Monday, 23 February 2015

What I like in movies? Opinions (not onions) about art of movie making part 1/2

I've been recently working on that in depth movie review that I promised to make. Review focuses only (as reviews should) movie at hand. It doesn't explain what I, personally, like in movies.
So I figured It would be helpful If I would open up my thoughts about movies in general before we jump in to the review.

The amount of movies Lind and I really like is quite limited. I am very selective about movies, always have been, but especially after film school where I were enlightened about subject of art in movie making. It really opened my eyes.
I view now movies a lot more critically, focus in every aspect of a movie and spot details that I would have otherwise missed. I think it's a good thing. I'd always want to be honest person and tell what I don't like and like. So, here is a list of what I like.
(I decided to split this into a two separated posts so this would be little shorter and easier to read.
I do lessons about every aspect of movie making like for example how to make a good character or importance of good lighting etc. Whether it is cinematography, acting, sound, lighting even staging. Maybe I don't know equally much about everything but I will know the basics. These lessons are my opinion based but mostly just about general stuff I learned when I studied Movie making)

Let's start with the really important aspect. Character development. Interesting characters alone can make a movie (or especially animation) good. Usually it's not enough but you have to start somewhere. In my opinion in animations it's the most important aspect.
Characters: I like very complex characters. Why? Answer is simple; they are interesting. Every character has to have some conflict within them but they also have to have something recognizable, approachable or something to identify with. Great characters usually have something of each.

Art below is an angry girl drawn my beloved Lindworm. I love her style!

There's nothing that I hate more than a dull character.Most characters that I find dull are ''Heroes''.
 They are perfect in every way and they're right in every thing. It's repulsive! A good example that I can give you from a hero I despise is prince Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. I think Miyazaki is one of the best directors of all time but for me (and Lind) Princess Mononoke is worst of his movies and it's solely because of the characters. Setting is fine. Message is fine but Ashitaka... Really? He is a perfect human being in every way and movie supports this. Awful thing! I don't think Princess Mononoke is worst movie of all time, no but Ashitaka is a really good example of a really dull, boring and completely uninteresting character.

Prince Ashitaka in a movie Princess Mononoke.
As I have mentioned I am a big fan of Miyazaki. I didn't really enjoyed Princess Mononoke though. It was strange because I am big fan of fantasy. From Miyazaki I love Spirited Away. It's brilliant!

 A good example, for a great character comes from a amazing
live action movie series. Hannibal Lecter, starred by Anthony Hopkins. Hannibal is really well made character. Hannibal has factors that make him really interesting. He is polite (to people he considers worthy), wise, calm, even plain gentleman but in the other hand he is mass murderer, cannibal and psychopath. Brilliantly made character. You've gotta love a bit of human flesh in the evening.

Anthony Hopkins as a Hannibal Lecter in a movie Silence of the lambs.
I love Lecter trilogy. It's really well made in every way. True enjoyment to watch!

Secondly we can focus as important as characters; Story. Story is everything to me and it's hard to find a really good one.
Story: It is really interesting and hard to define exact criteria which make story good. It's funny because I have my limited preference and I write stories myself but I noticed one thing. Thematic stories. I simply love well made stories. Stories which have every detail thought trough.
Every bit of dialog and every bit of scenery, just every detail.
Another important thing to me is that stories need to have approachable, believable subject.
I love fantasy and someone might say ''but fantasy is not true and you just said you like believable stories'' no, i was talking about subject. Shortly, I don't like movies which problems and turning points are scaled globally or is about saving the world, universe or what not. I rather watch movie about one persons life and one persons problems. Because for me, they are much, much more approachable.

In my opinion movie needs dialog only when story can't be told otherwise or in a picture. Comedy of course is a genre that needs bit more dialog to work. At least for me. There's nothing more I hate more than pointless dialog. Also unnecessary epic is something I think is embarrassing sadly many potentially good fantasy adventures fall on this, damn it's painful.

Blablablabla... how pointless is a pointless dialog? or in this case; monologue?
(I drew this. I can't draw or paint. I really don't)

Third point I want to tackle in this post is what kind of actors I like. I am not a person who watches a movie/series just because it has good actor(s) in it. No, director means way more but I admit some actors are better than others and yes, good actor is important part as any to make movie good.
(I am covering voice actors too because they're just as important for animation.)
Acting/voice acting: Most important skill what actor can have is a skill to transfer the feeling to a viewer. Good actor lives as a character making it more alive and believable. It's really important to keep ''magic of movie'' alive. It basically means not to break fourth wall. (btw, I absolutely hate in every way fourth wall breaking jokes. For example movie character says in a drama ''If this would be romantic drama movie, this and that would happen.'' Aarh, it drives me mental!)

There's many actors that I consider good and they're for various reasons. Here is few of them:
Ellen Page, Anthony Hopkins, Sir Ian McKellen. It would be impossible to name all good actors on my favourite list but I hope these give you some direction of my taste. Good actor also can stretch to any role and play almost any character.

Ellen Page is absolutely great actor. She is so convincing and believable in every role she has starred. This picture is from Juno. Juno is again, really, really well made movie. Juno is a great character and the movie approaches teen pregnancy very realistically and is a great example how to
handle things like this most mature and ideal way. Love the movie!

Sir Ian McKellen as a Gabriel Finch in a movie Neverwas.
I am big fan of Ian McKellen. Just loving his style to act. It's so unique! Loved him as Gandalf in a Lord of the ring / Hobbit trilogy. I've seen him on many other movies too and he never fails to amaze me. Neverwas wasn't best movie to be honest but it was okay I think. Wasn't fan of the climax it was too expected. Me and Worm loved this scene though! It was hilarious! Clap those hands!

Of course everyone has their limits but I hate actors who can do only one thing. Brad Pitt for example can't act crazy or abnormal. He does his ''action man'' roles just fine but he is infuriating in Twelve monkeys. Also when you ask me what I think about movie Seven (Great movie othervise, love Morgan Freeman) all I could really say to you is; What's in the box? What's in the BOOXXXX??!? Lind said she just waited movie to end at that point. Pretty bad climax for a well written movie. Damn it, Pitt!

Brad Pitt as a Jeffrey Coines in a Twelve monkeys. Nothing much to say about this one. Twelve monkeys is a terrible movie. Story was a really poorly written, confusing and embarrassing. Brad Pitt acting badly as a crazy man doesn't help it at all. Pitt, just stay as an Action Man.

 There are some exceptions which I find very surprising. Just one word: Jim Carrey. His humour is pretty same through every movie he has been in but he actually can act pretty good as a serious role too! I found this shocking; Good example is movie named Number 23 or Kickass 2. Carrey actually plays his role pretty good and is quite convincing. On a Side note 23 is meh and Kickass 2 was terrible comparing to first one but it was funny side note that Jim Carrey didn't annoy me as much he has in the past. (In his every other ''comedy'' role)

Jim Carrey as Walter Sparrow in a Movie The Number 23
 I always thought that Jim Carrey can do just one trick; twitchy comedy,
but in Number 23 I really saw that Jim Carrey can actually play serious role!
Who knew! I know right! I don't like Carrey's style of comedy but this movie
made me see that he is more versatile than it seems.

I'll cover voice acting shortly. Didn't really watch animations much before Lind came to my life but now I know that they're amazing. If you would ask me do I prefer animations or live action movies, I'd say I slightly prefer animation. However, voice acting; yeah. Not everyone can do that. I always think it's more challenging to make feeling transfer by only using your voice. Voice defines character so much that it's really important to have a convincing and suitable voice for a character.

 As a Finn I watched many animations when I was child. I couldn't speak English or understand it. So, I was forced to watch dubbed animations. Gladly Finns do that amazingly. One finnish voice director/dubber Pekka Lehtosaari is astonishing. He has won many awards for best dubs for Disney films like Aladdin, Lion King and many more amazing jobs. It's very important for a kid to capture magic of a movie/animation so I am really glad we have a voice director like Lehtosaari. He truly is a genius. Nowadays in Finland they're using celebrity voices instead of real actors and it's not Lehtosaari who is directing them unfortunately. So, I could say that quality of Finnish dubs has been downgrading slightly in last 8-10 years.

Pekka Lehtosaari has voice directed dubs for many great animations!
I really loved Hunchback of Notre Dame. (fin. Notre Damen kellonsoittaja) It has one of my favourite
Finnish voice actors Velimatti Ranta. I hadn't watched hunchback when I was kid but watched
it first time with Lind. We watched it in Finnish solely because of Linds nostalgia and the amazing job of Lehtosaari. One of my favourite Disney Movies.

That's Pekka.

 I am not very familiar with English speaking voice actors but I can say that I really enjoyed Paranorman's voices. They are really spot on and movie is good. Also Frankenweenie's side character voices were excellent. Didn't like movie that much. It had too much references for my tasting. I don't like references.

Paranorman's voice acting is spot on! It's fun that it's mostly puppet animation it really adds good flavour. It's a good movie but climax is not our cup of tea. I get it. It's for children.

Huh, that's a LOT of reading. If you survived the end of this post I thank you for reading. I had great time writing this all though it took me more time than usual because I wanted to make it as good as I can get (as shortly as possible). Thanks for reading.


1 comment:

  1. hey there my dear :) cool post !its pretty!

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