Tag Archives: life of pi

Not All Movies Should Have Jokes, But All Movies Should Have a Sense of Humor

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There is a moment in Fargo (I’ll never stop talking about Fargo) that makes me die with laughter every single time I watch it. The movie is packed with black comedy and irony and brilliant deadpans (the license plate joke, holy shit) and some basic but perfect physical gags (Jean Lundegaard bursting out of the shower draped in its curtain like a kid in a homemade ghost costume), but I ain’t talking abaout all that stuff. I’m talking about the stills above. This moment seems to be more of an editorial in-joke than an actual written joke, but of course you never can tell with the Coen brothers. After Jean’s dad and Stan Grossman and Jerry discuss the plot’s central ransom over breakfast, Jerry is at the counter. The beaming cashier asks how Jerry’s meal was. After he answers rather shortly, he comes back with an affable “How you doin’” and when it cuts back to her, we see her cock her head to the side before it cuts again. All she does is cock her head to the side. No response, no change in expression, just a slight pitch. It’s hilarious. It’s insanely funny.
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Life of Pi: An Allegory, or rather, a ‘Tell-egory’

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I could not talk about the Oscar winner for Visual Effects without first bitching about its visual effects, but I’ll try to keep it short, as my thoughts on VFX have already been made clear enough. Basically, the CG in Life of Pi is certainly impressive, no doubt. More than once, I went back and paused on frames to gawk at the insane level of detail they crammed into the animals, which are animated with eye-popping fluidity. They may be too fluid, however, because I found myself slipping in the uncanny valley here and there—the most jarring moments being when footage of an actual tiger is juxtaposed with a CG tiger in quick succession. By and large though, the omnipresence of CG animals isn’t too bothersome. It’s integrated into the physical set well enough that it usually feels like it’s really there.
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