Movies that have aged well

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Dervish, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. So last night I decided to rewatch one of my all time favorite movies, Starship Troopers, as it had been a few years since I last gave it a go and it struck me as rather impressive that the CGI not only held up rather well considering the movie's age (it came out in 1997), but in a lot of ways it looks better than the movies that have come out in recent years that rely entirely on CGI over practical effects. Case in point, watch this clip,

    And keep in mind it came out the same year as Goldeneye 64, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Quake II, Diddy Kong Racing, Final Fantasy VII, and Crash Bandicoot 2, to put things in perspective. Other than the inherent limitation of all CGI, the bugs actually look like they're physically present, and the set (which is a real, physical thing) looks like it's physically reacting to them. Hell, even when characters are killed, it's pretty much seamless. It makes a really strong argument for using practical effects and actual physical scenes where possible and using CGI to enhance the scene to do things you can't do otherwise. Compare it to say the Hobbit movies where almost everything is done with green screen, and you can really tell everything is fake as balls, especially when you compare it to the Lord of the Rings movies where they, surprise surprise, tried to build as much physical sets and use as much practical effects as possible. Even Alien 2 is a really enjoyable movie to watch decades later, and that's because basically everything in that movie is real, and they made the most of the limitations they had. For example, did you know they only had six alien suits for the entire movie? It feels like a hell of a lot more, and that's because the director had to work around the limitations of what the effects are capable of, and a lot more care went into the shots, as opposed to mostly CGI movies where basically the animators are at the whim of whatever cocaine dream the director wants to happen. It... doesn't pay off.

    If you want a case study for how CGI starts to look extremely dated before too long, go watch the Star Wars prequels. A few months back I decided to watch all the Star Wars movies and I remember watching Episode III in the theaters and really being impressed with the effects. Watching it now, however, and everything just feels wrong, and the seams become really obvious. The alien characters start to look like they don't belong in the same scene as the human actors, and in the large set pieces, you can really tell when somebody's actually an actor or just some kind of computer animation. It's glaring in the worst way possible.

    Case in point,

    Effects aside, going back to Starship Troopers and why it's aged so well is that the pacing is fantastic, it does not feel like a 2 hour movie and no scene overstays its welcome for too long. The entire movie is fun, the characters are great, and it does exactly what it set out to do. I enjoy the movie as much now as I did when I was a kid when I first watched it, and I've been picking up new things as I've been watching it (for instance, after Diz gets choked out by Zim, for the next few scenes she has a pretty visible bruise on her neck I never noticed before). They managed to fit a lot of stuff into this movie, but it all flows together pretty darn well and it plays the story straight.

    In short, I'm glad this is a movie I can still watch 18 years later and still find it holds up extremely well today.

    How about you guys? Anybody else get pleasantly surprised going down memory lane recently?
  2. I think you might be blinded by nostalgia. Good movie from the 90s (and it has indeed aged well), but ST Troopers still looks incredibly dated when compared to modern flicks like James Cameron's Avatar, District 9 and Elysium. It's also the very definition of 'cheese' and 'bad acting'--but I guess that's a given considering that it's a satire science fiction film centered around humanity warring with sapient arthropods of impossible scale. It's flow can't be challenged, but that might be because it's full of nonstop action and very little talking.

    It's junk. But it's damn good junk.
  3. Avatar was also a movie that cost $237 million dollars to produce, and while it's an absolutely beautiful movie, you can tell a lot of care went into building the world and James Cameron is a fanatic about cutting edge technology (fun fact; he's been a huge funder of deep sea exploration and has been setting his eyes to space exploration of late), and he also directed Aliens, which I mentioned earlier. Dude understands the stuff he's working with and uses it to the best effect. CGI can be fantastic, for sure, but a lot of directors kind of use is as a lazy "we'll fix it in post" band-aid solution.

    I never saw Elysium, so I can't really comment on that one, but District 9 was fantastic for a lot of reasons. Both those movies, however, used a lot of practical effects with CGI augmentation. They're not really that old, so it'll be interesting to watch them 10-15 years down the road and see how they age.

    And the cheese and goofy acting is part of the fun of Starship Troopers; it's not a movie you're supposed to take seriously. It's part of why I love it; it's by the guy who directed Robocop, for crying out loud. I would hesitate to call the acting bad, it's just campy and very self-aware. Bad acting would be something like this:

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  4. Just gonna say The Princess Bride has aged well in my opinion~
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  5. I just missed watching that a little while back! I love that movie.
  6. I'd like to think Back to the Future's aged pretty well. Just the first one, though, not the two sequels.
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  7. Scarface.

    No. Not Al Pacino.

    The 1932 Original.

    I normally do not like old movies. I don't like most movies from the 70s and earlier, because I generally find the acting atrocious. It's almost always overly dramatic, and ridiculous. I can't get into it.
    Scarface shocked me. I had low expectations of it. I did not expect acting that felt as if the characters were actually real people for the most part. Yes, were was a vein or two of over-acting, but on the whole? It was solid and believable. The practical effects, considering the era, were really well done, and the even the violence was better than most films that would come in its wake (It was one of the first films to actually depict violence, and was banned from several theaters for it).

    To put it bluntly, Scarface from 1932, felt like it was a movie made yesterday, with phenomenal attention to historical accuracy, but made on a shoestring budget.
  8. I rather found Princess Bride to be timeless. It has very few props that would look outdated now, except that really funny looking shark/fish thing that was in the water.

    Other than that, all the classic scenes - the intro, the Chatty Duel, Dread Pirate Roberts vs Andre the Giant and Vezzini, Inigo vs the Six Fingered Man - all of those seemed pretty much doable today and still looks good.
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  9. Well considering it's a cleverly written propaganda film about a totalitarian state, it's meant to look corny and cheesy. It's action sequences of "humanity, fuck yeah" interspersed with "we want you!"

    Another movie that has aged well if we're talking about special effects is Alien. The original Alien, though Aliens has also aged well in my opinion. The Thing also aged pretty well, and Predator, but that's what you get for using practical effects.

    If we're talking CGI, it's hard for CGI to age well unless you use it artistically rather than for graphical horsepower, like any other animation medium. Ghost in the Shell is an animated movie that aged well despite using aged techniques because it has an artistic style and sticks to it. I also think the various Bugs Bunny cartoons aged well: They didn't have nearly the graphical horsepower of today so they found and stuck to an artistic style that looks aesthetically pleasing.

    This is why the Star Wars prequels look fucking old and awful, whereas the original Star Wars films still look good. Because there's a clear aesthetic style they found and stuck to, using a lot of practical effects that don't get worse with age, and only using CGI for simple brush ups and ideas. (ex: Lightsabers. They're just undefined laser swords with no particular shape beyond a glow stick, so the CGI of the time worked well and aged well for that task.)


    If someone wants to bring up the new special edition versions of the old trilogy, I'm just gonna say that some of the changes are alright. Just don't talk about Mos Eisley...
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  10. Yeah, I will admit that the older material doesn't look as bad as the SW prequels. Shows like the original BSG series and its use of small models for the battle stars, base stars and other military and non-military spacecraft come to mind.

    Unsure if this counts as a good example, but the Edge of Tomorrow movie didn't go with CGI for the exoskeletons the actors donned but instead used actual (un-powered) suits that weighed approximately 50kg-75kg or so. When the characters move in the suits, it doesn't appear as though they're 'floating over the ground' or moving in an otherwise unnatural way; their steps, strides and sprints have noticeable weight to them. They also look pretty sweet in my opinion.
  11. It is. That's a perfect example of practical effects trumping CGI: It looks real because it is, in the physical sense. Those suits also do look baller as all hell.

    Though seeing as how I've bashed CGI a bit, places I think it works well is when there's nothing physical around it to compare to. When there's no "real world" background and it's completely computer generated, like a lot of battle sequences in the newest Battlestar Galactica, it works well, it'll fool the human eye because there's nothing physical to directly contrast it to in the scene.
  12. The Godfather.
    But that's only because it's from the 70's.
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  13. When I saw your thread's title my instant thought was STARSHIP TROOPERS. It seems I was right :awesome:
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  14. 12 Angry Men Holds up very well.
    If anything watching it in black and white helps set the tone.
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  15. Dr Strangelove.
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  17. The scene where they're arguing about shooting the Coke machine for phone money was one of my favorite moments ever.
  18. [​IMG]
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  19. I reckon all the 'classic' 2D Disney films fit into this category. More modern 3D animation à la Pixar's style is more popular these days, but the animation in Pocahontas, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, etc. is still wonderful, and the characters, plot and music make the films as enjoyable as they ever were.

    EDIT: Also, Forrest Gump is a film that will never, ever grow old for as long as I live.
    #19 Halo, Jan 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  20. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) Great movie in my opinion! I'll never get tired of watching it, and neither will my family. Though I must say, one thing that made me like it even more today it that crappy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. Rubbish, honestly.