I just watched two movies back-to-back (not at the same theater).
The first was Green Lantern. I wanted to be mindlessly entertained by yet another CG-heavy super-hero flick, and I got my (matinee price) six bucks’ worth. It was hokey as heck, just as I expected, but a good excuse to be (necking…) in an air-conditioned theater on a day when it was just too hot to be outside.
Then I went to see a completely different (and very thought-provoking) movie, The Tree of Life, which, although it stars both Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, isn’t anything remotely like what you might be expecting. It is rather like a visual haiku, and the digital visual effects, while undoubtedly present if you notice them, do not beg to be noticed.
Maybe I am the exception, but if I never see another “Kung Fu Panda,” nor any other sort of “BETCFCM = Bug-Eyed Too-Cute Fuzzy-Creature Movie” whatsoever, this old phart will officially be a Very Happy Boy. It’s obvious that studios like Dreamworks have been recycling their visual models for quite some time now, and they obviously fired their screenwriters a long time ago. “Digital animation for the sake of digital animation, and nothing more,” has long ago become pastiche to me, and it has wildly overstayed its welcome. I see subtlety and restraint in some movies these days, wherein the list of special-effects workers is quite long and yet, it comes as rather a surprise. The magic was there, right before your eyes, but you didn’t notice.