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LotusExcelle
2009-May-29, 05:24 AM
Bad night at work. So we're off to the races.

You know what I hate? Crappy images. I can't believe that Lawrence of Arabia isn't out of BluRay yet and what REALLY bugs me is that I've never seen it in its original format - 70mm. I've seen it 35mm and let me tell you something... 'cinematography' died years ago. NOTHING I've ever seen on the big screen approaches LoA. And Michael Bay, this is directed at you, you could learn a thing or two if you'd stop shaking your camera around long enough to frame a shot with something sensical. And don't get me started on the new editing theory that if a cut lasts longer than 24 frames its taking too long.

Speaking of movies you know what I hate? Movies where the plot revolves around a 'chosen one' with some prophecy to fulfill. If I wanted a propchecy I'd throw some tarot cards at a black cat from underneath a ladder whilst consulting the bones of a dead ancestor. No. Writing a story with any kind of prophecy in it is a cop-out. It means the writer couldn't come up with a plot to save his/her life and so wimped out and decided to explain why that stone over there only breaks open if the chosen one, at noon on the third Wednesday after a solar eclipse didn't happen eats a taco and pines for the fjords.

And books that break their own rules. Give me a freaking break. You spent 380 pages building up a great plot and getting me interested in characters and then the next 20 making the entire thing pointless. ANd what is it with stories where they set up something completely random like "Arfglar'tock picked up a shard of pottery" and then during the quintescential battle with the ultra-evil guy (who is evil just because, you know) that pottery shard turns out to be the missing part of the sacred chalice of the Ancients who cursed the evil guy's great great great grandfather and now the curse is somehow on the evil guy and he turns into a rat. Give me a freaking break.

Oh and bloodlines. Don't get me wrong I like Tolkien but can't the eventual king of men be just some farmer guy with a good heart? Not descended from a long line of people that were born into importance? I'm sick of birthright priveledge. Let's have a story where some random haystacker goes and saves the princess, leads an army to victory, and ends up ruling in peace and harmony.

Names. For the love of all that is holy how about instead of naming a phoenix "Phlox" you come up with something more original? Like would you really want YOUR name to be Homsapi the Human? No. Also why does every creature only ever have one name? Do orcs not have binomial nomenclature? I mean how many lizrad-people named Ssssurgreth does it take to convince you? Don't tell me there is only one Wulfdag of the North.

PraedSt
2009-May-29, 09:43 AM
Outstanding rant. ;)

All my ranting seems to involve work. Pretty boring I'm afraid.

Moose
2009-May-29, 10:14 AM
Oh and bloodlines. Don't get me wrong I like Tolkien but can't the eventual king of men be just some farmer guy with a good heart? Not descended from a long line of people that were born into importance? I'm sick of birthright priveledge. Let's have a story where some random haystacker goes and saves the princess, leads an army to victory, and ends up ruling in peace and harmony.

Fundor the Magnificent, first King of Sendaria, was elected King when he was a rutabaga farmer. (Eddings' Belgariad) One of his descendants, Fularch, was instrumental in saving the day. (Organizing the army's march, its supply lines, and keeping everybody fed, among other heroic acts.)


Do orcs not have binomial nomenclature? I mean how many lizrad-people named Ssssurgreth does it take to convince you? Don't tell me there is only one Wulfdag of the North.

Arcanum has Gar, the "half-orc", whose real name is "Garfield Thaddeus Somethingorother III".

PraedSt
2009-May-29, 11:27 AM
Arcanum has Gar, the "half-orc", whose real name is "Garfield Thaddeus Somethingorother III".
An Orc called Garfield? That's not very scary. :lol:

Moose
2009-May-29, 11:41 AM
Not to randomly hijack another thread, but Gar is the smartest "half-orc" on Arcanum. He can discourse intelligently on politics, mathematics, and tea (among other topics). He can be found working as an exhibit at PT Burnell's Museum of Oddities.

weatherc
2009-May-29, 12:12 PM
And Michael Bay, this is directed at you, you could learn a thing or two if you'd stop shaking your camera around long enough to frame a shot with something sensical. And don't get me started on the new editing theory that if a cut lasts longer than 24 frames its taking too long.

Exactly. If you had something worth showing on screen, it would also be worth showing for a little longer. And the whole shakycam phenomenon is the biggest reason I can't watch anything that comes out of Hollywood anymore that contains action sequences. I hope that a few years from now, using shakycam will make moviegoers instantly think, "Wow, this movie is really old school. What is with the shaking camera effect?" Hopefully people look back on shakycam technique the same way they do facial hair styles from the 1970s.


It means the writer couldn't come up with a plot to save his/her life and so wimped out and decided to explain why that stone over there only breaks open if the chosen one, at noon on the third Wednesday after a solar eclipse didn't happen eats a taco and pines for the fjords.

I think you forgot the part about a watery tart lobbing a sword at someone as the basis for establishing a monarchy, but I think you covered the rest of it. :lol:


And books that break their own rules. Give me a freaking break. You spent 380 pages building up a great plot and getting me interested in characters and then the next 20 making the entire thing pointless.

I hate that. I absolutely hate it. The book makes sense right up until the very end, and then the writer decides to get all allegorical/metaphorical/metaphysical/philosophical. Either that, or the last five pages are written while the author is on acid. Or maybe the author just says, "Well, the publication deadline is coming up, so I guess I need to end this somehow, and I need to get to the local watering hole for a drink."

Cougar
2009-May-29, 02:03 PM
And Michael Bay, this is directed at you, you could learn a thing or two if you'd stop shaking your camera around long enough to frame a shot with something sensical. And don't get me started on the new editing theory that if a cut lasts longer than 24 frames its taking too long.

I hear ya, bro!

LotusExcelle
2009-May-29, 06:34 PM
I havne't read Belgariad yet but my understanding of it is that its one huge long prophecy-based adventure. See original post as to gauge my dislike of such things.

Moose
2009-May-29, 07:05 PM
Point. Sort of. Thing is: just how many prophesies have major speaking roles? :D

KaiYeves
2009-May-29, 08:15 PM
I hate it when bookstores put SF and Fantasy in the same section.

I hate it when teachers don't communicate about the work they're assigning.

Amber Robot
2009-May-29, 08:23 PM
Exactly. If you had something worth showing on screen, it would also be worth showing for a little longer. And the whole shakycam phenomenon is the biggest reason I can't watch anything that comes out of Hollywood anymore that contains action sequences. I hope that a few years from now, using shakycam will make moviegoers instantly think, "Wow, this movie is really old school. What is with the shaking camera effect?" Hopefully people look back on shakycam technique the same way they do facial hair styles from the 1970s.


I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't think there's a single scene in cinema (barring those that are *supposed* to be from handheld video cameras) that wouldn't be better with a steadycam. There's just no good reason to use shaky cam. Period. Sorry. :hand:

Moose
2009-May-29, 08:43 PM
Serenity may be the sole exception.

Tobin Dax
2009-May-29, 08:54 PM
Serenity may be the sole exception.

We're gonna explode? I don't wanna explode!:)

HenrikOlsen
2009-May-29, 09:00 PM
There's just no good reason to use shaky cam. Period. Sorry. :hand:
Unless you're explicitly trying to create the impression of turbulence or vibration.
Moose's example is one of those situations, there are others in the Firefly series.

Amber Robot
2009-May-29, 09:17 PM
Unless you're explicitly trying to create the impression of turbulence or vibration.

I don't really consider that "using shaky-cam".

LotusExcelle
2009-May-30, 12:23 AM
Paul Greengrass is another shaky cam director. He claims it conveys action. To me they could just stand a few dummies up and throw a camera around the room like a bouncy ball and it'd look like they are fighting each other.

Are there any stats out there as to average shot length over the years?

Amber Robot
2009-May-30, 01:04 AM
Paul Greengrass is another shaky cam director. He claims it conveys action.

He's wrong.

And the change from Doug Limon to Paul Greengrass is what kept the Bourne Supremacy from being as good a movie as it really could have been.

Phamph
2009-May-30, 01:43 AM
Another one I cant stand is the latest trend in "science" TV shows. The scientist stands in the middle of a field, looking off into the distance, while a shaky camera spins around him really fast.

weatherc
2009-May-30, 02:06 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't think there's a single scene in cinema (barring those that are *supposed* to be from handheld video cameras) that wouldn't be better with a steadycam. There's just no good reason to use shaky cam. Period. Sorry. :hand:

I managed to think of one film where the use of shakycam could be justified: Saving Private Ryan, particularly in the storming of Normandy sequence.

Amber Robot
2009-May-30, 02:15 AM
I managed to think of one film where the use of shakycam could be justified: Saving Private Ryan, particularly in the storming of Normandy sequence.

Hmm.... There's an exception to every rule, right? :D

LotusExcelle
2009-May-30, 05:02 AM
He's wrong.

And the change from Doug Limon to Paul Greengrass is what kept the Bourne Supremacy from being as good a movie as it really could have been.

Could not agree with you more. Limon's action sequences make you realize just how fast and scary Bourne is. He SHOWS you the action instead. Greengrass just makes everything jump around a lot. If I can't see whats going on I might as well assume the two people are eating crumpets and talking about the latest polo match.

LotusExcelle
2009-May-30, 07:25 AM
Okay so you know what really bothers me about movies? Bad CGI. I don't mean old 'before they were good at it' stuff like Tron. That was a look and it worked well for that movie. I mean the inexcusably amateurish integration of not just bad CGI but equally bad live action.

I watched Baz Luhrman's "Australia" not too long ago and I couldn't get past just how really terrible it looked. I mean like it was trying to look bad. Like they decided it would take too much effort to make it look halfway decent and just went into full camp mode. And what is it with Lucas? Did no one mention that the lighting on the actors needs to be roughly match the CG stuff? I mean honestly I've seen green screen work in high schools better than that.

Oh and you know what? WHy is it that every CG shoot is so super-ultra-sharp and always captures every last little neat CG thing the animator wanted you to see? NO live shot is like that. Why not add some freaking out of focus there, champ. We shoot through LENSES on my planet. And for crying out loud can we get a CG shot that is physically possible to shoot with a real camera? Like why do people insist on having shots you know can't really exist in there? My brain is screaming at me "no one could ever possibly really shoot this = fake from the word go" and suddenly instead of being immersed in Lord of the Rings I'm jarred into the fact that if they'd left the camera on the ground it'd look infinitely better.

You know what movie got CG right? And you may all think I'm nuts... "The Fifth Element". Whats this? Depth of field? Haze? CG that isn't followed perfectly by the camera so you miss something a hack would be sure to capture and beat you over the with "hey look at this AwEsOmE CGIz" like some college Animation 101 final?

Yes I believe the next big thing in movies will be seamless, flawed, reality-based CGI that a real camera using practical lenses and not some magic flying carpet can shoot. I can count the number of movies where the CG looked *great* on one hand. You know why the effects of Kubrick's 2001 still look so good even compared to the absurdly advanced technology we have now? Because he cared what was on each and every frame of film.

Jay200MPH
2009-May-30, 10:00 AM
I'm with you on that one. If for no reason other than the painful memory of the groundhogs in Indiana Jones 4. Also, the 5th Element is probably one of my favourite movies in general.

However... I DO think CG has a place in making impossible shots possible. It just has to be done well, and only occasionally. I can't remember what movie/show it was from, but one bit sticks out where the camera zoomed from space all the way down to a city, and then into a building through the roof vent, and finally ended in a room with some goons playing poker. All in one smooth shot. I liked that.

One thing I'd much rather look at in a film though are real matte paintings. It irks me when they replace those with raytraced backgrounds.

LotusExcelle
2009-May-30, 04:25 PM
Ah we have a lot in common. The Fifth Element ranks as my favorite movie of all time (this seems to shock my friends but its true. And I can't explain it - I just think it combines everything I admire and like into one fantastic package. And the thermal bandages help).

Fazor
2009-May-30, 05:31 PM
I hate it when bookstores put SF and Fantasy in the same section.

I hate it when teachers don't communicate about the work they're assigning.

I hate it when bookstores don't carry the classics. I couldn't believe it when I went there and found they did not have a single thing written by Verne. Should be illegal.

KaiYeves
2009-May-30, 11:16 PM
Jules Verne rocked.

LotusExcelle
2009-May-30, 11:18 PM
I'm slowly working my way through some Verne and Wells. Plus reading an old translation of some Dante. Also working on Stephenson's Anathema. I have a lot of stuff on my plate.

DonM435
2009-May-31, 05:34 PM
Many a time I've been in a bookstore that has one of those ladders on a rail, for use in reaching stuff on the higher shelves.

More often than not, they leave the ladder parked over the aisle adjacent to the "Occult" section.

How dumb is that? Anybody looking for those books isn't going to walk under a ladder, right?

Gigabyte
2009-May-31, 05:38 PM
Bad night at work. So we're off to the races.


http://www.rantrave.com

Share it with the world.

LotusExcelle
2009-May-31, 05:47 PM
I just read a chemtrails rant on there. I'll be staying far away from that site.

KaiYeves
2009-May-31, 08:43 PM
I thought impossible shots were one of the major points of CGI. If you could shoot it normally, you wouldn't need to use a computer.

LotusExcelle
2009-May-31, 10:43 PM
I mean in terms of how its shot - not its content.

Gigabyte
2009-Jun-01, 01:23 AM
And the thermal bandages help).

Oh yeah, oh yeah.

SeanF
2009-Jun-01, 01:30 PM
I mean in terms of how its shot - not its content.
Well, yes, but . . . I mean, you do understand that you're not supposed to be thinking about the camera when you're watching a movie, right? :D

closetgeek
2009-Jun-01, 02:32 PM
Ah we have a lot in common. The Fifth Element ranks as my favorite movie of all time (this seems to shock my friends but its true. And I can't explain it - I just think it combines everything I admire and like into one fantastic package. And the thermal bandages help).

I loved the movie so don't take this as knocking it. The Fifth Element has all the ingredience of a really bad movie, the prophecy; breaking it's own rules; the reluctant leader, thrust into greatness. It was just done so well that you find it forgivable. Along with it's knockout cast, no one can pull off the one-liners like Bruce Willis.

Fazor
2009-Jun-01, 02:46 PM
It was just done so well that you find it forgivable.

I respectfully disagree. I like most (or at least many) Willis movies. That is not one of them.

Admittedly, part of that reason is because growing up, my brother loved it. Anything like that he liked (music or movies) he'd play over and over again. So part of my dislike is by virtue of over saturation.

That said, I don't think I'd like the movie either way; I just wouldn't dislike it so much.

LotusExcelle
2009-Jun-01, 05:32 PM
Well, yes, but . . . I mean, you do understand that you're not supposed to be thinking about the camera when you're watching a movie, right? :D


I can't help it. Its sort of a habit but stems more from my annoyance with poorly shot films. As an example I notice Gilliam's particularly odd camera usage - but not in a bad way. It baffles me how his movies are so obviously his. Same with Kubrick. I had never seen "Paths of Glory" before. I was flipping through channels and I caught maybe 10 seconds of the movie before I said to myself "Kubrick is the only guy that would ever move a camera like that". And sure enough I was right. He was careful (to a fault, sometimes) about his camerawork.

And so you (I) notice good camerawork as much as bad. Besson (i.e. Fifth Element) has a very unique style as well. One that I think is massively under-appreciated in the States. (And as an aside - let us not forget he has made some truly fantastic films. PLus introduced us to Natalie Portman)

I dislike directors who pay no attention to what ends up on screen. The whole medium is about visual communication. So why waste film (or soon... bits) on a sub-par shot? WHy not develop your own visual language as Kubrick, Lean, Gilliam, Besson (hate me if you wish for putting Besson in there), etc.

LotusExcelle
2009-Jun-01, 05:36 PM
I loved the movie so don't take this as knocking it. The Fifth Element has all the ingredience of a really bad movie, the prophecy; breaking it's own rules; the reluctant leader, thrust into greatness. It was just done so well that you find it forgivable. Along with it's knockout cast, no one can pull off the one-liners like Bruce Willis.


I'll agree with the fact that it had all kinds of ways in which it could have failed. And I've also noticed many films that have the opposite - every opportunity to be good. The Fifth Element remains my favorite film of all time 12 years after it came out. In fact he has I think 4 films in my top 20. Leon, Nikita, TFE, and Le Grande Bleu. Those are all films that could have gone south in a hurry. But they didn't.

LotusExcelle
2009-Jun-01, 05:37 PM
I respectfully disagree. I like most (or at least many) Willis movies. That is not one of them.

Admittedly, part of that reason is because growing up, my brother loved it. Anything like that he liked (music or movies) he'd play over and over again. So part of my dislike is by virtue of over saturation.

That said, I don't think I'd like the movie either way; I just wouldn't dislike it so much.

You break my heart, Fazor! Okay so it wasn't Willis at his best. I think his best was probably Twelve Monkeys. And heck - I even liked him in Hudson Hawk!

Tobin Dax
2009-Jun-01, 11:11 PM
I loved the movie so don't take this as knocking it. The Fifth Element has all the ingredience of a really bad movie, the prophecy; breaking it's own rules; the reluctant leader, thrust into greatness. It was just done so well that you find it forgivable. Along with it's knockout cast, no one can pull off the one-liners like Bruce Willis.
I finally bought The Fifth Element a couple Christmases ago. I love the movie, and had been watching it whenever I stumbled across it on TV. I found out that my father doesn't like it, which was a little surprising. But now that you mention it, that's probably because all the "bad ingredients." One he cited was Leelo speaking in her own language, which could be added to closetgeek's list.

Now for my own rant, though this isn't entertainment-related.
Why must child transfer happen with one car parked in the street? There is at least one family in the apartments across from mine where the non-resident bioparent (I assume) parks in the driveway, not in a parking space. Sure, there are only about 12 spaces past that on both sides, but any courteous person would park in a space for the 10 minutes they're going to end up spending there. That would be much better than making people squeeze around the car. I also saw this happen blocks away this weekend. I turned a corner, just after another car, only to stop about 100 feet later. Some parent decided to stop on the far side of the street (the other side from me and the other car) so that a child could cross the street and get in the passenger side of the car. At least the wonderful people I encounter at the apartment complex park on the wrong side, so the kids don't have to worry about traffic.

I feel better now. :)

Amber Robot
2009-Jun-01, 11:22 PM
I was biased against Fifth Element from the start. A friend of mine saw it before I did and he came back with such a negative response that it was many months before I ended up seeing it myself. When I did I really didn't enjoy it -- but I saw it assuming it was going to be bad. What added insult to injury was that that same friend eventually changed his tune and claimed to love the movie.

I could probably almost be convinced that it was a decent movie -- except for Chris Tucker. I found him extremely irritating.

Trebuchet
2009-Jun-01, 11:24 PM
I thought impossible shots were one of the major points of CGI. If you could shoot it normally, you wouldn't need to use a computer.

I don't think that's the case any more. They do it to save money on sets, wardrobe, conventional special effects, even actors.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Jun-02, 02:32 AM
I thought impossible shots were one of the major points of CGI. If you could shoot it normally, you wouldn't need to use a computer.
As Trebuchet said, with the explosion in computing power and the development of good relatively cheap software, these days there are lots of scenes that in the "old" days would be done by special effects or matte painting which are make as post production CGI because it is cheaper.

A fascinating, at least to me, aspect of this is the movies that have extensive CGI work, but you can't actually tell where it is because it's been used to eg. recreate a perfectly normal background scenery that just happens to no exist in real life any more because some inconsiderate oaf built a hotel in the middle of where you're supposed to see pristine nature.