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Old November 9th, 2007, 01:46 AM   #16
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IMO the 3-D work doesn't look realistic and the low quality is distracting.

The facial expressions are missing something... not working for me. The way the faces move/look doesn't look right... it looks like bad 3-D.

The art direction / cinematography is not particularly enticing (but perhaps because the trailer encodes I saw were so terrible). I think the problem for me is that they are trying to be realistic and falling on their faces because the 3-D work is not realistic-looking. If they tried for something stylized it would work better. Gollum in LOTR is a better example of good 3-D.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #17
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Gollum in LOTR is a better example of good 3-D.
I've never seen LOTR in 3-D, but I'm about to see Beowulf. Aside from the excellent points Bill Davis gives in his previous post, I really don't care who is starring in Beowulf; for me the draw is the IMAX 3-D experience, plus a critical eye toward the fiction-into-film process: we saved most all our college textbooks, and Kelly still has her Masterpieces of World Lit on my bookshelf. So we're re-reading the story of Beowulf (for the first time since our freshman days at university) and I'm anxious to see how closely the the film follows the written narrative.

Thinking about moving this thread to our 3D / stereo video forum...
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Old November 11th, 2007, 12:34 AM   #18
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To clarify... my comments were about what I've seen with normal 2D projection.

3D was in reference to 3D animation.
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Old November 11th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #19
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So we're re-reading the story of Beowulf (for the first time since our freshman days at university) and I'm anxious to see how closely the the film follows the written narrative.

Chris, and anyone else following this thread...

If you've already started the re-reading, rock on. If you guys haven't started yet, I'd HIGHLY recommend you ditch the old college textbook translations and see if your local bookstore has Seamus Heaney's 2000 verse translation.

It's not only a HUGELY enjoyable reading experience, it says a lot about the art of translation and "interpretive" written derrivations - (for instance moviemaking and script adaptation!) - that I bet all moviemaking fans would find VERY interesting.

I bought it to help Mikey when he and his class were studying a kid translation of the story outline of Beowulf in 6th grade - and found myself caught up in it and REALLY enjoying the book.

FWIW.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #20
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I'm pretty sure this will be a very different story than the book. This one was written by Neil Gaiman and (I think) Roger Avery. It seems as though this movie has Beowulf as the father of Grendel, but I'm not sure about that.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #21
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Indeed I am expecting to see a radical change in the story from the traditional poetic narrative. And I fully expect to see a cartoon in 3D.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #22
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I just don't see the necessity of replacing actual actors faces with animation. Leave everything CG including costumes if they must, but give me a REAL head, with REAL expressions.
I remember seeing the Final Fantasy CG movie and being amazed with the quality of the CG on the big screen. It looked real. But I never got past the distraction of the characters. Why didn't they just use real people. It would have looked much better, and they wouldn't have had to use 800 render years on all that hair.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #23
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I imagine that this film will be closely related as possible to the traditional story to avoid academic criticizm. My problems with the previews of this film is that everything I saw was CGI. This is the first time (other than theatrical recreations) that this story has been attempted on film and the fact that it was all done in CGI takes away from the intensity of the film.

But perhaps its "cartoon look" isn't entirely meant to attract an adult audience. As this story is commonly read in grade school and up, it would make sense to make a film oriented toward children. But, on the other hand, children can enjoy films with live actors as much as they do Saturday morning cartoons....
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Old November 14th, 2007, 08:15 AM   #24
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Just chiming back in:

For those interested enough in the story to searching out the written narratives (I haven't read anything on it since high school so I am long overdue) I would again reccomend the 2005 movie Beowulf and Grendel directed by Sturla Gunnarsson and written by Andrew Rai Berzins.

A live action "low tech" telling of the tale filmed in Iceland; just the photography alone is worth the rental. Acting is very solid (all in English) and I enjoyed the interpetation of the myth; you have your suspense and your action but it is really a story about destiny, redemption and what makes one human.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 12:17 PM   #25
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But perhaps its "cartoon look" isn't entirely meant to attract an adult audience. As this story is commonly read in grade school and up, it would make sense to make a film oriented toward children. But, on the other hand, children can enjoy films with live actors as much as they do Saturday morning cartoons....
I'm sure the nakedness of Angelina Jolie's animated body is meant to attract grade schoolers.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #26
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Beowulf is rated PG-13. Let's keep this discussion at an appropriate level please.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 02:44 PM   #27
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i have to disagree with a lot of sentiments in this thread about moviemaking.

1. yesh, we've commercialized and supersized, but it hasn't really changed since the silent film eras even. they were all about putting butts in the seats as well, but does this mean everyone should boycott and stop watching hollywood films and buy ONLY indie films and never ever be entertained? yesh we're all intelligent to know they are poorly made, but @least they have entertainment value and lots of escapism. we goto films to escape, not to get depressed again about how "real life" is. but i guess there are sadistic people who find that enjoyable and continue to watch their elitist indies.

2. CG vs. humans. one day, CG will be indistinguishable from humans and hopefully lead way to trek's notion of the "holodeck". don't have $ to travel the world? enter your personal holodeck =P. want to meet some celebrity in real life? call up the holodeck, etc. first steps are appearing in many forms like:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/io_1193136933888.html

no matter what u+i think, it's inevitable as mr. smith says to neo. lots of these sentiments reminds me of when the PC starts appearing @home. a lot of luddites voiced their opinions that it'll take away from face to face contact... we're seeing quite the opposite of that in the business and personal world. these tools are HELPING people do business better and make social connections better by encouraging face-to-face.

guess where those luddites are@?

my 2.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 04:51 PM   #28
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I have absoulutely no issues with special effects in movies. I was a big fan of the old Ray Harrehousen movies like Jason and the Argonauts and the Sinbad movies. I thought movies like LOTR and Gladiator benefited from contemporary CGI. I'm also a big fan of Sin City with all the green screen and CGI

I have never been a fan of effects for effects sake. I will always be a fan of good acting whether they be ten feet away from me on a stage, or in a completly digitized world. Acting and story carry the day ... Sin City worked, Captain Future sucked.

From what I have seen of Beowulf (and I just saw a bunch of sneak peeks last night) the CGI is looking like fairly weak computer animation. Just wasn't impressive; and the clips I saw almost made me wonder if it was supposed to be a comedy, it just looked silly

I have no issue with the concept of a totally CGI movie .. some day they may get it right. But CGI made to look like actual actors seems dubious to me, especially if it is not well done.

I've been around long enough to have seen many many advances in tech from rotary phones to cell phones, to black and white TV to video iPods; I have no issue with the idea of technology, especially in entertainment. I just have an issue when it really doesn't advance story, excitement etc and is used just for an empty wow factor
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Old November 15th, 2007, 10:19 PM   #29
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2. CG vs. humans. one day, CG will be indistinguishable from humans and hopefully lead way to trek's notion of the "holodeck".

Indistinguishable in what way? Yes CG can make a person look real, but it doesn't act real.

There are two angles that are being taken currently. The first is motion capture which is used in the the Beowulf movie. This is real actors rendered in 3D. Why bother? Use the real actor. The quality will get better, but there is still a human under there.
The second option is a fully animated character (your holodeck scenario). The problem with that is you are now relying on a CG artist to be an actor. There is a reason why he/she is an CG artist and not a famous actor. They can't act!

I am a fan of CG in every facet of film making but there is simply no point in replacing real actors except for the novelty factor. Which unfortunately puts butts in the seats. I hope the novelty fades off. This exact same movie has the possibility of being a cult classic if it were made with the very actors they motion captured. Instead its hype will fade much like the FF movie before it.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 10:58 PM   #30
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...its hype will fade much like the FF movie before it.
That's a given. The only question is, how much profit can it make before the hype fades. After all, it's just a product meant to be consumed within a few weeks after its opening, like most everything the industry cranks out under such heavy marketing.
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