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Old 08-21-2009, 03:11 AM   #61
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I'll liked Clones better than Phantom. The sonic grenades Laz mentions is enough to make me like it better. Wish there was more than two explosions.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:17 AM   #62
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For some reason the quote button won't work on your post, Jive Turkey:

"To be honest, I thought Yoda looked especially shitty in Clones. Theres a scene where they're flying in an open spaceship and the wind is blowing through his hair. The lines and wrinkles in his face looked like textures instead of contours. The lighting on ILM characters always seems slightly off and they have an almost pastel quality to them. Clone troopers are easy because they're so shiny. But the wookies were guys in costume. they were just replicated a whole bunch of times.

Watto was definitely an awesome character and looked amazing, but there was still that sense that he wasnt quite in the scene (though its much less apparent in his case). Gollum just seemed so real and had a weight to him. I'm not talking about his motions, but rather the way he was lit and the way his colour saturation blended so well with the scene.
I have to disagree about the creature scene in Clones. that cat creature looked terrible. Hair is notoriously difficult, but I think Weta pulled it off better with the dog/wolf mounts that the orcs rode on"


The Yoda scene you're referring to is at the end of Sith. To me, the important thing isn't the skin texture and lighting, but the VERY human expression of sadness and defeat on his face, and that gesture as he runs his hand through his hair. That they were able to give him a performance like that without an actor's physicality (obviously Frank Oz's voice is an asset though) just tops everything for me.

Also, I'd argue that the cinematography in LOTR had a very washed out color quality, especially in the areas where Gollum is present. It's a lot easier to integrate your CGI characters into that than the classic bold palette that Lucas is using.

I stand corrected on the Wookies, and yes the cat creature is the worst in the arena battle. But the other two? Still hold up seven years later.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:32 AM   #63
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quotes arent working for me either :s

"The Yoda scene you're referring to is at the end of Sith. To me, the important thing isn't the skin texture and lighting, but the VERY human expression of sadness and defeat on his face, and that gesture as he runs his hand through his hair. That they were able to give him a performance like that without an actor's physicality (obviously Frank Oz's voice is an asset though) just tops everything for me.

Also, I'd argue that the cinematography in LOTR had a very washed out color quality, especially in the areas where Gollum is present. It's a lot easier to integrate your CGI characters into that than the classic bold palette that Lucas is using.

I stand corrected on the Wookies, and yes the cat creature is the worst in the arena battle. But the other two? Still hold up seven years later."

You've got a point about the colour pallet used in each of the films. I hadnt thought about that. Starwars is definitely much more vibrant.

The 'performance' by Yoda in that scene is really good too. If I'm not mistaken, Lucas had them pull back a bit on animating Yoda so that he'd more resemble the puppet in the earlier films. When you take that into account as well, its really quite impressive the level of expressiveness they created. Still though, I'm such a whore for creature effects that I found the lack of 'depth' in his skin to be a little distracting.

I'll have to watch Clones again since you guys hold it in such high regard. Jedi has always been my favourite I know thats not a popular opinion, but theres just so much nostalgia for me loving it as a kid (and my creature whoredom)



oh, and yes, the Rhino thing in the monster battle was super cool
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:33 AM   #64
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Oh, for the record:

I do not hold Clones in high regard. I think that it gets trashed much worse than it deserves, and is more enjoyable than Phantom....but it's not like I think it's an amazing film or anything. Better to look at than to listen to, if that makes sense.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:36 AM   #65
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Well, yes. It may have the worst dialogue of all the films. But the visual storytelling on display is some of the best in the saga, and the actual plot mechanics (the mystery behind the assassination attempt, the creation of the clones, Dooku's true motivations, Palpatine's strategies) are pretty damned cool and well thought-out.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:40 AM   #66
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Not to mention the ending of Clones. If theres one thing that I was impressed with, it was the ominous tone it ended with.... gave me chills
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:42 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
Well, yes. It may have the worst dialogue of all the films. But the visual storytelling on display is some of the best in the saga, and the actual plot mechanics (the mystery behind the assassination attempt, the creation of the clones, Dooku's true motivations, Palpatine's strategies) are pretty damned cool and well thought-out.
Completely agree. I think the pros outweigh the cons.

I just hate how many scenes are completely undone by bad dialogue/acting.

And while the battle scenes at the end of Phantom are splendid, especially when Maul is in town....the battle sequences at the end of Clones blew me away in the theater. All those Jedi fighting was pretty awesome, but then you have the two armies getting it the fuck on....good shit.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:45 AM   #68
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I'll liked Clones better than Phantom.
Even though it gets shit on quite regularly, I really like Phantom. Its got a different feel than the rest of the films, but looking back, it felt really fresh. I think I've watched the pod race about 100 times. That plus Darth Maul, Watto, Sebulba, Boss Nass and the new music makes for a good time. Too bad Jar Jar had to come and nearly ruin it for everybody
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:45 AM   #69
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.the battle sequences at the end of Clones blew me away in the theater. All those Jedi fighting was pretty awesome, but then you have the two armies getting it the fuck on....good shit.

Just when it came close to being too video-gamey, it would twist again and something else amazing would happen.

And I love when Lucas used those quick zoom, documentary-style camera moves during the battle. Very un-SW but they worked.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:46 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post
Even though it gets shit on quite regularly, I really like Phantom. Its got a different feel than the rest of the films, but looking back, it felt really fresh. I think I've watched the pod race about 100 times. That plus Darth Maul, Watto, Sebulba, Boss Nass and the new music makes for a good time. Too bad Jar Jar had to come and nearly ruin it for everybody
Yeah, I still maintain that kids, even teenagers in the future are going to eat it up, because it's timeless storytelling stuff.

And the pod race alone is just one of the best set pieces ever.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:47 AM   #71
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And I love when Lucas used those quick zoom, documentary-style camera moves during the battle. Very un-SW but they worked.
Man, that is so weird. I was just about to post about that


Alright, I'm off to bed. talk to you guys later. Glad I'm not the only starwars nerd around here
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:28 AM   #72
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We need each other.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:30 AM   #73
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I definitely don't agree with you, Laz, regarding ILM's digital character work. Yoda looked fantastic in Sith, but a bit wanky I feel in Clones. Now, I'm not going to crap on them too much, because Attack of the Clones was a fucking huge accomplishment of digital work... probably their most impressive whole project ever considering its time, but it does have some problems. Most notably when it comes to compositing I'd say. And like it's been pointed out, a lot of that stuff was hand-animated, not mo-capped, which as you said is an impressive feat, but I still feel simply can't match the increasingly expressive performance-capture stuff Weta is doing. But it's almost apples and oranges in that regard.

I was actually just remembering earlier that first time I saw Sith in theaters and how absolutely blown away I was by the opening 20-30 minutes of that film. Some of the most stunning digital work I'd seen, and still is. I'm hoping Avatar delivers that sense of wonder 4 years later. And speaking of digital compositing, Digital Domain was always the finest effects house when it came to that particular talent, and probably still is. I remember Cameron saying that's why he actually went to Weta for this film for a collaboration, because while his studio was tops in compositing and blue-screen work, Weta had the finest performance-capture set-ups and digital pipelines in the industry. I have a feeling they will both feed on each other's strengths pretty well and I'm looking forward to seeing how their collaboration pays off.

This discussion has also make me think about how fantastic the prequels would look in 3D. I know Lucas has suggested he might try rereleasing the OT for a theatrical run in 3D, but personally I'd rather see Clones or Sith again dimensionalized on the big screen.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:28 AM   #74
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I agree with basically EVERYTHING laz has said, here, apart from his rankings of the Star Wars films. Seriously, man--you are on. I'd follow you nearly anywhere, in this ILM/WETA slugfest. Which isn't even a contest, for what it's worth.

Just saw District 9, and while I did enjoy it, the effects work was NOT that good. Terrible character model/environment integration problems (though the lighting matches looked pretty stellar) and an overreliance on in-camera tricks to cover up sloppy work/to make sloppy work acceptable. Someone mentioned this as a highlight of WETA's more "traditional" work, and while I wouldn't call it a lowlight, per se, I think it's pretty laughable to go that far. It didn't look bad, but it didn't look even remotely great. Perhaps I watch too closely and actively, but I did an awful lot of cringing.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:45 AM   #75
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It's sad that I could talk about Star Wars all fucking day and night.

I am a big LOTR fan, be it the books or the films, but I agree....the fucking ghost army was a big "wtf" for me, smack dab in the middle of some pretty bad-ass action scenes. YLB, we disagree on the films themselves, but, we agree on the worst and best parts, because the battle scenes in The Two Towers is my favorite action sequence as well. Truth be told, though, Fellowship is my favorite of the three, and it's not due to battles or whatnot...I just love how the stage gets set, how the Fellowship is formed, the introduction of these characters that I've loved for a long time are introduced, etc.

Coruscant looks bad-fucking-ass. I've said this before, but if Lucas/ILM made travelogues about fake planets, I'd watch. 2 hours on Kashyyyk? Yes, please.
It's incredibly sad

I Star Wars above all else but I really did enjoy LOTR as well and I will take all the shitty CGI over those cringe worthy action moments with Orlando Bloom surfing on a shield or single handedly killing the elephant
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