1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is better, always better?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Arch, 25 Apr 2008.

  1. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    So, I see Blakes Seven is due to return.

    But I see one of the things mentioned is the opportunity for much better special effects. And it set me thinking, do we really need better special effects? Yes, some of the old sets were wobbly, and all alien planets were an old chalkpit, but how much does flashy CGI really add? Old Star Wars versus Return of the Clones anyone? Are the recent Doctor Whos better because of the effects? Isn't what really matters, the writing, the storylines, the characters? When I saw an old wobbly spaceship, I knew it was simply a representation to move the plot along, a piece of stagecraft. I didn't need to believe it was real. Ok, it helped not to be able to see the string it dangled from, but that was about as much as I needed.

    Like most of us, I was born with an imagination and the ability to use it, and I find myself wondering more and more how much CGI special effects, and ever better definition and so on really add to Sci-Fi. Are we doomed to discard plot and characterisation in favour of ever more 'real' spaceships?

    On the other hand - look at Heroes. Yes, there's a bit of CGI, and flying and stuff, but a huge amount of it is decent old style special effects and make up, and drama...

    Or am I just old and grumpy?:laugh:
     
  2. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk
    The retreads have to generate their own internal logic and dynamic. Personally I think the producers and writers would be better off thinking up some new ways of telling the same seven stories, instead of retreading old ways. Seems a bit of a failure of the imagination, really.

    But I'm generally pretty anti-TV, and we only have one as SWMBO insists.
     
  3. Sh4rkyBloke

    Sh4rkyBloke Jaffa Cake monster

    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Bah - don't remind me, Arch. I missed Heroes last night. :laugh:

    Never seen Blakes' 7... but I do remember the old Spiderman series and how cool I used to think it was. I saw it a few years ago and watched an episode in the name of nostalgia... it was dire! The 'special effects' were pre-primitive but, as you say, if you had imagination you didn't need all the flashy tripe.
     
  4. Maz

    Maz Guru

    Big Star Wars fan here. Never really got into the 'Clones' thing, but felt compelled to watch them just to see how they 'blended' into Star Wars ("Episode IV", as the young'uns call it). They all seemed way too polished for me, with no real "energy" about them.
     
  5. GaryA

    GaryA Subversive Sage

    Location:
    High Shields
    More pantomime in space!:smile: :laugh:
    Special effects, CGI, might as well watch a computer game... all slick shmock shock-trivia for a couple of generations crippled by attention deficience syndrome....try looking for editing static shots more than 3 sec long....:biggrin:

    Hypnotism, manipulation....the power of TV
    HG wells eat your heart out
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    Yeah, and I noticed there was a spate of films with hoards of very thin/see though robots/aliens like they were provng they could suddenly have robots/aliens that weren't men in costumes.

    Gary, I watched 2001 on DVD a few months back at a mate's house (he has a DVD projector, so it was a decent sized 'screen') and we all commented on how you couldn't make that film now. Some of the scenes went on for whole MINUTES!
     
  7. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    Red Dwarf proved that if you want to really screw up a classy program, just throw money at it. Don't even get me started on the 'new' Star Wars films. Oh and as for the rest, I guess it doesn't help that we're old and grumpy rather than young and starry eyed...:laugh:
     
  8. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    The new Battlestar Galactica seems to have succeeded though.
     
  9. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    The "new" series work when they take the old universe and tweak it (imo). I think the new Battlestar Galactica is great, and probably the best example of that (Who, in its better moments (Impossible Planet/Satan Pit, f'rexample, being another).

    Just doing a rehash with a CGI Liberator would still be quite good (the old Blake's Seven being a favourite of mine) but the potential's there for them to take the stories and that universe and do more with it - I hope they do.
     
  10. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    I think that's due to no one talking to George Lucas in a harsh tone of voice, more than anything. Leaden scripts and top heavy plots in most, with bravura SFX set pieces that just about link together, yet the films make stupid money simply because they are Star Wars. Empire Strikes Back best of the old ones, Revenge of the Sith best of the new, but I know which I'd pick for my desert island :laugh:
     
  11. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    It's not all CGI, it is new technologies that add to the cinematography - time-slice, amazing camera angles and shots, explosions and other effects that just weren't possible in the past that make a truly great movie even better. Watching something like the opening quarter hour of Saving Private Ryan on a large HD TV is a truly fantastic experience.

    The point is well made though that no amount of special effects can turn a shoot movie into something it's not.
     
  12. Milo

    Milo Veteran

    Location:
    Melksham, Wilts
    Rubbish films can have comedy value though look at chuck norris ?
     
  13. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    I paid money to see The Phantom Menace.

    I wasn't laughing.
     
  14. Maz

    Maz Guru

    ...and Steven Segal, and Steve Martin, and Jean-Claude Van Dam...
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK

    Ok, I used CGI lazily to mean a lot of fancy new techniques. I'm all for them in moderation, I just find that if too many effects are used, it gets very dull, and all the impact is lost - just like a film with constant swearing or violence. It gets dull. Ok, if a film is also a great story, gret acting etc, that's even better - but if it's that good, it should be able to do without the gimics...

    And I'll admit I love the CGI animations like Toy Story, Shrek, Ice Age and so on. Although I think mainly I like the humour, and the CGI is an effective and efficent way to animate it - it could all be done manually, but it would take for ever...

    Miloat, a mate of mine likes to pick up those 3 in 1 DVDs of old scifi and horror films from the pound shop. Absolutely hilarious! Flying saucers on strings and lizards with wings glued on!