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91st Annual Academy Awards Discussion Thread

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Since the Oscars are soon coming up, I thought I'd go ahead and make this thread for discussion purposes.

 

Oscars 2019: The Academy announces shortlist for ‘Best Visual Effects’.

 

The shortlist includes:

 

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther
Christopher Robin
First Man
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Mary Poppins Returns
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Welcome to Marwen

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If the Academy has any sense, Visual Effects is First Man's award to lose. I would also award it the prize for cinematography, and "The Landing" is almost worth a score Oscar on its own in my mind. The way Hurwitz paced that cue is just astonishing, and paired with the visuals its probably my favorite film sequence from 2018.

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3 hours ago, Seth said:

If the Academy has any sense, Visual Effects is First Man's award to lose. I would also award it the prize for cinematography, and "The Landing" is almost worth a score Oscar on its own in my mind. The way Hurwitz paced that cue is just astonishing, and paired with the visuals its probably my favorite film sequence from 2018.

 

BOTH VFX and Score are between First Man and Black Panther.

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I don’t think Solo should be nominated. Visually I thought it was too dark and murky to appreciate any of the already-unimpressive VFX work. 

 

Top three contenders for me are Infinity War, First Man, and Ready Player One. 

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Ehhh, I thought the VFX in Solo were really good, if a little dark. The Train Heist scene was visually perfect, and that must have been one hell of a VFX challenge.

 

Really not sure why Black Panther was nominated though, the entire final battle section looked really, really awful.

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36 minutes ago, Bofur01 said:

 

Really not sure why Black Panther was nominated though, the entire final battle section looked really, really awful.

It looked like a mix between the Windows 90s desktop theme and the battle on Naboo from TPM! 

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3 hours ago, crumbs said:

Such a shame the film is overall a visual mess. One of the worst DI jobs I think I've ever seen, up there with Alien vs Predator Requiem.

 

Quite the contrary. One of the most consistent genre films in recent years in terms of visual look and narrative focus. 4th best movie of the year.

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I don't know what people are going on about, re: 'too dark'. The black balance was perfect in both of the screenings I attended here in Norway (two different cinemas), with beautiful shades of grey, blue and steel. Gorgeous. It's not the bright colour spectacle of the traditional STAR WARS movies, but that was never the intention either. This is a very different type of experience of the STAR WARS universe.

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On 9/17/2018 at 2:33 PM, crumbs said:

 Just read the Bluray review which was appropriately scathing:

 

Barely comprehensible:

17544_10_large.jpg

 

No back-lighting, no separation between objects, crushed shadows/blacks:

17544_8_large.jpg

 

Crushed blacks, actors' faces barely visible and muddy:

17544_15_large.jpg

 

What should be the the focal point of shots is often the darkest object in frame/shrouded in shadow:

17544_20_large.jpg

 

17544_7_large.jpg

 

17544_16_large.jpg

 

Just a mess.

 

On 9/17/2018 at 2:37 PM, Holko said:

No, I don't think it's ever THAT ba-

Képernyőfelvétel (221).png

Képernyőfelvétel (222).png

Képernyőfelvétel (223).png

Képernyőfelvétel (224).png

Képernyőfelvétel (225).png

Képernyőfelvétel (226).png

 

Oh.

 

All these are line deliveries, by the way, not moody establishing shots.

 

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10 minutes ago, Thor said:

This is a very different type of experience of the STAR WARS universe.

 

You mean having the entire film shot in such a way you can't tell what's going on? By lighting the backgrounds brighter than the subject matter (the characters) so your eyes are fatigued focusing on murky shadows and shadowy objects? Combined with the handheld/shaky-cam approach, just to add to the visual fatigue.

 

Yep, definitely a different type of experience from your usual Star Wars movie! Makes me yearn for the days of Gareth Edwards.

 

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Again, that didn't come across in the screenings I attended at all. It's a film that is deliberately shot darker than the other films in the series, but done in a beautiful way (the images above do not do it justice, btw), with great use of back light and other light sources playing on the shades of black, grey and blue. Much like Kaminski's work on WAR OF THE WORLDS.

 

While I like both THE LAST JEDI and ROGUE ONE, I found this to be a far better film -- both visually and content-wise. On the level of FORCE AWAKENS.

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I'm with @Thor on this. Solo looks fine to me. It's different, but I had no issues while watching it in the theater (haven't watched my Blu-Ray yet though, could be a bad transfer). And come on, besides the score, the main thing Solo has going for it IS it's visuals. It's a beautiful film, hardly what I'd call a mess.

 

Also, hard to take criticisms seriously when the complaints sound like they're from a student straight out of a 101 class in film school like: "No back-lighting, no separation between objects". The rules are there to be broken sometimes. Lines of dialog don't have to be perfectly lit. Not every shot has to pass through those rules, and if that was the case then why bother having a creative role for lightning. Just light it to check a bunch of boxes and get on with it.

 

If anything, I appreciate Solo's very naturalistic lighting (which is what it is). Seems to be consistent throughout the film. Therefore it must be a stylistic choice. Granted, if that style is not your thing, then that's one thing. But I'd hardly chalk it up to incompetence. It's all clearly very intentional. I dig it, personally.

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23 minutes ago, TSMefford said:

If anything, I appreciate Solo's very naturalistic lighting (which is what it is). Seems to be consistent throughout the film. Therefore it must be a stylistic choice. Granted, if that style is not your thing, then that's one thing. But I'd hardly chalk it up to incompetence. It's all clearly very intentional. I dig it, personally.

 

When it comes to all-natural lighting in a film, there’s a difference between this 

 

4F9A09AB-69C7-4E83-A288-1509403D5BEA.jpeg

 

and this.

 

7E831CCA-5A4E-423D-BF60-7DFD7D1150D0.png

 

Definitely a failure of execution in the case of Solo. 

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If there's one thing I learnt from the Bluray extras, it's that it's the same case as with the Yates Potters: the production design put their heart and soul into a lot of the sets, filling it with life, interest and non-obtrusive little winks, and once again along comes the cinematography or digital grade to completely obscure about 95% of it.

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54 minutes ago, TSMefford said:

Also, hard to take criticisms seriously when the complaints sound like they're from a student straight out of a 101 class in film school like: "No back-lighting, no separation between objects".

 

Did he really say that, i.e. 'no back lighting'? If anything, it's full of it. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Bradford Young has had more than a glimpse or two at the Janusz Kaminski "school" of cinematography.

 

In general, I'm absolutely flabbergasted by the negative response to SOLO (especially in the fan community). It's as if they've seen a completely different film than I have, or have been unable to separate themselves from the official series and its looks and content.

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44 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

Did he really say that, i.e. 'no back lighting'? If anything, it's full of it. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Bradford Young has had more than a glimpse or two at the Janusz Kaminski "school" of cinematography.

 

In general, I'm absolutely flabbergasted by the negative response to SOLO (especially in the fan community). It's as if they've seen a completely different film than I have, or have been unable to separate themselves from the official series and its looks and content.

 

One of the criticisms I saw above was indeed that a shot didn't have a backlight to separate the subject from the background. Which is not an indication of failure or bad cinematography.

 

This another one I saw here: "What should be the the focal point of shots is often the darkest object in frame/shrouded in shadow". People do realize that sometimes by having something in shadow it can still be the focus of the shot right? An object being dark does not automatically mean that your eye isn't drawn to it.

 

Absolutely agreed on the rest of your post. Even plot and acting-wise, what I saw was far better than what everyone is saying. Not to say it was spectacular, but it's not god-awful. It was fine. I had fun. I enjoyed the film, and I thought it was beautifully shot.

 

1 hour ago, John said:

 

When it comes to all-natural lighting in a film, there’s a difference between this 

 

4F9A09AB-69C7-4E83-A288-1509403D5BEA.jpeg

 

and this.

 

7E831CCA-5A4E-423D-BF60-7DFD7D1150D0.png

 

Definitely a failure of execution in the case of Solo. 

 

Are these screens directly from the Blu-Ray? Because that particular still does look darker than what I recall seeing in theaters. As I said, perhaps it's a bad transfer. Wouldn't be the first time. All the other stills I've seen posted though look absolutely fine. So who can say. This is the only one I'd deem a bit too dark. Again though. You're claiming it's a failure of execution. I'd disagree. I'd say they executed what they intended.

 

I'll give the film another watch this weekend and let you know what I think of the transfer. But I will say. Of those two shots, I'm definitely more interested in the one from Solo. I'd say the top one is what I'd refer to as "flat". Solo isn't "flat"

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Indeed. The pictures posted here do NOT do the film service.


Also, comparing BARRY LYNDON(?) to SOLO is not really a fair comparison. BARRY LYNDON is one of the most gorgeous films of all time.

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The two things I did with the friend I watched it in the cinema with was squint to make out who's onscreen and check our watches.

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I say this both as somebody who was able to clearly see all of Solo in theaters, and as a former movie theater projectionist/manager:  the big issue here is at the projector.  Issues related to dimming bulbs, necessary regular adjustments via maintenance, etc. which are present but would not be as noticeable in a brightly lit Avengers movie, but which really impede the films in situations like this.   If your theaters don't have their own trained/skilled projectionist who knows how to handle that maintenance, they should at least keep up with their regular and routine tech visits.

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1 hour ago, Thor said:

BARRY LYNDON is one of the most gorgeous films of all time.

It's my favourite film to feature colour cinematography. John Alcott really outdid himself. Every single shot is breathtakingly beautiful.

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41 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

I left the theatre with a bag of popcorn and a whole lot of fun.

 

You didn’t finish your popcorn?

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:33 PM, TSMefford said:

what I saw was far better than what everyone is saying. Not to say it was spectacular, but it's not god-awful. It was fine.

 

Very few people said it was god-awful.

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On 1/11/2019 at 12:34 PM, mstrox said:

I say this both as somebody who was able to clearly see all of Solo in theaters, and as a former movie theater projectionist/manager:  the big issue here is at the projector.  Issues related to dimming bulbs, necessary regular adjustments via maintenance, etc. which are present but would not be as noticeable in a brightly lit Avengers movie, but which really impede the films in situations like this.   If your theaters don't have their own trained/skilled projectionist who knows how to handle that maintenance, they should at least keep up with their regular and routine tech visits.

So why does it look like incomprehensible darkness on Netflix?

 

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Geez, really? I haven’t seen it since theaters, but you’d think they’d heed criticism towards the cinematography and turn up the brightness a bit for the home release. 

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3 minutes ago, John said:

Geez, really? I haven’t seen it since theaters, but you’d think they’d heed criticism towards the cinematography and up the brightness a bit for the home release. 

 

You cannot do that. I mean there is nothing preventing them from doing that but I have never heard of a case where the film was altered for the home release in any way. Sure they alter it for director's cut and all but for the home release, the film is basically as you see it in theaters.

 

Some special editions do tinker... like Star Wars changing some shots or E.T. changing the guns etc.

 

But it is usually considered very bad form to make changes and people usually have a negative reaction like they did to E.T. and Star Wars changes.

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3 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

 

You cannot do that. I mean there is nothing preventing them from doing that but I have never heard of a case where the film was altered for the home release in any way. Sure they alter it for director's cut and all but for the home release, the film is basically as you see it in theaters.

 

Some special editions do tinker... like Star Wars changing some shots or E.T. changing the guns etc.

 

But it is usually considered very bad form to make changes and people usually have a negative reaction like they did to E.T. and Star Wars changes.

 

I mean, I’m typically against revisions for home release, but I think Solo would 100% benefit from a bit more life and color. 

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Anyone else think Solo's the only Star Wars album worth owning? There's little highlights with the Williams (and even the Giacchino) scores, but nothing that makes me want to own the CD's. Solo hooks me with Corellia Chase every dang time and I always just have to listen to the rest of the album! 

With every Star Wars score preceding it, my ears tune out after the main fanfare and I get bored and want to put on something else. 

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6 hours ago, Warrior of Wet Dreams said:

Anyone else think Solo's the only Star Wars album worth owning? There's little highlights with the Williams (and even the Giacchino) scores, but nothing that makes me want to own the CD's. Solo hooks me with Corellia Chase every dang time and I always just have to listen to the rest of the album! 

With every Star Wars score preceding it, my ears tune out after the main fanfare and I get bored and want to put on something else. 

Troll?

 

 

 

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