Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Look Ahead to Best Visual Effects.

’ve looked at Animated Film, Make-Up and Editing, so I’m kinda hoping that you know where this is going by now.

The nominees:

Pirates of the Caribbean II
Superman Returns

How I did: 67%. Got the first and the last one right, but for some completely random reason, I’d also predicted Casino Royale. Heh.

The funny little thing about VFX is that a film could be totally awful but still find itself winning at Oscar – for this category. These three films pretty much prove my point here; none of them got higher than a B- from me, yet here they are, Oscar-nominees.

Pirates of the Caribbean II
As you’ll read in my review of it, this wasn’t a film I was too keen on. But don’t get me wrong, I really liked the original. A lot of it was due to Depp’s great performance and the fantastic score (which I’ve played in orchestra before, and we’re now playing in school orchestra! Yay!), but credit was also due to the visual effects. I thought they were absolutely chilling and perfect, and pretty much made the film.

Three years later. Pirates of the Caribbean II. In some ways, you could argue that the visual effects have gotten even better. The effects created for Davey Jones and his ship were breathtaking, and looked genuinely realistic and scary. But I feel a lot of this owes debt to the make-up. The make-up is responsible for the good bits, and in a way, the special effects just become a distraction. At times, the film feels just like a showcase for how many different special effects the crew could do on their Apple Macs, the director relies far too much on the (admittedly special) CGI and it completely detracts from the impact of the film. And there was way, way too much of that Kraken. So, in short, the effects are too be commended, the usage of them not as much. Seeing as the category awards the former, I’d be forced to grudgingly award the VFX a A-, mainly for the excellent usage of motion capture in transforming Bill Nighy into the tentacled thing that was Davey Jones. (but remember! It’s the usage of them that matters – and that would get an E!)

Another film I didn’t particularly care for, though I’ll try not to let that get in the way of my critiquing the special effects. Well, they were moderate, suited the film, and convincingly done. The VFX shone the most here in the action sequences, keeping you at the edge of the seat, and outdoing most of those in Titanic. In fact, I think I’d say that the scenes featuring good special effects were amongst the best in the film (the scenes featuring destruction of the ship were perfectly detailed), though, whether or not the $160 million was entirely well spent is some what of another question. B+.

Superman Returns
I think visual effects in this film, and one scene stood out especially – the jumbo jet scene. The majestic scale and time taken to bring that scene to the big screen deserves a mention. The flying scenes were also well done (I couldn’t see any strings. :-)) Ocassionaly, the CGI felt a little Xboxesque and artificial, but no-one can deny that the usage of the blue screen was well done here. B+.

Who will win: Pirates of the Caribbean II
Who deserves to win: Pirates of the Caribbean II
Who deserved to be nominated: Pan’s Labyrinth


Let me just say something about the VFX in Pan’s: astounding. I mean, I realise a lot of the visual amazement in that masterpiece is due to the make-up and production design, but the visual effects were in themselves, a treat. Though they are on a much smaller scale than those in Poseidon – e.g, the pale man’s eyes – their impact is a million times heavier. Exquisite. A.


Mike said...

Stellar post, Emma. 10/10, well done.

You summed out the VFX categories perfectly. I'd also award Pirates, though that damn Kraken almost put me off doing so. And yeah, too much cgi in all three films.

Emma said...

Thanks! :)

Besty said...

No snide comment about Manchester United fans in this one, Emz?

Emma said...

Hehe no. I might do one on Thursday, though, if Crouchie scores!

Besty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emma said...

That was the lamest thing I've ever read.

When are you gonna leave Crouch alone? I can't believe you like Lampard and Rooney, but don't adore Crouch. Scheisse!

Anyway, ignore me for the minute as I paste this: http://www.csulb.edu/~txie/online.htm

(cool Chinese site I found. I just need to record the URL somewhere.)

Emma said...

And to punish you for not showing enough love, Martin, I'm deleting that post.


Anonymous said...

What did you make of the visual effects in Mission Impossible 3?

Anonymous said...

Hey Emma I know you h8 the wags have you been watching wags boutique?

Katie said...

Oh, I've been watching that! It's a waste of time, but hey, I might even go there once just to laugh.

Are any of the wags of Premiership footballers?

Mary said...

Essien's one is. Well, she's a fake, but whatever. isn't Stuart Downing's wag also on the show? he plays in a premiership team dunne?

At Emma - You've forgotten The Fountain. I can only assume its cos it hasn't "offically" come out in England yet. i would have thought you seen it on torrent

Anonymous said...

what a great site

hope potc2 wins.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rowena Julez said...

Have you watched the Wags boutique thingy? I can't watch it cos they're not showing it here...it's not that I want to watch it anyway. Out of curiosity, that's all.

I hate Stewart Downing's gf. The whole lot annoy me.

England game tonight. Crouch will score at least two goals. Haha.

P/S: I think POTC2 should win. Haha.

Emma said...

To everyone that asked - yep, I do watch WAGs Boutique. It's, quite possibly the worst TV programme ever, but I watch it just to bitch about the WAGs. I cannot stand Stewart Downing's WAG. She's the v. epitome of chav.

Yesterday, the WAG that was claiming to be Michael Essien's girlfriend was discovered to be fake. He didn't even know her! Lol.

Luke said...

SNOW DAY!!!!!!!! :D