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2012

Posted: Sat, 14th Nov 2009, 12:31am

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jawajohnny

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Craziest, most ridiculous movie I have ever seen. First off, the movie has nothing to do with the year "2012", except that's when it's happening. They don't bother to explain the significance of the date. The science is complete bs. The action/destruction sequences are intentionally hilarious. "It's like there's something separating us" (cue grocery store splitting in half between them).

But then in other places, it's startlingly real and emotionally powerful. It does raise some interesting questions about what humanity would really do in that kind of situation. I have no idea if it answers them, but the film's a blast anyway. Regardless of the "intelligence" presented here, I think it's a really well made film. We actually care about the characters... from the normal families to the guy whose trying to save as many as he can. Excellent performances from John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm at a complete loss for words. I wouldn't even know where to start writing a more formal review. But I do know one thing definitively: 2012 will not get a Best Visual Effects nomination. Or at least it doesn't deserve to. Sure the scale is huge and epic, but it never looks close to being "real". I wasn't as impressed as I was with Transformers or Star Trek.

Of course it has flaws (too many characters, a bit too long, etc), but it's a fun ride anyhow. I mean, how can you take a movie like this seriously and then try to point out it's flaws? Ultimately, it's a great disaster movie. 8/10 ???
Posted: Sat, 14th Nov 2009, 8:07am

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b4uask30male

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Agree with everything you say.

Worth seeing at the flicks, 8/10
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 3:26am

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DVStudio

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I'm sure the movie has got some great special effects, but the science behind it just doesn't add up. Simply put, it will not happen. I can pretty much guarantee it. No doubt in my mind anyways. See, my thinking is that if the Mayans can so accurately predict the end of the world in 2012, how come they were unable to foresee their own demise? Just my thoughts...

The trailers look cool. From an entertainment/VFX standpoint, looks terific. Very enterntaining, dramtaic. The whole deal. 8/10 is a pretty solid rating. Might go see this one.

Came across an interetesting attcile from NASA here. Not very often that they get involved in Hollywood stuff... enjoy

Cheers,
DV

Last edited Thu, 19th Nov 2009, 12:02am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 4:31am

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Aculag

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Rating: +1

DVStudio wrote:

I'm sure the movie has got some great special effects, but the science behind it just doesn't add up. Simply put, it will not happen. I can pretty much gurantee it.
I really doubt anyone thinks this movie is trying to make predictions. But thanks for your professional opinion, Doctor.
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 6:53am

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Evman

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This movie exceeded all my expectations of awesome. I think Roland Emmerich has finally taken the crown of "awesome" from Michael Bay.

This movie works completely as a damn fine piece of crowd pleasing entertainment, and I'm just fine with that. I was entertained. Completely. Worth every penny of the price of admission.

See it.
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 7:34am

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MechaForce

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2012 has some of the best vfx of the year, and has decent enough acting and writing to carry itself (although it's not free of error). I'd say it's the best blockbuster this year, even beating Transformers 2 as far as cg wank-fests are concerned. The yellowstone eruption is most likely one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen on screen.

There's an interesting article on fxguide - it's a little light on usable info, but it has some great screens:

http://www.fxguide.com/article574.html
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 9:53am

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Simon K Jones

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SPOILERS APPROACHING

Awesome visual effects, not really sure what jawajohnny is complaining about in that department.

The first two thirds-or-so of the film I really enjoyed - typical, formulaic, very enjoyable. Exactly what I expected and wanted.

The last third, however, made the whole thing fall apart for me. The key problem is that this kind of formulaic film needs to get its formula right. Every character has to end up in the right place at the end for it to work. Independence Day does this perfectly: everyone that lives or dies does so in just the right way to make you whoop and holler. ID4 is just as ridiculous as 2012, but manages to also be poignant and exhilerating by deploying its wafer-thin characters in just the right way.

2012, though, given that it's meant to be a story about working together, gets really mean spirited at the end. Gordon, the stepdad, is killed completely unceremoniously, for no apparent reason. In fact, the reason seems to be specifically so that Cusack can get back together with his family without Gordon being in the way. Come on! That meant the whole ending had a really sour taste, especially given the build-up for the entire film about how much the kids loved Gordon - only for them and the wife to forget everything about him.

Then there's the cool Russian pilot guy, who they kill in a really mean way. And the Russian girlfriend, who they drown in an unpleasant manner for no apparent reason.

AND THE DOG SURVIVES. Argh.

A few script tweaks would have made 2012 a big success. Instead, it's a success only on a technical and Chiwetal Ejiofor level, both of which are awesome.
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 10:10am

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Atom

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Rating: +1

Tarn wrote:

Instead, it's a success only on a technical and Chiwetal Ejiofor level, both of which are awesome.
This is basically all any movie really needs, thought. wink
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 5:04pm

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film freak

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If you reduced the last hour and a half into 15 minutes I'd be fine, but it was just too long for me. Honestly, I thought it was great for like an hour, but overall it was a pretty poorly made movie aside from the CGI.
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 5:09pm

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Simon K Jones

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I'd say it was all extremely well made. The problem, as usual, is with the script.

I would actually go as far as saying that Emmerich is a vastly underrated filmmaker - his problem is that he gets too involved at the script stage and, historically, his scripts always fall apart in the second half.
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 5:13pm

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Hendo

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Tarn wrote:

... and, historically, his scripts always fall apart in the second half.
Except for ID4. biggrin
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 5:16pm

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Simon K Jones

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No no, ID4 is the ultimate example. I forgot to mention: Emmerich's films ALWAYS go downhill once an animal (often a dog) appears.

Stargate: Gets a bit crap after they encounter the alien cow thing through the stargate.

ID4: Gets a bit crap after that f*cking dog doesn't die.

Day After Tomorrow: Gets a bit naff after those dodgy CG wolves appear.

2012: Gets a bit dull and messy after that stupid dog doesn't get squashed by the landing strut.

Seriously, this defines Emmerich's work.
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 5:23pm

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Joshua Davies

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Loved the yellowstone eruption, didn't care much for anything else. I was hoping it would be so bad that it would be great but it wasn't, it was just bad. The end was so drawn out and a total mess that it almost made me forget how entertaining the first 2/3rds of the film had been. It seemed more like a Disney 3D ride than a film to me unsure

7/10 - would have been 6 but the eruption was so good!
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 8:54pm

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videofxuniverse

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I'm hoping to see this tomorrow but funds are low so i may have to wait. To be honest i am not bothered about how unrealistic the scientific scenarios are im only in it for the special fx and them alone. I saw how they accomplished the street earthquake scene and was amazed that the whole entire scene was cgi created, the only real elements where the actors superimpposed in the car. That alone has to be worthy of a sfx award.
Posted: Mon, 16th Nov 2009, 9:09pm

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DVStudio

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Aculag wrote:


I really doubt anyone thinks this movie is trying to make predictions. But thanks for your professional opinion, Doctor.
Oh you're quite welcome sir. wink

I trust you have your degree in sarcasm as well, huh wink

Just for the record I didn't say they predicted anything, just the basic premises that it was built upon is all.
Posted: Tue, 17th Nov 2009, 12:12am

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jawajohnny

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The movie really had nothing to do with the date "2012". Pretty much, the disaster just happens to fall on that date. They don't bother giving an in-depth scientific explanation, and they don't even mention the Mayan calendar except for a brief ten-second news clip. Ultimately, a "random" disaster just happens to fall on that date. Emmerich isn't trying to preach anything here... he says "it's just a good hook for the audience". The movie could have a completely different title and take place in 2009, it wouldn't really change anything, except a few of Woody Harrelson's lines.


Tarn wrote:

Awesome visual effects, not really sure what jawajohnny is complaining about in that department.
I'm not saying they weren't awesome... they were. I'm just saying they don't quite match the photo-realism of Star Trek, Transformers 2, and Avatar. I don't think it will be one of the three films nominated for the award in that department, and if it is, it'll be the weakest of them. Again, in general, I think the effects are outstanding.
Posted: Tue, 17th Nov 2009, 7:37am

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Simon K Jones

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For anybody that may be interested, the latest episode of my movie podcast is now up and features a review of 2012 amongst other things. You can find it here:

http://spiffingreview.com/2009/11/16/episode-7-2012-goats/

smile
Posted: Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 3:31pm

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drspin98

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Kinda interesting point here...

http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/entertainment/movies/director-avoids-Islam-icon-2012-dpgo-fc-1257441542809
Posted: Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 3:51pm

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Pooky

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Hehe, oh Fox
Posted: Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 4:03pm

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drspin98

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Pooky wrote:

Hehe, oh Fox
Well, if you don't like Fox try any one of the 40 or so other sites that use publish the same quote. Like this obvious right-wing puppet.

http://scifiwire.com/2009/11/5-best-things-2012s-direc.php

Last edited Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 4:12pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 4:10pm

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Pooky

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Oh, I'm not debating the validity of the article, it's pretty much a given that destroying an important Islam icon in a movie would be very dangerous for the creators. I just think it's funny to see how that message is passed at every opportunity FOX News has. razz Sorry if I offended you somehow, it's just so hard to resist making fun of that network sometimes.
Posted: Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 4:14pm

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drspin98

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Offend? None taken.
Posted: Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 4:23pm

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Sollthar

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The film was pretty much exactly what I expected: mediocre story with a brilliant buildup and a good but less brilliant climax, mediocre acting, fun humour, some overdramatic pathos and huge, bombastic WE BLOW IT ALL TO PIECES visual effects only really enjoyable on the big screen.

I had a really good time! cool

Something I have to say about how much I just love Emmerich: Other then other visual action directors like Michael Bay, he manages to capture a huge scale, really epic proportions and just the perfect visual composition. I always GET what's happening on screen. He doesn't feel the need to wobble his camera around or cut every second or film really close closeups, but he has these epic wides and long takes that just fit the epicness.
Emmerich handles buildups really well and he also has a hand for certain comedy elements. What he could improve on, would be his drama directing skills.

Be that as it may:

Thank you Roland for making Big Epic Random BOOM BOOM Blockbusters the way they're supposed to be!
Posted: Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 4:38pm

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Simon K Jones

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Agreed, Sollthar. As I said I think on my podcast, I think Emmerich is a vastly underrated director. 2012 in places is very artfully done, almost poetic in its destruction and crazyness.

The problem lies in his scripts, which aren't on the same level as his visuals and general filmmaking. I'm fairly convinced that, given an awesome, epic script, he'd make a genuinely great film.
Posted: Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 4:48pm

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Pooky

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Whats unfortunate, though, is that if he were given a good script, he'd probably have trouble getting his usual amount of funding. razz
Posted: Fri, 20th Nov 2009, 5:44pm

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Atom

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Is no one else irritated (or feel like mentioning, for that matter) in all this how shitty the video-y look and ill/improperly-set digital cameras and flat lighting used in the movie bring it down several tremendous pegs for simply looking incredibly on-the-fly and amateur in a sea of really excellent, filmic, incredible, non-video-y special effects and screen direction?

I mean, for all this talk against Bay, at least the man shoots on film- and knows what he's doing and how to get it to look like a proper film when he's not. Roland Emmerich, for all his catastrophy of success, lost his touch when he switched to a medium that made his $200 million movie look like the live-action bits were shot for $10,000. At least, for me. Digital looks digital, like a Sony Handycam. You can't fool anyone when you've set your camera like you're shooting Collateral and it's all during daylight and lit sets and not, you know, nighttime where videoy cameras and low-light settings might have their advantage.

The Coen Brothers can make digital look like film, why can't Emmerich?
Posted: Sat, 21st Nov 2009, 8:50pm

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Evman

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NOT ENOUGH CONTRAST!
Posted: Sat, 21st Nov 2009, 9:31pm

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Aculag

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Rating: +3

Evman wrote:

NOT ENOUGH CONTRAST!
Fixed it for ya. wink
Posted: Mon, 23rd Nov 2009, 11:52am

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Simon K Jones

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Can't say I noticed that at all, Atom. It might not have had Bay's patented orange-blue/supercontrasty look, but at no point in 2012 did I think it looked like a Sony Handycam.

If it did, please give me a link to where I can buy that Sony Handycam. smile
Posted: Mon, 23rd Nov 2009, 12:51pm

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Sollthar

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Yup, in fact I'd even say it was the films "look" I especially liked. It was filmed in a very pleasant way, didn't have any of the modern wobblyness, lensflare-fetish or omg-high-contrast-look that so many films in modern cinema suffer from.
Posted: Mon, 23rd Nov 2009, 10:27pm

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Atom

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Are you guys serious? You really don't see the video-y amateurish look I'm seeing?

Well, to each his own....I guess.... unsure
Posted: Mon, 23rd Nov 2009, 10:33pm

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ashman

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From what I've seen this looks terrible, though it's impossible to judge without viewing the full film. I'll watch it and give it a fair chance but generally, Emmerich's films do nothing for me.

For me his best films are behind him. I have fond memories of Stargate and Universal Solider.

Kermode's review here, and he's usually on the ball: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqVCjRojuP8
Posted: Mon, 23rd Nov 2009, 10:40pm

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Evman

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There was one scene, in low light conditions while water was flooding one of the arks and Chiwetel Ejiofor's character was running through it to save John Cusack, that it was painfully obvious that it was shot digitally. That was the only time it was noticable enough to pull me out of the movie for a second. For the rest of it, I couldn't really tell. It could have been 35mm for all I knew. I guess the slight digital looks fits in well with the effects of the film - giving it a slightly stylized look.

Worked really well, IMO.

Never really understood the anti-digital shooting mentality. I mean, sure it's not 100% replicating 35mm yet, but if it's cheap and looks good, it shouldn't really matter anyway. What matters is the story you're telling. I've been working with 16mm film all this semester in college and I'm loving it. I think it looks great. I think 35mm looks great, and so does HD. They all have their own special qualities - this film just chose a style that I guess you don't particularly like.

And to second something that's been said here before - I really appreciate the slower cutting pace of this film that actually allows us to enjoy the effects. Show's courage and a great sense of what the audience wants to see.
Posted: Mon, 23rd Nov 2009, 11:09pm

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swintonmaximilian

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I also noticed the video parts, but really only during the scenes in the flooding passages of the ship at the end. Those scenes had a really off putting video look. I don't think the rest of the film looked bad at all though. I really enjoyed it, thought it was good fun with some very nicely orchestrated destruction. There was something a little bit sinister about killing off the step dad character to neatly bring about the happy family reunion though.
Posted: Mon, 23rd Nov 2009, 11:55pm

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Pooky

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Evman wrote:

Never really understood the anti-digital shooting mentality. I mean, sure it's not 100% replicating 35mm yet, but if it's cheap and looks good, it shouldn't really matter anyway.
Go watch the shootout in the woods scene from Public Enemies and then get back to us wink
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 12:04am

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Aculag

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Or any scene in Collateral. Michael Mann just really sucks at shooting digital, so that's not a fair comparison.
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 2:25am

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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*Spoilers*

Does anyone even notice how Gordon dies at the end of the movie and his girlfriend/wife (didn't figure that one out) doesn't even ask about him or anything? Poor Gordon. I mean they didn't even say his name or anything and then right after her husband/boyfriend dies she starts making out with her X-husband??? tard crazy

On the contrary nice plot. 9/10!

PS: Best line of the movie:
"Thats a big plane!"
"Its Russian."
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 10:37am

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Simon K Jones

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The film is MUCH more interesting if you assume that Cusack deliberately let Gordon fall into the masher and die. It was deliberate, calculated murder.
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 5:10pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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The Yellowstone sequence was done in London. Ahem, just Saying. smile DNeg did a fantastic job with it.

I didn't really feel any element of 2012 was amateurish, this is a recurring criticism of movies you've had Atom though every frame goes through a big post process, especially with 2012. Is it a possibility that the cinema you visit doesn't properly set up their projectors?

I think the biggest problem digital is having right now is simply that it looks different to what we've been used to seeing and labelling as professional for years. Digital is a superior format, in time we'll see how it looks as the highest end of professional.

Also... This sort of highlights a problem a lot of young directors I have met have. Too much focus on the technical aspect. It's the kind of obsession that is meant to be left to a DoP whilst you work on how to best tell a story and so counteracts the urge that spurs it - the desire to be professional. So just as a personal piece of advice - if you want to act like a professional director and step up your game by all means, pay attention to detail but make them the details of a good story. I do appreciate that at an amateur level you have several roles, just make sure you are 70% the right one.

28 Days Later was made with a Canon XM2 and Slumdog Millionaire is full of handycam shots. Let's stop pretending it's only the camera that dictates how much impact an image can have.

Regards,
Matt
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 5:24pm

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Atom

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No, no, no. As I said, the Coens have used digital for their past few films and I'm convinced it works within certain bounds. It's just that, especially during time-stretch or fast-cut bits, and in low-light too, I feel like a lot of 2012 has a very murky, ghosty, video-y look to it. Even in the LA destruction scene online, as Amanda Peet moves around and the first tremors hit the movement is very very video-y, ghosty and whatnot.

I don't think it's my eyes playing tricks on me, but maybe I'm just overtly more critical of it when I notice it because I enjoy the look of proper film so much.

It's getting closer and closer for me, although I'm still a far bit off, but I think part of the larger problem to me is that as I make more films with bigger and better equipment to where when I look at a Hollywood movie these days I sometimes think I could shoot something that looked similar- or dissect very easily how and generally what they shot it on- and that kind of takes me out of it.

It's inevitably only going to get worse the more technology progresses and gets cheaper and the more keen I get at noticing it and studios get at using cheaper stuff; I'm just saying I think it lacks some finesse- 2012, that is- because of the digital, not-as-well-lit-because-it-doesn't-have-to-be-because-digital bits. Still impressive, I'm just taken out of it slightly, especially when compared to, say, Emmerich's film 'The Patriot', which I watched a few days ago and has a very distinct, professional, filmic look to it.
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 5:59pm

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ashman

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I do understand what Atom means about digital actually. It has a very sterile visual which doesn't seem to work on all movies. Nearly all of Mann's digital films are an eyesore and 'Knowing' looked terrible visually, it looks very similar to the trailer of this film. Viewing the trailer it does look odd/cheap despite the huge scale of visual effects.

It's interesting to hear digital is winning the hearts of the old school cinematographers as Sony plan to bring out the big guns with their full 4k digital camera.

I don't quite understand the great leap here, apparently the RED isn't a true 4k, which yes, I can't understand again as it's sold with '4K' printed all over it. What I do know is it's all related to colour information and this camera is a big step forward on that front bridging the gap of film vs digital. It's interesting to see die hard cinematographers who only shoot film get excited about this.

The digital aesthetic will always have a place should the story demand it.

Edit:Found this article about RED facts, makes for an interesting read if you have the time. http://www.rcjohnso.com/REDFACTS.html

Last edited Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 6:31pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 6:01pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Obviously there is a lot more to making a good image than the camera, and story must come first etc etc, but at the moment a lot of digital films look horrible, public enemies for example. It looks horrible. And I know plenty of people for whom the look of it ruined the film, and who knew nothing about whether the film had been shot on film or digital. It looked like Johnny Depp had popped into Albert Square.
However, 2012 looked great, for the most part.
And I thought film was still superior to digital? It has superior resolution and latitude doesn't it?
I think a lot of the film/video debate comes down to personal taste, and at the moment I certainly prefer the look of film. But then I love film grain, and when a film doesn't have grain it doesn't feel right to me. This post has been shit and pointless, I apologise.
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 6:02pm

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Atom

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I think that last sentence is the kicker. Digital doesn't work as a medium for all movies as I think many people feel like it does. It's got a certain look, you know, and sometimes that works sometimes it doesn't.

I know, for instance, that JJ Abrams talked stringently about how he wanted and did shoot on film for Star Trek not only because of the genuinely 'cinematic/filmic' quality of film, but because digital's 'look' didn't fit into the visual style they wanted to go for given the story and subject matter.
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 6:58pm

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swintonmaximilian

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oops, sorry for my swearing. But yes, it's an aesthetic choice, among other things, and some films are more suited to being one than the other. Also, the history of digital cinema is very short compared to film, so it's still in it's, relative, infancy. At the moment though it looks very sterile, and doesn't have the same weight have film, if that makes sense.
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 7:12pm

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ashman

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It's the colour and depth of a shot I struggle with on the higher digital formats. By higher I mean above 1080 x 1920, Genesis excluded. I find the image too hyper stylised and too clean. I'm not against digital at all, I think both the EX1 and the HVX200 produce excellent results.
Posted: Tue, 24th Nov 2009, 9:26pm

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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Tarn wrote:

The film is MUCH more interesting if you assume that Cusack deliberately let Gordon fall into the masher and die. It was deliberate, calculated murder.
*Gasp* Well in the movie he tried to help him but the force was to strong (or so it seemed) and crushed Gordon.

EDIT: PS-In 3 more posts my posts will be the same as my FXperience.
Posted: Wed, 25th Nov 2009, 3:43am

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Hybrid-Halo

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All the talk about resolution is all well and good, but very few films get worked on at a resolution above 2K. There are some exceptions where a shot gets done in 4K but usually everything is 2K - I don't feel resolution will make Digital the preferred medium.

And working in 4K is painfully slow right now. When people shift it'll be because of colour response and sensor tech improvements.

-Matt
Posted: Wed, 25th Nov 2009, 9:14am

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Simon K Jones

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Not seen Public Enemies yet, but I thought most of the cinematography in the trailer looked fantastic, so I'm intrigued as to what everyone is complaining about.

But, then, I also thought Collateral looked fantastic and that its visuals perfectly suited its story. So there you go. unsure
Posted: Wed, 25th Nov 2009, 9:25am

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ben3308

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Collateral looked great, the (obvious) digital look included.

Public Enemies looked awful. Like, just definitively awful. Motion, waaaay too contrasted (couldn't see anything, even in the daytime!) and just everything else was awful visually. Didn't work at all for me. It was bad.

Johnny Depp's acting was good, though.
Posted: Mon, 30th Nov 2009, 11:28am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Just caught Collateral last weekend, also thought the look suited the story just fine. Have heard lots of people complain about Public Enemies though.

-Matt
Posted: Mon, 30th Nov 2009, 11:48am

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rogolo

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Upon viewing the clip of Public Enemies on Apple's website (direct link to QT 720p here), I can definitely see an obvious video look. I don't remember it looking that bad in theaters...

As far as 2012 goes, there were only a few sequences that took me out of the movie...[spoilers] the earthquake in the beginning, and the first shots of the flood on the 4th Ark. The one shot of the Russian son falling into the churning waters was sufficiently bad to illicit a slight chuckle. Other than that, I thought the VFX were great and the film had decent suspense elements. I got exactly what I suspected out of 2012, so I was happy with it.

(Also, as someone noted earlier, I thought it was funny that they push Gordon out of the picture completely at the end. No mention or mourning period by any of the characters....he just kinda fades out with a whimper.)
Posted: Tue, 1st Dec 2009, 2:15pm

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Ban Danna

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jawajohnny wrote:

Craziest, most ridiculous movie I have ever seen. First off, the movie has nothing to do with the year "2012", except that's when it's happening. They don't bother to explain the significance of the date. The science is complete bs. The action/destruction sequences are intentionally hilarious. "It's like there's something separating us" (cue grocery store splitting in half between them).

But then in other places, it's startlingly real and emotionally powerful. It does raise some interesting questions about what humanity would really do in that kind of situation. I have no idea if it answers them, but the film's a blast anyway. Regardless of the "intelligence" presented here, I think it's a really well made film. We actually care about the characters... from the normal families to the guy whose trying to save as many as he can. Excellent performances from John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm at a complete loss for words. I wouldn't even know where to start writing a more formal review. But I do know one thing definitively: 2012 will not get a Best Visual Effects nomination. Or at least it doesn't deserve to. Sure the scale is huge and epic, but it never looks close to being "real". I wasn't as impressed as I was with Transformers or Star Trek.

Of course it has flaws (too many characters, a bit too long, etc), but it's a fun ride anyhow. I mean, how can you take a movie like this seriously and then try to point out it's flaws? Ultimately, it's a great disaster movie. 8/10 ???
I agree with you on the Transformers and Star Trek, they were awesome movies. Oh and I just want to say thank you for ruining my excitement for the 2012 movie, I was going to watch it this friday but now Im going to go cut my wrists and bleed over a bath, thanks again.

PS: Dont judge a film because of its special effects or acting but rather look at the lesson it conveys.

Ban-Danna
Posted: Tue, 1st Dec 2009, 3:14pm

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Simon K Jones

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Ban Danna wrote:

PS: Dont judge a film because of its special effects or acting but rather look at the lesson it conveys.
The two messages I drew from 2012 were:

1. If you're not rich and/or aristocracy (of some sort), you're going to die.

2. If your girlfriend has an ex-husband, you will die.

Personally, I'd rather focus on the special effects and acting! smile
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2010, 5:03am

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Aculag

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I finally got around to renting this tonight, and it just got to the Yellowstone explosion... Just had to bring this thing back from the dead to express my awe. That was SO COOL. Definitely one of the greatest effects sequences in film history right there. My jaw went through the floor.

Also, definitely noticed the "ghosty video" look in most of the darker scenes, especially the flooding of the ark. Really, any time it's not brightly lit, when there is a lot of movement, it's pretty obvious. It works, though. Pretty fun movie overall.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2010, 9:24am

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Staff Only

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Yeah, I saw it a few weeks ago on Blu-ray at a friend and IMMEDIATELY ran and bought it on Blu-ray, because I loved it so much. I really didn't expect it to be my kind of film at all. It was a prefect mix of impressive, funny and drop dead awesome (running from Yellowstone anyone? biggrin, or the greatest line ever: "It's Russian, eh?").

I have a friend who is really into old classics. He loves Citizen Kane, King Kong 1933, Kubrick is his favorite director, and I see him as kind of a film-snob. He didn't want to see any of 2012 and refused to come and see Kick Ass with my friends and I (we saw a pre-screening last night, working on a review). I showed him the "California is going down" scene and the Yellowstone scene and his jaw needed re-attaching after that. Bravo Emmerich! Bravo!

Once again I must express my outrage that the Academy drags their own bias into the technical awards. I would ask Hybrid-Halo to say what he thinks about it, but I'm pretty sure 2012 had more impressive VFX than District 9. I don't know if the Prawns alone make-up for the massive scale of CGI interaction in 2012.
Posted: Sun, 4th Apr 2010, 1:25pm

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jawajohnny

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I just got it on Blu-ray, and I still say Transformers 2, Star Trek, District 9, and Avatar are better in terms of photo-realism. However the sheer scale and integration of the effects in 2012 is really awesome. And of course the film itself still suffers from all the classic Emmerich-isms (too many characters, hit-or-miss comedy, etc.)
Posted: Sun, 4th Apr 2010, 7:23pm

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Aculag

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jawajohnny wrote:

And of course the film itself still suffers from all the classic Emmerich-isms (too many characters, hit-or-miss comedy, etc.)
Little kids who are only there for the "family stress" factor... I cannot tell you how much I despise the use of children in films when they are only there to pull heartstrings. The whole family dynamic in this was pretty messed up anyway, due to what's his name being eaten by the thresher and no one even noticing, even though he saved their lives countless times before that.

I also thought the "Russian" kids were pretty awful. Only one of them ever spoke, and you could tell it was because they needed twins, and only one of this "Russian looking" pair of twins could fake a Russian accent. But he didn't even do it well... Probably one of the worst fake accents I've ever heard.

But the CG was impressive, and that's all that really matters.
Posted: Sun, 4th Apr 2010, 7:34pm

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Rockfilmers

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Do you know what's worse? Pets. I hate it in films when the family pet is in an impossible situation, and the whole world stops to save it. That instantly takes me out of a movie, this one included. I agree with the flooding of the ark. It looked like it was shot on a handy cam.

2012 was pure and simply an effects film. I thought that the Earthquake shots where a little over rated, but I agree with Aculag, the yellow stone sequence is great. It kind of goes down hill from there though. It was kind of a cool movie, but at the same time, I think it sucked.
Posted: Sun, 4th Apr 2010, 8:02pm

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Aculag

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Oh yeah, the dog was ridiculous. There is no way in hell that a little dog like that would (a) be able to hear its master calling it over the screams of an enormous crowd, and the ark's engines, etc. etc., and (b) be smart enough to navigate its way across thin piping and all this in order to safely reach its destination. That was absolutely absurd. Not to mention it is apparently the ONLY dog that anyone thought to bring with them on this trip. Typical, forced Emmerich nonsense.
Posted: Mon, 5th Apr 2010, 8:26pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Staff Only wrote:

Once again I must express my outrage that the Academy drags their own bias into the technical awards. I would ask Hybrid-Halo to say what he thinks about it, but I'm pretty sure 2012 had more impressive VFX than District 9. I don't know if the Prawns alone make-up for the massive scale of CGI interaction in 2012.
2012 is a great example of a brainless epic disaster movie that a lot of people don't seem to have the balls to admit they enjoyed and instead, criticize it as though they were expecting it to be the second coming. So first things first : I brought nothing valuable away from watching 2012, but I still got exactly what I paid for.

And as for saying certain things are ridiculous... That just seems a little weird. As the WHOLE thing is absolutely ridiculous. How could you not have noticed?

Anyway. The Yellowstone sequence is superb but the effects throughout the rest of the movie vary wildly in quality. The shot of the coast tipping and sinking into the ocean - beautiful as it may be, is still a very obvious matte painting. There are numerous other examples, and whilst it may seem like a "massive scale of CG interaction" the reality is that the characters very rarely interact with any effect on a massive scale at all.

District 9 is almost the exact opposite, you have characters acting in scenes with absolutely believable CG aliens. I developed feelings for these virtual characters and forgot they were computer generated at all. The Visual Effects Oscar is an artistic award - And if one thing underlines what the Art of Visual Effects is, that would be it and District 9 does it flawlessly through the entire duration of it's running.

For the Oscar, movies are judged on the quality of all their effects shots.

Avatar simply did this on a larger level and with some incredible (and I believe under-rated) 3D shooting technology. Though I still think District 9 was on many levels a VFX Landmark.
Posted: Mon, 5th Apr 2010, 9:04pm

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Staff Only

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

The Visual Effects Oscar is an artistic award - And if one thing underlines what the Art of Visual Effects is, that would be it and District 9 does it flawlessly through the entire duration of it's running.

For the Oscar, movies are judged on the quality of all their effects shots.

Avatar simply did this on a larger level and with some incredible (and I believe under-rated) 3D shooting technology. Though I still think District 9 was on many levels a VFX Landmark.
Hmm, that make perfect sense! smile

Thanks for such a great explanation, but if we go back to the 2008 Academy Awards where Golden Compass beat Pirates 3 and Transformers, that was wrong right?

I personally backed John Knoll and Pirates 3 because of Davy Jones, The Maelstrom (which was pretty much the biggest action/VFX scene ever before Avatar came along), and all the hundreds of prefectly photoreal VFX shots. Would you agree that Pirates 3 was more impressive than Transformers on a "what was done" level?

Also on an unrelated note:

How 2012 Should Have Ended
and
How Revenge of the Fallen Should Have Ended
Posted: Mon, 5th Apr 2010, 10:03pm

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Aculag

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Staff Only wrote:

Also on an unrelated note:

How 2012 Should Have Ended
This reminded me of how absolutely absurd the "flying the plane through the wreckage" scene was. The whole time, they are flying as low as possible, and practically aiming for the destruction, when they could have just pulled up, and gotten out of it entirely. smile
Posted: Tue, 6th Apr 2010, 3:26am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Staff Only wrote:

Hmm, that make perfect sense! smile

Thanks for such a great explanation, but if we go back to the 2008 Academy Awards where Golden Compass beat Pirates 3 and Transformers, that was wrong right?

I personally backed John Knoll and Pirates 3 because of Davy Jones, The Maelstrom (which was pretty much the biggest action/VFX scene ever before Avatar came along), and all the hundreds of prefectly photoreal VFX shots. Would you agree that Pirates 3 was more impressive than Transformers on a "what was done" level?
I think the reasoning behind Golden Compass's award was that it pioneered an interactive fur system. If you look closely, all the animals wearing clothes or armour's fur interacts with the fur itself and the overall quality of effect was outstanding.

Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man's Chest had already picked up a VFX Oscar for Davy Jones & Crew. So I would guess that left the choice Transformers and The Golden Compass.

Transformers had awesome effects comprising of largely seen before and understood techniques, Golden Compass did creature animations (Biological animation always been more complex and difficult than Mechanical) and integrated new fur tech. So there's my reasoning behind that award.

At the end of the day, I can only speculate on the decisions the Oscar judges make. Visual Effects is such a vast, complicated expanse of artistry and talent that I don't fully appreciate the amount of work that goes in to these films. It's the least I can do to be amazed by pretty much any film that has had the honour of being an Oscar Nominee.

-M

p.s.
About the plane flying low. I was under the impression that the ground at the end of the runway gave in before the plane had reached a speed at which it could take off. Leaving it descending into the hole that had opened up. This is why it 'flew low' for such a duration before pulling up, it lacked the speed to do anything else.
Posted: Tue, 6th Apr 2010, 3:38am

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Aculag

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:


p.s.
About the plane flying low. I was under the impression that the ground at the end of the runway gave in before the plane had reached a speed at which it could take off. Leaving it descending into the hole that had opened up. This is why it 'flew low' for such a duration before pulling up, it lacked the speed to do anything else.
That was the reason at first. They had plenty of time to pick up speed after that.
Posted: Wed, 7th Apr 2010, 3:48pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Rating: +2

Jerusalem Jackson wrote:

Hybrid-Halo wrote:


p.s.
About the plane flying low. I was under the impression that the ground at the end of the runway gave in before the plane had reached a speed at which it could take off. Leaving it descending into the hole that had opened up. This is why it 'flew low' for such a duration before pulling up, it lacked the speed to do anything else.
That was the reason at first. They had plenty of time to pick up speed after that.
I've got to admit, I am hazy on the physics of taking off from a sinking plate as the runway falls away beneath you so I'll leave it to experts like yourself.

I'm glad you mentioned it though, as the plane take off was certainly the least believable element of the movie. If they'd have fixed this it's likely I would have believed it had actually happened.
-Matt
Posted: Wed, 7th Apr 2010, 4:13pm

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Simon K Jones

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I've been meaning to rewatch 2012 from the point of view that Cusack and the stepdad are actively trying to kill each other from the start. Cusack obviously winning when he drops him down the masher DELIBERATELY.