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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought this would be interesting, mainly to see how lifelike animation could be at this stage in the game. I missed it at the theaters, but instantly purchased a copy when I saw it at Blockbuster.

The movie itself didn't interest me as much as the notion that computer animation may soon make it possible to create a whole new era of film making where real world sets are no longer necessary, and real life actors could be replaced by digital characters.

Well, the movie was in a word, disappointing. There are moments when the characters look real, but in the end I felt like I was watching reruns of The Thunderbirds rather than real life people.


Maybe my expectations were too high. I'm sure they will eventually get this type of anamation to look like real life people, and when they do I think it'll be interesting. But from what I saw they still have a lot of ground to cover before Bruce Willis shows up in the unemployment line.
 

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This movie was never intended to look life-like.

The look it has it what was intended.

I'm still trying to decide what I think of it, visually it's a mind blower...it certainly takes you on a ride you've never been on before. That alone makes me think about it, which is unusual for me...I don't usually go for something because is stuns me visually...but, I suppose there's always a first (or second) time! :)

The alternate beginning is interesting, I like the silent buildup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by KennyG
This movie was never intended to look life-like.
Not according to what I read and heard about it.

That was EXACTLY the intent. Almost every thing I read about this film, from the very first trailer I saw in theaters to the studio promotions and various other news releases, every single one mentioned the groundbreaking "photo realism" of this animated film.

Again, I'm not saying it was bad. It was just a little disappointing given what I'd read.
 

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Yes, I'd read all that stuff too, and none of it came from the people actually involve with this project.

A month or so before the theatrical release I read a small interview with someone involved with it, they said the intent was never to make it life like, if they wanted that they could have gotten alot closer, their intent was to push the CGI animation envelope.

From that view point, this is pretty :cool:
 

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I agree with Kenny also...I didn't expect it to look real, and I am impressed, in general, with how far CG animation has come. I think the kid in me still likes things like Titan AE (which was a mix of CG and old fashioned animation) and I found the graphics to be consistantly astounding. Just think how hard it is to create a human face and natural movements! The pace of improvements is pretty impressive (thanks, Moore's Law) with each passing year.


Hell, the CG animators are improving at a faster pace than the digital projector manufacturers!
 

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I thought this movie was visially stunning as well. I could actually see the pores in the skin of the characters faces (amazing)! The story was a little slow but all in all I found this a groundbreaking entry into films completely made in CGI. What is to come in the next 5 years? I read other reviews saying that the transfer wasn't great and it looked grainy. I don't agree with this. I thought the images were crisp and translated well through my Barco CRT projector on a 7ft wide screen even though most of the movie consisted of dark scenes. I was even looking for those picture flaws because of those reviews. I am glad I bought it.

Dan
 

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The visuals in this film are very easy to get lost in if you can get past not seeing the faces of the actors who you are hearing.


Final Fantasy gets a bad rap in the story department. Personally, I would rank this film among the best of the year. I saw it once at the theater and twice in two days after purchasing the DVD.


Here is a link to my initial review after seeing the movie theatrically. The only thing I would take back would be where I said it was better than "Akira". Understanding "Akira" much better now than I did 12 years ago, it is the better film. Still, "Final Fantasy" ranks as number two on the list of my favorite anime.
 

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I was slightly disappointed with it visually. To me it looks like they added grain to try and make it more "life like". I felt that if they wanted to push the CGI envelope, they should have left it out. This was not in every shot (close ups were crisp) but when I went through the extras to the "making of scenes", you could actually see an added blurring or graininess to some finished shots.


Movies like Toy Story 2 and Dinosaur are visually stunning CGI movies because of the lack of grain or haze....for lack of a better word to describe what I saw. Did anyone else notice this?...and know why they did this, if not to make it more real looking?


I also had a hard time understanding the ending. Was her boyfriend the new "8th" spirit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxC
I was slightly disappointed with it visually. To me it looks like they added grain to try and make it more "life like".
That's funny. Something similar happened in the music industry when CD's and DAT's starting appearing. Some people, including heavy weights like George Harrison, complained that music tracks were so free of noise they sounded artifical. Someone then invented machines to put controlled noise back into recordings. I dont know if the practice is still used or not.


I didn't notice what you described in FF, but I don't doubt it.


As for the other comments on the story, I thought it was borderline childish. Those ghost monsters look like video game characters. It was based on a video game, so maybe that was the intent.

In any event, it wasn't a serious film imo
 

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*************SPOILERS*************
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Quote:
I also had a hard time understanding the ending. Was her boyfriend the new "8th" spirit?
No, one of the aliens was the 8th spirit. When one of them came into contact with a spirit born of the Earth it became the 8th spirit. Though the first one was destroyed, another had come into contact with an Earth spirit and had become the 8th spirit. As for Grey, he simply delivered the completed wave into the alien spirit by touching Aki and the alien spirit. When his soul was taken it carried the wave pattern with it and cancelled out the aliens.

Quote:
I thought it was borderline childish. Those ghost monsters look like video game characters.
If you would care to make some points about the story I would be glad to debate them with you :). I don't see how you could call the story childish, but I would be interested in hearing your points. The character designs really don't have anything to do with the seriousness of the story whether you like them or not. That's like saying "Starship Troopers" was a bad movie because of the way the bugs looked.

*************SPOILERS*************
*************SPOILERS*************
*************SPOILERS*************
 

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based upon the bashing the film took, i had low expectations when i bought the DVD.


well - it was money well spent - the visuals were stunning all the way through & a jy to watch.


i did not even have a problem w/ the plot/story of this groundbreaking film either. i even found the acting to be better than that in 'hollow man' ;)


a major leap forward from efforts like 'starship troopers' (the CGI 'Roughnecks' series)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by joekun


If you would care to make some points about the story I would be glad to debate them with you :). I don't see how you could call the story childish, but I would be interested in hearing your points. The character designs really don't have anything to do with the seriousness of the story whether you like them or not. That's like saying "Starship Troopers" was a bad movie because of the way the bugs looked.
Well Joe, I love a good debate, but I'm not sure there's anything to debate here. Whether you view this as an intellectually stimulating film or a Saturday morning entre', is really a matter of opinion.

I do disagree with you when you say the characters "really don't have anything to do with the seriousness of the story." Characters in any film ARE the elements that contribute to the overall storyline. In this particular film they are important both visually and the context in which they are presented in the story.

IMO the ghost monsters failed on both accounts. Visually, they looked like cartoons. Conceptually, they were garden variety Nickalodean scifi

ps - note I said "IMO"
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bossmonkey
based upon the bashing the film took, i had low expectations when i bought the DVD.


well - it was money well spent - the visuals were stunning all the way through & a jy to watch.


i did not even have a problem w/ the plot/story of this groundbreaking film either. i even found the acting to be better than that in 'hollow man' ;)


a major leap forward from efforts like 'starship troopers' (the CGI 'Roughnecks' series)
It's Funny how a movie that didn't do to well seems to be selling pretty good, on release day at the local Future Shop (owned by Best Buy) it sold out the first day, mind you this location is near a High School, if that matters, anyway I picked up a copy and enjoyed it despite it's flaws, I originally saw this at the theatre so I knew of it's flaws already.
 

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Quote:
I do disagree with you when you say the characters "really don't have anything to do with the seriousness of the story."
I never made that statement, please reread my post.

Quote:
The character designs really don't have anything to do with the seriousness of the story whether you like them or not. That's like saying "Starship Troopers" was a bad movie because of the way the bugs looked.
I realize that we can have differing opinions on this film, and that is fine. However, it's really easy to say ""film x" is childish" and not back it up with anything. I just don't understand all of the negative reviews of this film. I really think that if people viewed it as a foreign film they would enjoy it more. There are cultural differences inherent in any foreign film, and they must be recognized before being criticized outright.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Joe;

I reread your post, but as best I can tell I quoted you accurately.

Not sure what kind of "back up" are you expecting here. I "backed up" what I said in clear and no uncertain terms.

Perhaps you just didn't like what I said.



For the record, I've seen a lot of movies worst than this one. I was only speaking to the fact that I was expecting more than it delivered. To further qualify, I'd probably give it a "C-" if I were writing a review.


By the way, if anyone want's a DVD copy of FF, I'd be happy to trade mine for something else. I've only viewed it once


:)
 

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You really don't know the difference between characters and character designs? :rolleyes:


Character designs are specifically the way that the characters were designed by the artist, in other words, how they look. Just because you don't like a character design (the way a character looks) doesn't mean that you can't like that character (the way a character acts or conducts themselves within the framework of the story).


I don't see how claiming that the film is childish because its character designs look like something out of a video game is a compelling argument, especially given how realistic video game characters are looking nowadays. Using that logic one could argue that "Alien" is childish, or any film with character designs that aren't based on something real.


This is a useless debate given that there is no substance and I have to point out the difference between "character" and "character design", so I will just move on and leave it at that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by joekun
You really don't know the difference between characters and character designs? :rolleyes:



This is a useless debate given that there is no substance
Don't go postal on me Joe.


I've never heard the term "character design". Sounds like you are trying to make reference only to a characters physical design and appearance. The term "character design" could just as easily refer to the development of a character, and to that end your terminology was misleading initially.

The point is moot anyway. I said I thought the story was weak as well.


As for substance, there's plenty here. I'm just not sure how you want me to "back up" an opinion.
 

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I heard such mixed reviews of this film that I rented the DVD. Now that I've seen it once, I'll not buy it.


YES it was visually stunning and the animation is a new high bar that surpassed even the CGI characters in The Phantom Menace, another recent high budget CGI-fest. However, this is yet another example of a weakly-plotted Sci-Fi film where they were obsessed with special effects (or at least the animated equivalent of special effects) at the expense of the plot.


My objection relates to the jarring juxtaposition of very well done high-tech spacecraft, gadgets (I LOVE those holographic control panels), and excellant old and new (i.e. barrier city) NYC scenery up against a plot based on that tired old Gaia "earth spirit" myth. It simply is not credible that highly trained scientists would accept (much less formulate) such a hairbrained theory.


"Hard" SciFi and spiritualism can certainly be married togather in a convincing and well-made film. Indeed, I consider the movie Contact to be the defining example of such combined genres. However, the filmmakers have to be the masters of BOTH genres before they could successfully combine the two in a single film. In my opinion, FF would have been much better as straight SciFi. (I prefer my Fantasy genre straight as well - I'm eagerly awaiting The Lord of the Rings films.)


I heard an earlier comparison to the Saturday morning cartoon Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles. That series has animation that is several steps short of the very high bar set by FF - but even when you consider it was aimed at a juvenile audience, the story lines are better and more appropriate than that in FF - because they are straight, "hard" SciFi stories.


Overall, a C-, and a general disappointment for FF. Damn, but they blew a bundle on this film!


Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well said Gary.

Your comments mirror my opinions on this one 100%.


I hunger for good sci fi films, and they are rare. I eagerly await each new scifi flick that comes out, and I'm usually disappointed.

Contact is also one of my more recent favorite scifi films.

I think it's the film producers who are ultimately responsible for screwing up what might otherwise have been good sci fi stories. I think these guys have preconceived formulas they try to follow that ultimately ruin many projects

Look how Tim Burton goofed up POTA. Battlefield Earth should also have also been a good movie.

On the other side, what appears to be a goofy concept can be made into a great film if the producer has the imagination to pull it off.

Consider BTTF. A Delorean turned into a time machine? Sounds pretty silly if you think about it, but Speilburg turned that it into a great (albeit light hearted) scifi film that is often overlooked IMO.
 
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