Saturday, 11 February 2012

CGI Overdose: Wrath, John Carter, Ghost Rider

Firstly, a little positivity.  Saw Chronicle at the cinema last night.  Liked it.  Nice use of the 'characters with cameras'/'found footage' technique taken to interesting new levels.  Pushed it a bit far with having a female video blogger added into the story to give a new perspective but the all-action climax was brilliantly realised using every possible camera the filmmakers could think of from tourist camera phones to police-car dashboard cameras and CCTV.

But the main thing that made me happy was the restrained use of CGI.  The trailers before the movie were for three films that bombarded my eyeballs with lashings of CGI.  By the time Chronicle came on, my head hurt and my nose was bleeding from this assault so it was a relief to have human characters in real locations.

 First up: feel my wrath at the Wrath of the Titans trailer starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes.  It feels like the only thing real here is the faces of the actors.  Ok so I never bothered with the Clash remake but I don't think I heard anything positive about it.  So why did it get a sequel?  How many people went to see it?  Didn't they warn people about it?  And what a waste of acting talent.  Neeson and Fiennes taking the money and running.  Worthington probably wondering when he's going to get to act opposite anything but a green screen.  Poor fella.  Anyway take a look at the trailer.  At least it has cool music.

Next up is Disney's John Carter.  A sub-Avatar battle of opposing forces on a faraway planet, one side being lead by a human savior.  Taylor Kitsch looks like a male model rather than an action hero and though the film was shot in Utah, the special effects created aliens and enhanced landscapes look completely over the top and unengaging.  Saddled with cheesy dire-logue and far too many CG creatures, it looks to me like director Andrew Stanton should go back to making completely animated pictures like Wall-E.  Watch the trailer.  It's got less good music than the last trailer though.

Finally comes Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the sequel to another film I never bothered with.  It's got some actual people in it and some actual locations and even possibly the odd bit of real action.  But then on top of all that is the ridiculous CGI fire, flaming skulls, and Nicholas Cage just being Nicholas Cage.  They might actually be doing the audience a favour by replacing him with CGI.  Here's the trailer, cover your eyes!

Perhaps I'm being too harsh.  Perhaps the blame doesn't fall with the abundance of CGI and more on the choice of stars, the weak characters and the uninspiring stories.  What are any of these films about?  Not sure I care.  Cage, Kitsch and Worthington?  Not sure any of them are the finest actors of their generations.  Will I go see these films?  No.  Will my next blog be more positive and stop moaning?  I hope so.

Anyone looking forward to any of these?  Put me back in my place with your words...

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