Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Rise of The Planet of The Apes. Extended clip and Andy Serkis. (Mild Spoiler)

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If you want to go into the movie cold then you should avoid this clip. There’s nothing here that you can’t deduce from the trailers, but seeing the whole scene, whilst very rewarding, may spoil the actual experience for you.

What this scene does very well is showcase the quality of the motion capture when it comes to Caesar’s face and eyes. A definite step up from Avatar (which was pretty good in the first place) the range of emotional response on display is very impressive. Not least of all because , having captured Serkis’ actual facial expressions, we get to see the full transition, from inquisitive, to concerned to angry, to fearful. We get to see that range of acting where you didn’t just shift from the one to the other, but flicker ack and forth across 2 or more emotion (facial expressions) before settling on your ‘final’ emotional state, and the face that goes with that state. That’s the kind of thing you don’t often get with straight out animation, no matter how good it is. It’s also one of the reasons Spielberg & Jackson opted for Mo-Cap with Tintin as opposed to straightforward animation.

Motion Capture’s go to guy is without question Andy ‘freaking’ Serkis. (Golum, King Kong  and now Caesar  in ROTPoTA. He’s also being Mo-Capped as Captain Haddock in Tintin & Golum again in The Hobbit.) There was an interesting article about him in the Hollywood Reporter a few weeks ago. In it the pondered the likelihood of him finally receiving an Oscar nomination (Many people still feel he was unfairly denied a nom for his role as Golum in the Rings trilogy) for a Mo-Cap role. OF course given that we have no idea how good this film will be, let alone the level of performance from Serkis in it (although it’s hard to imagine he will be anything other than excellent) it is premature to say the least to look at Oscar / awards nominations. Also the omission of Zoe Saldana, despite a performance that was petty fierce and whole bodied too, doesn’t auger well. Despite the knowledge that the facial performance, as well as the physical one that belongs to the actor, it still seems an irrational fear of being replaced by machines prevents Academy voters from looking objectively at this kind of performance. Time will tell if there’s a nomination worthy performance here and if that wall comes down.

Enjoy the clip, it’s a goodun...

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