Saturday, June 11, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 27

            I decided to do the 30 day movie challenge as a blog series as it ties into my blog activities rather easily and I am once again not blogging my usual series with regularity in spite of saying that I would.
            Today is "A Movie that has the best Special Effects".  Here is what everyone will expect a movie enthusiast to say: "Avatar".  And here is what I say to that: "NOPE!".  "Avatar" was a special effects experiment with a terribly simple characters and formulaic story, and over did it on everything else.  If you have amazing special effects, good for you, but special effects are tool used to help progress a story, outlining a story to show off a visual effect is not good movie making.  You want to know what I think is the best special effects?  "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King".

This was the first time a fully CGI character was done convincingly.  This is the process that made "Avatar" possible and it looks better because it is juxtaposed with reality.

            Having effectively built from the first film through the second the third film in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy has everything in motion and presents the largest battles, in the most majestic scenes, with the crowning music of awesome everyone could feel booming through the theater.

            Is there gay subtext in this movie?  I don't care.  Are there too many endings?  No.  Is it better than the book?  I'm going to assume yes, as I grew impatient with Tolkien's writing style a third of the way through book one ("The Hobbit", by contrast, remains one of my favorite books of all time, a list I finally got around to banging out).

Though, making Ian McKellen look like a wizard really only takes a bathrobe and a walking staff.

            "Return of the King" contrary to Kevin Smith's opinion is the trilogy of this generation, showing in so many ways how to correctly tell a sweeping magical story with clear forces of good and evil clashing for the fate of the world, blowing out of the water the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy in its use of basic story telling to make real resonant impact in the audience.  It is gorgeous.

            "Return of the King" advanced movie making technology by leaps at the time.  Having CGI monsters numbering in the thousands on screen and doing so in such a way that made them look real and alive was revolutionary, prior to this movie such effects would have to be done with actual people in costume either cloned or cut out using camera angles, or actually having a few hundred extras (Think "Lawrence of Arabia").  Trolls. Orcs, Ents, Dragons, and Giant Eagles are all present allowing skilled artists to present their work alongside talented actors.  It is dazzling to behold, and that is before the ghost army sweeps in and kills 10,000 evil monsters.  And what is more, there was good practical effects in this movie too, with costumes, props, and sets made in interesting fashion to show very simple illustrations of majesty and beauty that a mythology like "The Lord of the Rings" (practically a religion) sort of demands.

And there were giant elephants.
             Honestly I think I would hail this thing for just one accomplishment that it did so well, that of forced perspective.  Creating sets that turned to accommodate moving cameras and actors who through the whole thing have to orient themselves far to the left of the actor they are speaking to so as to complete the illusion.  It is so well designed and executed that it overshadows the CGI of the movie.

            If you liked my take on this movie, please click the Google "+1" button in the comments section, post the link on your facebook, or send people over from anywhere else you might social network.

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