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bad fight scenes
ozoneocean at 7:46AM, Jan. 2, 2010
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Ya know… I was just thinking about what makes a lot of otherwise passable big budget Hollywood films these days look so utterly stupid and silly:
The modern fight scene.

Let me explain- super slow motion, ultra choreographed, extremely silly and unrealistic comicbook type fighting. ESPECIALLY when things are going fast and free and then they slow down for a sec in that cliche way people started doing in the Matrix.

Otherwise good, fast, epic modern action films are cheapened (in my opinion) by this over load of work they put into making the fights look so moronic. I really believe that.

—————————–

Not that fight scenes without all that stupid prettying up are automatically better either! No, not at all. It's very tricky to get a good fight scene, however they make it, whatever the technique. But rather than just a few dodgy not-so-great fight scenes in films, now almost all of them are so silly that they make the rest of the film look silly as well.
I strongly suspect overindulgence in CGI to be a large part of the problem. CGI in of itself isn't the problem of course, it's that idiots with bad ideas for what can be done on screen are now free to make those moronic ideas a reality THANKS to the use of CGI.

It's the equivalent of some neophte manga artist going: "now I'll put in 3 lens flares here… No, FOUR lens flares… No, no EIGHT lens flares as the teen hero smirks confidently to himself as his spiky hair and long trench-coat blow in the wind and his girlfriend looks on scared and then he destroys the demon horde with one stroke of his MASSIVE sword! YEAH!!! With lots of motion blur!!!!!

Anyone agree? Disagree?^^
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
Chernobog at 7:59AM, Jan. 2, 2010
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All I know is bullet time + close ups = lame.

But maybe I'm not one to talk. I come from the era of action movies where people sprayed bullets like water from a garden hose without reloading.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
ozoneocean at 8:05AM, Jan. 2, 2010
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Chernobog
But maybe I'm not one to talk. I come from the era of action movies where people sprayed bullets like water from a garden hose without reloading.
But that's the thing, see? Fight scenes without silly overdone CGI aren't automatically better. A bad fight scene is a bad fight scene and always has been. The trouble is that these days they're overdoing them too much so that the fight scenes become a major investment in the film as a project -in the time they take VS the rest of the movie, in the cost of production, and their bearing on the plot. -So that when they're stupid and overblown they make the rest of thee film stupid and overblown too, regardless of its other qualities.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
Product Placement at 10:21AM, Jan. 2, 2010
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Chernobog
But maybe I'm not one to talk. I come from the era of action movies where people sprayed bullets like water from a garden hose without reloading.


You say it like it's a bad thing.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
Dark Pascual at 12:05PM, Jan. 2, 2010
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The best fight scenes are those who fit in the overall tone and setting of the movie.

IMO, having a Hong-Kong fantasy style movie and NOT use over the top, ultra-stylish, high-flying and unrealistic fight scenes is almost a crime.

Of course, when the movie have an urban setting with a realistic tone, if sudenly the characters start to go Wire-Fu on each other, then it's ridiculous… unless is a Jackie Chan or a Jet Li film…

I agree that things like the bullet time or the ultra-fast moves are bee so overused that it's painful to watch

ozoneocean
But that's the thing, see? Fight scenes without silly overdone CGI aren't automatically better. A bad fight scene is a bad fight scene and always has been. The trouble is that these days they're

And this is the proof (I love this fight scene… it's so overblown with suck that becames the epitome of awesome):



ozoneocean
It's the equivalent of some neophte manga artist going: "now I'll put in 3 lens flares here… No, FOUR lens flares… No, no EIGHT lens flares as the teen hero smirks confidently to himself as his spiky hair and long trench-coat blow in the wind and his girlfriend looks on scared and then he destroys the demon horde with one stroke of his MASSIVE sword! YEAH!!! With lots of motion blur!!!!!

Hey! I love those! XD XD
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:07PM
ozoneocean at 12:47PM, Jan. 2, 2010
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Dark Pascual
And this is the proof (I love this fight scene… it's so overblown with suck that becames the epitome of awesome):
Wow. It's so 2D!
-back, forth, back, back… That's how they should've done the streetfighter movie :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
Hawk at 1:30PM, Jan. 2, 2010
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I really hate Crouching Tiger styled fight scenes. They deviate so far real human ability that I entirely lose the concept of consequences. So I stop caring about whether or not one of the fighters will die or get defeated. No attack or maneuver seems dangerous because you know the other person can just flip around in the air or run up a tree.

One fight I REALLY hate is in Matrix Reloaded where Neo has to fight the Oracle's guardian before he can meet her. It's so choreographed and rehearsed that you can tell each fighter knows what the other will do before they actually do it. The result is something that looks more like a dance performance than any kind of fight.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
SarahN at 12:05AM, Jan. 3, 2010
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I couldn't agree more. Even when the Matrix came out I thought bullet time was stupid, and now I've come to despise that sort of slow-mo with a passion. All it does is replace excitement and shock with…well…what is supposed to be badassness I guess. My god it's even overdone in that Sherlock Holmes trailer where they show Holmes having what looks like nothing more than a fist fight!

I believe Dave Chappelle made fun of this once. Hehehe, yeah here I found apart of it…click here if you don't mind toilet humor (literally). ANYTHING can be made to look ridiculously epic in slow motion, as you can see. (Heh, okay not really the same thing. I'm just joking around now.)

Nowadays when I'm in the mood for a good fight scene I just put on Kill Bill. XP
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:24PM
Air Raid Robertson at 8:02AM, Jan. 3, 2010
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I do think that bullet time is still very much played out.

But for overall lameness, you can't beat that scene in They Live where Rowdy Roddy Piper is trying to make that guy put on the magic glasses.

There's also the infamous Star Trek scene where Kirk fights the lizard guy. (Type “Worst Fight Scene Ever” into youtube)
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
PhilWrede at 10:28AM, Jan. 3, 2010
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Air Raid Robertson
But for overall lameness, you can't beat that scene in They Live where Rowdy Roddy Piper is trying to make that guy put on the magic glasses.

You mean overall awesomeness, don't you? Rowdy Roddy Piper fights Keith David to determine Earth's eventual fate versus the evil space capitalists!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsZpdUUdd3I
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
Chernobog at 9:24PM, Jan. 3, 2010
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PhilWrede
You mean overall awesomeness, don't you?

That actually was pure awesome. Made my day.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
isukun at 1:28AM, Jan. 4, 2010
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While I'm not a big fan of slow motion bullet time effects, I find that the opposite is more common in modern movies. What I hate more than anything is when the director decides choreography isn't needed at all and simply has the camera shake all over the place making it impossible to see what's going on. Shakey cam has really become the standard these days for action films and I'm getting pretty sick of it. I find it disorienting and distracting. It pulls you out of the picture since the effect is supposed to be that of a camera, which just further cements in the idea that it's just a movie and not something real. Hopefully this 3D revival will force some directors to nail their cameras to the floor, or at least invest in a steady cam.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
DAJB at 8:15AM, Jan. 4, 2010
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Everything has its day.

One positive trend I've noticed in recent fight scenes is that the fad for having every single character able to pull off 33,000 perfectly fluid, consecutive oriental martial arts moves while hoisted on high by gimmicky wire work seems to have finally run its course. I think the Matrix 2 was probably the most extreme example and the final nail in its coffin. Dear ol' Keanu fighting off all those ridiculous Mr Smiths seems to have ensured the public would never again want to watch innumerable fists blocked by innumerable wrists for hours on end.

It looked stupid at the time and, judging by the two Daniel Craig Bond films, the Bourne series etc., the result seems to have been a move back towards good old fashioned fisticuffs, hair pulling, eye-gouging and biting. You know … the way people really fight!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
ozoneocean at 9:44AM, Jan. 4, 2010
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DAJB
judging by the two Daniel Craig Bond films, the Bourne series
I've seen the latest versions of both of these ans saw fight scenes in them that were dodgy. The Bond one was the worst with this stupid Cirque De Soliel inspired fight where the two antagonists are hanging form ropes upside down at the time… It was like an awful faked up Hollywood parody of the brilliant stuff that Jackie Chan once made so popular.
The Bourne one wasn't quite so bad but didn't come off that well either. Making the star look too superhuman in reaction times and fight ability just takes the stuff away from serious action film and into comic book territory.
(not that comic books are bad, but that sort of fantasy is incompatible).
At least when the likes of Jakie Chan did his thing he made it look accidental or funny at times, bringing the on screen action back to something more recognisably human and therefore more startling and interesting when he did something amazing… instead of boring or cringe-worthy.

Making fights look too perfect really takes away from them… Like porn where the actors are too toned and pretty with 100% perfect body parts. lol!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
PhilWrede at 2:37PM, Jan. 4, 2010
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ozoneocean
Making fights look too perfect really takes away from them… Like porn where the actors are too toned and pretty with 100% perfect body parts.

That's a whole different conversation thread, don't you think (for instance, where has the HD revolution really been less than a good thing? I would contend pornography)?



DAJB
a move back towards good old fashioned fisticuffs

I do wish to say that I loved the rocket launcher sequence in Punisher: War Zone, the one that declared the irrelevancy of Parkour as well as anything since Live Free or Die Hard (and if you want to talk dodgy movies, those two are certainly on the list, but give me Bruce Willis punching Maggie Q in the face any day over 98% of the post-Matrix film battles. Not that violence against women is awesome or anything; I'll take Bruce Willis punching just about anyone in the face).
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
Acuturbo at 4:43PM, Jan. 4, 2010
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The only thing that can save a bad fight scene is some good ham and cheese. Unfortunately, we don't get much of that anymore. Sometimes I wish one guy would just punch the other guy in the face and get it over with.

Bollywood has it right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snJYagxgx5U

But really, I wish Jackie Chan still made good movies.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM
I Am The 1337 Master at 4:57PM, Jan. 4, 2010
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I can sum this up in one word, the cursed word. T-w-i-l-i-g-h-t.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM
Product Placement at 8:06AM, Jan. 5, 2010
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I Am The 1337 Master
the cursed word
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
JustNoPoint at 6:02AM, Jan. 6, 2010
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DAJB, I can't read your comic or talk to you anymore if you are gonna be hating on the Neo vs 100 Smiths fight scenes XD

I absolutely LOVE over the top fight scenes in movies where it makes sense for the characters to be able to pull it off. I watched the Neo Smith fight scenes at least once a day for over a month =D

I also like watching dance battles where 2 bands out “fight” each other by singing and dancing so maybe that's why I like overly choreographed fight scenes.
I will say that even in the Matrix I disliked the slow motion though. I can see it's uses on occasions, like when Neo 1st dodges bullets and when he punches Smith in the final fight scene in the last movie. But I generally dislike slow motion effects because it makes the fights slower and less fluid. I think it would be really cool to see all the Matrix fight scenes in real time without their silly slow motion techniques.

And yes, I also dislike Street Fighter's super pauses before a super or Ultra move and prefer Darkstalkers over the top super moves that come out in “real time”.

I'm just a huge fan of well choreographed fight scenes and fighting games in general. Ranging from the 1st Mortal Kombat movie (Liu Kang vs Reptile was just awesome for YEARS), to Shaolin Soccer, Matrix Trilogy, Kung Fu Hustle, Guyver 2, and so on.

I even like most of Jean Claude Van Dammit's fighting movies =p

The only redeeming quality to the new Wolverine movie was Wolvie and Sabretooth fighting back to back against Deadpoolversionsuck as he teleported around beating them up.

Now in the new Punisher Warzone it was really silly. Some movies it just doesn't fit the atmosphere. I much prefer the Punisher movie with John Travolta.

I need to know what movies you've seen lately Ozone, because I have been thinking that there have NOT been very many over the top well choreographed fight scenes in movies as of late. Then again, maybe I saw the ones you've seen recently and think they suck too :P
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:12PM
DAJB at 6:09AM, Jan. 6, 2010
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JustNoPoint
DAJB, I can't read your comic or talk to you anymore if you are gonna be hating on the Neo vs 100 Smiths fight scenes XD
Drat! Another of my readers bites the dust! ;-)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
confusedsoul at 12:17PM, Jan. 6, 2010
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I think current animes are starting to rely on slow-motion style moves in ifght sequences too, which is all well and good in something like Afro Samurai when it's meant to be absurdly stylish but otherwise it seems to slow the whole thing down.

I'm quite fond of Kung Fu Hustle's fight sequences. Are they bad, or just ridiculous?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
mlai at 4:51PM, Jan. 6, 2010
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ong_Bak

Speaking of fight scenes, most of you aficionados have watched Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, right?

The plot is cheesy and trite, as it is both a “kung fu” movie and a made-in-Thailand movie. But you're not watching it for the plot; the fighting is brutal and zero CGI. I think there is no wire-fu either, though in some scenes you'd think it's impossible without wires.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
patrickdevine at 7:58PM, Jan. 6, 2010
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The last trumped-up fight scene that really bugged me was when Silk Specter and Nite Owl fought the gang of muggers in the Watchmen movie. It had a lot of slowdowns and looked way epic but it seemed contextually inappropriate for the kind of story it was supposed to be telling. That and it lasted way to friggin' long.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Inkmonkey at 9:15AM, Jan. 7, 2010
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I think a lot of this kind of stuff stems from a director trying to hide the fact that their actors don't actually know martial arts. You can teach the actors to execute a few choreographed kicks and blocks and what have you, but nothing can replace spending a lifetime honing yoru body into a weapon when it comes to jaw dropping fight scenes.


More than anything, I'm tired of wire-fu. It's just… so obvious when it happens. Sometimes taht's part of the fun, like in Kung Fu Hustle, but then again that was largely a comedy.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:00PM
Spideytheking at 9:19AM, Jan. 19, 2010
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All the transtporters nuff said
Invader zim vs Grr = FUUN MUHAHAHAHAHAH Im tired of hearing about the damn shamwow or am I o.0 who will know Grr will thats who Evil is ocra and oprah or am I just them in a alternate universe only a god knows unless Im him too
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:54PM
EssayBee at 8:49PM, Jan. 19, 2010
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mlai
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ong_Bak

Speaking of fight scenes, most of you aficionados have watched Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, right?

The plot is cheesy and trite, as it is both a “kung fu” movie and a made-in-Thailand movie. But you're not watching it for the plot; the fighting is brutal and zero CGI. I think there is no wire-fu either, though in some scenes you'd think it's impossible without wires.

Yeah–Tony Jaa doesn't use CG or wirework. Everything you see is really him. Check out The Protector: There's a continuous, 4-minute shot of him fighting a bunch of guys through a club. Awesome.

And the fist fight in “They Live” is classic. Everyone likes to gripe about unrealistic physics in fight scenes; well, “They Live” is the only fight scene ever to defy temporal physics. I mean, the movie's only about 90 minutes, but the fight goes on for, I think, about 3 hours. Plus it has the greatest reasoning behind a fight EVER. Forget about all the “You killed my master” crap. I mean, who really fights over a dead master? Now, someone trying to force you to wear sunglasses–that's grounds for World War III!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:22PM

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