Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Nevermind, Oct 15, 2011.
This thread is for general movie topics.
The Joys of Celluloid vs. Digital
Why Are Today's Action Movies So Bad?
Well, what can one say about movies like "Transformers?" The filmakers keep trying to up the ante, and the result is unwatchable.
There's a tendency toward more and more freneticism, but they often get too frenetic, so that you sometimes can't tell what's going on. I don't mind the Greengrass style of action, when things are just fast and vibrant, but a lot of directors don't have the talent to keep the geography clear, especially when the action sequences get larger and larger. You lose all spatial sense; and with more and more things being done with computers now, there's somehow less of a wow factor than when most of the effects were practical. There's a visceral quality to action scenes when its real human bodies doing some of the actual things on screen that just isn't matched when it's, for instance, computer generated robots.
cgi = the physics are not quite perfected.
Shaky camera = The Expendables had various big time name action folks versus each other but you could nto quite tell what was going on with any detail. It failed to thrill.
I've found that a lot of shaky-cam movies that were unbearable in theaters are pretty easy to follow at home. I wonder if the people editing these movies aren't using too-small screens to do so.
I watched Transformers 3 and Tron 2 recently, and realized what the two had in common - they were absolutely joyless.
That's a problem with most action movies these days - they're cool, but not fun.
Something's definitely been lost with CGI. Not so much because it's imperfect, but because audiences know how widespread it is. The days when James Cameron drove a truck off an overpass in Terminator 2 are gone. Today a studio would say to do it on a computer. Part of what makes a sequence like that great is because you know how "real" it is.
Shakycam can be overdone, but it's not often that it completely loses the audience (Quantum of Solace being one of the few recent notable examples) or it's done digitally to intentionally confuse the image for exterior reasons (the zoomed-in shaky cam of the theatrical cut of Chronicles of Riddick helped Universal get a PG-13 rating but lost the fight choreography in the process).
I would greatly argue otherwise in the case of Tron (where the sense of the characters having fun actually excuses some of the lamer exclamations for realism).
I could go on my usual tirade on why I hate CGI as an overused special effect, kids these days think sterile acting against a blue screen and doing everything in post is all the rage, learned nothing from their elders that they disrespect, movies should have stopped with the talkies, get off of my damn lawn, etc... But I won't.
But, I will echo the dislike for shaky-cam movies. They are nauseating and disorienting, and when the camera is moving all over the place while some big CGI flustercuck abomination is rolling around on screen... What the hell is going on? There's no time to actually digest what you see and you, the audience, are left to do all the work and choreograph the action by yourself.
Action movies, these days, are the product of marketing trends and meeting the demand from the masses. If one CGI mess pleased the populace, then another with MORE CGI will please even more people! Cha-CHING! Filmmakers would rather redo what worked last year than take a gamble with something new. Familiarity means a paycheck and Hollywood revolves more around money than it does around innovation and imagination. And it shows. Probably one out of every five or six movies is actually "new" and "fresh," and this is a generous estimate.
I haven't been to the theatre in quite a while. Though, that's mostly due to the skyrocketing ticket prices. Back in my day, a movie ticket was $5 for the matinee! And you kids get the hell off of my damn lawn!
I also think the Bourne series has really hurt action filmmaking. We get too many copycats trying to be gritty and copy Greengrass' style.
because they suck.
it'll be interesting to see how steven soderbergh's haywire is received by audiences. it looks to be more of a "classical" action piece with a far lower budget than most action films these days.
The Most Pirated Movies of All Time
This made me laugh, but in an odd way it was really sad.
Oh look, nothing but massively high grossing films. Pirates have no taste.
I don't understand stealing most of these movies. Some of them need to be seen on the large screen, and some of them are just plain godawful.
There's something absolutely perfect about 'game-changer' Avatar, which was supposed to revolutionize the way we all watch movies, being the most pirated movies. Sorry, Jim; a lot of people still don't give a crap about 3D and they'd still rather watch your crummy movie on their crummy laptop in crummy quality. Welcome to reality.
This is a valid, all-so-astute post.
When asked to lecture, I always stress that fx intended as ad-hoc, on-the-scene, or 'urgent', such as shaky, jitters, etc., simply
can not substitute for lack of drama in storytelling.
Then again, I'm probably singing to the choir, since most of the members posting to the Amphitheatre know their stuff.
ed/ and then some.
One time I've seen shaky cam work is in Saving Private Ryan. Of course, it was during literal shellshock moments, at times in slow motion and reduced sound and what you did see was devastating.
Pioneers like Sam Peckinpah would have killed for today's tech in such films as THE WILD BUNCH, THE IRON CROSS", etc.
I think the shakycam works in Greengrass' Bourne movies. It's pretty high intensity there.
Film Critic Hulk had a pretty good three part essay on action movies that I think summed up shaky cam the best - it's a tool, and like any cinematic tool it can be used for good or for evil.
Evil in this case being Michael Bay, I suppose.
Yeah. I think that was the first time it was used. Spielberg wanted the movie's combat sequences to look like a World War II newsreel. So the camera shakes. A lot.
Sorry for the terse, rushed post. I'm on the line; I ment no disrespect.
In honest response, and in my opinion, the first twenty minutes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN are the entire film.
With credit to Vin Diesel's performance, and of course, "Betty Boop.. what a dish,", the remainder of the film is flat.
SPR is shaky at its best, and as intended.
(pats self on back shamefully for self-promotion, having worked on film)
(Watch out, Clone. Pride's one of them Seven Deadlies...)
How far away until a cgi human is completely seamless and unable to spot with the naked eye on a screen?
Is Hollywood Really Out of Ideas?