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Devon Malcolm

DVDs and Films You Have Watched Recently 3 - The Final Insult

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Limitations can often lead to the best art. We all went to see complete and total artistic freedom, and artists being able to make the pieces of work that completely fit their vision. Then again, 2001: A Space Odyssey is still arguably the most visually impressive film ever made and it's 50 years old.

And on a non-technical point, look at some of the movies that were made under the Hays Code restrictions. They still made some pretty good stuff back then even though they weren't allowed to show a bare tit.

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2001 is pure witch craft. I watched it at the cinema a few months back and I was in awe at how well most of it has aged. There is also something to seeing an effect on screen you know isn't CGI and had to be achieved using smarts and innovation. 2001 is full of that. Even something as simple as the pen floating (they stuck a pen on glass using that space age double sided sticky tape invention) is beautifully done.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Lee Marvin is fantastic as the lead villain in this. Ever since watching The Dirty Dozen as a nipper, I always had him down as a good guy, but he's golden here as the Outlaw terrorising the town of Shinbone. James Stewart, as Marvin's polar opposite, a blue eye to the very core, is also excellent. 

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4 hours ago, Loki said:

The worst VFX moment of all time in a major movie has to be in League Of Extraordinary Gentleman, near the start where that building blows up.  Here it is

http://www.cap-that.com/league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen/images/lxg(2013)_0785.jpg

It's like something out of Ray Harryhausen.  

I dunno, I'd say the scenes showing the armies of Hell in Spawn were pretty fucking awful - I don't know the technical terms, obviously, but the phrase "cut and paste" comes immediately to mind.

 

3 hours ago, Keith Houchen said:

As you say, their special effects work was amazing when they were limited by budget and technology.

 

3 hours ago, Devon Malcolm said:

Limitations can often lead to the best art.

 

Agreed. A case in point for me is Clash Of The Titans. The remake was shit, and I think a big part of it was how the use of CGI in it was pretty much masturbatory. The most representative of this was the Medusa scene. One of the reasons the original was so much better was that the monster scenes were differently paced, and the Medusa scene in that was done as a tense, slow-burning, skin-crawling sequence, whereas the new version's one was just as high-speed as the rest of the fucking film, completely missing the most horrific parts of Medusa turning people to stone via a slow, horrifying, agonising death, instead just "flashing" her face at them and they're petrified instantly. Bollocks.

Also, the Kraken in the remake just looked like a generic video game boss monster - it could've been a scene in Halo or Mass Effect or something. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw a boss just like it in Parasite Eve 2.

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4 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

dunno, I'd say the scenes showing the armies of Hell in Spawn were pretty fucking awful

Outside of Nu Metal club nights, I don't think anyone considered Spawn to be a major movie.

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4 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

I dunno, I'd say the scenes showing the armies of Hell in Spawn were pretty fucking awful - I don't know the technical terms, obviously, but the phrase "cut and paste" comes immediately to mind.

Thanks for that.  I have literally managed to forget I ever watched this film, and now it's come flooding back to me.  The second worst film I've ever seen in the cinema, after this one (also because of terrible use of CGI):

 

This is the culmination of everything that we've been talking about.  This is what happens when a special effects director makes a whole film, and forgets that films are meant to have life, story, characters, soul.  It's completely dead inside, this film.  One of the only films I've ever walked out of, and with only about 1/2 hour left.  When they get to the magical island or whatever shit, Mrs Loki just looked at each other and thought "enough".

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Just now, Keith Houchen said:

Outside of Nu Metal club nights, I don't think anyone considered Spawn to be a major movie.

Seemed to get a fair bit of press, to the point where I was shocked that something that publicised would have such shit VFX, but I take your point. It wasn't a massive blockbuster.

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2 minutes ago, Loki said:

Thanks for that.  I have literally managed to forget I ever watched this film, and now it's come flooding back to me.  The second worst film I've ever seen in the cinema, after this one (also because of terrible use of CGI):

 

This is the culmination of everything that we've been talking about.  This is what happens when a special effects director makes a whole film, and forgets that films are meant to have life, story, characters, soul.  It's completely dead inside, this film.  One of the only films I've ever walked out of, and with only about 1/2 hour left.  When they get to the magical island or whatever shit, Mrs Loki just looked at each other and thought "enough".

Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow was such a big disappointment. I was really looking forward to seeing that sort of 1920s, Flash Gordon-meets-Allan Quatermain-meets-Metropolis-style sci-fi pastiche, with giant, gunmetal robots out of The Day The Earth Stood Still, and it just ended up being such a load of bollocks. Great idea, terribly executed.

Edited by Carbomb

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Darkest Hour - pretty much what I'd expect, really. Gary Oldman's done more interesting roles than this. Joe Wright should be busy on Hanna 2, not doing this sort of thing.

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Bird Box - Another quality Netflix original from this year. The central idea is quite flawed and the time-splitting gimmick doesn't really do much for it, but it's lots of fun and Sandra Bullock and Trevante Rhodes are dead good.

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45 minutes ago, Devon Malcolm said:

Bird Box - Another quality Netflix original from this year. The central idea is quite flawed and the time-splitting gimmick doesn't really do much for it, but it's lots of fun and Sandra Bullock and Trevante Rhodes are dead good.

Good to know. I loved the book when I read it recently but haven’t been sure how well it might translate to screen.

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Mary Poppins Returns

It's not bad, but it does pale in comparison to OG Poppins.  Blunt and Miranda are both excellent, the animated sequences obviously look sexier than the one from the 60s and some of the musical numbers are good to really good including one where Blunt is absolutely smoking.  However...

the "Step in Time" number is fucking wank even with the X-Games BMXing going on.

Then right at the end...

did they use Angela Lansbury as Julie Andrews had knocked them back for a cameo?

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Mississippi Grind - Just Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds cruising round, shooting some craps, betting on horses, being good mates. Simple, engaging stuff, one of Mendelsohn's best roles too. Analeigh Tipton is lovely.

Warm Bodies - Loved this. Glosses over some plot points but it's really charming and Nicholas Hoult is brilliant. Analeigh Tipton's in this too, swoon.

The Strangers: Prey at Night - Not quite as totally shit as the original but still really shit. Johannes Roberts needs to be stopped. Why was Christina Hendricks in this?

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9 hours ago, Devon Malcolm said:

Why was Christina Hendricks in this?

Sadly she doesn't seem to have got many good roles following Mad Men which is a fucking travesty considering how talented and ridiculously hot she is.

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I loved Mary Poppins Returns. It’s probably got its negatives but I was so enthralled I didn’t really care. I had a smile on my face from start to finish and spontaneously burst in to tears when 

Angela Landsburys song started. Was transported to being 5 years old again. It’s what cinema is all about surely?

Edited by cobra_gordo

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