Friday, September 26, 2008

The other 43 minutes and 50 seconds of Merlin

UPDATE: I quite liked the rest of it, stilted dialogue and REALLY ANNOYING MUSIC (Here's a sad bit! Here's a happy bit!) aside. Perfectly good young person acting, which isn't always the case, and sets up the relationship between the young Arthur and Merlin nicely. When the blue kitten's a bit older, would I be happy to watch this with her? Yes, I think I probably would.

Did like the bit spotted by Boz though:

He went down about ten steps to get into that cellar - WITH THE HUGE CAVERNOUS ROOF GOING UPWARDS

Yes. Entire sessions of Dungeons and Dragons have been scuppered by less.

I was about to have another rant about the CGI dragon looking, as most CGI dragons look, like badly-lit plasticene. But then I remembered I'm currently writing two episodes of a thing with a CGI dragon on it, so I'd better not say that. I think I'm just always going to be biased towards animatronics, and knowing a couple of people who do CGI effects,they've often done wonders with an extremely small budget, so having a go at them seems rather unfair. And to be fair, this could also apply to composers, couldn't it? Hmm, it's tricky, this criticism lark.

People reading this who have kids themselves: how does it go down when you lay older, CGI-free stuff like Labyrinth, Robin of Sherwood or Jim Henson's The Storyteller on them? I've heard horrid reports that some children, blinded by the CGI toyfest that is the new Star Wars films view the originals as being in some way 'inferior'. But that can't be true, as surely in those cases, the child would be simply given away and the matter hushed up, so how would the story get out? Doesn't make sense.

10 comments:

Rose said...

Oooooh, The Storyteller was excellent.

That's probably the answer. With parents such as yourself and Patroclus, Blue Kitten will surely have good taste and know that shiny-eyed technology does not a good televisual experience make.

chatterbox said...

I don't think they even notice creaky or missing CGI as long as the pace of the story is good enough. If they have too many slow/boring bits, then they start pointing and laughing - old school Dr Who has this problem I'm afraid.

Jayne said...

Oh all right, I'll watch it if I must.

Actually I saw an episode of Robin of Sherwood on some Sky channel a couple of weeks ago. I'd forgotten how pretty Michael Praed was...

Boz said...

Merlin is definitely better SO FAR than Robin Hood. Ranting aside, I may watch another episode. MAY.

Tim Footman said...

Pointing and laughing at Dr Who, Chatterbox? What can you mean?

janey33 said...

You can never tell what kids are going to find interesting to watch. My son loved my creaky old vhs copy of Labryinth, (well, until they all started singing, that is) But he also loved the new Robin Hood. So much so, that when I gave him a plastic bow and arrow (from Poundland!!) he declared it the best toy ever. We all moan about the acting and the scripts, but to a ten year old, it was just a good boyish romp through the forest. And I guess that never goes out of fashion. He's recently gone nuts over the gore-fest that is "Deep Blue Sea" and is quite fascinated by the CGI shark, which means that we're treated to a "Pushing Daisies" type voiceover all the way through the film, where he shouts out "real shark, CGI shark, real shark, oh that's definitely a fake shark" every time the bloody shark appears on the screen. I think children aren't fooled by CGI quite as much as the movie guys think they are.

realdoc said...

David Bowie's crap wig spoiled Labyrinth for me never mind CGIlessness. The story is all that matters to kids really.

patroclus said...

Ha, Janey, much of my childhood television-watching was characterised by my brother and me gleefully shouting 'model!' at anything that was clearly a scale model of something and not a real thing at all.

BlackLOG said...

My favourite "Model" shot is from a series called Poldark*. There was a shot of 'Nampara', Poldark's ancient ancestral pile (best word for it) during a storm. Even a 8 year old could tell it was a model and a pretty bad one at that** . They don't make shows like that any more, I say with equal amounts of sadness and gratitude thrown in...


* As I remember it was a typical 70's drama with fine acting from the main cast but with some LOL Amdram performances from the rest of the cast....

** said 8 year old could have done a better job and was absolutely rubbish with my hands

Imo said...

Here are the results of my extensive survey

ME: Which do you think are better, the original Star Wars or the new ones?

ALMOST 13 YEAR OLD SON: I like all of them

End of extensive survey