Monday, March 28, 2005

Simply F*-ing "Incredible"

Subject: Cinema
I finally got a chance to watch "The Incredibles" the other night.

Verdict: Total awesomeness!

A little side-story first: Way back before I took this boring corporate job, I was working as an animator/editor at a small, dying, local post-production company in town. During the facility's final months, I assembled everything I could into a demo reel, and started aggressively shopping it around in hopes of continuing my career. At that year's International Festival of Animation in Ottawa, I was lucky enough to meet with a recruiter from Pixar, who was aggressively beating-the-bushes for talent. We had a nice chat, I handed over my packet, and...

Nothing.

My attempt at a follow-up: "Thank you, we'll keep you in mind."

Translation: "You're not up to the level of talent we're looking for."

And watching "The Incredibles" made it quite obvious that they were absolutely correct. Heh. I mean, I like to think that I had a spark of something back then, but the reality was that I could only muster a beginner's level of work. I was starting to get into my groove, but I had a long way to go.

And then I wound up a corporate sell-out.

But enough of that; this movie didn't really bring on any kind of jealousy or wishful thinking to this sort of level -- I really can't complain! I mean, sure, a whole underlying theme had Mr. Incredible sacrificing his "glory days" for a stable, boring, awful day-job. But really, that's not what this post is about!

I was thoroughly entertained by this movie! The characters, the expressiveness, the cinematics, the kitschy James-Bondian designs, the audio -- oh good lord, the subwoofer channel alone was amazing! Brad Bird (previously of "The Iron Giant" and "The Simpsons" fame) did an outstanding job, and it's a prime example of the kind of quality you get when you group a bunch of extremely talented people together in a really, really cool facility, and set 'em loose to have fun.

And the evolution of the techniques for modelling and rendering 3D from when I studied it is phenomenal! Beyond the detailed expressivness in both faces and poses, you get into the details like hair and water and texture to the point that you completely forget that you're watching the product of zillions of hours of rendering time, and you just enjoy it for what it is.

So I'm gushing a bit over this one. On this first viewing, I didn't witness any flaws whatsoever. But maybe they're there, and I'll uncover them on subsequent viewings. Maybe it won't hold up over repeated watching. But I dunno, I think I can probably milk it for a couple of very entertaining repeats before that sets in.

To sum up: Top notch! Glad I bought it sight-unseen.

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