You know, a lot of people turn their nose up at these movies for just being Tom Cruise stunt reels, but...I don't see that as a bad thing.
So, I watched Roland Emme- I mean, Dean Devlin's Geostorm
the other day. Wasn't expecting much, as I knew it was basically going to be "Roland Emmerich lite" in the same way that Pfister's Transcendence
was his way of mimicing Nolan and Battleship was Paramount riding on the success of Bay's Transformers
The movie itself surprised me on a few fronts: it has relatively little environmental destruction (not much of an exaggeration to say that most of the destruction money shots were used in the trailers), and instead was much more of a character-driven story. And the fact that it had a crisp runtime of 1 hour 50 minutes, when compared to the usual 2-2.5 hours that some of these epics have.
As for the VFX, I think it's an even bigger hit-and-miss than Stephen Sommers' movies.
You'd think that for a blockbuster producer like Devlin, he'd have enough experience to at least be consistently competent with VFX across the board. Instead, what I found with the work was that the natural environment destruction (tornados, earthquakes, lightning storms, tidal waves) was on par with the kind of CGI you'd expect circa 2008, while any of the outer space/space station work was supber.
Seriously, there's scenes of collapsing buildings and bridges and entirely CG shots of roadways with dozens of cars and it just screamed "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Paris Car Chase Sequence". The Day After Tomorrow
, Man of Steel
, San Andreas
, Independence Day: Resurgence
... all had immensely superior city destruction scenes. But with Geostorm, when buildings collapses and broke apart, it legitimately felt like I was watching their pre-viz. The buildings had no weight to them. Skyscrapers were falling to the ground in big chunks and in a matter of 2 seconds, instead of the long, drawn-out collapses that you'd (theoretically, as I have no real-world experience with collapsing buildings, thankfully) see in real life. It was destruction porn, but it wasn't even good
This is one of the moments I'm talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoU49CBIJYA&t=35s
With that said, the outer space scenes that dealt with spaceships and space stations were really, really good looking. Hard-surface work seems to be a popular topic lately, and whichever vendor was responsible for the space station work did a great job (similar to Independence Day: Resurgence
's spaceship/space station work, which was also really good).
Okun was the overall Sup and the VFX vendors listed in order were:
-Important Looking Pirates
-At the Post
-Rising Sun Pictures
-Flash Film Works
With that many vendors and it being such a VFX-heavy film, I should take some time to try and find some articles talking about the movie's work.