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Tracking Final Fantasy

Tom Brook: Hello from New York. I’m Tom Brook and today’s program Final Fantasy a film with actors that look human but aren’t.

Final Fantasy, The Spirits Within, the full-length feature with a cast made up entirely of computer generated actors who look human has just arrived in American cinemas. It’s a sci-fi thriller set in the year 2065. The film’s life-like characters give a taste of what cinema in the future could become. I’ll be back with a brief review after this report from Richard McCaffery.

The star of Final Fantasy, a futuristic sci-fi thriller is a brilliant scientist called Dr. Aki Ross. The film’s opening dream sequence features a close up of her eye and reveals how authentically her human characteristics have been digitally rendered. Ming Na, the actress who supplies her voice, is startled by what has been achieved.

Aki Ross: We’re closing in on the life form.

Dr. Aki leads a mission in search of a solution to eradicate an alien infestation that has caused mass devastation on earth in the year 2065. Aki and her mentor Dr. Sid advocate a holistic approach using animals and plants while the nasty General Hein voiced by James Woods believes that blasting the aliens with a laser canon is the sure-fire way to get rid of the invaders.

There’s also a romantic sub-plot between Aki and the dashing Captain Gray Edwards who bears more than a passing resemblance to Ben Affleck. And his voice by actor Alec Baldwin who welcomes his digital alter-ego’s appearance.

Final Fantasy is the brain-child of director Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the popular Final Fantasy video game. He and his team of some 200 digital artists spent four years studying the tiny nuances of light, movement and human anatomy. Their meticulous attention to detail pushed the film’s cost to over $100 million. Final Fantasy’s pioneering animationly cast bill paid off and represents something of a milestone.

Richard McCaffery: The arrival of a big-budget film with a computer generated human cast has created anxiety among some actors. There’s a genuine concern that the new technology will be used to alter their performances and force production, although their screen personas can be reproduced digitally without their permission. Others fear that the synthetic actors could eventually make them redundant.

Although flesh-and-blood actors have no immediate cause for concern, the casting potential for digital actors is already being discussed. A sequel to Final Fantasy has yet to be decided. The film makers are agreed that though Aki Ross has made her debut, she could very well be starting in other movies.

Tom Brook: There’s no denying that the visual images in Final Fantasy are startling. The hyper-real human characters who emerge on screen are fascinating to watch.

I have to say that overall I was very impressed by the technology on display in Final Fantasy. The curvaceous beauty Aki Ross had human-looking eyes and body movements. Creating more than 60,000 hairs on her head was an astounding feat for acquiring special computer software. Interestingly these synthetic actors were imperfected with acne, freckles and pours to make them more realistic. None of the computer-generated characters were totally convincing as humans. Some were more authentic looking than others but they definitely suggest that 100 percent photo-realistic humans starring in movies may soon be possible.

Unfortunately the technology in Final Fantasy is far more inspiring than this story of humans with competing views on how best to combat an alien invasion. The dialogue was infused with an excess of New Age mysticism and the narrative dwells far too long on the intricacies of how the ghost-like alien forces operate. The characters try to navigate the audience through needlessly complicated scenarios with laborious expeditions of plot. So my advice, forget the story, just see Final Fantasy for its dazzling parade of computer generated humans.

  

难点注释: 

feature: n. (电影)正片

authentically: ad. 确实地,真正地

render: v. 表演

eradicate: v. 根除

infestation: n.(害虫、盗贼等)群袭,横行

devastation: n. 毁坏

mentor: n. 导师,指导者

holistic: a. 整体的,全盘的

nasty: a. 令人厌恶的,凶相的

blasting: v. 爆炸,毁灭

dashing: a. 活跃的,浮华的

nuance: n. 细微差别

meticulous: a. 小心翼翼的

synthetic: a. 合成的,综合的

redundant: a. 多余的  

sequel: a. 结局

curvaceous: a. 曲线优美的 

acne n. 痤疮,粉刺

freckle: n. 雀斑,斑点

laborious: a. (工作)艰苦的,费力的

dazzling: a. 眼花缭乱的,耀眼的


热影追踪:《最终幻想》

 

参考译文: 


汤姆·布鲁克:大家好,这里是纽约。我是汤姆·布鲁克,今天的节目介绍电影《最终幻想》,所有演员都看似真人,却非真人。

    刚刚在美国电影院上映的《最终幻想——精神内在》是一部标准长度的影片,演员全部是由电脑制作出来的仿真人。这是一部将时间设定在2065年的科幻恐怖片,这部影片的仿真人向观众展示了未来的电影院将会是什么样子。在里查德·麦卡弗里向大家讲解后,我将回来给大家做个简单的介绍。

    未来派的科幻恐怖片《最终幻想》的主角是一个出色的科学家阿奇·罗斯博士。影片开场的梦境一段用了她的眼睛的特写镜头,展示了由数码技术制作出来的人类的特性的真实感。为其配音的演员明娜对这种技术感到惊讶。

阿奇·罗斯:我们来仔细看一下这个生命形态。

    在2065年,一种外星害虫在地球上造成了大规模的破坏,阿奇博士带领一队人去寻找一个解决方法来彻底根除它们。阿奇和她的导师锡德博士提倡用动物和植物以整体消灭的方法,而居心叵测的海因将军(由詹姆斯·伍德配音)则相信用激光来摧毁外星生物才是消灭入侵者的唯一方法。

    在阿奇和精力充沛的格雷·爱德华兹上尉之间的爱情故事被安排为第二主线,爱德华兹与本·阿弗拉克在相貌上非常相似。演员亚历·鲍德温为他配音,并十分喜爱与自己迥异的数码形象。

    《最终幻想》是导演坂口博信的杰作,他也是颇受欢迎的电子游戏《最终幻想》的创作者。他和他约两百名数码艺术家组成一只队伍,花了四年的时间来研究光线、动作和人体构造的细微差别。他们对细节制作的严谨使得这部影片造价高达一亿美元。《最终幻想》所使用的先进动画技术得到了较好的回报,并代表着一个里程碑。

里查德·麦卡弗里:这部造价昂贵、由电脑制作的仿真演员演出的影片在一些演员当中引起了不安。一个大家都比较关心的问题是,新技术将被用于改变表演和制作。演员的银幕形象将在没有获得他们的允许的情况下用数码技术重新制作出来。还有一些人则担心这些仿真人将最终取代演员的地位。

    尽管演员们目前并没有必要急着担心,但人们已经在讨论数码演员们的发展前景。虽然《最终幻想》还没有确定是否有续集,但制片人也觉得,尽管阿奇·罗斯只是初次在银幕上亮相,但她还可以在其他影片中一展风采。

汤姆·布鲁克:毋庸置疑,《最终幻想》中的仿真形象是令人惊讶的,模拟出来的人类形象在银幕上显现出来非常迷人。

    说实话,《最终幻想》中的技术给我留下了深刻的印象。曲线优美的阿奇·罗斯有着真人般的眼睛和动作。一种特殊的电脑软件专门为她制作了六万多根头发。有趣的是,这些仿真演员的脸都不是那么完美,有粉刺、雀斑等,这都是为了让他们看起来更加真实。这些由电脑特技制作出来的演员与真人并不是完全一样的。有一些比其他的更真实一些,但这些仿真人的出现说明,很快就可以有百分百真实的仿真人在银幕上出现。

    令人遗憾的是,《最终幻想》的特技远比它的故事情节——人类关于如何消灭外星入侵者的争论要精彩得多。对话有太多关于新神秘主义的内容,而影片花太多时间在解释幽灵般的外星生物力量如何运作上。影片中的角色试图通过艰苦的远征等并不需要的复杂情节来吸引观众。所以,我的建议是,不要关心故事情节,只要看看《最终幻想》的令人眼花缭乱的电脑制作的形象吧!

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