If I pride myself on anything here at FTWW, it's that I'm constantly trying to go against the grain of what every other blog on the 'net is doing. By this I mean no disrespect. There are plenty of quality ways to spend your time online, especially if you're as movie-hungry as I am. Movie trivia sites. Aggregate movie review sites. Sites which cover every aspect of the history of film, or scoops and spoilers about every upcoming film. Yet ever since the beginning, it's been my mission statement of sorts to fly in the face of all that - because why bother giving you something you can literally experience thousands of places elsewhere? And so from this idea came regular columns such as Franchise Face-Offs or MacGuffin With Egg or Details You Probably Never Noticed, the purpose of which is not to preach, or sound smarter than the average person off the street, but to open your eyes to the many ways we look at films - the little things that make them work (or not work), and maybe make us view them in a whole new light.
Which is why it's been just a tad disheartening while researching these AWSPOAFMs to find that many other sites have kinda/sorta covered the same idea already. Popsugar's done it. Den of Geek has done it. Heck, even Cracked.com has done it (their Alec Baldwin/Millard Fillmore connection is an especially nice touch). And in those moments when I've thought to myself, Why bother then?, I am reminded of the simple fact that there is no longer anything new under the sun, this idea of the Celebrity Lookalike included. It's something that's obviously crossed the minds of many a blogger or casual TV watcher/movie goer (even yourself) on many an occasion. That's part of the fun, isn't it? Because it isn't the subject itself you're tackling, but how you go about it that makes all the difference.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Sunday, August 23, 2015
If Ant-Man and Terminator Genisys have taught us anything this summer, it's that there's still plenty of life left in our older generation of actors yet. And I don't mean that in the metaphorical, gee-I-never-knew-they-still-
had-it-in-them sprightly performance kind of way. After all, Michael Douglas is merely a supporting player in Marvel's latest bid for superhero supremacy, and spends most of his time standing on the sidelines, spouting exposition. Schwarzenegger, too, plays more of an expository machine than killing machine this time out, trying to make sense of so many fractured timelines and cracking jokes about being "old but not obsolete" (though box office pundits might beg to differ on that last one). The problem is, most of our marquee movie stars of yesteryear simply can't compete with the Vin Diesels and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnsons of today - Douglas, for all his vim and vigor, turns 71 this September, while Schwarzenegger celebrated his 68th birthday on July 30 - so they've been "promoted" to mentor roles or crotchety figures of fun in order to stay relevant. For one brief shining moment in both Ant-Man and Terminator Genisys, however, we're reminded of their past glories (and unwithered faces) with the help of some revolutionary CG effects, and the results, for a change, are breathtaking. Never before has a digital face-lift looked so good.
Granted, CGI hasn't always had the best track record for replicating human flesh on screen. Skin tones tend to look plastic, and contrary to popular belief, human beings do not move with the dexterity of stop-motion animated figures, with rubbery, elongated limbs. And yet filmmakers insist on pushing the technology to its absolute limits, regardless of necessity or common sense. Close-ups of faces, in particular, are especially unforgiving, since we're practically invited to get a cold, hard look at the imperfections of the process. Like this computer-generated visage of actor Bruce Lee, resurrected for a Johnnie Walker whiskey commercial that aired on Chinese television in 2013: