Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

If you're up to =here= with movie special effects...

Expand Messages
  • Stolzi
    read this http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express&s=easterbrook062804 Greg Easterbrook also has some comments on the new ARTHUR feature. Diamond Proudbrook
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 28, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      read this

      http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express&s=easterbrook062804

      Greg Easterbrook also has some comments on the new ARTHUR feature.

      Diamond Proudbrook
    • David Bratman
      ... I think he s seeing a rather limited selection of movies. ... This is a major problem. One just doesn t get good acting this way. According to an article
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 28, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        At 08:56 PM 6/28/2004 -0500, Gregg Easterbrook wrote:

        >Every other movie now has impossible fly-through-the-air kickboxing, faces
        >morphing from one to another, strange distant cities, energy bolts,
        >elaborate starcruisers, immense explosions, people falling impossible
        >distances, and other special-effects staples.

        I think he's seeing a rather limited selection of movies.


        >It must be really tiresome to make these movies--Will Smith or Vin Diesel
        >standing on an empty sound stage, screaming at a black space into which a
        >computer-generated effect will be inserted.

        This is a major problem. One just doesn't get good acting this way.
        According to an article I read on the new Spiderman movie (which I have no
        intention of seeing: if it's half as bad as the first one it'll be
        terrible), the actor playing Doc Octopus joked to the actress playing Aunt
        May about how all their fine classical-theatre training was going to
        screaming for a scene in which he kidnaps her or something. But the
        likelihood that any of that training will come out is virtually nil.


        >Preposterous hanging-by-fingertips-off-extremely-tall-objects has become so
        >common that you can't be a Hollywood star anymore unless you've hung by your
        >fingertips off the top of something in a totally unrealistic way. Even Frodo
        >and Sam hang by their fingertips off an impossibly tall cliff in the final
        >Lord of the Rings movie. Presumably movie producers think that scenes of
        >people hanging by their fingertips off tall objects are exciting. The scenes
        >are monotonous because they are so totally obviously fake

        I wondered why that gratuitous scene bothered me so much.


        >Increasingly special effects scenes depict things that are not even
        >simulations of reality, but rather, ridiculous presentations of the
        >physically impossible.

        I'm a little dubious about this as a complaint, because cartoons have been
        doing exactly that for decades. Is that OK because nobody expects cartoons
        to be anything other than presentations of the physically impossible? If
        so, why can't action films develop the same protocols?

        But as long as we're complaining about film protocols that don't match
        reality, can we have done with films in which US government agents are
        ultra-competent super-spies?


        >A parachute doesn't decelerate a person from a 170 mile per hour free fall
        >to a dead stop in one second, the way Van Helsing's grappling hooks did.

        And if it did, the internal shock would kill you. For the same reason that
        decelerating from free fall to a dead stop because you hit the ground kills
        you.


        >Obviously Hollywood's motto is, "Millions for special effects, not one cent
        >for writing." But at this point the special effects are just boring. Viewers
        >are going to stop caring.

        Judging by the self-defenses of the bad writers who produced Jackson's
        LOTR, they think they're already writing well enough. As for the viewers
        not caring about the special effects, the answer is obviously going to be:
        ratch them up yet another notch.


        >Cryptic references to Arthur occur in records as old as the seventh century,
        >simply mentioning him as a heroic king: no round table, Guinevere, or
        >Lancelot.

        Easterbrook's account of the development of Arthurian legends is pretty
        accurate, so far as I recall offhand: but he understates his case here.
        The cryptic references to an actual historical Arthur don't even call him a
        king: he's simply described as the leader in battle. Some scholars have
        speculated he was a warrior-general underneath others who were kings (who
        would have been pretty grubby chieftains by any standards of ours).

        - David Bratman
      • bowring
        ... David, sorry to reveal my ignorance, but who is Easterbrook? Kevin
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 28, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          >Easterbrook's account of the development of Arthurian legends is pretty
          >accurate, so far as I recall offhand: but he understates his case here.
          >The cryptic references to an actual historical Arthur don't even call him a
          >king: he's simply described as the leader in battle. Some scholars have
          >speculated he was a warrior-general underneath others who were kings (who
          >would have been pretty grubby chieftains by any standards of ours).

          David, sorry to reveal my ignorance, but who is Easterbrook?

          Kevin
        • David Bratman
          ... Author of the article Stolzi linked to under this topic header. - DB
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 28, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            At 12:29 AM 6/29/2004 -0400, Kevin wrote:
            >David, sorry to reveal my ignorance, but who is Easterbrook?

            Author of the article Stolzi linked to under this topic header.

            - DB
          • WendellWag@aol.com
            In a message dated 6/28/2004 11:30:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... In fact, I think one would have to go out of one s way to see just the films Easterbrook
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 29, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              In a message dated 6/28/2004 11:30:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
              dbratman@... writes:

              > At 08:56 PM 6/28/2004 -0500, Gregg Easterbrook wrote:
              >
              > >Every other movie now has impossible fly-through-the-air kickboxing, faces
              > >morphing from one to another, strange distant cities, energy bolts,
              > >elaborate starcruisers, immense explosions, people falling impossible
              > >distances, and other special-effects staples.
              >
              > I think he's seeing a rather limited selection of movies.
              >

              In fact, I think one would have to go out of one's way to see just the films
              Easterbrook talks about. Here's the most recent films I have seen:

              _Goodbye, Lenin!_
              _Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind_
              _Mean Girls_
              _Saved!_
              _Fahrenheit 9/11_
              _Valentin_

              None of them are special effect films, although the second and fifth are well
              edited. The next two films I'll be seeing are probably going to be _Kill
              Bill, Vol. 2_ and _Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban_. So only two of the
              eight films I've seen or am about to see recently are special-effect-driven.
              Why did Easterbrook waste his time seeing _Van Helsing_ or _The Chronicles of
              Riddick_, since the reviews were pretty negative for both films?

              Yes, a lot of recent action films are junk, but it's generally obvious from
              reviews that they are junk for reasons not entirely connected with over-the-top
              special effects. _I, Robot_ will probably be junk because they threw out the
              book and just made up a plot having nothing to do with Asimov's ideas. The
              fact that the special effects will probably look ridiculous is just icing on
              the cake. A lot of the "five-hanky chick-flicks" (as Easterbrook puts it) are
              also bad because they are badly written. This is why, assuming that you don't
              have an unlimited amount of time, that you have to rely on reviews or friends'
              suggestions or something to winnow down the number of films you see. The
              eight films I've most recently seen or am about to see is probably pretty typical
              of the best I can hope for if I'm careful. None of them blew me away, but
              none was a waste of time. Stupid special effects are more like a consequence of
              stupid writing than the cause of it.

              Wendell Wagner


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
              ... [darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net] I am both dreading and looking forward to I, Robot. Yes they threw out the plot to one of the seminal works of science
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 29, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                >I, Robot_ will probably be junk because they threw out the
                > book and just made up a plot having nothing to do with Asimov's ideas.


                [darancgrissom@...]
                I am both dreading and looking forward to I, Robot. Yes they threw out
                the plot to one of the seminal works of science fiction in favor of an
                aglomaration of all three of his books in that particular world. With good
                deal of stuff made up to boot. But I like Will Smith action movies. He's a
                good actor, ALi proved that even to people who can't get past an action
                movie plot. I liked Independance Day, I liked Men in Black.

                In any case I have never been able to see a "good" movie in the theatre.
                When I saw Signs in the theatre there were people talking through the whole
                movie. When I saw Troy there was a large group of pre-teen girls sitting up
                front who screamed, loudly, everytime Orlando Bloom was on screen. When I
                saw bwoling for Columbine I went to the theatre at noon on a Tuesday, and
                there was still an old drunk guy yelling at the screen. He and I were the
                only two people in the theatre. I see a movie every Friday, to relax. I
                like explosions, I like unbelievable feats of strength and knowing that the
                hero will win. I saw Chronicles of Riddick, and it wasn't bad. It was
                Connan in space and I knew how it would end five minutes after it started,
                but the sets were interesting and Il like the semi witty dialouge which
                seems to follow Vin around from movie to movie. For good movies with less
                production costs I have patience and Net Flix.

                > " I'm a little dubious about this as a complaint, because cartoons have
                been
                >doing exactly that for decades. Is that OK because nobody expects
                cartoons
                >to be anything other than presentations of the physically impossible? If
                >so, why can't action films develop the same protocols?"


                Asian movies have had those protocols for many years. Korean and Japanese
                action films are generally based on the abillities which defy the laws of
                physics. Chrouching Tigar Hidden Dragon is a good example because most
                Americans know it, but it is indicative of the general class of Asian Actio
                Movies


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Stolzi
                Wendell has a point, but some of us are fantasy geeks rather than movie geeks, so our viewing tends to be slanted that way. I don t mind impossible feats in
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 30, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  Wendell has a point, but some of us are fantasy geeks rather than movie geeks, so our viewing tends to be slanted that way.

                  I don't mind impossible feats in movies like SPIDERMAN, because after all, the source comic books =always= had impossible feats in them. But it IS interesting to think of our heroes' arms being ripped right off as they swing about their world... like that piece somebody wrote on "the physics of STAR TREK."

                  What bores me most of all in SFX is ridiculously impractical affairs like those "battle machines" in STAR WARS staggering around on their long legs, and the endless computer-generated "armies" that make me lose all interest in battles - for some reason, even though battles filmed with only a few hundred "meat" extras are just as unreal, I can get more involved.

                  Oh, and speaking of stupid writing, I generally loved INDEPENDENCE DAY, and Will Smith not least. But when he gets into a totally alien spaceship and jimmies their totally alien computer???? GMAB!!!! Suspension of disbelief leapt right out the window.

                  Diamond Proudbrook



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                  Oh, and speaking of stupid writing, I generally loved INDEPENDENCE DAY, and Will Smith not least. But when he gets into a totally alien spaceship and jimmies
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 30, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Oh, and speaking of stupid writing, I generally loved INDEPENDENCE DAY, and
                    Will Smith not least. But when he gets into a totally alien spaceship and
                    jimmies their totally alien computer???? GMAB!!!! Suspension of disbelief
                    leapt right out the window.>>

                    Oh, Diamond, I missed that part. I only saw a chunk out of the middle. I
                    liked "Welcome to Earth." POW.

                    Lizzie

                    Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                    lizziewriter@...
                    amor vincit omnia
                  • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
                    You know two things about that. First If you watch the extended DVD. there is a thirty second scene in which he explains that he reverse engineered the
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 2, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment
                      You know two things about that. First If you watch the extended DVD. there
                      is a thirty second scene in which he explains that he reverse engineered the
                      aliens program using the ship so the computer wasn't communicting, he was
                      using the computer to run the ships systems. I explained it badly but the
                      story makes more sense if you watch it. Second, I have a group of about
                      nine cllose friends I saw that movie with, almost all of which are PC users.
                      We have one person that uses an Apple Computer. We spent the rest of the
                      summer joking with him by saying we always suspected the Apple was really
                      the Vanguard of ALien invaders, and now we knew
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano [mailto:lizziewriter@...]
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 3:27 PM
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] If you're up to =here= with movie special
                      effects...


                      Oh, and speaking of stupid writing, I generally loved INDEPENDENCE DAY,
                      and
                      Will Smith not least. But when he gets into a totally alien spaceship and
                      jimmies their totally alien computer???? GMAB!!!! Suspension of disbelief
                      leapt right out the window.>>

                      Oh, Diamond, I missed that part. I only saw a chunk out of the middle. I
                      liked "Welcome to Earth." POW.

                      Lizzie

                      Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                      lizziewriter@...
                      amor vincit omnia





                      The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org


                      Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                      ADVERTISEMENT





                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      --
                      Yahoo! Groups Links

                      a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/

                      b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      mythsoc-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                      c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.