By clarencecarter | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog October 2, 2006 at 10:21AM
clarencecarter: Hola Filmenthusiast.
Filmenthusiast2000: Hey buddy.
clarencecarter: What's news?
Filmenthusiast2000: Nothing, really. I did, however, watch Flyboys last night.
Filmenthusiast2000: It was awful.
clarencecarter: Damn, I really thought there'd be something there. I've never seen a movie in which a bunch of characters of different racial and class backgrounds team up for some sort of common goal, lose some of their own along the way, and discover their own humanity is bigger than they thought.
Filmenthusiast2000: It looked like Coach Carter with biplanes.
clarencecarter: Remembering the Titans?
Filmenthusiast2000: I like it when black characters show no inner life outside of their feelings about how whites relate to them.
clarencecarter: Art imitates life.
clarencecarter: Is there a character with lesser qualities who proves himself in the end?
Filmenthusiast2000: Yes, a snobby New York knickerbocker who makes the ultimate sacrifice, but not before quaffing Chivas Regal with a “Nigra.” The “Nigra,” incidentally, says that his "daddy was a slave," which almost definitely wasn't true if you do a little mental math. The entire movie is predicated on the audience’s historical retardation. The best scene comes when the Germans send a zeppelin to bomb Paris.
clarencecarter: A lone zeppelin? Does it play like a death star retread?
Filmenthusiast2000: A touch.
clarencecarter: Is it hyper-large?
Filmenthusiast2000: It is, and oh does it look lovely when it's consumed by flame.
clarencecarter: I imagine it’s also well overlong.
Filmenthusiast2000: 139 minutes, my friend.
clarencecarter: Wow, that's 5 shorter than I was expecting.
Filmenthusiast2000: Apparently there's a Wild Bill Wellman movie about the same unit (Lafayette Escadrille). I may have to find that; Wings had some tight dogfighting.
clarencecarter: I imagine all the dogfights in this are wholly digital and look like Sky Captain?
Filmenthusiast2000: They actually look okay, but they're digital as fuck. You lose something with any flight scenes that are wholly CGI--can't beat the old "camera strapped to a wing" technique for weightless vertigo.
clarencecarter: Absolutely. Was just thinking something similar as I watched Brian DePalma's The Wedding Party over the weekend. There are some great car gags in it that look like Keaton.
Filmenthusiast2000: CGI stuff doesn't have any bulk; it's ghosty and fake in a way…even, say, stop-motion doesn't feel "fake."
clarencecarter: At least with stop motion there was an object that existed in the real world that was filmed.
Filmenthusiast2000: That is correct. CGI always has, and always will, look a bit "floaty" and ethereal to me.
clarencecarter: You can throw as many pixels as you like at me, but I honestly don't think that an approximation of light bouncing off an object will ever be as convincing as the actual record of light bouncing off an object. That's an old farty argument, but I'd bet we're somehow biologically wired to react differently—we pick up the difference on a certain level.
clarencecarter: Though I should leave biology to finer minds like NY Press writers.
Filmenthusiast2000: I daresay you're right. My capacity for "wonderment" at CGI was pretty much shot circa Jurassic Park.