Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
I remember meeting Darth Siskel in line for opening day of STAR WARS EPISODE I at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Nice guy. He works with computer animation himself, so when I saw that he had sent me a review of FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN, I assumed it would be glowingly positive. I've read the review over a few times now, and I'm not sure exactly what he's trying to say. Help me figure out... did he like it or not?
I just saw Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
Visually stunning was my immediate reaction to it. For the first 5 mins of this movie, you will really enjoy the eye candy. It's the most detailed, realistic CG work since JarJar Binks, and definitely the most detailed ALL CG film to date. A lot of the design is really nice, but then, a lot of it is stuff we've seen before. (A lot of "ALIENS" influence) But the lighting , texturing, depth of field and color is so detailed and is really something new to behold on the movie screen.
The problem with the movie visually, was the facial animation. On the whole, it SUCKED.
One character that looked exactly like Ben Affleck (Is he flattered or will he sue?) actually made the real Ben Affleck's acting seem less wooden. The body movement was near flawless, because it was motion captured. The faces however, were beautifully modeled and textured, but animated without spirit. They all seemed like they were in default expressionless mode most of the time. Even when characters were supposed to be angry, or making a joke, they barely looked any different than their default mode. Were the directors trying to be subtle? I don't know, but going for more exaggerated expression would've made them come to life. Just watch Shrek. Those characters had life!
There are moments when the Final Fantasy characters' facial expressions are very good. One scene that they pulled off is when the girl talks with the professor for the first time. He looked so so close to live-action footage, and her expressions began to show some acting range here. But there were very very few moments like this. The rest of the time we have to watch a cast of emotionless drones. Any plastic toy from Toy Story had more life.
BUT, the main problem with this movie is why I HATED IT, and it's a huge one…
THE STORY SUCKS!!! The script is terrible!
Most of the movie is techno-babble bullshit. I never once gave a damn about what was happening in this movie. There wasn't one interesting scene or concept in the entire movie. I wanted them all to die, and as soon as possible so I could go on with my life.
The dialogue, every line of it was clichÃ©. NOT JUST A FEW. NOT HALF. EVERY LINE!! There were at least six times during the movie when a character proclaimed "What IS that!?".
Douchebag, it's a spirit. The same damn spirits you've been fighting since scene one. About ¾ through the movie they have a revelation that they're actually fighting spirits, not aliens. EU-fucking-Reka!! The audience has known this since the movie started, and anyone with the intelligence of a 2 year old knows this from the title of the movie!!
The story bored me to the point that I started to look as dead as a lot of the characters were animated. An endless supply of faceless animal-like spirits are the main villains? And they combat them with big guns?? What made them think people would care about any of this nonsense? If you can even care enough to try to follow the story, it just gets dumber and more tedious. The clichÃ©s started to amuse me, and then sadden me, and finally angered me. How could they spend 3 or so years of tedious work with hundreds of artists, on a visually groundbreaking animated film on such a shit script?! IT WAS SHIT!!
Final Fantasy gets a 1 on the 1-10 scale , for wasting my time, and for all the effort wasted on an amateur bullshit script!
-DARTH SISKEL ending transmission