Tuesday, November 29, 2005

COM: Pet Peeves 2916, 3294 & 4754

It's all about movies -- if you aren't into the details skip this. You know by now that i track Biospoilers -- those unnerving moments when filmmakers loop in bird or animal sounds, or use animals that don't fit the geographical location. Sorry, it's a biologists' thing.

Well, i was discussing Secondhand Lions with Holly, Marie and Roy tonight and iwas trying to pinpoint a reason, or some reasons, why i can't really stomach the movie. It has some very nice moments, but all too often it completely takes me out of the movie -- and i hate that. So here is a list of some movie pet peeves (not necessarily, by the way, having anything to do with Secondhand Lions which will get its own post soon).

a) Non-motivated light: The type that makes me most nauseous is that phantom light that spotlights the actors in a car being driven at night. I'd much rather hardly see them with maybe some green dim glow from the meters, than have them bathed in perfectly placed light -- especially for the shotgun rider.

b) Fake labels on cans: This was brought to mind by a scene from The Business of Fancydancing where, with some incredible set-dressing just the right tone is set. Then suddenly there is Mouse making a "bathroom-cleaner sandwich." The problem is the can has a green construction paper wrap on it that looks like, well a last-minute green construction paper wrap. It takes someone no time at all to create a computer mockup of a label that will prevent rights difficulties -- so why not do it. It is the single false note in an otherwise beautiful movie.

c) Overuse of/fake handheld camerawork: It seems rather odd doesn't it that in order to get a handheld camera effect folks don't, voila, hand hold the camera. Instead you get this fluid head camera motion that all too often is so repetitive, cyclical and rhythmic that it creates motion sickness -- i assume it's computer handled, and perhaps is supposed to be random. But it doesn't look handheld -- it looks fake. And i think that's because the computer system has exact frame movement limits. Hands don't have those. Handheld by itself can be overused, but add it to that faux motorized effect and it simply overwhelms -- an example? -- the otherwise outstanding The Bourne Supremacy.

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