Follow-Up Friday

23 10 2009

23 October 09: Carlos Freire’s Head, 2012, “ATTN #9”

At the risk of acting like the aggregate blogger that I pretend not to be, here are a few updates:

Flawless.

1. Made in Brazil added an assertive wrinkle to the ongoing unofficial A|X-Freire ornamental culture study.

Ima trade four houses in for a hotel.

2. Sony Pictures’ blandly-titled promotional YouTube channel “2012theMovie” has been in upload overdrive. There’re a couple of cool CGI featurettes which I really dug and which seem to indicate that the unprecedented CGI work will outshine the inevitably piss-poor plot. Tell that to The Onion.

we had some good times

3.  And finally, there was a slight Auto-Tune the News installment, which I’m not even going to dignify with a screencap. Worst. Episode. Ever.

As always, the suggestive natures of this post’s title, subtitle and internal structure do not in any way represent a commitment on my part to a regular feature.

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Someone at Sony Pictures Has Snapped

5 10 2009

Fall Blockbuster Clip of Only Part Anyone Is Interested in Seeing Allowed to Circulate Unchecked; Need to Sit Through 110 Minutes of Cumbersome Exposition and Character Development Eliminated

Somebody thought it was a good idea to compress the entire California megaquake sequence down to one 5-minute edit and let it get around like your sister. I’m certainly not complaining; I’ve already watched it, like, fifty times. I just can’t fathom how this makes sense from a box office perspective. Everyone’s gonna see this clip, which means no one’s gonna bother going to a theater to pay for a smelly seat in a smelly room full of smelly strangers, since we all know that these are surely the film’s best bits:

And they just did some sort of Northern Hemisphere media blitz!

I’m not going to cry too much about all the goofy nonsense that distracts from the CGI—I don’t know what I was expecting—but I will cite a few examples. There is an audible “oh sh– [sic]” in the limo as it’s doused by raw sewage from a ruptured pipe. Get it? Lame. And a shotgun-shout of “doughnut”, which compounds the folly of an already-unfortunate sight gag, is reminiscent of Helen Hunt calling cow in Twister. Oh, and 2012’s protagonist also drives a car through a building:

We're going in!

It’s been done.

And no surprises on what sounds like a relatively set-in-stone score. I’m all for the jungle beats during the low fly over an uplift- and subsidence-ravaged main drag (which, I’m pleased to report, looks very much like those sepia photographs you always see of San Francisco streets after the 1906 earthquake), but all opposed to the chirpy woodwind flourishes—there’s never an excuse for the piccolo, as far as I’m concerned, and it strikes me as wildly inappropriate here, given that it occurs as the plane flies past a freeway span laden with people plummeting to their collective grisly demise. Speaking of which, this bitch totally needs more screams of abject terror from the people scurrying around on foot. I think we’re good on the horns and car alarms, but we need more screams. There’re a few good ones, but some of them sound more like people on a roller coaster, and the overall effect suffers where they do. Hopefully the post-production people are on that. Although they’re probably not.

mixer 1

These minor shortcomings

mixer 2

are excusable

mixer 3because

mixer 4

the cement mixer that

mixer 5

careens off the freeway

mixer 6

and crashes into the gas station

mixer 7

triggers a Milton hose

mixer 8

before exploding.

So, yeah. A+++ on the ear for detail. Also, I love how it happens on an otherwise beautiful morning. Blue sky, I mean, and all. Slick.





CGI More Polished in 2012 Japanese Trailer

28 08 2009

Trailer Contains Morsels Not Featured in Teaser Trailer, Feature Trailer or International Trailer

The Japanese trailer for 2012 just dropped. I think eager YouTube viewer “2001wazevedo” puts it best:

absolutamente

The SFX are inferior to previous trailer versions, but that’s a small price to pay for a 2012 trailer largely unburdened by melodramatic Carmina Burana-like warblings.

2012 new obelisk shot

Here’s an angle we hadn’t seen yet; note St. Peter’s obelisk going down in courtyard.

You can tell they’re still in post on this thing; for example, in the Japanese trailer, the layer timing is totally different for that already-iconic shot of the plane zooming away as California’s tectonic plate crumbs slide into the sea (somebody likes Titanic).

2012 new plate drop plane swoop

New carnage shot. I can’t get enough of those oscillating palm trees.

Speaking of which, I think that all the gaping-wounds-in-the-surface-of-the-earth stuff is going to be the hardest sell here. Somebody should tell the CGI team that cracks, crags and crevasses don’t look the way they think we think they look. At all. It’s tons of rock and earth, dudes. It’s not an eggshell. That supermarket sequence they keep showing us, where the wall and ceiling open up in a clean, amusement park-ride gash, looks particularly Humpty Dumpty ridiculous. I mean, I get that there’s no precedent to work from, no reference shots. But if you’ve ever seen the cartoonish and piss-poor ice shelf CGI work in The Day After Tomorrow, then you know that whoever’s signing off on this stuff has the sensibilities of a preschooler—which does not bode well. However, from what I can glean on IMDb, it looks like Digital Domain worked with different partners for 2012 (I may be misinterpreting the listings; I don’t know the first thing about this stuff). So who knows. I just hope they don’t harsh my mellow when they marsh California’s mallow.