(Made by HarkoCid, refantasied from Drunkduck)
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
CGI...never has there been a more poisoned chalice for movie makers. It promises so much and yet some how always ends up making every movie it touches look like a pixelated stack of shit.
The only more dangerous temptation a movie maker can succumb too is to make a movie based on a computer game.
Fortunately, Final Fantasy only falls into the first of these two traps.
Oh now I know what you are thinking "Oh no! This one was based after the Final Fantasy Games! Hark a total retard to not know that!"
But if you believe this you are making a fundamental error.
This movie has literally NOTHING to do with the popular computer game franchise.
Not one character, not one concept, not the setting, not a damn thing. (Okay, I think it includes a character called "Sid" which is something the Final Fantasy Developers get a chubby for, but that's it!)
It has the name slapped on the front. That is all.
To say this is based on Final Fantasy would be like me making a low quality Saturday morning cartoon show about chairs that can turn into dragons and fight a chain smoking space wizard, calling it "Saving Private Ryan- The Magic Beyond" and saying it is based on the original movie!
But who cares if it is close to the games, right? We are not here to please the fan boys. If the movie is good, then that's all that counts, right?
The first thing to notice about this show, other then the fact it literally could not have less to do with its supposed source material, is that it is (as I implied in my opening) CGI.
It was one of the first all CGI movies, and there was quite a lot of talk at the time about how this would be the first of a new wave of movies that would use CGI actors to make regular actors obsolete.
Back in ancient times, when some guy first realized he could put a sock on each hand and make a puppet show, I am sure there were people who said "Oh no! Sock puppets are going to replace actors! One puppeteer can operate two socks at a time! That's half the price per actor! Acting as we know it is dead!"
Sock puppets did not, shockingly, remove the need for actors and in the same way, poorly rendered, stiff, emotionless CGI manikins did not get rid of the desire for live actors either.
Who would have guessed?
The characters look TERRIBLE! Dead, waxy, zombie like figures, staring with glassy eyes from deep within the uncanny valley!
This compiles with clunky dialogue and one dimensional characters to make an emotionally empty experience. Sock puppets would have worked far better to get an emotional response from me. Fuck, at least sock puppets would be kind of funny!
In the promotion of the movie the main characters long shiny hair got a lot of publicity and how much work went into animating.
Wow! Just wow!
Have you ever heard of a movie where the leading actresses fucking HAIR was the main focus?
Not the plot, not the drama, not the characters, not the sci fi elements...no, the makers of this film thought that the main woman's HAIR was the most fucking interesting thing in their movie.
And if the people who MADE the fucking thing think it is so worthless that CGI effects on someone's hair are the most interesting thing that happens, you know the movie is fucked!
And the saddest part? Her hair looks like shit!
It looked shit at the time and it looks shit now!
Playstation 1 graphics could manage hair effects this convincing! I remember seeing them on the intro to fucking Tekken!
Not only did all this hair dressing bullshit in the promotion show how pathetic the movie was going to be, it caused to look at all the characters hair styles during the movie. And you know what I noticed? Not how wonderful the main woman's hair was, oh no. It made me notice how SHIT everyone else's hair was! It was painted on their fucking heads! How much fucking moose are people in the future supposed to use? Even the other woman in the film (yeah there are only two women, but there aren't that many characters...hell calling them characters is a stretch anyway!) has her hair constantly pulled back as tight as it will go to make sure there is no need for it to do any movement at all and push this barbershop shit pile over budget!
To give the film some credit, the evil aliens that they fight are cool looking (all glowy and red) and had really freaky method of attack (pulling your glowy blue soul right out of ya!)
Unfortunately they are handled so laughably badly as to make some scenes cringe inducing!
Firstly, these aliens are normally invisible, but the human soldiers use special flares to make them glow red so they can see them.
Sounds cool so far, right?
Unfortunately the film makers seemed to realise that invisible aliens don't look interesting and so they ALWAYS find a contrivance to turn them visible ("They've gone through the power grid and that makes them glow, sir!"). By the end of the film they cant seem to even be bothered to contrive the plot and just have the aliens always glowing red for no reason other then the audiences benefit.
If having invisible aliens was such a problem...WHY NOT JUST MAKE THE FUCKERS VISIBLE? If they wanted the things to always glow red, why not just have em do that? What was the point?
At the start of the film the aliens seem dangerous, but the human soldiers seem pretty efficient at dealing with them, taking them out with their rifles and using tactics and stuff.
Strangely as the film goes on, the aliens seem to suffer reverse villain decay. Gradually the soldiers seem to become more and more goofy, firing weapons ineffectually (which previously tore the monsters apart), seemingly baffled when they encounter a larger monster (have they never met one before or something?) Are the soldiers are able to fight these things or not? The movie makers seem to have no idea.
Another amusing touch is that at the start of the film, all the main characters have cool sci fi helmets on (cheaper to animate, ya see?) But once they take off their helmets and become "characters" (I use the term very loosely here) they never put the things back on. They instead get funny headset things so we can tell who is who.
When other soldiers show up (a merry little red shirt army) they all get face covering helmets, so why do the main characters stop wearing them? If they don't need the helmets, why is anyone wearing them?
The answer of course, is that this movie was made by hacks.
The helmets cover up faces, thus saving the animators a lot of work. Once the main characters are established we need to know who is who though, so they stop wearing the things.
This is incompetent CGI film making 101, it really is.
And what about the "plot"? (Again, we are using the term very, very loosely here!)
Basically aliens who may or may not be invisible have crash landed on earth and killed everyone (and apparently turned the survivors into poorly CGI-ed shop dummies.)
A General says they should nuke the fuckers from orbit, but some scientist and his freak, floppy haired daughter want to stop him from destroying their enemy with a sensible attack. The bonkers scientist instead wants to collect 7 spirits that will do...something.
I suppose I should point out that the scientist and the floppy hairs daughter are the good guys and their nonsensical bullshit plan which is never really explained is the right one, anything else is evil....because the movie says so.
This movie tries to pretend it is being deep and sending a message, but it is just pretentious twaddle dressed up in computerized window dressing.
There is a big "shocking revelation" that the aliens are ghosts of dead aliens (oh no a spoiler!) But the surprise was slightly blown by the fact they call the aliens Phantoms and they are ghostly beings that pull your soul out! If they WEREN'T ghosts I would have been surprised!
Whats next? Blood sucking undead who sleep in coffins and fear sunlight, and the big twist is...they are VAMPIRES! Ooooh! Big shocker there numb nuts! The 6th sense it aint!
How does it end? I'm not even sure. Lots of glowy nonsense and jibber jabba from a bunch of asshole Thunder bird rejects I don't give a shit about!
What is really embarrassing is that the cast of this abortion is really top notch!
James Woods, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Donald fucking Sutherland, this is every animated movie makers wet dream!
But they are all utterly wasted churning out nonsense sci fi/ spiritual mumbo jumbo that sounds like it was poorly translated from Japanese (and probably was, to be honest!)
By the end you half expect someone to say "All your base are belong to us!"
CGI is over rated! Shrek 1 and 2 were good INSPITE of the crappy CGI, not because of it!
What was wrong with traditional animation?
The Lion King looked cool!
Beauty and the Beast looked awesome (except, ironically, the crappy CGI bits!)
With those old shows characters could express emotion, they could create drama I could really care about.
Compare that to the ugly bullshit visuals of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (aka: A new hope to sell toys) and you tell me which looks better!
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within will not appeal to people who didn't play the games.
It also won't appeal to people who did play the games.
And it won't appeal to people who have eyes, or ears, or brains, or who are awake.
This movie is a disaster! It fails on every level of characterization and story telling.
Whoever made it should be exiled to a final fantasy cosplay convention for life, to suffer oversized foam buster swords and stupid hair cuts for all eternity!