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    Looks vs Substance

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    Looks vs Substance

    Post by Guest on Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:14 pm

    Bet the title made you think I'd be talking about something else.

    So Rhosauce and I were having a discussion while walking the dog recently and, put simply, can a movie with a concept made of UTTER SHITE be redeemed by its graphics?

    I wonder if anyone can guess what film we were talking about.

    But what do you all think?
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by ephie on Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:23 pm

    I think that this could very well apply to game as well.

    Transformers is a fabulous example of a movie with a great concept (obviously, Trans-fuckin-formers) and great CGI (Michael Bay has a fetish) but it's lack of focusing on it's concept and mostly on making things go boomy boomy and the Shia LaBoooooooof Megan 'Midget Thumbs' Fox romance. A good game example is Crysis. Beautiful game, and the story was working until they went all boomy boomy alien pee pee shootie shoot.

    I think if the story is passable/not overly cliche then it's able to get by on it's graphics.


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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Rhosauce on Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:27 pm

    Our debate was over Avatar. My argument was that rating it low out of 10 purely because the storyline was generic was unfair.

    I took it to be a film whose main purpose was to display its awesome graphics and how far special effects have come rather than focusing on delivering a powerful or at least unique storyline.

    Blue cat people are apparently not very original. Fair enough, but if I were showcasing the looks of something over the substance, I'd keep the substance minimal but not boring so that the impact of the looks is not lost.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Eggbert on Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:12 am

    Redline wrote:Bet the title made you think I'd be talking about something else.

    So Rhosauce and I were having a discussion while walking the dog recently and, put simply, can a movie with a concept made of UTTER SHITE be redeemed by its graphics?

    I wonder if anyone can guess what film we were talking about.

    But what do you all think?

    I like the use of shite instead of shit. That is all.

    EDIT: Irrelevant post excused due to poster's drunken state. That is all. - Rho
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by ephie on Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:17 am

    Rhosauce wrote:Our debate was over Avatar. My argument was that rating it low out of 10 purely because the storyline was generic was unfair.

    I took it to be a film whose main purpose was to display its awesome graphics and how far special effects have come rather than focusing on delivering a powerful or at least unique storyline.

    Blue cat people are apparently not very original. Fair enough, but if I were showcasing the looks of something over the substance, I'd keep the substance minimal but not boring so that the impact of the looks is not lost.
    That is great, but people are hailing it as one of the greatest movies of all time. There should be a line drawn conclusively. Do I think it's utter horseshit? No. Do I think it's mediocre? Quite. Avatar would be easier to swallow if it wasn't shoved down everyone's throats as the next Titanic, which, to be honest, wasn't even that great either. Cool


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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Rhosauce on Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:28 am

    ephie wrote:
    Rhosauce wrote:Our debate was over Avatar. My argument was that rating it low out of 10 purely because the storyline was generic was unfair.

    I took it to be a film whose main purpose was to display its awesome graphics and how far special effects have come rather than focusing on delivering a powerful or at least unique storyline.

    Blue cat people are apparently not very original. Fair enough, but if I were showcasing the looks of something over the substance, I'd keep the substance minimal but not boring so that the impact of the looks is not lost.
    That is great, but people are hailing it as one of the greatest movies of all time. There should be a line drawn conclusively. Do I think it's utter horseshit? No. Do I think it's mediocre? Quite. Avatar would be easier to swallow if it wasn't shoved down everyone's throats as the next Titanic, which, to be honest, wasn't even that great either. Cool

    My argument was on behalf of the makers, not the audience. I completely agree that the audience are making it out to be way more amazing than it is but that's what happens in general so I don't focus on them.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Tator Tot on Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:01 pm

    I think it really depends on the medium of entertainment; I've listened to some experimental music; that on it's own is not great.

    Though when you consider it's made along side a movie (usually only 30-45 minutes though) and how well it blends with the visuals, the visuals themselves easily make up for the short comings of the music.

    Avatar was made out to be a grand artistic piece by everyone, and it wasn't. It was fun; exciting, and I wish to see a second movie. Even though they ripped off Pocahontas they left enough of a cliff hanger, with people that were just entertaining enough for me to care.

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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Guest on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:00 pm

    I disagree with most of you (no offence).

    Avatar was a piece of shite. The graphics did not make up for the poor storyline, crappily designed aliens, main characters that I'd like to strangle (apart from the bad guy, he was cool) and overall uninteresting movie.

    I require substance. Avatar did not have any.

    And yes, the graphics were OMG AWESOME but that doesn't change the fact that the movie was made for furries and tree huggers.

    EDIT: Non-flame version of my argument.

    I believe that movies that have plenty of substance are what is worthwhile. Anyone ever seen The Brave One? That movie was great. Characters you could like, a story you could sympathise with, a plot you could enjoy and action, tears and relief that the audience could experience.

    All I had when I watched Avatar was a sense of "Oh man! Imagine these graphics on a good movie!"
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by ephie on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:13 pm

    When it comes to the bottom line, my question I always ask myself is 'Did I enjoy this?' With movies it's easier to enjoy something for eight dollars and I very rarely feel like I wasted anything. (THE LAST F*CKING AIRBENDER) But with games I feel it's a lot-lot-lot-lot-lot different. If I'm going to spend sixty dollars on something then there better be some substance, or the gameplay at least better be fun and enjoyable.


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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Guest on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:17 pm

    I know what you mean.
    Unreal Tournament 3 was Avatar in game form.
    The gameplay was worse than 2k4, the storyline was cheesy and boring but the graphics were good.
    I still want my money back, though.

    I think that the main problem with most of these is that a lot of directors seem to focus on only one aspect, instead of creating a well-rounded movie.
    I've actually only ever experienced a few games that have this problem. Maybe I'm just lucky though.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Rhosauce on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:24 pm

    One movie that I think has both looks and substance is Ink by Jamin Winans. It's an indie movie and with a fraction of the budget that Avatar had, he created a great little story with fantastic cinematography and epic music.

    Maybe looks versus substance becomes a more common debate the more well-known and high-earning a moviemaker becomes? I imagine they may get lazy as their fame grows and just expect their fanbase to accept whatever they bring out. Dizzy
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Nader on Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:12 pm

    Yeah, I had similar issues with Avatar... while I did enjoy seeing how far they can take special effects I feel like they could have put more effort into making a more original plot line.. it doesn't have to be spectacular or intricate mind you, just original.

    That and one of my good friend's girlfriend beat the movie into the ground for me. Seriously the die hard fans of the movie remind me of Twilight fans. I'm glad it didn't win an Oscar for Best Picture, because it wasn't. I watched The Hurt Locker and it was much more deep and a better movie overall.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Tator Tot on Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:27 pm

    Avatar's fan-base ruins it for everyone, including themselves.

    Atleast Avatar was out right before the big hipster movements, otherwise we would have heard half the people saying how they watched Pocahontas before it was popular.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by J3ipolarGod on Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:17 pm

    An upcoming flick that this is totally going to apply to is the new Green Lantern movie coming out next summer. I mean I was happy when the picked Ryan Reynolds for the lead role because he is actually the dude I envisioned would probably be the best person to be Hal Jordan. Judging from the preview the CGI is going to be super intense.

    The movie is supposed to be based on the new revamped GL series that got started back in 2006 and is still going on now. I really like the writer, Geoff Johns. He does some great work and is really doing a good job with a number of different series currently in print. But after seeing the rest of the cast that is supposed to be in the movie, it's pretty safe to say that the movie is not going to live up to the expectations of fans....me included.

    Oh well....I'm probably going to go see it in the theater about 20 times in 3D, anyhow.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by IngoSmith on Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:27 pm

    Leon versus Cobra.

    close budgets, but different aims in directing and style.

    a film that is visually stunning and low on substance will still wow me (The expendables), and a silly story cratively put forwards wil entertain me (the fifth element), and a serious story earnestly presented will make me cry (Schindlers list) but all of these forms of storytelling can fall completely and utterly flat. Terminator 3, the hogfather, Anamorph. There's a point where personal taste (or lack thereof) comes largely into the enjoyment of a film, but gratness and great faliure can be measured in the number of people who either accept or hate a film.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by ephie on Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:43 pm

    J3ipolarGod wrote:An upcoming flick that this is totally going to apply to is the new Green Lantern movie coming out next summer. I mean I was happy when the picked Ryan Reynolds for the lead role because he is actually the dude I envisioned would probably be the best person to be Hal Jordan. Judging from the preview the CGI is going to be super intense.

    The movie is supposed to be based on the new revamped GL series that got started back in 2006 and is still going on now. I really like the writer, Geoff Johns. He does some great work and is really doing a good job with a number of different series currently in print. But after seeing the rest of the cast that is supposed to be in the movie, it's pretty safe to say that the movie is not going to live up to the expectations of fans....me included.

    Oh well....I'm probably going to go see it in the theater about 20 times in 3D, anyhow.
    That CGI looks terrible, if the trailer is any indication. It looks five years old, minimum. Oh Noes


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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by J3ipolarGod on Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:23 am

    I'm still going to end up seeing it a bunch in the theater. I'm such a fuckin' fanboy.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Koblentz on Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:19 am

    Redline wrote:So Rhosauce and I were having a discussion while walking the dog recently and, put simply, can a movie with a concept made of UTTER SHITE be redeemed by its graphics?
    The greatest thing excellent CGI in a terrible movie has ever done for me is make me wish that the producers of better films had access to the kind of money that I was currently watching go to waste. In that way it distracted me enough so that I did not appreciate the full enormity of the crime against filmmaking that was being committed on the screen in front of me.

    Rhosauce wrote:Our debate was over Avatar. My argument was that rating it low out of 10 purely because the storyline was generic was unfair.
    I agree that it is unfair. A film is more than a storyline, when reviewing it you have to also take into account the artist's success at making their vision a reality. And by "vision" I don't just mean the visual aspects of the film, I mean the original vision of all aspects of the completed product.

    Cameron's intent in Avatar was to create a believable alternate reality through pervasive CGI and make it work well in 3D. Obviously, he was hugely successful at this, no one is arguing that he wasn't. Story was secondary, though he was still successful at incorporating an interesting narrative because the worst anyone can say about it was that it was "generic".

    The whole "looks vs. substance" debate can basically be resolved by simply examining artistic intent and seeing how well the artist did. In fact, I'm willing to go a step further and say it's a false dichotomy -- you need not pick one over the other. The fact that we're having this debate says more about a film industry that makes most of its money by churning out a dozen big, expensive, CGI-filled, and ultimately mediocre movies and year while the real films with artistic merit are made on budgets far smaller and thus not conducive to lots of CGI. Avatar is a well-made film with mass appeal that upsets this "looks vs. substance" frame of mind that many have. Combine that with automatic hate from certain sectors for anything expensive and/or popular and we end up with weird arguments like the one in this thread.

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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Guest on Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:45 am

    Koblentz wrote:The whole "looks vs. substance" debate can basically be resolved by simply examining artistic intent and seeing how well the artist did. In fact, I'm willing to go a step further and say it's a false dichotomy -- you need not pick one over the other. The fact that we're having this debate says more about a film industry that makes most of its money by churning out a dozen big, expensive, CGI-filled, and ultimately mediocre movies and year while the real films with artistic merit are made on budgets far smaller and thus not conducive to lots of CGI. Avatar is a well-made film with mass appeal that upsets this "looks vs. substance" frame of mind that many have. Combine that with automatic hate from certain sectors for anything expensive and/or popular and we end up with weird arguments like the one in this thread.
    I think standards are important and the way the "artist" decided that story merited very little effort and the CGI was all that was important is quite a disappointment. There is no real reason for such a half-assed (for lack of a better word) story simply because they wanted it to look good.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by ericxboba on Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:32 pm

    I don't think that just because a story has been done before, such as Avatar, it makes it lame or crappy. There are only so many stories to tell in movies and literature and most movies are just variations of some theme, concept or quest.

    Now...Transformers. There is an example of a good concept, as pointed out by ephie, followed by a blur of great CGI that is trying to distract the viewer from the utter lack of intelligent scripting or characters.

    I'm a pretty snobby movie critic to be honest but I try to appreciate movies for what they are trying to accomplish and the target audience. There are just so many crappy movies that are made that try to make up for it by CGI and special FX. That's 80% of what gets put out in theaters today.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by Rhosauce on Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:29 pm

    ericxboba wrote:I don't think that just because a story has been done before, such as Avatar, it makes it lame or crappy. There are only so many stories to tell in movies and literature and most movies are just variations of some theme, concept or quest.

    Now... Transformers. There is an example of a good concept, as pointed out by ephie, followed by a blur of great CGI that is trying to distract the viewer from the utter lack of intelligent scripting or characters.

    I'm a pretty snobby movie critic to be honest but I try to appreciate movies for what they are trying to accomplish and the target audience. There are just so many crappy movies that are made that try to make up for it by CGI and special FX. That's 80% of what gets put out in theaters today.

    This. Exactly this.
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by ericxboba on Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:46 am

    ..And my guilty pleasure of bad movies includes The Fast and the Furious, The 13th Warrior, and Chronicles of Riddick. Cool
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    Re: Looks vs Substance

    Post by rocket455 on Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:10 am

    ericxboba wrote:..And my guilty pleasure of bad movies includes The Fast and the Furious, The 13th Warrior, and Chronicles of Riddick. Cool

    Dont feel guilty, I can watch any of the fast movies, Gone in 60 seconds, tranfromers, Cobra, GI Joe, Red, Expendables, Avatar, Blade Runner, Days of Thinder, Die hard(all), G-Force, Harry Potter, Twilights, Iron Man, Resident Evile(all)

    Crap i could go on and on.. LOL

    In the original story of this topic... I love Avatar, for all its glory of story line, animation and well the sexiness of how it all went together, but I also agree it could have been tweaked here and there.

    We all have opinions on how it could be better but then if we did that, then we would not be asking cuz we would be friggin rich as a director!

    Just sayin thats all

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