I haven’t seen Final Fantasy:TSW yet, but I want to. I can’t wait to. No matter what the critics are ranting about.
Damn near every review I’ve seen goes like this: “The visuals are amazing, but it’s so inhuman / lacks a human touch / has no soul / virtual actors suck.” Yes, they also mention that the story is weak (although I suspect anime fans won’t notice, since all anime loses something in the translation) but frankly, I think even if these CG characters were delivering flawless shakespearian monologues, they’d find fault with them.
I’ve also read a number of scare articles going on and on about how virtual actors are bad and they’re going to steal away jobs from real humans and we need to send the mechas to a flesh fair and– oops, mixing movies.
Give me a break. Square went way the hell out on a limb. They paid in blood, sweat, tears and most importantly money to produce a very experimental movie — one which doesn’t take the ‘plastic characatures’ route Toy Story and even Shrek did. They wanted a CG movie and they wanted to make realistic humans. It was the first time anybody had ever tried, given the snarling hatred the concept has in Hollywood, which is powered by flesh and blood actors who don’t want to be obsolete.
So, the movie’s out, and yes the CG characters are not perfect. Was anybody honestly expecting anything else? It’s the first shot at this new technique, of course it’ll be flawed. But I think the backlash is completely unmerited, and represents luddism and xenophobia at its worst. Critics simply cannot look past the experimental nature of the movie and feel it HAS to be bashed in order to affirm our ‘humanity’.
I grew up in a generation that stood on the forefront of redefining humanity. We communicate over the net with deep emotion that our elders assumed was impossible without being next to each other in physical space. We redefine the nature of art and writing and music on a daily basis with new technologies that we are not afraid to embrace. We take risks, we sometimes screw up (dot com crash, anyone?) but we plow on and try to innovate and do things differently despite these risks. I’d rather we had the dot com crash than avoid the internet altogether for fear of doing it wrong.
And I’d rather Square make a slightly flawed movie than make no movie at all, and I wish people could appreciate that more instead of pissing on someone’s hard work just because it doesn’t fit the vision of The Good Old Days.
I sympathize with them. To toot my own horn / pump my own ego / rant like a bastard, I hit some of the same sorts of walls in my own writing when I moved to HTML only format, particularly with Sailor Nothing. Those ensconched in their precious Fanfic Mailing List who mocked and spat on the concept because it defied the ASCII order of doing things the Proper Way(tm) are just like these critics. Obviously I won’t claim my stuff is mana from god, but I want to try new things even if they don’t always work for some folks… Sailor Nothing 7, for instance. Agree or not with the decision to make it like an RPG, it’s better than not taking the chance and I’m happy with it.
If it wasn’t for people who dared to try things a different way and tinker with the established formulas, we wouldn’t have movies in the first place, or an internet, or my writing, or anything at all. If we could have a few more people who appreciate that spirit instead of fearing it, maybe the world would be a more creative place.