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TOPIC: Vantage Point car chase

Vantage Point car chase 9 years 8 months ago #5694

Hi y'all, I'm back after a 2 week hiatus, having just returned to Down Under. Vantage Point was the first film I've watched since my return and it was just a few hours ago. I must say, it is an wicked kickstart to the year!

I'm not going to spoil the plot twists, if you haven't already known, it's about a presidential assanination told from 8 points of view. It's a bit of Rashomon (multiple perceptions of reality), a bit of 24 (real-time format) and a bit of Bourne/Die Hard (immortal heroes). Each time the viewpoint changes, the camera rewinds to 12:00 am, before playing it out and revealing a little more of the plot, then it repeats. I loved the idea, but some less enthusiastic audience members could be heard groaning. Obviously they haven't read the plot description. :?

Somebody already wrote the chase description in the database, whoever you are. The chase in a nutshell, is between Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox, both in Astras, one a police, another a civilian vehicle. All manners of shenanigans occur; driving down staircases, ramming parked cars, and a jacknifing semi. This chase appeals to me because of the 'tinboxes being driven to ruins' and 'indestructible hero survives multiple car crashes that would have been fatal' plot devices, which I like because they can never happen in real-life but it's just so cool that I'm willing to suspend disbelief.

Some of the camera shots are just jaw-dropping, like the overhead shot of the cars weaving in and out of traffic only 2-3 lanes wide. The music, especially after the point Dennis got into his car and started driving, was so exciting it got my heart pounding like mad! :D I mean, really heart-stoppingly mad! The soundtrack is just incredible!

I could ramble on about how crazy awesome it is, but you have to see it for yourself. To be fair, the beginning was interspersed with another character's viewpoint, so the pace was sort of interrupted. But after the ambulance takes off and races through the streets, the chase just took off and never stops till its wince-inducing end. This chase is a definite contender for Best Chase of the Year, and we're just a quarter into 2008!

There's also a pretty cool pile-up which is a major plot turning point which ties all the character's viewpoints together nicely. Man, I'm still working off the adrenaline as of right now. :) Has anyone else seen the chase, and what are your thoughts?

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Re: Vantage Point car chase 9 years 8 months ago #5695

  • Prowler
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What's with the shaky cam? I mean what's the real reason? What in God's name are they doing!? Are they actually trying to fit the viewer into the Dennis Weaver's POV? If that's the case, then I don't know how he'd be able to drive that car with all of that uncalled motion going on inside, because I obviously could focus on anything. Haven't we seen this already in Supremacy and Ultimatum? Those films also held alot of steady shots and small amounst of the SCs. Vantage Point only had one which turned out to be my favorite part of the chase scene. Only one smooth shot of the police car weaving through traffic.

Even I had that heart pounding feeling. It was only a hope that the camera would tone down the vibrating of the scene. My hopes were built up for a chase that would have clean and steady scenery, the crashes helped, but I lost all recognition for what had just happened for the last six minutes. I felt that I would have to watch this thing over again in order to compensate the out of control vigor.

Conclusion: A great pile up indeed and crashes aplenty. If you can handle the SC's, you might find it alluring, otherwise don't expect much from the ways of the new filming techniques of future car chases
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Re: Vantage Point car chase 9 years 8 months ago #5696

Yeah, although I could handle SCs and not feel nauseous, it's kinda annoying when you're trying to get a sense of what's going on, where't the orientation of the vehicles, etc. It's not so much the giddy feeling, but the sense that I'm not seeing the overall picture of a crash/jump/etc, which is probably what this film is trying to do anyways. That's no excuse though, I mean, if they were going to stage a real cool sequence, they should go old-school and hold it still when the action happens, then repeat the shot from different angles so we can relive the action again momentarily, before continuing. That way, Mr. Director/Cinematographer, we get to admire all your hard work instead of catching a tiny glimpse of it.
So yeah, I guess besides the slow beginning, another thing to be improved is less shaky-cam so we can see what the @#$% is going on! Still a freakin' brilliant chase though, and a welcome addition after months of dry spells.
Gritty, 'down-to-earth' action films tend to suffer from this syndrome, old-school remakes such as the upcoming Indy 4 or superhero movies like Dark Knight should be okay. Their trailers are a good indication of how fast their clips will be edited. Although I like its novelty and occasional usage of it, I too hope this is a trend that will just be a temporary fad.

TDIT's exhilarating mashup of the coolest car flick with the best animated film of the year! Fast & Feathered 5 Click sig to watch!
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Re: Vantage Point car chase 9 years 8 months ago #5700

  • adri
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Hi,

I too saw this weeks ago but forgot to comment on it, i agree with you two on the annoying shacky cam, there were parts on where you wanted to concentrate and pay attention to the details but except for a couple or so aereals shots and the one when the Astra arrives to a jam and gets stuck (then later pushes the jaguar into some parked cars) the movements were horrible, also i dont know if you two noticed or not but in this chase i found the continuity very bad, the blue Astra was crashed several times during the chase and it kept with very little damage compared to what it would had really suffered in real life, not to mention when the Jaguar flies, i'd say it landed almost on it, but the chase kept, i gues directors pretend with the shacky cam to give it a fast "feeling" of movement, even when cars goe too slow if you use shacky cam you can disguise it a bit, but i really prefere non shacky cam on chases and as Andreteh says i hope this is just a moment fashion that will have to dissappear some day.

There were many bloopers, like on people for example, we are not that tanned on Spain :P !!! also on the cars, cars not seen/sold in Spain (Europe) ever, a sudden overpass in Salamanca that does not exist, some Beetles as taxis, the ambulance being an Econoline, but well, i guess that if you are not much into cars you cant help this.

Also when i went to see it people also moeaned after a few times going back to the same point, i thought the same as Andreteh, didnt they know what they were going to see?

Anyway i really enjoyed the movie and the chase, its just a shame they didnt truly filmed it in Spain, it was full of action, crashes and slidings, the pile up the ambulance causes at the end was nice too, but once again, the ambulance crash had a bit of sped up camera plus shacky cam so it was not that easy to enjoy every crash, but well, whenever it comes out on DVD ill be the first one to buy it and ill watch the chase sequence over and over again 8)
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