Andy's Art and Whatever

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tron in Wonderland

So I just watched a couple of trailers for some new movies coming (coincidentally both by Disney) which were advertised at the recent Comic Con. And here’s my impressions of them:
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Alice in Wonderland
I’m honestly getting sick of both Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. The novelty of Johnny has worn off considerably because of the slew of movies he’s been in lately (Pirates of the Caribbean, Sweeny Todd, Willy Wonka, etc) and his “fantastic” performances have started to dwindle and just be... well... kinda the same thing we’ve already seen. I especially do not like the design of his Mad Hatter character, with that horrible shock of flat red hair. I just don’t see him performing this role any different than when he did Jack Sparrow or Wonka. In fact it almost seems to me like a mixing of the two.

Likewise for Tim Burton, the twisted macabre worlds that Tim Burton create all look... well... like the same thing we’ve already seen. Everything is just basically “Nightmare Before Christmas” over and over again.

Some of the effects in the trailer looked interesting and I’m curious to see it in 3-D... but some of the other effects just look awful. I don’t like the Cheshire cat, nor do I like the queen’s ungodly huge head. I understand what they’re trying to do (which is imitate the original caricatured drawings from the book) but if that’s the case, then shouldn’t Johnny’s head be equally huge?

There’s something about the way Disney does computer animation which bugs me. It’s like everything is TOO smooth when it moves it’s obvious every time what’s fake and what’s real (more on that in the next section).

Finally, I’m not all that impressed with the way that Alice looks. Alice is the most important character in the movie and she looks awful to me. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the hair... but something about her just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

I dunno... I’m sure people will be praising this movie and hyping it up and all kinds of stuff... but for me, it just seems like a mediocre movie and not worth seeing it in the theater even in 3-D.
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Tron Legacy
I remember the first Tron quite fondly, especially after I saw how they made the movie. Pretty much the entire movie was rotoscoped (traced) to add those glowing effects on their suits. And the computer animation at the time was revolutionary and incredibly time consuming. It looks dated now, of course, but it’s got a certain “charm” about how primitive it is.

Flash forward to now... The trailer shows a character in an updated outfit fleeing from some bad guy. He pulls a matrix move and gets into a light-cycle (which also is updated) and they speed off for a chase around a semi-transparent and mimalist world. Eventually the bike gets blown up and the guy is confronted by his pursuer who promptly kills him.

With all of the CGI effects, I dunno... It just doesn’t look “right” to me. It’s got all of the glitz and glamor of a PS3 game, but with the retro visuals of an 80's computer, and something about that just isn’t working for me. The things which should be “digital” aren’t, and the things which shouldn’t are. And once again, the effects are too “smooth.” Especially when dealing with the human characters, where it’s quite obvious that certain shots are entirely digital. Their movement just doesn’t look realistic, even for the simplest of things.

There’s also some old guy watching from a tower and, correct me if I’m wrong, but was that suppose to be Jeff Bridges who took the guy out? They made a point to lighten up his face inside his helmet before killing the guy... but honestly I couldn’t recognize him. I only surmise that it’s suppose to be him.

I dunno... overall I’m not too thrilled with either of these BIG BLOCKBUSTER TITLES! Is it just me, or does anyone else out there feel this way?

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