Super quick VFX reviews on movies past and present. No plot summaries, no fancy stuff, just jokes and matters of opinion. Check it out!
Clash of the Titans (Louis Leterrier, 2010)
1. What went right: the seamless fusion of the wings to the Pegasi (my plural for Pegasus), the subtly convincing, venom veins (woo, alliteration!) on Perseus’ arm and the kraken. Kraken = money scene. Brilliantly designed creature.
2. What went wrong: unoriginality. A lot of reviews rip on the CG but I think it’s the writers’/director’s fault the plot makes any VFX flaws stick out like a sore thumb. However, I do have to say, why didn’t they design original effects? Why did they choose to pick Hades to materialise like a dementor? He could have entered in a much more evil Lindsay Lohan kind of way. And why is Medusa so humanoid? The design has been seen before, let’s think for ourselves people!
3. My remarks throughout the whole movie:
‘Hey, isn’t that Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) playing Hades?’
‘Hey, isn’t that Mr Tough Danish Bond villain (Mads Mikkelsen) playing Mr Tough Greek captain guy?’
‘Hey, isn’t that the captain from 300 (Vincent Regan) playing a Greek king?’
‘Hey, isn’t that Dr Jekyll from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Jason Flemyng) playing Greek Dr Jekyll?’
The biggest problem I had (besides bad storyboarding and writing) is this jumble of characters ripped from other roles. It’s like they grabbed every actor who resembles one cast character in another movie, slapped fake tan and eyeliner on them and BOOM! – you’re Greek. Do we have no faith in choosing other actors for a role they haven’t played before?
And on a more important note, I loved the mismatching accents. I REFUSE to watch a tale about Greek mythology UNLESS it stars actors who keep their Downton Abbey English, their Taken Scottish and their rinky-dink Australian accents. True blue blokes.
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):
- Miniatures and kabooms (pyrotechnics) = awesome!
- Respectful use of CG where props can’t be used.
- Damn good writing. In the words of the South Park police: “Nice”.
Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)
- The CG melts into the sets beautifully due to well-planned VFX.
- Set design and the props – perfetto! Fantastically whimsical and true to steampunk.
- 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)
- Seamless integration between 2D elements impacting the real world.
- The most convincing interactions don’t occur physically but through EYE CONTACT WITH A CARTOON BUNNY. I doff my hat to you Bob Hoskins.
- Campy but it has a clear plot and motivations, plus Doc from Back to the Future.
E.T (Steven Spielberg, 1982)
- Excellent mechanical puppetry and props (aha!) to Matthew DeMeritt for walking on his hands in the suit for some scenes.
- Fairly convincing green screen and spaceship, which is remarkable for its time.
- 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 –
- For whatever VFX is in there, it’s subtle and unnoticeable. The illustrated storyboard intro also immediately piqued my interest.
- Yes, it was AWESOME!
- 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.
Pumbaa: It’s like my buddy Timon always says: you got to put your behind in your past.
Timon: No, no no. Amateur. Sit down before you hurt yourself. It’s “You got to put your past behind you.”
So that’s what I’ve done….kind of. I spruced up the website a little, put in some old stuff (like some artworks from high school, some past animations and some compositing exercises) and added a dash of new stuff (like the black background – WOW!). So yub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, and enjoy!
Last week I was fortunate enough to visit (dun duh!) the Weta Cave and Weta Workshop in Miramar, New Zealand! One step closer to the dream. I even saw Sir Richard Taylor at the Weta Cave! Unfortunately he was busy and I’m not into busting in on someone’s conversation. Ah well, there will be a next time!
The Weta Workshop was amazing and I was able to meet a painter named Matt and a sculptor named Craig Campbell. Everyone who works there is incredibly talented. One day I’ll stand amongst them!
My 2012 compositing/animation showreel.