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Star Trek Beyond


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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 08:44 PM

I saw this today in the Dolby Cinema Theater set-up at the AMC 15 Century City -- it's been there for most of the year I gather, so now I'm kicking myself for not going there earlier.  I had been seeing movies in their digital IMAX theater but I think this Dolby Theater is superior in every way.  The black levels are amazing, like a film print.

 

The movie looked great. The ARRI anamorphics (and Greg's focus-pulling) were top-notch, I'd almost say that the ARRI anamorphics were almost too perfect... you got the stretched bokeh but none of the other artifacts of anamorphic, no flaring, etc.  There was one shot of Spock (it's in the latest trailer) looking at some memorabilia and there is a horizontal anamorphic flare which I assume is some sort of streak filter.  I also noticed that early shots on the Enterprise sets (particularly the bridge) had the slight halation from what looks like a #1/8 Black ProMist, which is what the J.J. Abrams movies did on the bridge set.

 

There may have been a subtle film look grain pass done to the Alexa image to make it closer to the look of the previous Trek movies, but like I said, it's subtle.

 

Nice LED lighting on the Enterprise sets.


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 09:17 PM

This begs the question, was it worth seeing? Also, was it presented in 2.35:1 or did it fill the screen?
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 09:28 PM

It was presented in 2.40 : 1 but the Dolby screen seems to be 1.90 : 1 so there was some black bars above and below the image.

 

Depends on how much of a Star Trek fan you are in terms of being worth seeing.  The actual plot is not that complicated nor original, but there is a lot of action surrounding it.  There are some interesting ideas behind the motivations of the characters that lift it, but some of your interest will depend on how much you care about the history of these characters and of the Federation.

 

You can read the crux of the plot politically if you want to, in light of recent events -- the villain seeing the non-militaristic, multi-cultural world of the Federation as being "soft" and "weak" but his thinking is driven by personal events in the past.


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 10:32 PM

Interesting, yea I'm a pretty big trekkie, haven't missed a "trek" movie in the theater since I was old enough to see them. Tho I will admit, I'm not a fan of the new series, it's at least entertaining popcorn fodder. I also got a discounted ticket from the BluRay of Wrath of Kahn, thanks to your review of the disk, one I throughly enjoyed. :)

I'm kinda shocked they didn't do a "IMAX" 1.90:1 version.

Cool beans, thanks for the reply! :)
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 11:57 PM

It was also playing in 3D IMAX in the next screen at the AMC 15, but I don't know what aspect ratio they used. Since it was shot in 2X anamorphic on the Alexa, I'm not sure they'd want to crop it just to get to a 1.90 : 1 ratio.


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#6 Manu Delpech

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 06:22 AM

According to the AC article, they did add film grain to make it closer to ST and STID, although I feel the difference is pretty big.


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#7 KH Martin

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 07:20 AM

Did the article have anything on DNeg's VFX, or was it just cinematography/production-oriented?

 

Early feedback on the film seems to mostly in favor of, but lots of comments I see are about the postconvert 3D adding nothing but dimness, which is interesting cuz Lin avoided 3d on previous films but was looking forward to seeing what it could do for this one (He didn't seem too interested in the Barco thing though, which makes sense if it is about blowing up good compositions into not so good ones.)

 

I'm still waiting for my replacement KHAN disk with what I hope will be the movie money to see BEYOND, but unlike the 09 reboot, which I'm still glad I missed (would have been a walkout for me) I will actually see this one in a theater and fully expect to enjoy myself at least half the time, which will elevate this above the last quarter-century of TheatricalTrek for me.


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#8 Manu Delpech

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 08:59 AM

There's a heavy VFX element to the article as well, pretty good one. The Barco Vision trailer looks like it could be spectacular (even if only for a couple of scenes)


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#9 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 09:50 AM

Thanks for the nod David. I haven't seen the picture yet however the entire "A" camera department is going tomorrow here in Atlanta since we are all together as usual on FAST 8. I agree with you regarding the Master Anamorphics. They are way too perfect and even along the lines of being antiseptic. Not much personality to them. Having said this, they are the most robust set of Anamorphics I've ever used. We abused them everyday while flinging our cameras all over the place. As far as black promise filters, you were right on. We used either a 1/4 or 1/2 BPM just to liven up the 500,000 LEDs that made up the bridge. Steve Windon is an outstanding cinematographer and a true pleasure to collaborate with. As we have for well over 20 years.

G
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 10:20 AM

So Greg, did you use a blue streak filter for that anamorphic flare I mentioned in the shot of Spock where the camera is tracking laterally through some sort of diamond-shaped windows?


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#11 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 10:33 AM

Greg, I'd love to hear whether you guys investigated the front and rear flare sets for the Master Anamorphics - they certainly seem to 'liven' up the lenses a bit.


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#12 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 11:16 AM

We did David. Only for that scene.

G
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#13 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 11:20 AM

Greg, I'd love to hear whether you guys investigated the front and rear flare sets for the Master Anamorphics - they certainly seem to 'liven' up the lenses a bit.


I tested the flare sets during prep and found them not useful. They are not something that you can put on and take off easily. It's an installation. Also, with our film's look and style, the flaring effect was not desirable.

G
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#14 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 02:04 PM

I tested the flare sets during prep and found them not useful. They are not something that you can put on and take off easily. It's an installation. Also, with our film's look and style, the flaring effect was not desirable.

G

 

Interesting, thanks mate.


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#15 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 02:09 PM

 
Interesting, thanks mate.


Damn spell check! I meant to say cannot put on or take off easily (flare sets).
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#16 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 10:16 AM

I saw it last night. Twasn't bad actually, pretty simple and workable plot I thought. Obviously, there were a lot of crazy things that were added for the sheer "wow" factor. I can see a bunch of people sitting in a room, throwing around ideas, not even contemplating anything related to actual science. I mean it's back to my beef with this new generation Star Trek, they've kinda removed the "science fiction" and added generic "action".

Someone posted a video with a trekkie discussing the TNG movies and the 'NEW' trek movies. It was funny when the reviewer said, the TNG crew wasn't designed for action, which is right. IN my eyes, that's one of the reason's TNG was so great. It was really Science Fiction first and the crew was "out of place" in an action scene. Where this new 'trek' is all about taking huge risks, getting into fist fights, riding gas powered motorcycles and basically turning off all science realism, in favor of silly action scenes which are designed to WOW.

So if you like 'wow' and 'pop' movies, this one does do a good job. It was entertaining all the way through, but it lacks the meaning of the other two movies. This one felt a little bit more shallow, like it could have been a single episode of TNG, rather then some big space epic. That aspect wasn't a bad thing, it was just unexpected. I also enjoyed it more then I expected, which was a good thing I guess. The trailers made the movie out to be pretty bad and the 4 editor credits, kinda proved they had some issues in post. I would have like to see what went wrong, what they needed to re-shoot(add) or cut out.

I thought Justin Lin did an acceptable job, but his action scene direction style is very shaky cam and very close up, so you can't really see what's going on. This kinda helps so you can't identify who is fighting, but when the fight is between two people in heavy makeup, in my opinion, there is no excuse not to use serious stunt doubles and make a real fight scene out of it. Outside of that beef and the one's above, I thought it was assembled well enough, there didn't seem to be issues with the directing or even editing.

So yea, if you're in the mood for space-based action this summer, it maybe worth the watch. Not saying it's a great movie, but it was entertaining, which is the whole point. :)
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#17 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 09:22 AM

Hi all, I saw STB on Sunday night with my camera dept and all of us are genuinely pleased with the outcome. The aggressive style of the cinematography definitely enhanced the story telling. Steve Windon's practical lighting was beautiful. Loved the movie.

G
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#18 Richard Boddington

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 06:32 PM

 The aggressive style of the cinematography 

 

Does this mean, "hand held shaky cam?"  Please warn me before I go.

 

R,


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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 06:55 PM

There's a lot of camera movement but it actually seemed less frenetic than in "Star Trek" (2009)...
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#20 Richard Boddington

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:39 PM

There's a lot of camera movement but it actually seemed less frenetic than in "Star Trek" (2009)...

 

Oh phew, thanks! 20 billion dollar production budget and Gregory didn't get the allocation for a tri-pod. :)

 

R,


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