Friday, March 04, 2005

All Good Under the Hood

The moment I've been waiting for for the past few months is here: The Herbie: Fully Loaded trailer has arrived. If you care about me at all, not clicking on this is not an option.

The good:
-The trailer has an obvious reverence for Herbie.
-The cast seems to be having fun with it, playing just the right level of reality. Matt Dillon hits just the right tone as the rival/villain: "That car's alive! It's mocking me! Look!"
-Lindsay Lohan manages to not look overly hung over.
-Stunts look well done.
-"Herbie, she's too young for you." Lohan's best line in the trailer, and the moment where she appears to actually have a connection with the car.
-The trailer music choices fit well, except for the "Here we go!" and when the techno track that kicks in after "Let's race."

The bad:
-I'm not fond of the movement toward eyelids and "facial expressions," which Herbie always did without before. For the most part it's not too bad, except for the scene where Herbie makes the scary CGI face to scare Dillon. The scene where Herbie beats up Dillon is one of the highlights, so it's sad to see it go from one of the high points straight to the lowest point.
-Some of the stunt CGI looks unfinished, but I'm sure that will improve by the release date.
-I'd prefer if we didn't get such a clear "showroom shot" right at the beginning. It weakens the reveal. But maybe it's necessary to jog the memory of those with less Herbie consciousness.
-Sound effects, like Herbie's horn, and the "booga-booga" noise that accompanies the scary face, are uncomfortably cheesy and hopefully will not be the same in the finished film. Also, I don't think we need buzzing and whirring sound effects when Herbie's "eyes" move--it seems too much like a robot.
-Sped-up footage with the wheelie scene and the bouncing hydraulics scene makes the effects look fake.

I hope the CGI face-making is part of a dream, or kept to an absolute minimum, because it's awful. Other than that I'm still excited. I can't count how many times I've watched the trailer already. I'm interested to hear what normal people would think based on this.

*ADDENDUM: To get a sense of my enthusiasm, of what this means to me, remember what a big deal Star Wars Episode I was for many people--the first new Star Wars movie since their childhood, a franchise for which they'd held an irrational, lifelong affection built on its ties to their youth. I didn't give a crap about Star Wars but the anticipation people had for Episode I is what I have for Herbie: Fully Loaded. That CGI scary face is me getting my first glimpse of Jar Jar Binks, and hoping against hope that he won't ruin the entire experience. The only difference is that I'm pretty sure Herbie: Fully Loaded cannot possibly be as disappointing as Star Wars Episode I.

Knock on wood.

Also, to Matt--yeah, I too thought it was a little weird that they would show a clip so obviously from the ending.


matt said...

i think it looks pretty good. i doubt i'll get meli to see it, but maybe a rental. i agree that the CGI is a bad move, and i also love the "too young for you" line, since it's a new beetle joke. i don't mind the headlights-as-eyes so much.

and while i realize that we all know herbie wins in the end, i don't think it's necessary to spoil it in the trailer by including the "that car's alive!" shot, since that's almost certainly after matt dillon has been defeated by herbie.

lydia said...

Well, I clicked on the link only because of your guilt trip, but the trailer wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it might be. It looks cute, and I liked the bits you mentioned as highlights, as well as "It's Herbier." The stunts look really fake right now (I don't have much hope that they'll look better in the context of the movie), but Herbie still seems quite lovable.

Anonymous said...

The CGI looks terrible, whether it's the car's "facial" expressions or the driving effects, but the rest looks fairly not-terrible. There's four writers, which is a lot but not excessive, and two of them are State/Reno 911 guys, which is encouraging. And while Breckin Meyer has second billing, I didn't notice him in the trailer at all, which is good. Man, do I hate Breckin Meyer.


Zack said...

Watched the trailer. Don't have much else to say. I would not watch it on a plane. I would not watch it on a train.

C said...

The kid from Ed is in it. I like him. And I like disney. I may actually see this movie. maybe at the $3 theater.