny was going to be placed on everything and they had to sell the whole "fakeness" of it all that much more.
He's still figuring out what works, what doesn't work, and he felt the HFR would lend itself to the story with the contrast between the halftime show, and the war. I'm sure not all of it will work, because it's still new, but it's impressive that he did that, and will keep pushing the technology.