Monday, December 26, 2005


Enough With the Digital Imagery, Already

I went to see King Kong tonight, and walked out at around the halfway point. It wasn't horrible, but after watching the big dinosaur-tumbling scene, I decided I just didn't want to sit through another 90 minutes of big computer-generated animals.

I didn't mind the computer-generated stuff in Jurassic Park, or in the Star Wars or Lord of the Rings movies. I think Jurassic Park worked for me because it had computer-generated dinosaurs in the middle of real scenery. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings worked for me because they had fantastic creatures in fantastic landscapes.

But with King Kong, we have realistic computer-generated creatures over a realistic computer-generated background, supposedly happening in the real world, but the overall effect is not realistic at all. None of it is realistic enough to let me pretend I'm watching something real. It's all a big graphics demo.

Maybe I'm hopelessly old-fashioned, but I prefer the old-fashioned physical-model-based effects over the computer-generated ones. They just look more real to me. The computer stuff is "cool," but fake. There's a blurriness and smoothness to it all that just doesn't work.

To be fair, I left before seeing much of Kong himself. He doesn't show up until an hour into the movie, and the filmmakers are very coy about showing too much of him too soon. From the reviews I've read, I understand that he and Naomi Watts have some very touching moments. But I wasn't willing to wait.

I'm sure I'll see the rest of King Kong eventually. I hear it is pretty good. But right now, I'm in the mood to watch King Kong vs. Godzilla, with the people in rubber suits. That's a real monster movie.

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