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3-Point Belt Review Vol.6: Bear With Me

Marky Mark learns a lesson.

Marky Mark learns a lesson.

Ted (Seth MacFarlane, 2012) *WARNING – TERRIBLE PUNS*

Guess Who's Back?

Ted’s ballin’. DON’T FORGET IT. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Ted himself is balllllllin’! That’s what the rapper 50 Cent would say. That bear is brilliantly composited into the shot. Then Fiddy would invite Mark Wahlberg to his Candy Shop to tell him –

2. “Yo Marky Mark, you’re bear-ly making eye contact”. Seriously Mark, haaaavveee you met Bob Hoskins? He could make “eye-contact” with a 2D Roger Rabbit, why can’t you make eye contact with Ted? I mean, he’s right next to you on the cou- what? Whadda ya mean Ted’s not really there? He’s a mo-capped CG character?! THAT’S IMPAWSIBLE!

3. Ok, not to have a grizzly view on everything, but the sound is tinny and the plot is bear-ly there. It’s one of those stories where you can’t totally identify the obstacles. You start losing focus and thinking about what’s for dessert. Pretty claw-ful right? If MacFarlane had just thought about building a paws-ible climax, I wouldn’t be stuffed from my distracting brownie dessert; I’d be all stitched up from paying attention to the jokes along the way.

“Hey Stephanie, hit us with one more terrible teddy bear pun.”

Ursus arctos middendorffi /kodiak bear/ Kodiakbär

Someone maul her. Make it stop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fur sure. What to do you want to hear?

 

3-Point Belt Review Vol.5: Sparkly Warp Speed

Benedict Cucumberatch hands out today's special.

Benedict Cucumberatch hands out today’s special.

Star Trek: Into Darkness (J. J. Abrams, 2013) *SPOILER ALERT*

1. “Captain Zulu, proceed to new and improved warp speed.”

Instead of ye olde lens distortion, there’s a trail of warp particles left lingering behind. And when I heard how you travel through the trail with stereoscopic vision, it’s one of the only times I’ve regretted watching a film in 2D.

"Smooth Criminal" music video. Shows...

What happens when gravity malfunctions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Great action scenes that use VFX appropriately: The “roly-poly” scene (where the ship’s internal gravity malfunctions) wouldn’t work without CG props falling to indicate the direction of gravity. The garbage barge, “can of whoop-ass” scene? Wouldn’t work without awesome keying and flying barges (obviously). Let’s not forget ANY SHOT INVOLVING A SPACESHIP.  Shield your eyes people, the rays of awesome are blinding!

3. I wish I had something to complain about, but I don’t. That’s not to say it’s the most amazing film ever, but it’s definitely a safe sequel that ticks the boxes for entertainment.

VFX? Great.

Soundscape? Excellent.

Storyline/pacing/cast performance: all up to scratch!

Sure some people found the underwear scene offensive, but seriously – who cares? At least it wasn’t a Megan Fox crotch shot. Hmm, need something to poke at…ooh, ooh, I know! Cumberbatch! Great name, huh?

3-Point Belt Review – Vol. 1

TPBVol1_eyes

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.