CGI Smurfs movie!

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Re: CGI Smurfs movie!

Postby Ben » April 3rd, 2017, 3:12 pm

Spider-Man, arguably, is the first in the new MCU version of the character, so although it's technically a reboot, it also kind of isn't.

Smurfs has been getting awful, awful, awful reviews. With Sing impressing as much as it did, Illumination has easily jumped higher in my rating of feature animation studios, with Sony dropping to the bottom of the pile, for me at least. I can't actually remember the last SPA movie that I actually saw, and actually liked a good deal.

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Re: CGI Smurfs movie!

Postby EricJ » April 3rd, 2017, 3:38 pm

Ben wrote:Smurfs has been getting awful, awful, awful reviews. With Sing impressing as much as it did, Illumination has easily jumped higher in my rating of feature animation studios, with Sony dropping to the bottom of the pile, for me at least. I can't actually remember the last SPA movie that I actually saw, and actually liked a good deal.


That would probably be Surf's Up, which most of us liked...sort of. (Mostly for the mockumentary style not being as in-your-face gagged-up as the Open Season movies.)

Sony, already a little house-franchise obsessed, has now thrown EVERYTHING into the basket of of becoming the Third Big Studio, with the death of Dreamworks and the rise of Illumination (Fox's Ice Age movies don't even care anymore, and Warner's "Storks" can't even raise a blip with old Cat's Don't Dance supporters), but they see that as the need to establish a Third Icon as corporate house-brand for feature labels.
Disney has Mickey, Pixar has Nemo, Universal has the Minions, Warner has Bugs, even Fox has Scrat, and Sony has, um...Dracula? No, wait, the Smurfs!--Quick, put a gag in the Pixels movie! Wait, that flopped, do another Transylvania sequel!

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Re: CGI Smurfs movie!

Postby Randall » April 3rd, 2017, 9:20 pm

The live action/CGI hybrid films were perfectly fine kids' films. I enjoyed them for what they were, though I certainly approve of doing a fully animated film that sticks to their own world. Too bad that film reportedly stinks.

Surf's Up was great. Beautiful art direction.

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Re: CGI Smurfs movie!

Postby Ben » April 4th, 2017, 1:47 pm

EricJ wrote:That would probably be Surf's Up...


Actually, although it was kind of rhetorical, it would be the first Cloudy for me. It was fun, original enough and had some lovely bouncy animation. I haven't seen the sequel yet. Same with the Smurfs; I thought the first film was okay, but not great enough to get me to watch the second one. And this new one sounds awful, so I'll likely skip it until it hits TV.

For me, after Disney/Pixar (which I count as one since they're marketed together, promoted together, run by the same guy), I really think Illumination/DreamWorks is doing the best second big studio stuff right now. Illumination continues to surprise, and DWA seems to be back on the ball, for as long as it lasts. Blue Sky would probably come third, since they continue to put out different kinds of movies to what we expect (Ice Ages aside, but understandable since they make a wad and allow the experimentation for other originals).

After that, Warners doesn't really have an animation studio as far as I'm concerned. Sure, they have a "group", but thatbasically oversees outsourced features made by either Animal Logic (which isn't actually tied or owned by them), based on someone else's franchise (Lego) or animated by others (Storks was Sony's handiwork). And then there's Sony, which is either simply buying in other franchises (Angry Birds, Emoji, Smurfs, Spider-Man) or stuck in Hotel Transylvania recycling, producing very little original work or films that will stand the test of time.

Seriously, the best Sony Animation product I saw lately was...Storks! And that was for Warners, who really should get back into the feature animation world properly and set up a studio or outright buy Animal Logic and get on with building up a real legacy studio. After Disney, those guys have the farthest reaching-back library of characters and properties, but they don't do anything that indicates they realise this, probably after being burned so badly in the 90s for trying to jump on the Disney bandwagon too fast and falling off spectacularly!

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Re: CGI Smurfs movie!

Postby EricJ » April 4th, 2017, 2:22 pm

Ben wrote:Seriously, the best Sony Animation product I saw lately was...Storks! And that was for Warners, who really should get back into the feature animation world properly and set up a studio or outright buy Animal Logic and get on with building up a real legacy studio. After Disney, those guys have the farthest reaching-back library of characters and properties, but they don't do anything that indicates they realise this, probably after being burned so badly in the 90s for trying to jump on the Disney bandwagon too fast and falling off spectacularly!


Well, Warner keeps trying to fall back on their "historic icons" of Bugs and Daffy, and the results (Space Jam, Back in Action, the new CN series) so range from wretched to downright offensive that fans come after the studio with pitchforks for them. Warner tends to ignore that part, put the low LT:BIA grosses and CN ratings down to "They've probably forgotten the characters... :( " and lump that into more excuses for why not to make more Blu-ray sets. And then market Space Jam some more, because that's what the 90's kids remember.
Tom & Jerry has a fanbase that either has forgotten about them or is too blindly sentimental to be picky about it, and that's why the animation division's created the cottage industry in direct-video T&J movies.
(And Scooby-Doo movies, but they're not going back to the theaters any time soon with that one.)

As for Storks, tried to watch a few minutes of it, but even the trailer looked like the "classic Warner cartoony style" was just in having things fall over really fast or gags that go over the top, which, to put it politely, was my problem with Phil Lord & Chris Miller's pre-Lego work on Sony's first Cloudy...Dear heavens, was that one a painful advertisement for Ritalin. :shock:

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Re: CGI Smurfs movie!

Postby Dacey » April 4th, 2017, 2:27 pm

Wasn't Back in Action well-received, though? I watched the first twenty five minutes once before I had to leave when it was on, but I liked what I saw quite a lot. I think it bombed because it opened right after Brother Bear and Elf more than anything. Space Jam (which I own, but have yet to watch) is also fondly remembered (it even had a Fathom Events screening last year).
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

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Re: CGI Smurfs movie!

Postby EricJ » April 4th, 2017, 3:44 pm

Dacey wrote:Wasn't Back in Action well-received, though? I watched the first twenty five minutes once before I had to leave when it was on, but I liked what I saw quite a lot. I think it bombed because it opened right after Brother Bear and Elf more than anything. Space Jam (which I own, but have yet to watch) is also fondly remembered (it even had a Fathom Events screening last year).


Was BIA well received? No. No, no, no, no. No, it was NOT. Be historically assured of THAT.
It got horrendous reviews for its unfunny script and Steve Martin's unexplainable wig, fans well warned away by the overbearing trailers, a cripplingly fifth-place opening at the box office, and a lifetime gross of $20M--
Which came as a bit of a trauma to Warner, who thought they had a new gravy train for "modernizing" Bugs with more sports stars and live action sitcoms (the scene where Brendan Fraser jumps in a race car at the end is all that was left of Warner's original idea for a "NASCAR Jam" sequel).
And, since it was fall '03, added more fuel to the dopey but fading '02-'03's fire of analysts trying to theorize "Is there some sociological reason why audiences have been rejecting 2-D traditional? :( "

Fortunately, the fact that the movie opened in theaters the same week that Warner's first Golden Collection DVD's of the original Chuck Jones cartoons hit shelves, allowed fans to explain why the bad reaction to BIA.
And given Joe Dante's backhandedly CN-style snubs at the cartoon cliche's, it helped disk fans to explain why BIA had done so badly, in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS...And the reason clearly wasn't "sociological". :x
But Warner still thought "They've forgotten the characters!" anyway, because they couldn't sell the new movie, when they would have rather let the old boxsets hang. But when they do want to sell them again, they do more Fathom screenings of Space Jam.