A Few Words About A few words about...™ Skyfall -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. AdrianTurner

    AdrianTurner Banned

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    I much preferred seeing the Blu-ray in 2.40:1 than in the IMAX format at the cinema. I thought the IMAX framing was awkward in many sequences and never looked entirely right.
     
  2. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    Personally, I have a hard time believing that anyone ever found the cheesy Thunderbirds-style miniatures impressive.
     
  3. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Now that's fightin' talk! ;)
     
  4. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Moonraker got an academy award nomination for it's visual effects. When I saw the real space shuttle launch for the first time in 1981, my first thought was Moonraker got that part right.
     
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  5. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    Me and Me Julie saw Skyfall at the pictures on its release, then again over the weekend on Blu-ray Disc. I'm not sure how RD didn't win the Oscar, as it's absolutely sensational. I think as has been pointed out, there are so many very different scenes with completely different looks and textures, and he manages to nail every one. Quite a few of the establishing shots are breathtaking, indeed most of them are. Shanghai, Macau, the island off Macau, London (a couple of times, at least), Scotland, they're all quite wonderful, and that's on top of the quite different scenes and settings in art galleries, underground bunkers, old houses, casinos...the list feels endless. It is marvelous that we have the equipment and releases on Blu-ray Disc to appreciate things on this level. Steve W
     
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  6. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    Yeah, and Logan's Run actually won the Oscar in that category three years earlier. Have you watched that one lately? :)
    Even since I was a kid, the models in Moonraker always felt very much like models. They were never convincing to me as full-scale objects. The opening with the space shuttle on the back of the plane is especially bad. You can practically see the strings holding them up. Compare this to Star Wars (and the only reason Moonraker exists at all was to cash-in on Star Wars), and there's a world of difference. Star Wars very rarely had this problem, even with the original (pre-CGI revisionism) special effects. That's not to say that I can't enjoy Moonraker for the piece of '70s sci-fi cheese that it is, but the effects are more "quaint" than they are "good."
     
  7. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    Why didn't Deakins win the Oscar? Because the ballots don't go out to Oscar voters as "Roger Deakins, Cinematographer, SKYFALL"--they go out as SKYFALL, LIFE OF PI, etc. I'm not sure having his estimable name on the ballot might have helped but the process is very depersonalized and favors the film over the technical achievement, though whether or not voters understand that is yet another matter. The ASC did, however, give Deakins its award for SKYFALL, and rightly so. His continual snub (and that of SKYFALL's much-nominated composer, Thomas Newman) grates, but until he's associated with the "right" movie it's going to keep happening. (And sympathy as well for nommed SKYFALL sound mixer Greg Russell, winless after 16 nominations!)
     
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  8. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

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    The cinematography category was voted on by cinematographer members; I'm pretty sure they knew who shot Skyfall.
     
  9. Worth

    Worth Screenwriter

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    And yet they chose to reward a film that was largely created in post-production, where the effects guys had more to do with the look of the film than the cinematographer.
     
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  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    That's not quite right. The cinematographers NOMINATE the five films they want to honor, but the entire Academy membership (over 5,000 members) votes on the awards.
     
  11. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    Thanks, Matt, for that clarification. I really do think the names should be part of the official ballot; it's not like the actor categories go out as ACTRESS, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. :)
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The on-line listings, which can be downloaded as a guide, and worksheet for voting, offer the name of the film, along with the DP, i.e. "Skyfall" Roger Deakins.
    RAH
     
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  13. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

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    Ah- thanks!
     
  14. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Yes, they are "quaint" now. In the context of 1979, it was a different story. Audiences are far more sophisticated now, and probably more jaded as well. Star Trek TMP and The Black Hole have much more intricate FX, but they also lost out to Alien that year. I've seen some foreign Star Wars knockoffs from the same period that make Moonraker look like 2001 in the FX dept. ;) The miniature cityscapes looking like models aside, the rest of Logan's FX hold up pretty well. Funny how people thought Star Wars' holograms were more "real" than the real holograms of Michael York's head.
     
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  15. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Second Unit

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    The thing is, Star Wars and Alien each cost about $11,000,000. Moonraker cost $34,000,000. You would think that, with over three times the budget, the FX would at least be equal to the FX in those films. This wasn't simply a low-budget Star Wars rip-off...it was a multi-million dollar James Bond film. Age is not an excuse, and budget is clearly off the table as a contributing factor. So why don't the FX in Moonraker stand up to those in lower-budgeted pictures like Star Wars and Alien?
     
  16. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Good question. They mention in the making of documentary they approached a major FX house, (which isn't named) but the quote they got was apparently too high for Mr. Broccoli. Moonraker had more location shooting than Star Wars, (Alien was all in studio) and they literally used up every available film stage in Paris for the production. There are probably a lot of factors besides FX that could drive up the cost. One interesting detail I only noticed recently is that there's actually one shot in Moonraker that appears to be the real space shuttle.
     
  17. Steven_M Grimes

    Steven_M Grimes Stunt Coordinator

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    But that assumes that the production actually knew it was going to spend $34 million. I don't think they did. They ended up spending much more than planned in Paris and Rio for reasons that had nothing to do with what showed up on the screen (overpaying, out and out extortion, etc). For my money I think the effects in MOONRAKER are great. The minimal optical work in the space scenes especially produced some great images.
     
  18. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    Star Wars came out two years earlier and had much more convincing model and miniature work. The spaceships in Star Wars seemed to have size and weight and physical presence, whereas the shuttles and space station in Moonraker just look like models. I see this as a common problem in Derek Meddings' work, all the way up through GoldenEye. His miniatures are certainly very detailed, but something about the way they're photographed doesn't come across right. Also, the shuttle launches in Moonraker have the same problem as You Only Live Twice, where the booster rockets produce only a small amount of smoke and are clearly illuminated from inside by light bulbs. That's a big suspension of disbelief killer.
     
  19. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    Hey guys! Moonraker sucks! How bout that Skyfall???
     
  20. Spencer Draper

    Spencer Draper Stunt Coordinator

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    Am I the only one who thought Skyfall was terrible? I'll stick up for Moonraker any day, even as a Fleming diehard. The effects are quite good for what they are, small scale practical effects, and some of the ways these were achieved are brilliant in their simplicity. (Still love the fact that the station blowing up was done with shotguns on a darkened stage. :D) What are bad are the bluescreen shots in the cable car fight and boat chase. I've always found the shuttle flight and space station quite effective despite obviously not being up to 2001 or Star Wars standard. The budget costs are shown on-screen with the very lavish look of the film.
     

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