Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
Movies
Byrne Robotics > Movies
Topic: Your Three Favourite Visually Spectacular Films Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8429
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 3:21pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

For me, it's important that a film is, first and foremost, about the story. The spectacle should be "gravy" or the "icing on the cake". Some films were driven by special effects, but without a character or story to care about, what's the point?

But there are films, in my opinion, that succeed mainly or solely on visual spectacle. The plots may be forgettable, the characters may not be engaging, but you turn the volume down, enjoy the spectacle and ignore the lack of characterisation or story.

Choose THREE films that you think fit that criteria. Only three, please. No honourable mentions, ties or contrived reasons to fit in a third. You can comment on other people's choices, but you must list only three choices. It will, of course, be subjective.

Mine are:

BLADE RUNNER (1982)
THE BLACK HOLE (1979)
TROLLHUNTER (2010)

I watched BLADE RUNNER for the first time recently. I did find it engaging, but it's very much a visual spectacle more. When I rewatch it, or watch another version, it will probably be with the sound down.

I couldn't tell you much about the plot from THE BLACK HOLE, but I do so love the set design, the model work, the visual aspects, etc.

TROLLHUNTER is not a character-driven film. Whether it's the Norwegian scenery or the visual/gritty spectacle of the troll hunting, I find this a beautiful and absorbing film to watch. 

EDIT: Learn to spell, Robbie. Jeez...


Edited by Robbie Parry on 13 November 2017 at 3:24pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13810
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 4:03pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Visually spectacular... Off the top of my head:


FLASH GORDON (1980)

THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

SIN CITY (2005)
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Matthew Wilkie
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 March 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 837
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 4:29pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Gonna be a slow burn as I come  up with my three but GRAVITY will definitely be my first ...
Back to Top profile | search
 
James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4157
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 5:08pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Star Wars - there had never been anything like it before.
Blade Runner - everyone talks about the dystopian cityscapes. For me, it was the dancing lights from the aerial vehicles
Star Trek TMP - for the Enterprise never looking better than she did here
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 10074
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 6:51pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

1. House of Flying Daggers (2004). Like a wannabe Crouching Tiger, but not really even half as good, its colour pallet was gorgeous and it really was visually sumptuous in every way.

2. Days of Heaven (1978). The story sort of meanders along like its a daydream and doesn't really add up to too much and I found the editing to be disjointed, but the film was largely shot during the golden hour with natural light and the whole thing looks like a work of art.

3. Tron (1982). In a nutshell: light-cycles.  
Back to Top profile | search
 
Mario Ribeiro
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 18 June 2016
Location: Brazil
Posts: 227
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 7:51pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

3 great movies, and beautiful to look at:

MÉNILMONTANT (1926)
2001 (1968)
CITIZEN KANE (1941)


Edited by Mario Ribeiro on 13 November 2017 at 7:52pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 10074
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 8:16pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Maybe I misunderstood Robbie's criteria, but I thought he was looking for films that were not great -- for example, films that were flawed in major areas -- but succeeded overall on the back of the visuals.

I agree that Citizen Kane and Star Wars are top-drawer visually, but they're also kind of top drawer in every other department as well. 


Back to Top profile | search
 
Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5371
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 8:58pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply


STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE

TRON

BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA



Back to Top profile | search
 
Robert Bradley
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4122
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 9:18pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

DICK TRACY

SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW

TRON
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Brian Hague
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 6964
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 10:24pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

METROPOLIS (1927)- As a kid, I was fascinated by the promise and adventure of everything that had preceded the world into which I was born. I loved the past and the discovery of earlier versions of things. Older cars. Telephones. Comic book characters. So much of the past struck as more vital and substantial than what had since come up to replace it.

Also, I loved robots. There was a book (of which I wish I could track down a copy) in the school library that I checked out often all about robots, with a picture of a couple of robots from the upcoming science fiction film, Star Wars, carrying on the grand tradition, the book said, of robots in film going all the way to the silent pictures including... Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS. And there was a head-to-toe picture of the False Maria, right there... a sort of Golden Age See-Threepio, a precursor, a pattern on which the unbelievably cool-looking robot of today was built... You could flip between the pages and compare them. 

I like the book and the film METROPOLIS regardless, but many find them lacking, so I think it's probably fair to include the film here. It is always interesting with it's art deco and German expressionist approaches; the fight atop the old church; the image of the great machine on which the slaves are working becoming the god Moloch and then back again... It's something to see.

WATCHMEN (2009) Not a perfect adaptation by any means, but a consistently visually interesting one nonetheless. That title sequence taking us through the 20th century from WW II to where the characters were in 1985 is sumptuous and evocative. It gets so many of visuals correct or close to correct, and then wildly veers away on others. Still, it's a film I enjoy revisiting now and then.

SIRENS (1994) Make no mistake, I like this film a great deal, but once again, I don't believe it has fared well critically so I'll include here as something one may want to visit for the visual appeal rather than the inherent value of the characters or story. Hugh Grant plays a vicar who fancies himself a free thinker. He's charged with trying to convince painter Norman Lindsey, played by Sam Neill, to quietly remove and replace a blasphemous painting he's submitted to a church-sponsored gallery show.The film is quite sly in its manner and approach both with the characters and the visuals. Every now and then, the composition onscreen will arrange itself to match a classic painting and there's no calling attention to the fact. You either catch the Waterhouse as it goes by or you don't. I'm fairly certain there are a couple I didn't get. The film does nothing so obvious as to segue from the image into the painting or anything of that nature. It just hits the note and keeps moving. Of course, the artist's models and other women in the film are lovely as well, Elle MacPherson, Tara Fitzgerald, and Portia DeRossi, among them, but the Australian countryside is something to behold as well. 


Edited by Brian Hague on 13 November 2017 at 10:25pm
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 10074
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 11:28pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Interesting choices, Brian. Metropolis is certainly both visually striking and visually influential, with the cultural tether between the benevolent 3PO and the malevolent False Maria and the wholesale re-use in Queen's video for Radio Gaga to name just a few ways in which Lang's films has echoed down the ages.

Silent films are kind of an interesting category for this thread, as by definition the visuals have to do so much of the heavy lifting. Robbie kicked us off by talking about turning down the volume and enjoying the spectacle. I personally like to turn the volume down on Metropolis and put Giorgio Moroder on the stereo :)

Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13810
Posted: 13 November 2017 at 11:34pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

 Peter Martin wrote:
...Maybe I misunderstood Robbie's criteria, but I thought he was looking for films that were not great -- for example, films that were flawed in major areas -- but succeeded overall on the back of the visuals...


I think I might have misunderstood, myself. I thought we were to list three films that we find visually spectacular, regardless of whether or not they are good films. In other words, I was thinking we could include classics along with duds, as long as the film had stunning visuals.

After all, Robbie includes "Blade Runner" in his list, which many people consider a classic film.


Edited by Matt Hawes on 13 November 2017 at 11:35pm
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Bill Mimbu
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 April 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 6835
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 1:50am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

ROBOTS (2005)

Never saw this in the theater, since the commercials were pushing scenes like the "Robin Williams does Britney Spears" & the "fixed robot dog" gags... It did turn out to be quite a visually fun movie when I finally saw it on Cable TV.

JIGOKU (1960)

One of the weirdest J-Horror films I've ever experienced... Unintentionally funny at times, with cringe-worthy over-the-top acting, convoluted plot lines, and an odd-ball villain character who thoroughly confused the actor playing him to the point of tears. That said, when all the characters end up in Hell, some of the nightmarish visuals of the underworld are quite mesmerizing and unforgettable (minus certain scenes of characters suffering horrific punishments that end up looking silly).

ROBOT CARNIVAL (1987)

A mixed bag of anime anthology shorts, but the two that stand out the most for me in the visuals department are the dialogue-less "Franken's Gears", and "Chicken Man & Red Neck" ("Nightmare" in the dub version).


Edited by Bill Mimbu on 14 November 2017 at 1:52am
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8429
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 5:56am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Maybe I misunderstood Robbie's criteria, but I thought he was looking for films that were not great -- for example, films that were flawed in major areas -- but succeeded overall on the back of the visuals.

***

Yes, Peter is right. Thank you, Peter (and apologies for being an ass in another topic, it was unjustified and I apologize unreservedly). 

Matt, I know I chose BLADE RUNNER, but it will always be subjective. I don't think the plot or storytelling elements stand up to scrutiny, but the visual spectacle does.

I don't know if I articulated it well, but this was in my original post:


 QUOTE:
But there are films, in my opinion, that succeed mainly or solely on visual spectacle. The plots may be forgettable, the characters may not be engaging, but you turn the volume down, enjoy the spectacle and ignore the lack of characterisation or story.

So, yes, I am looking for films that people enjoyed visually, but not storyline-wise. So I wouldn't choose STAR WARS (fine if others have) as I like the story AND special effects; but THE BLACK HOLE, TROLLHUNTER and BLADE RUNNER are films for which I do not care about the plot/characters that much, but I certainly enjoy the spectacle.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2631
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 7:30am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (98)- Mostly forgettable story but sure is purdy to look at.

BIG FISH (03)- Wasn't a fan of the writing. Some really cool visuals thru out.

9 (09)- A lot of the language rubs me the wrong way and I don't like what happens to most of the characters,but I can't help but watch whenever I stumble onto it. The way those ragdolls look and move is fantastic.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Ted Downum
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1853
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 8:33am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I'll go with...

CLEOPATRA (1963)

HEAVEN'S GATE (1980)

DICK TRACY (1990)
Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 10074
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 9:02am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Dick Tracy is a good choice. I really wanted to like that movie and it looked fantastic, but I found it a real chore to sit the whole way through it.

If you want to feel old: the Kid from Dick Tracy, Charlie Korsmo, will turn 40 next year!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian Floyd
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 July 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5543
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 11:37am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Bill, I'm completely with you on ROBOT CARNIVAL, as far as anime is concerned.

But, sticking to live action, two of my three have already been mentioned:

SIN CITY
STAR WARS (A NEW HOPE)
WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953)
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Mario Ribeiro
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 18 June 2016
Location: Brazil
Posts: 227
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 11:54am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Oh, okay, sorry. Then, by the rules:

MIRRORMASK (2005)
SHOCK (1995)
ALL THE SINS OF SODOM (1968)

(I like the other list better, though.)
Back to Top profile | search
 
Charles Valderrama
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3322
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 12:18pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

While I was amazed with ROBOT CARNIVAL, when I think of visually amazing anime, AKIRA springs to mind.

The other two visual spectacles on my list would be:

300
AVATAR

-C!


Edited by Charles Valderrama on 14 November 2017 at 12:22pm
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Matthew Wilkie
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 March 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 837
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 3:38pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Second one from me: MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO. Utter tosh but at times it looked sumptuous.  
Back to Top profile | search
 
Roberto Melendrez
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 04 August 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 313
Posted: 14 November 2017 at 4:30pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I think The Fall is probably one of the most stunning films I've ever seen.  I can't list any other films because, for me, nothing else comes close to matching the vibrant colors, fantastic vistas and rich imagery captured in The Fall.

My kids were 9 and 10 when we saw it.  They still talk about it, in glowing terms, at 15 & I7!  I honestly have no idea why it has an R rating. No sex, graphic violence or strong language. Sort of like Baron Munchausen but much more beautiful and not as broadly comedic.

Roger Ebert loved it as much as me:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rogerebert.com/reviews/amp/ the-fall-2008

Here's the trailer.

https://youtu.be/iO0LYcCoeJY

If you've not seen it- look it up!

Forgot to mention: absolutely NO computer generated imagery. Old fashioned practical effects that have to be seen to be believed.


Edited by Roberto Melendrez on 14 November 2017 at 4:42pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
vishard chandool
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 18 October 2011
Location: Trinidad and Tobago
Posts: 161
Posted: 17 November 2017 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

PROMETHEUS
STAR WARS-THE PHANTOM MENACE
SUCKER PUNCH

This is a hard list for me to generate since visuals are a large part of my enjoyment of a film so I tend to like even those with questionable stories. But the ones above have stories that are really annoying and I especially found Sucker Punch to be a depressing and pointless exercise. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Matthew Wilkie
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 March 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 837
Posted: 19 November 2017 at 3:48pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

And my third: UNDER THE SKIN. Looks stunning but the narrative is frankly neither here nor there.  
Back to Top profile | search
 

If you wish to post a reply to this topic you must first login
If you are not already registered you must first register

  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login