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Message in a Battle

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the jar-jar dept.

Movies 460

The WP has a tale titled The Messages in a Battle about the recent growth of computer-generated battle scenes in movies, now that you don't have to pay all those extras. RotK clearly wouldn't have been much of a movie if the battle scenes hadn't been so good.

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this can't be the first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784614)

but ya gotta try

Re:this can't be the first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784645)

and it's not.

Re:this can't be the first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784648)

YOU DID IT! YOU DID IT!

Now you can go, take a shower and never come back again.

ph1rst! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784616)

biatch!

Quality of RotK (5, Interesting)

Jacer (574383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784621)

While the battle scenes were very eye appealing, I think that all of the actors did a wonderful job. Sean Astin (not sure on the last name) was so convincing as Sam, it was breathtaking. Not to mention Magne....errrr Gandalf (portrayed by Sir Ian McKellan) really had the presence to convince me that he was both wise and powerful. Anyway, I just felt that yeah, the battles were pretty, and it would be hard to have the LotR without a war going on, I still don't think the movie was made by those sequences.

Re:Quality of RotK (5, Funny)

R33MSpec (631206) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784641)

"..While the battle scenes were very eye appealing, I think that all of the actors did a wonderful job..."

Yeah, the orc 300th in from the left of the screen did an awesome job - definitely a star of the future.

Re:Quality of RotK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784688)

Yep. Gandalf was a real old bugger.

Re:Quality of RotK (5, Insightful)

Sir0x0 (732087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784756)

While the battle scenes were very eye appealing, I think that all of the actors did a wonderful job.

Agreed, and in fact I think that the acting job done in the battles themselves were integral as well. The wonderful effects would have been wasted had the acting been bad. Theoden's (Bernard Hill) speech, Gandalf's (Sir Ian McKellan) frantic command, even the desperate and controlled actions of Eomer (Karl Urban). Jackson and his team backed up solid moviemaking with solid visual effects, instead of relying on the Ooohs and Aaahs of the audience. That was why the battles were so appealing.

What was so good about the battles? (0)

Adolph_Hitler (713286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784759)

None of the battle scenes impressed me. I mean this was no matrix or crouching tiger hidden dragon. The battle scenes were typical CG crap. Good CG but still typical.

Re:What was so good about the battles? (5, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784885)

"None of the battle scenes impressed me. I mean this was no matrix or crouching tiger hidden dragon. The battle scenes were typical CG crap."

Leaving aside the obvious troll answer of just how monumentally dire the CG 'defense of Zion' scenes were in Matrix Revolutions, and for that matter the 'burly brawl' in Reloaded, there is a very big difference here.

The above two films had stunning one-on-one fights by fighters with (for one reason or another) supernatural abilities. The main battle scenes in Return Of The King are all about open warfare between ranks of blokes and orcs. No-one would bother arguing the relative merits of Warcraft and Soul Calibur as they are so very different, so why complain about their film equivalents?

lol first post faggots. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784623)

lol first post faggots.

lort the move sucked, the bobok was hella beetere

Re:lol first post faggots. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784634)

Mods, mod parent up!

He speaks the truth. The books were good, but the battles in the books were just a minor part of the story, in the movies Jackson almost makes them the focus!

So in the end we don't get Bombadill or the Scouring of the Shire, but we do get massive battles? Bullshit.

MY DICK AND YOUR ASS ARE A GREAT MATCH (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784719)

And he doesn't speak the truth. He didn't get the first post. Although, it is true that you're a faggot.

Normally... (4, Insightful)

Exiler (589908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784625)

I don't normally comment on the editors like this, but did Micheal just make a very blatant and obvious troll comment?

what's the difference.... (0, Offtopic)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784684)

between "very blatant" and "obvious" ?

mod parent redundant ;-)

Re:what's the difference.... (0)

HarryCallahan (673707) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784777)

obvious [reference.com]
1. Easily perceived or understood; quite apparent. See Synonyms at apparent.
2. Easily seen through because of a lack of subtlety; transparent: an obvious political ploy.
3. Archaic. Standing in the way or in front.

blatant [reference.com]
1. Unpleasantly loud and noisy: "There are those who find the trombones blatant and the triangle silly, but both add effective color" (Musical Heritage Review). See Synonyms at vociferous.
2. Usage Problem. Totally or offensively conspicuous or obtrusive: a blatant lie.

Re:what's the difference.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784807)

You [reference.com] are [reference.com] an [reference.com] asshole [reference.com] .

Re:Normally... (2, Informative)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784755)

I am not sure : I went to the pictures in order to view this 3rd episode and I have to say I was not as impressed as I was after the previous one.
I think something was missing but it has nothing to do with the CGI.
I have NOT read the book and I do not plan to.
That's why it was difficult for me to clearly understand why some characters appeared all of a sudden.
They looked like patches applied to fulfill some scenario hole.
Of course, I can imagine some angry moderator will kick my butt because I dare criticize what he might have perceive as this year's finest movie but now : face it : if you disagree with me while you've actually read the book, then you just cannot get my point.
Now well, if Michael indeed read the book he has gotten far more of this movie than I and could indeed be trolling, if he hadn't, then he might be sincere.

Re:Normally... (1)

Sir0x0 (732087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784787)

I've read (and love) the books, but yes, you're on to something. Its a shame they cut so much, though, some parts of the movie did feel very rushed. Perhaps the Extended Edition will satisfy you... One more year!

Re:Normally... (0)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784817)

OK, but now the problleem is that after viewing the 3rd, I am not sure anymore I want to buy the 3 episode set anymore when it's released...
It's kinda like the Matrix sequels.

Your loss (3, Insightful)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784964)

I think something was missing but it has nothing to do with the CGI.
I have NOT read the book and I do not plan to.


The books are better than the movies, Tolkien was a master at weaving intricate story lines. Some of those translated to the screen and others were left out in the intrest of keeping the audiences interest. As an example, it may have taken an additional hour for the first movie to include the whole Tom Bombadil section.

I think that Jackson, et al have done a great job of condensing the story enough to make the three segmented movie. The books are highly recommended.

NOT ONLY THAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784863)

Someone tried to mod your comment down as "Overrated".

LOTR (5, Insightful)

martingunnarsson (590268) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784630)

I don't think the battle scenes were the highlight of the LOTR movies. Badly done battle scenes would have made the whole thing look bad, but *less* battle scenes wouldn't, in my opinion.

Re:LOTR (0)

Angostura (703910) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784939)

>but *less* battle scenes wouldn't, in my opinion arrrgh - *fewer* FEWER - not 'less'. Sorry, the soltice always unleashes the pedant in me. Less Fighting Fewer battles Less blood fewer deaths

Matrix (4, Interesting)

izzo nizzo (731042) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784632)

How is it that both Matrix films were un-nominated for visual effects Oscars? While I can understand discriminating against them because of their relative unpopularity, I can't imagine that their visual effects were considered less spectacular. Yet another reason to hate awards shows, I suppose.

Re:Matrix (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784717)

I would guess because 'they weren't very impressive'

They sure *looked* cool - but it was extremely easy to spot where CG actors were used for example - there were lots of closeups to a cg Neo that were *dire*

Re:Matrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784871)

It was easy to spot CGI war scenes.

Re:Matrix (5, Interesting)

Sir0x0 (732087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784745)

One thing lacking in both Matrices, was fluidity. The Visual Effects were large, and imposing, but they were choppy and fake; did not represent actual motion very well. The movement in the shots seemed too computer generated, and falsely blurred to overcome choppiness. Granted, this was probably stylization to a point not only a shortcoming. The Matrix effects are definately not to be overly criticized, they impressed thier audiences. Yet, in a year that offered the best visual effects to date (as a whole), the Matrix came up just short.

Re:Matrix (4, Insightful)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784820)

The only thing that stands out as truly impressive was the highway chase scene in Reloaded. The much touted "untoppable" 25 min end sequence turned out to be really crappy. Oooo, look, there is some fake-mech-looking -walking-things shooting at 10,000,000,000,000 squiddies, for 25 min. straight Yeah!!! The first Matrix felt real and looked real and also had a different tone. The sequels looked and felt like cartoons and the movie "played" like a video game.

Re:Matrix (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784836)

The sequels looked and felt like cartoons and the movie "played" like a video game.

That's fair, I guess, since the video game (Enter the Matrix) "Played" like a movie.

Re:Matrix (2, Informative)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784914)

Have I missed them, then? I wasn't aware that the nominations for the 2004 Academy Awards were announced yet. Its worth noting that the first Matrix film did indeed take the effects Oscar.

I'd also question your second statement - I found the CG battle scenes in Revolutions to be decidedly hit-and-miss, and on other levels they weren't really doing a huge amount over and above what they won that first Oscar for. I'd be nominating X2 (for the stunning work on Nightcrawler), Return Of The King (Gollum is as much improved on Two Towers as he was there from Fellowship, even before you look at the battle scenes) and perhaps even Kill Bill's gore work over the new Matrix films.

You know... things just don't amaze me. (5, Interesting)

DarthWufei (686942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784635)

Despite how much work and how amazing these CG segments are for the current time period. I have yet to be impressed. I guess until I can actually not tell the difference, or at least only subtle differences, between real an fake. I'll be happy.

Really the biggest eyesore is CG people. I have yet to see something that really amazes me as it looks like a real person. To be honest, I found the closest being FF:Spirits Within. Crappy movie, but you have to admit the graphics were outstanding.

I guess my standards are just too high.

Re:You know... things just don't amaze me. (0)

lukior (727393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784649)

I am not impressed as well by CGI. FF was good when the characters were motionless but when they moved it still broke down. Ah well give it ten years.

Re:You know... things just don't amaze me. (5, Insightful)

webroach (655190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784721)

Really the biggest eyesore is CG people. I have yet to see something that really amazes me as it looks like a real person. To be honest, I found the closest being FF:Spirits Within. Crappy movie, but you have to admit the graphics were outstanding.

I'm assuming you're talking about the way CG people move, which is (sadly) not very often convincing. And though I agree that the characters in FF:TSW were completely believeable, they were also....

wait for it...

...ANIMATED THROUGH MOTION CAPTURE.

Compared to Weta's Massive, which animates everything on the fly (ok, granted, using motion capture clips which the animation team tweaked), FF:TSW technique is stone age. So give them a bit of credit for at least trying to further the art....

Why is it that people can't just sit down and enjoy a movie anymore? All we hear is "I could tell the trucks on the highway in the Matrix weren't real" and "Boy, I'm sure not impressed by those 250,000 orcs attacking. It's clearly not real."

Watch the movie. Talk about the story. Appreciate the effort that went into trying to entertain your nit-picking self.

Re:You know... things just don't amaze me. (3, Insightful)

DarthWufei (686942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784879)

I think you assumed something you shouldn't have. I do not dislike movies for how horrible they are. I'm much more interested in the story, but really, this entire article is about CG so it should be expected that many would comment on CG in movies and not really the story. I love the LOTR movies personally, but CG is still flawed and needs work. It's great for certain situations "far off shots of humans in which there are thousands to create" but sometimes it can be a bit of a bother.

Re:You know... things just don't amaze me. (5, Informative)

ozbon (99708) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784758)

Personally, I think Gollum was utterly believable within the scope of LOTR. OK, not human - but the interaction with surroundings, the characterisation, all seemed pretty much perfect.

Dobby the House Elf in Harry Potter was ground-breaking, but Gollum seems to be a whole generation above that.

Re:You know... things just don't amaze me. (1)

DarthWufei (686942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784868)

I agree with you totally. He's actually been the only CG only character to amaze me. For the same reasons as you posted. Actually what suprised me the most was that interaction. Not just physically, but emotionally. It just goes to show that you can have a character incredibly important to the story without a single "live" actor. Though you still need people as a model to keep things working right.

Re:You know... things just don't amaze me. (4, Insightful)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784812)

I think you're watching the movie with too much critizism : I'd bet my left leg that, if they somehow could remake the battle scenes WITHOUT CG, and showed both real & CG films to many large audiences, on average folks would in both theaters pretend they did recognized CG artifacts and scenes which were clearly computer generated.

The reason my friend, is that you're looking at things which can not exist in our world. They are so far beyond the borders of common daydream imagination that you have the reflex to criticize the reality. How much easier can one do so than by claming the CG stuff is 'unnatural' and 'artifical' and could have been done better ?
(Note : expect lame jokes below about daydream imagination.)

Re:You know... things just don't amaze me. (1)

DarthWufei (686942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784886)

You're probably right, either that or I just seem to notice things that look out of place or odd to me over other things and tends to stick in my head for quite a while.

Though I do agree with you about it being used for fantasy that we just can't manifest in our world. I support that, as how else would we be able to see it? It's when they go the other way around and just seem to get lazy and create car chases, crashes, and such via CG where it doesn't look as "real".

Though your last statement, about claiming it could be done better isn't what I'm trying to get at. I doubt there is any kind of better approch to the current state of CG and ROTK is probably state of the art. That doesn't mean it isn't flawed of course and needs work, though. Until we can get that I doubt I'll be able to appreciate certain uses of it.

Re:You know... things just don't amaze me. (1)

DamnYouIAmALion (530667) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784837)

Check out the first short movie on the Animatrix DVD. That's the first time I've been seriously impressed by CG effects in a long time.

Re:You know... things just don't amaze me. (1)

DarthWufei (686942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784861)

Ah yes, Flight fo the Osiris, also made by Square Pictures. So of course I thought it was great in terms of looks. Though my only problem with it, is Square tends to have problems making people look... "normal". Imperfections and such, or they focus too much on that with overuse of "blemishes". I dunno, when the first two introduced characters "strip" they end up still looking like models from clay. Though you know what makes the whole experience better? Whatever precedes or surrounds the CG, if any. Movies that tend to be entirely CG tend to look better as everything fits. Movies which have CG sequences in the midst of live action shots (Matrix Reloaded) tend to stand out way too much and at many times just look plain stupid. Also note that the men atop the elephants in ROTK bothered me as well. Was the idea of using the same idea as Treebeard for Merry and Pippin not applicable? With perspective shots they could have pulled it off with normal people.

The battles would have been a lot better (5, Interesting)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784638)

If they didn't have all of the ridiculously lame dwarf comedy ("nobody tosses a dwarf", "toss me", etc.) and if Legolas hadn't snowboarded down the stairs on his shield. For a movie with such a realistic look to it, those elements of the battles, especially Helms Deep, were totally unneccessary and really ruined the great ambience that the thousands of CG extras created so effectively.

Why must directors put such painfully lame moments in films, anyway? It's like in Minority Report, when Tom Cruise is fighting the other guy wearing a jet pack and they 'accidentally' cook the hamburgers on the grill to perfection... why? WHY???!

Re:The battles would have been a lot better (1)

powlow (197142) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784657)

the "Legolas snowboarding down the stairs on his shield" incident left me feeling really outraged for some reason...like it really cocked things up...that was so lame...like it made the whole film ridiculous...

the battle scenes are the highlights of the films, if for nothing else, due to the shear sizes involved...battlefields full of bodies...would be harder to make such a widely appreciated film without this.

Re:The battles would have been a lot better (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784728)

I liked it, and accept what PJ et al. said in commentary - that he was trying to get to his friend quickly and used his "elf abilities" to do it.

what's the alternative? I think seeing him running down the stairs would be worse. elves are graceful, how do you gracefully run down lots of little steps?

Re:The battles would have been a lot better (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784743)

Leap down them, 15 at a time?

Re:The battles would have been a lot better (2, Insightful)

DarthWufei (686942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784676)

Well, realistically they do not have a single purpose in battle, and usually doesn't happen. Then again we're talking a movie, you can't really give much background, or character development as books gives in even 4 hours. Somehow I think that the Gimli/Legolas example is used to show how they're eventually going to end up being great friends. It just seems a tad harder to show this in special segments due to the time alotted. It just makes it easier to show the strong bond between the two characters. And,if you really notice, there isn't at all much other small talk during the battle scenes.

Re:The battles would have been a lot better (4, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784696)

I liked the jokes, they didn't seem gratuitous - they were always "in character". the rivalry between Gimli and Legolas is one of my favourite things, when they finally admit they're such good friends (ROTK: "die alongside an elf/friend") it's a fantastic moment and it wouldn't have been so good without the "jokes" - Gimli being too proud (TTT: "toss me, don't tell the elf") is a necessary part.

The truth about computers in movies: (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784642)

s/plot/battle scenes/

Re:The truth about computers in movies: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784655)

I guess one mans +5 funny is anothers -1 redundant :(

CGI, huh? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784644)

And here I thought that it was all the extras together with CGI that made the battle scenes in TTT and ROTK so special...

Call me a purist, but I still believe that CG should be used to enhance real scenes, not create them from scratch (unless it's a space movie or something similar)...

Re:CGI, huh? (1)

Sir0x0 (732087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784781)

That's why Gollum is one of the most successful CG characters ever. If you haven't seen the documentary on TTT extended edition, respectfully called "The Taming of Smeagol" you should definately check it out. The process they went through to finalize Gollum is living proof of how integral reality is to convincing CGI. I was impressed by the painstaking efforts they went through to make Andy Serkis' performance show through in Gollum.

Worrying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784656)

I'm worried about the expanded use of CGI (and real) violence in movies. Must we suffer our children being turned into killers? Even 'G' rated movies would have been "PG-13" in the past!
I encourage every concerned parent to write Peter Jackson and tell him how disgusted you are at all of the violence in ROTK!

It's the *story* that makes it a good film. (5, Insightful)

terremoto (679350) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784661)

RotK clearly wouldn't have been much of a movie if the battle scenes hadn't been so good.

Perhaps it escaped your notice, but ROTK is a film of a book. A book that tells a great story. The battle scenes are just part of it.

Re:It's the *story* that makes it a good film. (2, Interesting)

DarthWufei (686942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784695)

Glad this got modded up as I was going to post the same thing. It seems that with the popularity of certain films here in America, story starts to get quite pointless to some film makers going for the quick buck. But it's always nice to see something stand strong, something that makes you laugh, cry, angered, and such. Actually, I'm happy to say that my mom gave me an early gift of the boxset. So soon I'll have finally read the books.

Re:It's the *story* that makes it a good film. (1)

ashkar (319969) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784921)

Your argument might hold more firm if they had actually kept to the book instead of butchering the storyline. I don't care much for movies about cowardly men that constantly second guess their own actions.

Re:It's the *story* that makes it a good film. (1)

entrigant (233266) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784934)

So what exactly is your point? If a part of a story is left out then the story itself is ruined, OR at the least only half told.. which imo means not as good. Was your original intention to refute the opinion that rotk wouldn't have been as good w/o the large battles, or to further support that opnion?

CGI battling hords are cool (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784664)

I think that in movies (especially 'epic' style LOTR movies) you not only need them, but thats really the only way to show the scale and depth (and humanity?) of the story.

You're that guy to the left looking on a field full of 10,000+ orcs and other bad guys. What do you feel like? How does the story teller convey that?

I really like action movies, and I really enjoy them. They're fun and cool and easy to take. Personally, I hope to see more 'epic' styled movies. They're fun and cool, but also tragic, hopeful, and that the good guys don't always win, or not the way you might expect.

Ok, weirdness over.

Obligatory Simpsons (-1, Troll)

grungebox (578982) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784666)

What's a battle?

Re:Obligatory Simpsons (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784670)

You wasted your karma bonus on _THAT_????

Re:Obligatory Simpsons (1)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784742)

This from an AC at (of time of writing) +4 :)

Be entertained you whiney twits (5, Insightful)

jcampbell (75905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784673)

How about anybody who can't enjoy a LOTR movie is a stuck up snot. So what if there's some "desensitization" going on. Why don't you just take movies for what they are: entertainment. BE ENTERTAINED. If you're looking for shakespearean dialogue and touching stories, go move near an independant movie theater and stopping taking up seats at my local theater so you can sneer and bark that movies me and every other human with a beating heart can enjoy. And if you can't find some deeper meaning in LOTR then, my friend, you are dense.

If there had not been those humorous moments in LOTR, it would have not have been a Peter Jackson movie. Maybe since I saw his portfolio of horror movies and laughed my bloody ass off before we even knew about LOTR, I have a greater appreciation. But frankly... grow a sense of humor, it's not hard.

Re:Be entertained you whiney twits (2, Insightful)

Mish (50810) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784830)

Well said.

Many people I've talked to knew full well of the past work of Peter Jackson and although they realised in advance that humorous additions would happen they only seem able to harp on about how much of the film didn't flow correctly, or how changes and additions that Peter Jackson made were unneeded and ruined the overall feel of the film.

The film is good, all films have their good and bad points, accepting that the film was good (great) won't detract from your precious novels, they still exist untouched as a separate entity.

The film is an adaptation of 3 books squeezed down to 9 hours. It was designed to grab the attention of the largest number of people possible with minimal changes to the feel of the original work, something I think Peter Jackson has managed to carry off very well.

Re:Be entertained you whiney twits (1, Insightful)

bonhomme_de_neige (711691) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784845)

Why don't you just take movies for what they are: entertainment. BE ENTERTAINED.

That line reminds me of a quote from an old russian movie [imdb.com] .

It goes: "Put on the muzzle, and be happy. BE HAPPY!" (translation mine, and they were talking to a person not a dog) ... it's not on the IMDB memorable quotes list tho so you're going to either have to believe me or go out and watch it. Anyway, I'm not disagreeing that one shouldn't expect too much going in to Hollywood movies ... just pointing out the resemblance.

CG (5, Insightful)

rhuntley12 (621658) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784674)

While CG looks nice and all, it still is noticable that it's CG. There is definately something to be said for fight scenes using real people, even wirefighting looks good. As long as they make it look real. Look at crouching tiger hidden dragon, while I didn't care much for the fighting in the trees and on water, it still looked damn good. Also Kill Bill, while alot of people hated, the fighting was damn good, except for one quick scene in my mind. Personally, I prefer real actors to CG, even though it'd be hard to have a huge battle like that. If I remember right, and it's been awhile, Stargate the movie had a scene with around 2000 extras in a single battle.

Re:CG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784905)

ok.. mod this -1, off topic...

<asshole> I always think of the Slashdot crowd as a smarter bunch. I cringe every time I see "definately" misspelled. If the intended word is defiantly, then it's probably a slip of the fingers.

Otherwise, I would think that the Slashdot crowd would recognize that the intended word ("definitely") contains the word "finite", and spell it correctly. </asshole>

I like sending out messages in a bottle. (-1, Offtopic)

nitehorse (58425) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784677)

<pixistix> I like sending out messages in a bottle. [bash.org]
<pixistix> But I'm creative.
<pixistix> "I have been shipwrecked at sea, while bringing an important message."
<pixistix> "Do not, under any circumstances, allow President Kennedy to go to Dallas"

My vote for Sean Astin (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784683)

Just so I said it, I think the best actor in the LOTR trilogy movie, (especially in ROTK) is Sean Astin.

Go Samwise.

(sorry for offtopic)

irony & ignorance (0, Flamebait)

_newwave_ (265061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784691)

RotK clearly wouldn't have been much of a movie if the battle scenes hadn't been so good.

...much of a movie.

...hadn't been so good.

"Only a hopes fool." my friend. You're use of language would be much improved by READING THE F'IN BOOKS!! How the hell does this drivel make it through the filters?

Re:irony & ignorance (4, Funny)

rylin (688457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784712)

Your use. . . :P

Re:irony & ignorance (1)

_newwave_ (265061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784730)

lol...xlnt. That's what happens when I can't decide what to say.

Make love, not war! (5, Funny)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784700)

We have all these movies now where CG-generated characters are used to fight and kill each other in every gory fashion imaginable, but why don't we have any movies where thousands of people get together and make love, not war? A massive orgy comprising of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, CG-generated characters in the scope and scale of Lord of the Rings would be an unforgettable moment in moviemaking history. Perhaps it would inspire the nations of Europe to solve their rapid depopulation problem -- we could have a summer of love all over again.

I was quite disappointed when that scene in the Matrix 2 turned out to be a mere scantily clad rave in a cave, all done with paid actors.

They did that... (1)

sunbeam60 (653344) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784775)

In Amsterdam. It's called, erhm, "Debby's Marathon" or something.

The effects are absolutely incredible, although there's only one girl and about a thousand guys.

Everything just looked real. The crew had taken care to make all effects completely transparent, even down to the KY Jelly shine.

Let me know and I'll try and see if I can find a URL for it... but you can also look for it yourself on Emule. Seems to work for all the people I've talked to.

Re:Make love, not war! (2, Funny)

aragod (149532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784783)

maybe you don't remember the multi-cultural dance party/orgy in the second Matrix?

A!

Re:Make love, not war! (1)

Sir0x0 (732087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784802)

That was not CGI, as far as I know.

Re:Make love, not war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784884)

I am currently directing just such an epic love scene for a Vivid Video adult production. It's set in the France during the 1700s; 5,000 computer generated men, women, midgets, and giants will have a 10 minute orgy.

In that 10 minutes you'll see approximately:

  • 7,459 blow jobs
  • 9,568 cumshots (CG guys can cum more than once)
  • 5,471 pussy lickings
  • 12,457 doggystyles 10,223 69's
  • 3,218 missionaries
  • 2,102 douple-penetrations
  • 127 bukakes
  • 1 taboo beastiality shot that no one will notice until I point it out in the DVD commentary.
It will be magnificent! The Oscar (AVN award) is mine!

Re:Make love, not war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784890)

Ahhhh, too bad you're not from Private or Wicked Pictures. Vivid is softcore in comparison.

Re:Make love, not war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784897)

what the hell is a bukake? it must be special if there are only 127 of them.

Re:Make love, not war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784909)

a bukake is when someone poops in your mouth. The weirdo japs like it.

Is Michael allowed to smoke pot on the job? (5, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784709)

RotK clearly wouldn't have been much of a movie if the battle scenes hadn't been so good.

Duh. And in other news, Titanic wouldn't have been much of a movie if the ship hadn't sunk, Pearl Harbor wouldn't have been much of a movie if the Japanese hadn't attacked and X-Men would have been pretty bad if none of the characters had special powers.

Sure, there are a couple of hobbits winding their way to Mount Doom but Lord Of The Rings was always about epic battles - it's a bit hard to have an ultimate "good vs evil" struggle without a major conflict or two.

When people talk about these movies, they they talk about the battles within the mines of Moria, at Helm's Deep, at Isengard, and at Minas Tirith. They don't talk about Gandalf's fireworks at the Shire, or Frodo vs Gollum at the volcano's mouth. It's the major fight scenes that get us talking and it's those fight scenes where the real money is spent.

Of course Return Of The King wouldn't have been much of a movie if the battle scenes hadn't been so good. Neither would any major sci-fi or fantasy film you care to mention if equally bereft of seriously meaty action. Duh.

Re:Is Michael allowed to smoke pot on the job? (-1, Flamebait)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784716)

Michael is a fucking shithead. Don't worry about it, he'll be killed off due to his typical, American ignorance.

HEY. LETS SQUAT A DOMAIN BECAUSE I'M A PRISSY LITTLE BITCH! OH. I CAN BE HIRED BY MR. ROB MALDA AT THE SAME TIME TOO!

Of course, I need to add this last line so the lameness filter doesn't fuck around. It is wrong to yell, apparently!

To the writer of the article.... (5, Interesting)

_spider_ (171782) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784711)

In my own personal opinion, I think the writer of the article didn't pay attention to the movies. (esp. LOTR: all three)

With that, I'll say his opinion is lame.

Thats my thought..er, .02.

battle scenes on own comp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784727)

On the topic of battle scenes generated by computers, wha games are good at showcasing battles on a personal computer?

sci fi/fantasy or our world are fine.

Re:battle scenes on own comp (0, Offtopic)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784734)

Total War games

http://www.totalwar.com/

cgi porn (5, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784750)

Is a cgi woman doing sexy things to herself for the entertainment of others still exploitation of women, when no specific woman is being exploited?

Down this path are all sorts of questions...

Re:cgi porn (2, Insightful)

sunbeam60 (653344) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784792)

So I take it that you consider any regular porn exploitation of women?

I would venture that either you consider both sexes equally exploited in porn - or you consider neither of the sexes exploited. Seems to me men and woman face the same choice before getting involved in the porn industry.

Both are portrayed as huge, chugging, ever-hungry slabs of meat (which is fine given that this is after all what porn is about). I fail to see why porn exploits women any more in that situation than it does men.

My personal complaint (4, Interesting)

iapetus (24050) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784770)

Forget the CGI actors. Ignore (if you can) the comedy dwarf tossing. My biggest complaint about the battle sequences is the hideous lack of strategy the leaders seem to have. I don't care who you are: a cavalry charge against a huge rank of spearmen is not a smart idea, and we see it happen at least twice in the series. And charging headlong at rampaging Oliphaunts? You deserve to be crushed underfoot. Swing out and take them from the flank, perhaps?

Re:My personal complaint (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784816)

the fact it was a bad idea is what makes the end of TTT exciting - you see the uruk hai set their spears and looks like they'll fail, then Gandalf "flashbangs" them at the last second.

at Minas Tirith it's similar with the cavalry except there it's orcs not uruk hai, and orcs are smaller aren't they? you can see on the orcs' faces that even though they have spears the sight of all the cavalry scares the shit out of them - I love that; it's the first time humans are considered strong.

Re:My personal complaint (5, Interesting)

Sir0x0 (732087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784840)

Also, spearmen are effective at taking out the first rank of a cavalry charge. Once they "break the line" the cavalry are going to wreak havoc. Rohan had no (or few) archers, which are the normal response to heavy-infantry-spear-weilding types.

Charging into Oliphaunts was not the best idea, but hey, it was the first time most of them had EVER seen oliphaunts! Beginner's mistake eh... :)

CGI... (0, Funny)

m1chael (636773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784815)

eh... What does the C stand for?... Computer. Hmmm, what does the G stand for?... Generated.
Hmmm, what does the I stand for?... Idiot.

Bullshite! (4, Interesting)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784838)

"Return of the King would not have been much of a movie without the battles." Bullshit! The amount of artistry put into all three movies has not been seen since the days of "Cleopatra." I am no blind Tolkien freak either. All three movies were beautiful all around. In terms of cost, ROTK cost only $95 million. Contrast that with the recently released "chick flick," "Mona Lisa Smile," what cost $65 million to make and "The Last Samurai" who's costs totalled almost $140 million dollars. The Last Samurai's battle scenes were rather bland and extremely pale in comparison to ROTK. ROTK was just more than the battles, it had a lot of shit going on everywhere in middle earth. I am amazed that Peter Jackson and Co. completed the movie in less than a year, no other Hollywood director or studio could have made ROTK better than WETA and Peter Jackson. Saying ROTK would have sucked without the battles, is like saying Jedi would have sucked without any space battles. Stupid thing to say.

Fake Saddam Capture!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784865)

The Bush Administration is lieing to all of you!! the capture of saddam was all staged with a imposter! This was dont so Bush stays in the White House and ruin our country more!!! WE MUST IMPEACH BUSH NOW! AND PUT A DEMOCRAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone must strike back against the infidel known as George "Dubya" Bush!!

US, the ultimate .consumers? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784874)

now that we're 'outsourcing' the process of making things/work, we're reducing ourselves to a LIEf of leisure?

so, most of us will need only an outsourced monIE supply, to live LIEk billyonerrors/corepirate nazis?

does anywon think this is ever going to work for US?

it's easy to see why robbIE 'outsourced' his gnu 'dating' service'? who wants to hear about a bunch of lonely geekIE types who have been MiSled wonce again? how cruel can won be?

lookout bullow.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators.... the planet/population rescue mandate crisis level remains elevated. the lights are coming up now.

message in a badtoll? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784887)

what can we learn about 'investing' from the MiStakes of the felonious corepirate nazi payper liesense softwar gangster stock markup FraUD execrable?

for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a badtoll that must/will be repaid by you/US, as the aforementioned walking dead contingent will not be available to make reparations, as the big flash is already underway.

'invest' in yOUR family/community, get ready to see the light.

I can't watch them! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784876)

Does anyone else have the problem that they cannot watch the battle scenes?

For the past several years, I have had this difficulty - I'll be totally "into" a movie, and then the action scene starts, and I immediatly fall into a movie-induced trance (sleep).

I am not joking. Not sure if this is a side effect of age (just over 40), LASIK, or too much time spent on Slashdot, but it's getting frustrating.

I have tried to watch the original LOTR no less than thirteen times. In the theater, rented the VHS, bought the DVD. I still can't see it, and haven't made it past the FIRST major animated action sequence. The last time, I finally advanced the movie past the first one, and fell asleep on the second one.

Same thing for EVERY major movie with lots of action and computer generated animation. Fell asleep at Matrix 2 and 3, 2 Fast 2 Furious, etc. These are all movies that I WANT TO SEE, so it's not a lack of interest!

Doc,.. someone.... help!! Ease up on the computer animated graphics - These naps are getting expensive!

Non-battle CG (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784880)

One thing I missed in the movies was that while we could see the fighters in full digital glory, you couldn't see, say, the elves of Rivendell and Lothlorien going about their lives (prior to departing.) Or the forests moving.

Those would probably have been harder to do than the battles, so I can't really blame them for not including those ... but it would have been nice.

LoTR and battles (4, Insightful)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784908)

I read the LoTR when I was 8, and the battle scenes were clear and vivid at the time. The key to making good battle scenes (whether through CGI or using live actors) is to convey the emotions of the situation: boredom, panic, horror, terror, panic, glee, euphoria, insanity. The best way to express these emotions is to use shadows and hints, not full frontal gore.

"Master and Commander" was so good in parts because it did this - as the writer of the article says, the first battle scene in which flashes of light in the distant fog are the visual warning of deadly accurate incoming cannon shots. Hiding the enemy and showing only shadows makes it much more fightning and effective..

Battlescene CGI has, thankfully, matured a little from the "see what I can do" phase, and directors can now direct it in more subtle ways than simply creating realistic hordes.

I don't believe the staged battles and CGI effects were the key to making the LoTR movies more successful, in fact the special effects were quite often boring and impersonal. Flying lizards, mutant elephants, walking trees... OK, curious to look at, but hardly terrifying. And the walking trees and dawrf jokes were just silly.

I'm looking forward to the time when more creative and intuitive directors turn CGI in something more subtle than a "look what I can do" toy.

Massage with bottle? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7784918)

Think goatse

Anyone read McSweeney's? (3, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784929)

The article reminded me of some funny bits at McSweeney's.

UNUSED AUDIO COMMENTARY BY HOWARD ZINN AND NOAM CHOMSKY, RECORDED SUMMER 2002, FOR THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (Platinum Series Extended Edition)DVD, Part One [mcsweeneys.net]


Part Two [mcsweeneys.net]

A sample:

Zinn: And observe the map device here -- how the map is itself completely Gondor-centric. Rohan and Gondor are treated as though they are the literal center of Middle Earth. Obviously this is because they have men living there. What of places such as Anfalas and Forlindon or Near Harad? One never really hears anything about places like that. And this so-called map casually reveals other places -- the Lost Realm, the Northern Waste (lost to whom? wasted how? I ask) -- but tells us nothing about them. It is as though the people who live in these places are despicable, and unworthy of mention. Who is producing this tale? What is their agenda? What are their interests and how are those interests being served by this portrayal? Questions we need to ask repeatedly.


A bit more:

Zinn: And notice how Strider characterizes the Black Riders. "Neither living nor dead." Why, that's a really useful enemy to have.


Chomsky: Yes. In this way you can never verify their existence, and yet they're horribly terrifying. We should not overlook the fact that Middle Earth is in a cold war at this moment, locked in perpetual conflict. Strider's rhetoric serves to keep fear alive.

Credit to Casting (5, Interesting)

drskrud (684409) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784943)

One thing I really give credit to the LotR trilogy for is their casting. There are virtually no "big-name" actors in any of the movies. While there are the better known stars, Sir Ian McKellan, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett and even Liv Tyler and Sean Bean, none of them overpower the other cast members to the point of obscurity.

Furthermore, they found some actors from relative obscurity (Merry and Pippin come to mind) who perform remarkably well. Every single character in the LotR series is acted out almost flawlessly, and I for one can clearly relate their on screen portrayals to those characters from the book. And that's certainly what makes the battle scenes that much more *real* and closer to home. Someone watching the movie can really get a feel for the characters and sympathize with them. No character gets lost behind the face of some huge actor and no one actor steals the show from any other.

As for the CGI effects, I had no trouble believing that those oliphaunts and huge armies of Orcs were real, they might as well have been. The graphics were more than convincing enough and the fact that the movie is indeed in a fantasy setting allows for what Samuel Taylor Coleridge coined the "willful suspension of belief." I had a harder time believing that Tom Cruise's character could take out four or five samurai before even getting any samurai training.... not to mention he somehow managed to hold them off with a flagpole of all things...

From the article... (0)

Ritontor (244585) | more than 10 years ago | (#7784953)

The French weren't idiots, and they would have recognized -- by length of mast, deployment of sail, shape of prow, depth of draw -- the reality of the vessel facing them, and they would have blown it out of the water.

The reason the ship disguised itself is so that the French wouldn't surrender, and therefore not having any use all those perfectly good cannonballs the Americans had fashioned.
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