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Final Fantasy

2001-07-13 15:10:29+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Went with Leo, Phil, and Charlene to see Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (warning, very[Wiki] annoying Flash site) last night. A technological marvel. All those places where I wondered if they were avoiding showing too much because the animation or some other feature sucked? Not a problem. Too bad they didn't have a script. It's probably watchable if you're an animé fan, but the dialogue is painful at best, even if there does seem to be a story somewhere underneath all that begging to get out. At Scotch Night Larry Gritz commented that he thought the animation was fine but the skin shading was weak. Perhaps I've been looking at too many fashion magazines recently, but I thought the skin was fine. The face animation was a little wooden, the hair was perfectly reasonable, the clothing was very well done. So it's probably a must-see if you're an animation or Japanese movie fan, otherwise skip it, there'll be something along soon with equivalent technology that doesn't have painful dialog and gratuitous video-game sequences (although based on the Monsters, Inc. trailer beforehand, that may not be coming from Pixar).

[ related topics: Pixar Animation Movies ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:10+00 by: Dan Lyke

As much as I didn't like the movie, I found quite a bit I disagreed with in Jon katz's /. review of Final Fantasy, but this exchange stood out:

"(Why is it always in a ruined Manhattan? The tall buildings?)" Jon Katz

"I can answer that - I'd destroy New York City in a heartbeat, and I'm not even a malevolent alien race :)" ethereal

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:11+00 by: debrahyde

When the human figures got a little jerky, it reminded me of the ancient Thunderbirds series. I wonder if that was intentional for the boomer parents who were likely to sit through the movie, thanks to their kids cutting their 12-yr molars on the FF video games.

Script-wise: I'm convinced most SF movies these days are primarily written for young audience who haven't read enough to know what a space opera is. Honestly, every time I listen to my generation (and older) complain about how derivative (insert move title here) is, I look at my kids and see the rapture on their faces. Sure, Fifth Element was a pastiche of countless SF movies and space opera novels from the past, but my kid didn't know that. They loved that movie. Such movies are the film equivalent of binge reading pulp fiction.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:11+00 by: TC

I passed on the late night viewing thursday so I could see the film in a modern theater with bitchin sound & optics. Well the film is beeeuuuuutiful and I was able to occasionally forget I was watching CG (a big trick for me) and the Mecha design (of course) amazing and the voice talents pretty impressive. FF is truely a milestone in film history. That being said, the film sucked.

Why Final Fantasy Sucked

The lipsync was so poor I am suspicious that it was done to japanese and then dubbed to english. The mouths looked great and made the right phonic shapes and movements but seems to have little to do with what was being said at the time.

While the basic story seemed ok, it felt like a pointy haired producer stripped it of all texture till it became bland wonderbread story stuff. This is the first time I remeber seeing a feature film with NO sub plots story threads. If you really want to stretch there is a love intrest between Aki & Gray but ...sigh.. if you've seen the movie you know what I mean, if you haven't seen it yet, I'm predicting a christmas video release.

The skin was good and bad. It looked almost flawless sometimes (meaning you saw all the right amount of flaws) but other times came across as discoloured plastic. it seemed to be a function of the lighting. The worst example was probably Aki under office lights. To their credit the hair in FF was the best that has ever(including Pixar) been done

Lessor anoyances included: Inconsistent animation (between mocap and animators), too many monochromatic scenes and not enough naked polygons

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:12+00 by: whump

I saw it last night, and yes, a kickin' sound system helps. But it's more a proof-of-concept than a movie. I winced with every mention of "Gaia", and I fear James Lovelock was having a Corsican Brother reaction as well.

What did work for me was the alien army sequences. Those photo-realistic nasties in their armor are nightmare fodder.