FX Review

FLUBBER - FX Credits - FX Review - Behind the Scenes - Stills

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The Big Game
A whole new series of visual effects appear in the basketball sequences, which feature a TON of wire removal shots, as well as some CG basketball shots. As Williams experiments with the Flubber, he spins the ball on his finger, and glides the ball across his shoulders. The matchmoving and rotoscoping in this shot is extraordinary, especially as the ball cruises from one arm to another behind his head. The ball is right there, full in frame, and it looks very real.

The CG ball shots that occur in the big game range from a bit cartoonish to realistic--in some shots, the ball is too contrasty and seems out of place, and for some brief moments, the match moving is less than realistic. However, shots where a player is rapidly bouncing the ball and that contain a lot of camera movement, were handled with a great deal of accuracy and realism.

"Wire removal after wire removal" is the mantra of the basketball sequences, where countless characters jump and fly all over the court. I'm would be surprised if no clean plates were ever supplied to the artists--nevertheless, the shots are all fantastic. Complements also go out to the flying rig supervision, since only a few movements looked like classic flying rig shots. The on-the-set choreography of avoiding flying rig cliches and obvious flying rig movements added a lot to these scenes. Strangely enough, another stroby, skip printed shot that appears in the movie is a pivotal wire removal shot where a boy hits the backboard after jumping too high to the basket.

The movie concludes with another series of shots involving Flubber bouncing across the room, as well as dozens more wire removal shots of Williams and Marcia Gay Harden bouncing all over the room, all of which were handled with invisible success. Silly and out of place is the ridiculous effect of Christopher MacDonald's head bouncing back and forth as Harden punches him with Flubber-enhanced fists.

As a film, FLUBBER is another bloated, sometimes incomprehensible Disney live action film. The movie constantly and shamelessly promotes past Disney films on Weebo's display screen. Disney and the prinicpal filmmakers seemed more intent on showing clips of Dumbo, Goofy and Donald Duck than providing interesting characters or funny dialogue for them to say. The movie was, however, an excellent opportunity for various effects houses to flex their visual effects muscles, and allowed them to provide some terrific life and energy to an otherwise lifeless film.

FLUBBER - FX Credits - FX Review - Behind the Scenes - Stills

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