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Hey boys and girls! Strap in. It’s time for a movie review!

The 3-Point Belt Review will be my attempt at being sooper edumacated about what’s hot and what’s not in VFX. Basically, each film only gets 3 observed points. Only 3. Because I don’t like long movie reviews. I’m generation Y. Me need instant gratification NOW! [Slams fists down]. Let’s cut to the cheese people.

Independence Day (Roland Emmerich, 1996):

  1. Miniatures and kabooms (pyrotechnics) = awesome!
  2. Respectful use of CG where props can’t be used.
  3. Damn good writing. In the words of the South Park police: “Nice”.

Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)

  1. The CG melts into the sets beautifully due to well-planned VFX.
  2. Set design and the props – perfetto! Fantastically whimsical and true to steampunk.
  3. You know those cupcakes that look really delicious with all that icing and sprinkles but taste like plastic headphones? That was the writing/editing/directing. TERRIBLE pacing, disjointed plot and characters lacked depth. Ugh.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Robert Zemeckis, 1988)

  1. Seamless integration between 2D elements impacting the real world.
  2. The most convincing interactions don’t occur physically but through EYE CONTACT WITH A CARTOON BUNNY.  I doff my hat to you Bob Hoskins.
  3. Campy but it has a clear plot and motivations, plus Doc from Back to the Future.

E.T (Steven Spielberg, 1982)

  1. Excellent mechanical puppetry and props (aha!) to Matthew DeMeritt for walking on his hands in the suit for some scenes.
  2. Fairly convincing green screen and spaceship, which is remarkable for its time.
  3. Confusing character motivations and acting at times. In other words, the Mum is really weird. Why are you so negligent? She needs Dr Phil to tell her to get real.

Ben-Hur …..errr, I mean Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012):

Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959) was a bit scratched and around the cool rowing scene, it became unwatchable. So we watched Argo instead, and –

  1. For whatever VFX is in there, it’s subtle and unnoticeable. The illustrated storyboard intro also immediately piqued my interest.
  2. Yes, it was AWESOME!
  3. No, it is not completely true to facts. Don’t cry about it. If you want a doco, go watch angry polar bears with Sir David Attenborough or something.
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