None of this will be news to most of you but …
King Kong: It could actually have been a lot of fun, if it had paid homage to its B-movie roots instead of trying to deliver B-movie goodness with A-movie gravitas. I wanted to stop watching after 15 minutes, but forced myself to sit thru the whole thing thinking … there must be some point at which it has some redeeming elements. There was probably about 5-8 minutes of watchable entertainment in the 4 hours on TV. I haven’t used the forward button so often in a film in a long time.
Beowulf: I can’t really be fair on this movie, because I didn’t know it was CG until I started watching it. I certainly didn’t realize it was hi-res versions of out-takes from crappy 2003 video games. So much fail in this movie.
The primary disconnect seems to be that different LODs were perhaps done by different art teams, animation was handled separately, and environments separately again? For instance, any and all liquid interactions were terrible.
The film starts with the Queen holding the golden, dragon cup. Or rather, placing her hands in its general vicinity. Thus begins the clearly independent modelling – as she moves across the room, the cup floats serenely aproximately where her hands are. There are efforts at cloth modelling, all of which are abysmal and don’t seem to be done by any kind of physics simulation – I recall one scene where King Hroðgar is sitting on his throne and shifts his weight. All the cloth elements, the drape of his leather belt, etc, all move with the same weight and material flow which is neither leathery or cloth or metalic – they just sort of move from there to there without any concern for … anything. When guards are looking for danger, they hold their weapons or shields like badly animated NPCs in any 90s game CG cutscene.
When the sun outside moved so that I couldn’t see the screen clearly, I really didn’t mind.
Grendel, however, was done rather well, and I can sort of see why they felt that doing it with real actors would have hindered what might have been an elegant telling of the story if it hand’t looked like someone had made too many cutscenes for a game and decided to pad them out to a stand alone movie.