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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:49 pm 
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I saw this article on AVClub today and I agree with most of it. I was particularly glad to see Speed Racer on the list.

Check it out and see if you agree or disagree.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Speed Racer is the only good film The Wachowskis have ever made.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:24 pm 
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Disagree with a large chunk of this list, especially the more modern entries. Starship Troopers should headline a list of best visual effects in any movie ever produced. And the category should just be called "best attempt to mimic James Cameron's technical abilities," because that what visual effects in modern movies have essentially been doing since 1986.

Also, fuck off JF - Jupiter Ascending is the next generation's Flash Gordon/Dune/Tron cult classic.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:39 pm 
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I do agree with Batman Returns, but not for any of the reasons in that article. It enraged a bunch of moronic animal rights' fanatics, because they were convinced Tim Burton had fucked up a bunch of penguins.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:11 pm 
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I agree with most of them, but there were some I can't bring myself to get behind. Some I just haven't seen so I can't speak to them.

Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (never seen it)
The Beyond (never seen it)
Children of Men (shrug)
Benjamin Button (another shrug)
The Walk (never seen it)
Doctor Strange (everything great about the effects of this film were done in Inception so it really doesn't belong on a "greatest special effects" list. It didn't break any new ground and really, none of the Marvel films have done anything previous films hadn't already pioneered as far as I can remember)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:13 pm 
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JFelix wrote:
Speed Racer is the only good film The Wachowskis have ever made.


Bound is pretty fun and the original Matrix movie when it came out was also a lot of fun. I'm sick of it now and didn't ever bother with the sequels, but at the time it was pretty great.

Then again, I'm one of three people on the planet that apparently liked Cloud Atlas despite the horrific makeup jobs in the futuristic sections of the film.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:34 pm 
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I love Cloud Atlas, but more so the bits directed by Tim Twyker (like, the story where the brother is locked up in the home).

Also, regardless of how you feel about the Children of Men story, there are 2 sequences that - from a visual effects standpoint - are utterly mind blowing. A car chase sequence and a running sequence where, in both instances, the camera doesn't appear to cut for long stretches. Very immersive stuff.

Likewise, nobody seems to remember Twister, which - despite a ridiculous plot - set the bar for motion tracking (a post-production magic trick that is taken for granted these days). Every shot of the sky was replaced in post-production, an expensive and time consuming process in the late 90s.

As for Marvel films, the standout is the New York action sequence in The Avengers. The visual effects companies hired to produce the sequence rebuilt that entire section of the city, and allowed the director to pick and choose what streets to have the action take place in. There's a pretty good making-of on YouTube, and well worth watching (in fact, it's far better than watching the actual movie).

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Why isn't Blade Runner on this list?

Seriously.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:39 pm 
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brian wrote:
Why isn't Blade Runner on this list?

Seriously.

If you've seen the movie on the big screen, most of the model shots look...like model shots. It's still awesome, but not as immersive as it could have been with a bigger budget. Besides, most people just remember the lens flares, which were produced by Douglas Trumbull, and he's already on the list for 2001 (and he SHOULD be on the list again for Close Encounters).

And it doesn't help that you then have to decide which version of Blade Runner, especially considering the Final Cut both fixes and ruins a whole bunch of visual effects in the film.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:40 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:
brian wrote:
Why isn't Blade Runner on this list?

Seriously.

If you've seen the movie on the big screen, most of the model shots look...like model shots. It's still awesome, but not as immersive as it could have been with a bigger budget. Besides, most people just remember the lens flares, which were produced by Douglas Trumbull, and he's already on the list for 2001 (and he SHOULD be on the list again for Close Encounters).


Sure (and I have seen it on the big screen, it was an event hosted by Ridley Scott in Hollywood), though 2001 is on there, and a lot of the ships looked like cardboard cutouts being pulled across the screen.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:42 pm 
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And I say that about 2001 having just seen it projected on 70mm film back in May.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Yeah, but 2001 has the cool slitscan effect at the end, and that's the only thing that anyone remembers.

The rear-projection effects during the whole boring ape section at the beginning are actually some of the best effects in the film, because nobody notices them.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:46 pm 
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Also, Douglas Trumbull's lens flares in Star Trek: TMP need to be on the list. As should all the work done by the guy that did the whole V'Ger cloud sequence.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:26 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:
As should all the work done by the guy that did the whole V'Ger cloud sequence.


Yes!

Also, I forgot about that Avengers NYC scene and you're spot on. If any Marvel movie should be on this list, that should be the one.

I'm kind of with Brian though about Blade Runner. I feel it should have been on there on one hand but on the other, Star Wars had already pioneered a lot of that. I'm a little torn on that one. My heart says it should be but my head says no.

Also, I know that American Werewolf definitely deserves a spot and you can't have two werewolf films on this, but seriously... Universal's The Wolfman should have fucking been on this list.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:00 am 
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The intro to the article was clear that it wasn't about the most technically adept or groundbreaking special effects, just the most effective. In other words, it's a totally subjective list.

Of the films I've seen, I see little to argue with. But I also acknowledge that one could compile a completely different list with no overlap that I wouldn't argue with, either.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:24 am 
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caryc wrote:
Doctor Strange (everything great about the effects of this film were done in Inception so it really doesn't belong on a "greatest special effects" list. It didn't break any new ground and really, none of the Marvel films have done anything previous films hadn't already pioneered as far as I can remember)

Agreed on Doc Strange. Fun visuals, but mostly a take on what we've seen before.

The New York sequence in the Avengers is also fun, but it feels like a set to me.

If anything, Marvel's standout effects came very early on in the first Captain America movie. Chris Evans was a fairly convincing scrawny little dude for 1/3 of the movie. That was impressive work.

The rest of their stuff, the effects are good, but nothing mind-blowing or groundbreaking.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:37 am 
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Groundbreaking is stuff you don't notice. When I showed my students how car ads were shot a couple of years ago, their minds were blown, and some of them were in heavy denial that all car ads (and car chases in films) are rendered.

found the video:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:08 am 
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Speed Racer is great. Cloud Atlas is great.

I saw Blade Runner in the theater at the original release and it was mind-blowing. It deserves a spot.

Dark City should be mentioned (if not overshadow) Inception. For bending, twisting urban landscapes on the city level, Dark City definitely beat everyone to that fucking mark.

Did I miss Avatar? I think that was a pinnacle movie for CGI crap.

I think Saving Private Ryan should be in there for the visceral war-effects that still influences WW2 and WW1 movies to this day.

Why isn't Watchmen in there for groundbreaking giant blue penises?

Casshern [2005] definitely pushed a LOT of boundaries on SFX that I would later see after its release in a more refined manner (e.g., Sucker Punch).

There are probably more that I would add, but these are my initial thoughts without Google (other than to check a few dates).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:19 am 
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Chris Knight wrote:
Groundbreaking is stuff you don't notice.

I don't entirely agree.

The original Godzilla isn't entirely subtle that the miniatures are being stomped by a human and yet, things like Godzilla influenced and set a certain standard for live-action giant monsters for decades until, I believe, Pacific Rim came along.

And the original Flash Gordon serials were obvious in their execution, but even their rockets on a string can say that they were breaking certain walls to a freed imagination. Which would later allow people like Douglas Trumbull do miniature work for 2001.

I do agree a lot of what is admired today is stuff that goes unnoticed, but sometimes the ground can't be broken without using a sledgehammer.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:12 am 
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Pender wrote:

I think Saving Private Ryan should be in there for the visceral war-effects that still influences WW2 and WW1 movies to this day.



I completely forgot about this one and you're right. That opening sequence should be in the conversation for sure.

It's funny to think about how "real" this looks when not one real bomb or shot was fired and then compare it to Apocalypse Now. Apocalypse Now looks real because Coppola hired an actual dictator's air force to napalm and bomb actual jungle.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:36 am 
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The late 90s are full of films with amazing visual effects. Aside from Starship Troopers, I adore the work in Contact, especially the constant camera trickery with moving from one location to another.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:48 am 
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Contact is bafflingly, woefully underrated as a genre film. It's one of the great 'smart' SF films of the modern era.

(Well, I guess the late 1990s maybe aren't the modern era anymore. We're getting old!)

And yeah, it's overlooked on the visual front, too (except maybe that mirror shot, which gets a lot of well-deserved praise).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:34 am 
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Shoe wrote:
Contact is bafflingly, woefully underrated as a genre film.

Dude, you've never heard of sexism?

Sure, most sexist pigs can handle a gun-toting woman that stands up to corporations and is more action-oriented than thinking (i.e., Aliens).

But, you get a female lead that takes on established man power positions with thinking/brain/smarts and not an M41A pulse rifle 10mm with over-and-under 30mm pump action grenade launcher and you get a lot of men running for the shadows.

Contact failed because society has not reached maturity yet (and may never reach maturity).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:49 am 
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Contact also had the blue ball no alien-alien ending, which pissed off a lot of people.

My gripe with Contact's ending was more with how farfetched the idea that an ancient alien civilization would be able to tap into other intelligent beings subconsciousness so effectively. Other beings would have evolved so differently that the idea is basically impossible, even accepting the Sci-fi copout of, "They would be so advanced we can't even imagine the technology they would have."
The idea behind it I liked, that the civilization would build bridges of communication, beautiful and hopeful, love it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:49 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
caryc wrote:
Doctor Strange (everything great about the effects of this film were done in Inception so it really doesn't belong on a "greatest special effects" list. It didn't break any new ground and really, none of the Marvel films have done anything previous films hadn't already pioneered as far as I can remember)

Agreed on Doc Strange. Fun visuals, but mostly a take on what we've seen before.

The New York sequence in the Avengers is also fun, but it feels like a set to me.

If anything, Marvel's standout effects came very early on in the first Captain America movie. Chris Evans was a fairly convincing scrawny little dude for 1/3 of the movie. That was impressive work.

The rest of their stuff, the effects are good, but nothing mind-blowing or groundbreaking.


I agree with all of this.


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