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Jurassic World: Dominion

Started by Thomas, February 26, 2020, 11:26:49 AM

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notjosh

Quote from: Poobum on May 25, 2022, 04:44:20 PMKnowing nothing about the filming process, how is it that these modern films make it so obvious that your watching actors on a set? Everything is so lifeless, with the acting so "punctuated" for lack of a better word.

I'm re-reading a book of conversations with Howard Hawks at the moment (incidentally, he would have been a perfect director for a Jurassic Park film). His disdain at any director who doesn't improvise and change plans during shooting is something I often think about. In the world of big budget franchise film-making, in which every script has to be signed off in triplicate and then filmed to the letter so as not to disturb the CGI team who have already been working for months, I feel like you lose a lot of this sort of thing:

QuoteThey talk about "improvisation." That's one of the silliest words that's used in the motion picture industry. What the hell do they think a director does? How do you expect that we can go out with a story that's written up in a room, go out to the location, and do it verbatim? I have never found a writer who could imagine a thing so that you can do it like that. And somebody started saying it's "improvising." Well, I wish you could see some pictures that are not improvised—where they send them out and say, "We don't want you to change a word or a scene or anything." We have a scene that we're going to do: I'm interested first in the action and next in the words they speak. If I can't make the action good, I don't use the words. If I want something to happen in a hurry, I can't have a man stop and read a line coming in. I let him run on through yelling something. I must change to fit the action because, after all, it's a motion picture. Some of the stuff that's handed to you on paper is perfectly good to read, but it isn't any good on the set. [Hawks on another occasion put this point even more forcefully, telling me, "If it reads good, it won't play good."]

Leo McCarey, whom you regarded highly, was one of the loosest of all Hollywood directors. He would literally make up whole scenes on the set. How do you feel be managed to do that?
You say "one of the loosest"—I think all the good ones are loose. None of them made a scene until they thought it was any good. I watched Leo McCarey sit on a set all morning and never do a scene. Then he'd do four hours' work in the afternoon. Directors are storytellers. If we can't change something, we're no good. Because you're not trying to photograph a budget or a cost sheet. You're trying to make a scene that's going to be good, the best you know how. If you don't, it's your own damn fault.

Thomas

One thing I've seen in a couple of Spielberg films is a setup where two sets of characters are talking. The audio focuses on one conversation, but the dialogue overlaps in this dynamic, naturalistic way. Happens when Bob Peck chats raptor in Jurassic Park.

By comparison, the Jurassic World universe is disjointedly polite. Characters delivering fully formed, trailer-ready sentences, always waiting their turn. From the teasers for Dominion, it appears Goldblum, at least, is bringing some of that naturalistic energy with him.

Replies From View

What's his problem with lunchboxes?

Kelvin

This is good.

https://youtu.be/hOvRR2w3F1E

An amusingly cantankerous (and charismatic) Palaeontologist is interviewed for an hour about the depictions of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and other media, covering a whole range of interesting facts and topics, such as:

1) The depiction of many dinosaurs getting less accurate over the Jurassic Park series.

2) Cinematic depictions of dinosaurs have moved on much less since JP than from Harryhausen's films to JP, despite 30 years of discoveries being made between each.

3) T-Rex had a massive bulge between its legs that no-one wants to show us.

4) Nothing ever shows dinosaurs acting like animals.


Plus a bunch of genuinely funny moments.

Poobum

Awesome. David Hone is great, has loadsa good lectures on YouTube, big on his Pterodactyls as well.

Thomas

Cheers, Kelvo, I'll listen to that tomorrow.

Quote from: Kelvin on May 30, 2022, 10:02:43 PM4) Nothing ever shows dinosaurs acting like animals.

Though it is several leagues inferior to Jurassic Park, this is something I quite like about The Lost World. Rather than acting like ceaseless starving Terminators,1 the dinosaurs behave in interesting ways. The Stegosaurs panic and protect their young, and the T. rexes similarly nest together and devote most of their energy to parental instincts. The carnivores are not all simply hungry for the entire runtime. The little Compies react to humans with curiosity before eventually deciding to try and nip them.

1. see the dinosaur in Fallen Kingdom that tries to eat Bryce Dallas Howard even as lava drops on its head.

Replies From View


Poobum

I would absolutely watch the T-Rex stands between cars, looks at the kids, then goes off to sleep for 8 hours version of Jurassic Park. Inherent slapstick to the concept; Brachiosaurus loosing its shit when someone beeps their horn, Velociraptors getting scared of random flashing lights and hiding, a Triceratops concussing itself after charging a reflective glass frontage, it writes itself.

notjosh

Attenborough's just done a new Walking with Dinosaurs type thing which ought to scratch that itch:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Planet

idunnosomename

After the tease of the big pile of shit in the first film we've never seen a dinosaur excreting have we.

Have these people ever been to a zoo or a farm? The thing about big animals is there's always great big torrents of piss shooting out of them or lumps of crap dropping out their arse. Jurassic Park would just be that times a hundred

Thomas

Quote from: notjosh on May 31, 2022, 08:22:10 AMAttenborough's just done a new Walking with Dinosaurs type thing which ought to scratch that itch:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Planet

I signed up for a free Apple+ trial and devoured this. Worthy successor, at last, to Walking with Dinosaurs (though less chronological and narrative). Lots of creative speculation bolstered by scientific thinking.

And the CGI is absolutely incredible. The textures and the lighting - you'd think you were watching footage of real animals. You could probably trick a child into thinking dinosaurs still exist. Does a very fine job of placing dinosaurs in the animal kingdom, rather than presenting them as somehow fantastical and distinct from ordinary Earth creatures, as many depictions (sometimes inadvertently) do.

Even as a part-time dinosaur nerd, the visually lovely depiction of Velociraptors hopping lightly down a cliff face has retuned the way I imagine dinosaurs.

Thomas

Quote from: idunnosomename on May 31, 2022, 09:58:56 AMAfter the tease of the big pile of shit in the first film we've never seen a dinosaur excreting have we.

Have these people ever been to a zoo or a farm? The thing about big animals is there's always great big torrents of piss shooting out of them or lumps of crap dropping out their arse. Jurassic Park would just be that times a hundred

The monster Spinosaurus does some big plops offscreen in JP3. And there's a fetishistic deleted scene from JW in which Bryce Dallas Howard smears herself in shit. Fast-forward to 1:00 for the weirdly framed action.


idunnosomename

You've got it on the valance!

Replies From View

Quote from: notjosh on May 31, 2022, 08:22:10 AMAttenborough's just done a new Walking with Dinosaurs type thing which ought to scratch that itch:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Planet

Unfortunately it's only available on a fake television channel.

Replies From View

I remember when Walking With Dinosaurs was new, thinking the budget CGI wasn't quite ready yet.  From the trailers for Prehistoric Planet it appears that we're finally there.

I do remember Attenborough saying about 15 years ago that he would never lend his voice to such a project though.  He said he didn't want anyone to see his nature programmes and assume all the incredible creatures and landscapes were fake by association.  Which is a fair enough concern, I think.

Walking With Dinosaurs did present its imagery as if it was real nature footage however.  Maybe Prehistoric Planet is different in that regard.

Otherwise ATTENBOROUGH HAS CHANGED HIS TUNE

Thomas

It's part of the Malthusian-lite philosophy he's been espousing lately, part of a drive to eradicate the surplus population of nature doc narrators. Sources suggest he's already exterminated Richard Hammond and David Tennant.

Replies From View

Why has he chosen people who look the same.  It should be their voices that matter.

notjosh

Quote from: Replies From View on May 31, 2022, 11:50:19 AMI do remember Attenborough saying about 15 years ago that he would never lend his voice to such a project though.  He said he didn't want anyone to see his nature programmes and assume all the incredible creatures and landscapes were fake by association.  Which is a fair enough concern, I think.

Walking With Dinosaurs did present its imagery as if it was real nature footage however.  Maybe Prehistoric Planet is different in that regard.

He's clearly not too concerned about this anymore. I only watched the first ep so far (obtained under the counter, naturally) and it's presented in exactly the same manner as his usual Wet Planet/Life on The World sort of things. I was surprised that he doesn't even acknowledge that they have employed some amount of speculation and creative license in depicting specific behaviours and building storylines. I imagine any young child watching it would struggle not to process it as documentary even when told otherwise.

The big missed opportunity, of course, is that they didn't take the effort to fake one of those 10-minute 'making of' bits at the end. Would have loved to see some Scottish cameraman camping out for weeks in Jurassic-era China hoping to spot a velociraptor, whispering with excitement as he captures one of them disembowling a stegosaurus before turning his head to see a yellow eye peering through a slit in the side of his hide...

Replies From View

Outtakes of Robert Kilroy Silk basking in Diplodocus shit in the background of a delicate egg-hatching scene.  SILK YOU DEVIANT, GET OUT OF THE SHOT.  And then another shot, different location, Iguanodon taking sips from a lake, Robert Kilroy Silk is basking in Diplodocus shit there as well.  SILK WILL YOU GET FUCK OFF THIS ISLAND.

David Attenborough's angry voice.  You know he must have one.

Replies From View

Maybe David Attenborough is having a Bruce Willis style of decline and will narrate any old CGI shite now.

Poobum

Apparently I had Apple TV already.

Loved Prehistoric Planet. The best Dinosaur program there's ever been. Imbues every animal with charm and personality, getting you to empathize with them. Seeing a T-Rex swim to an island to tip over a 2 tonne dead turtle it sniffed out just opens your imagination to how expansive and amazing its world was. It really sold how massive a sauropod would be and it was heartbreaking to see that fallen bull stay in place as the herd melted away.

The babies were obviously cute and by the time the little Olorotitan turned up I'd completely forgotten they weren't real. What was really good was the little moments were they left the animals and looked at the plant life and how the entire ecosystem worked, it gave so much needed context that grounded everything else.

As a nerdy and sad child I dreamt of them finding the rest of Deinocheirus and seeing it in full glory did not disappoint. My favourite bit was the Carnotaurus dance, bladdy gorgeous, got me bending over in front of the TV even if the female wasn't impressed. I could go on and on (and on), the adorable Mononykus, the daft baby Theriznosaurs, Beelzebufo turning up, sleepy Tarbosaurs, Azhdarchids galore, there's just so much.

Kelvin

Well, this just made me laugh...

https://youtu.be/lUUQDbsV8Gw

CGI experts try to combine the techniques that made Jurassic Park's T-Rex  scene so effective, with advanced, modern CGI techniques, in the hope of overcoming a lot of the issues that make modern CGI, like Jurassic World, look so artificial.

My advice: Watch the first 6 minutes where they explain their approach, for context,  then skip the boring techy stuff to see the reveal at 21 mins 10 seconds.

Zetetic

Quote from: Thomas on May 25, 2022, 12:59:18 PMThe lifeblood of this Marvelised super-sequel will be nostalgia - like an enthusiastic cuckold in a specialist video, it willfully invites us to look back to the original film. But when you do, you find that it's full of incomparable charm and spirit and a really absorbing naturalism. Very distracting, Just look at the originator of the above scene:


Feels and sounds real, looks great, thoroughly dynamic.

I've watched this a few times since @Thomas posted it, and I'm glad they did.

I think the thing I like most about it is how much it's about involving the audience with Hammond - making him extremely hard to dislike (and using his endorsement to make Alan easier to side with - IIRC, he's mostly come across as a bit weird and intense, particularly to children, at this point), and then rapidly matching that with his arrogance and use of power.

Just so... efficient (or if you prefer, respectful of the audience's time).


SweetPomPom

Sam Neill using the Harrison Ford finger in the chest "point" - wonder if that was directed or coincidence? Can't not see it now...

idunnosomename

It seems official now that this is indeed a honking slab of gash

Replies From View

Imagine getting the chance to make films with dinosaurs in, directly tied into the Jurassic Park franchise, and not managing to come up with something good.

They're all going to be watching Prehistoric Planet now and furious that there are actually good things that can be done with dinosaurs that nobody told them about.

I bet they'd like to start again with a whole new trilogy, but they jumped to "Jurassic World" too quickly, skipping "Jurassic Bros." so what could they call it?  "Jurassic Solar System" I suppose.  Increasingly far-fetched.

Glebe

Yeah looks like this has officialy been judged an absolute stinker... just saw a couple of one-star reviews and comments about all the magic of the originally having completed vanished.

Rise of Skywalker, anyone?

13 schoolyards

It's a bit of a joyless experience really. It's well made and the various chase sequences work okay (though by the third one they're getting a bit stale), but the whole thing is just "what if there were animals around that chased people?"

Which would be fine if they ever actually caught and ate someone in gory close-up, but this is basically a kids movie so we'll be having none of that.

Shaky

I don't usually get fussed over sequels I'll likely never watch, but out of 6 of these fuckers only the first is genuinely very good. These cunts can't be entirely driven by money so what's persuading them to keep going? There's been zero creative or narrative mileage.

Thomas

Mmm. In countries where this has already had a theatrical release, even the super-optimistic online megafans - of the Snyderbro type, who dismiss all criticism and pledge a fierce personal loyalty to a franchise - are saying '... meh'.