by D.W. Lundberg

Saturday, April 28, 2012


An addendum to last week's post, on the horrors of excessive CGI in modern blockbuster cinema.

One of the things you'll notice when watching George Lucas's recent Star Wars prequels is that the guy is clearly infatuated with all the newfangled technology at his disposal. This is certainly one of the reasons why so many people tend to reject The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith on an intellectual level. It's the opposite of what made the original trilogy so special in the first place, when Lucas was basically forced to invent the FX that would kowtow to the stories he wanted to tell.
Especially depressing during Clones and Sith is George's insistence on using digital stuntmen to punctuate his action sequences. Long before the days of Luke Skywalker, apparently, the Jedi had the power to transform into hokey cartoon versions of themselves while doing somersaults through the air. Pretty cool, right? For someone as old- fashioned as myself, however, this is the equivalent of those Adventures Of Superman serials of the 40s, when actor Kirk Alyn would literally morph into a hand-drawn Man of Steel when flying. Which is to say, if you can't make it look right, why bother trying at all?

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Confession: I don't care much for CGI. At least not in the way most filmmakers tend to use it these days, which is too much and too often. Like any cinema tool – music, art direction, cinematography, editing, costume design, even A-list actors – special effects should always be used as a means to support a story, not as the focus of it. And it's a shame how so many people have apparently lost sight of that.

Granted, it's a tricky mix to get just right. While some directors seem to get it (Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, even pre-Avatar James Cameron spring to mind), others have simply lost the ability to rely on anything else (cough-George Lucas-cough). We've come a long way since the days of Jurassic Park and Terminator 2, when CGI still had the power to shock and surprise us - to make the fantastical seem fathomable. Now that anything and everything can be accomplished via CGI, from exploding planets to spaceships to kitchen utensils to tabletops, my question is: Should it?

Thursday, April 5, 2012


An odd post today, since I'm getting irritated with myself for procrastinating so much in between my regular week/two week updates to the site. Also, it's time I started living up to that "And Other Crap" sub-description for FTWW above. So here's the first in a series of sporadic mini-posts for you to mull over/discuss/complain about/whatever while you anxiously await the bigger, better stuff.

I'm warning you now: These really won't amount to much. Just a few short sentences and a video link or two to get some things off my chest - whenever the mood strikes me. Which will hopefully be often.

Today: How about a good old-fashioned music video for your viewing pleasure? More specifically, it's "Somebody That I Used To Know," by Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter Gotye (or "Wally" to his friends), which has been climbing the charts over the last few months both here and abroad. (A Twitter post from Ashton Kutcher, of course, helped a lot.)