11/18/2007

11-18-07 - 4

God "Beowulf" looks so awful. The CG is just disgusting looking, something about that super fake bad animation just hurts my eyes, and I HATE HATE HATE the CG stages with real actors on them and the stupid drop shadows and full-screen flickers and all those other lame tricks they do to try to merge the chromakey. These kinds of movies will not age well. Hey, I want to make my characters look like cardboard cutouts oddly stuck into an oversaturated unmatching background! Oh, then animate these stunt moves instead of getting standins, and I want the moves to look as jerky and unhuman as possible. Great idea! How avant garde!

On a semi-related note, we saw "Mirrormask" recently which is the same sort of horrible super-fake-looking CG, but it's way way better. For one thing, the designs are not supposed to be realistic, the characters are in a dream world and the designs are all the wild stylized Dave McKean stuff, which is what makes the movie worth seeing. I found the story and acting to be pretty juvenile, but Dan thought it was an accurate depiction of the struggles of a teenage girl. The backgrounds are totally flat and the characters look like they're standing on a page - you have to sort of pretend that's what's happening, it's almost like they stepped onto a comic book and are standing on the pages. Okay, it's still bad bad bad but it's not as bad as something like "Beowulf".

Zemeckis I guess likes to work with technology; he did Polar Express and Roger Rabbit, but if you look at his oeuvre it's evident that's he the master of semi-pleasing unremarkable pop fluff. Most of his movies are sort of enjoyable, but not at all risky, have no emotional connection other than cheezy sentimentality and don't say anything about anything. I didn't like Forrest Gump at all, so I guess "Back to the Future" is his best movie, which was quite enjoyable, but you could go back in time and prevent it from being made and there would be absolutely no bad consequences.

BTW I noticed the credits for Mirrormask actually credit each of the technical artists specifically and even says what each one did. I don't think I've ever seen that on any other major CG movie, it shows a lot of respect for the artists.

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old rants