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The Call of the Wild (2020)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by SamT, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. SamT

    SamT Producer

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    [​IMG]
    Title: The Call of the Wild

    Genre: Adventure

    Director: Chris Sanders

    Cast: Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Colin Woodell, Karen Gillan, Omar Sy

    Release Date:

    Runtime: 0

    Plot: A sled dog struggles for survival in the Alaskan wild.

     
  2. SamT

    SamT Producer

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    Wow, a 100% CG dog in a dog movie? Not a good idea.
     
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  3. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I'm inclined to trust Chris Sanders, who has yet to make something I haven't liked.

    We'll see how this goes.
     
  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Based on the trailer, it looks like the role of John Thorton has been significantly expanded from the book. But perhaps the trailer mostly used shots from the back half of the movie.

    That was my thought too. It was obvious in every shot that the dog was CG, too. Especially since this is not a talking animals movie, you think they could have gone with a half-dozen or real St. Bernard-Scotch Shepherd mutts, and only use the CG dog for the beats that a real dog couldn't be trained to do or that would be unsafe for a real dog to do.
     
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  5. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Saw the trailer for this recently, and although I'll probably watch it because of A-list, the dog sometimes looks fake imho. The fake look might work in some movies, but I'm not sure it fits well with this kind of story.
     
  6. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I just watched the trailer and I don’t see fake looking cgi with regards to Buck. Yeah, there are some bits of acting by the dog which would be hard to get from a dog. I loved the look from Buck after Ford scolds him about sleeping in his bed. YMMV.

    As for Ford’s character being expanded, you might piss off audiences if you just have him appear in the latter half of the movie. Or they’re misrepresenting his part in the movie. That’ll piss off people too.

    I remember reading the book in my teens and it mostly broke my heart. I’ve never read it again.
     
  7. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    The dog in the trailer looks awful - utterly unconvincing as a real dog. Might be less realistic than the 2002 Scooby-Doo! :D

    Maybe the final effects in the released film will be better, but I don't expect that!
     
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  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    If I read the book, it’s disappeared from memory - all I have in there is the Gable movie, which isn’t exactly faithful to the book, so this will be a brand new experience for me.

    An Alaskan western with Harrison Ford opening my birthday weekend? I’m sold.
     
  9. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Not to rain on your parade Josh, but I just watched the trailer and WOW, does that CGI look horrible! Laughably bad. No sale here. I may catch it at some point when it hits a streaming service that I subscribe to.
     
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  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I just saw the trailer and I don’t care :D

    It is Harrison Ford in a movie on my birthday weekend.

    You do know what kind of extra terrible crap usually comes out that weekend, right? I think the last time I actually had something to look forward to seeing in theaters on my birthday was the re-release of The Empire Strikes Back in 1997!

    Hopefully it’ll look better in the movie. The director had great success in animated films at making animals/creatures seem very expressive so my hope is that even if the dog isn’t convincing in and of itself, that in the context of the movie the personality will carry it through.

    And if not, I’ll go home after, try out @BobO'Link ’s recipe for chicken fried steak, and put on the Gable version. Either way, it will be a good day! :)
     
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  11. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    If it were me, I'd skip directly to the steak and Gable. ;) BUT, I hope you enjoy it!
     
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  12. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    It's funny -- in The Jungle Book, or even The Lion King (remakes), when all the animals were CGI, I didn't really have a problem going with that. I didn't like The Lion King and don't think it was effective because the attempt for realism was too extreme, but everything looked consistent in it and they were all CGI. There's something about putting a CGI dog in an actual environment with primarily human actors that feels off.

    I'm still planning to see the movie and we'll see how this goes, but it's interesting that it can be pulled off if the whole thing is CGI but not so much (at least from current appearances) when only the one animal is CGI.
     
  13. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I love the original story and have read it many times. This new movie looks awful to me from the trailer. Buck looks CGI in every shot to me. I can see where it would be hard to use a real dog all of the time, but 100% CGI is a bit much. In the trailer he just does not move like a real dog.

    I always hoped a faithful film of the story would be made. I imagined Roscoe Lee Browne as the narrator like he was for Babe. This movie does not look like what I was hoping for.
     
  14. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    Ya know, I've never read the book or seen any of the other adaptations of the story. For what this is, I enjoyed it. I won't ding the movie for things the book might have have and the movie retains. What I will ding it for is an incredibly one-dimensional "bad guy" and some of the CGI. I'd like to say the scenery is gorgeous, but in this era of green screen, I don't even know how much of that is real. An enjoyable time even if I was ticking off the things that had to happen before the end credits.
     
  15. JimmyO

    JimmyO Berserker

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    RT shows 65 percent critics, 90 percent audience. Of course that score will move a lot in the early going, but the CGI is called out in the critic reviews specifically.
     
  16. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    If this was an animated movie, the CG would be pretty impressive but since the animals are interacting with people and the occasional live action element, it just looks fake. They have the CG animals emoting and doing things that would be impossible to get even a trained animal to do so I understand why they went the CG route but they probably should have made it an animated feature. It's not a bad movie but there's so much CG at times that it feels like the reverse of Who Framed Roger Rabbit but instead of a few animated characters in the real world, it's a few live action people in an animated world.
     
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  17. Message #17 of 44 Feb 21, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I haven't seen the film, but I imagine the film puts the animals in scenes that would potentially be dangerous for a real animal actor. The producers probably wanted to avoid any animal-rights protests, such as those over video from the set of A Dog's Purpose a couple years ago.
     
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  18. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    I same case on FB last night. There are two scenes people would have been apoplectic over if they involved real animals (and, by the way, I think the worry would be justified in those cases). Might as well just avoid the controversy and take the ding for sometimes sketchy CGI instead of animal cruelty. That's my $0.02 anyway.
     
  19. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm sure that's one reason but they could have switched from a real dog to a CG dog for anything dangerous (and similar to Jason above, I think they should have for a few scenes). I think it's more because they have the animals emoting and no matter how well trained an animal is, that would have been a bitch to get some of those shots and switching to a CG dog for the 'acting' shots would have stuck out even more than the constant use of CG animals.
     
  20. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I haven't seen it yet either, and I really want to like it. I have a huge amount of respect for Chris Sanders and I've liked everything else he's directed (Lilo & Stitch, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Croods.). But the CGI in the trailer just looks weird to me, to the point where it's distracting. Was it not possible to use a real dog most of the time and use CGI to enhance the stunts that wouldn't be safe for him to do?
     

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