Sunday, 29 July 2007

trailers: winter epics



Robert Zemeckis has had a number of unqualified triumphs (the Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the underrated Contact), however he has also produced enough drivel and mediocrity to cloud those achievements. Add to that the fact that the performance capture technique developed for The Polar Express still does not convince in this trailer, stuck in the uncanny limbo where it's practically photorealistic yet still looks completely artificial. On the plus side, Neil Gaiman worked on adapting the epic poem into a screenplay, and the trailer voice-over sounds suitably ominous. Nice to hear the music from 28 Days Later too; makes a change from hearing the Requiem for a Dream score whenever the trailer factory wants something big and dramatic and epic.

The Golden Compass


Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is a literary masterwork, and I will hear no opinion to the contrary. This trailer for the film adaptation of the first of the trilogy, however, suggests that the series' cinematic achievements will struggle to match its literary ones. The cast seem to fit their roles well, particularly newcomer Dakota Blue Richards in the role of Lyra, but the general art direction and cinematography seems to scream a general Hollywood blandness, all to reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia film. It's also dubious how well the films will tackle the novel's controversial (to say the least) religious themes. I dearly wish to be proven wrong, of course, for there is a potentially astonishing film trilogy to be made out of the novels, but for the moment I will keep my expectations cautiously low.


Louise CG said...

hmmm... have any of you ever read 'Eragon'? well its not a bad story and to be honest I was quite impressed. its yet another fantasy trilogy full of dragons, strange creatures and a lot of adventure. well this book was made into a film and it was CRAP!!! couldnt get through it!! its the epitome of hollywood intervention and distruction of a completely solid story! what puzzled me was the fact that there were some good actors involved!! why did they agree to being part of such a film!! the biggest problem is that now there is no way in hell it could be done properly!! or that the rest of the books could even be tackled as a film.. its completely ruined!! thats my biggest concern with the golden compass film.. if it turns out like this one it will be the end of any future works on the other two books which I have to say are as good or maybe better then the first!

Daniel Vella said...

I didn't read Eragon, but I watched a few minutes of the film and it almost hits the same lows as the abysmal Dungeons & Dragons film a few years back. I couldn't bear to watch the whole thing.

I'm fearing the Philip Pullman books will be turned into just another bland entry in the series of post-Lord of the Rings epic, when the books deserve so much better. Imagine them directed by Alfonso Cuaron, or Guillermo del Toro...instead we get the guy who made American Pie.

magnum said...

I found Eragon to be tediously written and completely cliched (as to be expected from a novel by a 15 year old), but the movie was pretty much even worse. The only fun to be had from that movie is to point out from where the plot's been stolen (it's Star Wars, mainly).

Golden Compass actually looks good, in an entertaining family movie kind of way. Plus the armoured bear character (Iorek?) has the perfect voice.

Beowulf, meanwhile, looks as plastic as the Final Fantasy ever looked, with Polar Express style creepiness to boot. CG realistic humans = BAD IDEA BAD IDEA