Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Look Ahead to Best Visual Effects

Again, continuing with my "analysis" (read: subjective comments) about each of the Oscar-nominated categories, and again, due to my not having seen a whole lot of 'em, I'm restricted in which categories I can analyse.

Here are the nominees:
- The Golden Compass- Michael L. Fink; Bill Westenhofer; Ben Morris; Trevor Wood
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - John Knoll; Hal T. Hickel; Charlie Gibson; John Frazier
- Transformers - Scott Farrar; Scott Benza; Russell Earl; John Frazier

How I did: 0% (again, forgot to predict it.)

01. Transformers
The visual effects in Transformers were really, really, amazing. The robot fights scenes took my breath away. Furthermore, the transformations from car-to-robot are amazing, without a hint of invisible wires or anything like that. If I didn’t know better, I would have actually believed it could happen. 99% of it was all done on computer with individual CGI artists working on individual transformations based on robots created from the doors, fenders, wings, headlights, and engine parts of familiar vehicles. Phew. The effects are big, bombastic, and required an underrated amount of input from the visual effects designers. Terrific VFX all around, that almost atoned for Megan Fox’s acting skills. A.

02. Pirates of the Caribbean III
After overusage of that crappy Kraken in the second film, POTC III returns to not making such a spectacle of its visual effects (in POTC II I almost felt like Verbinski was shouting “Ta da!” when he presented us with the Kraken for the first time), and it fits in with the cinematography better. I particularly liked the usage of blue screen in the final battle. B+.

03. The Golden Compass
The daemons in The Golden Compass were done really well, especially Mrs. Coulter’s malicious monkey, which filled me with dread. The daemons changing their form was also a delight to watch, though as the film went it became old news. The different worlds are intricately created, from an Arctic landscape to a large picturesque town. Sadly, though, I wasn’t that convinced by the bears, which felt a touch… pixelized. B.

Who will win: Transformers
Who should win: Transformers
Who deserved to get nominated: Harry Potter