"Video Game Scene from Her" (Warning: Mature Language):
Special Effects Review:
Spike Jonze's Her, released in 2013, follows the life of everyday man, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix). Theodore is an average, somewhat depressed man, who lives a rather socially deficient life. He is a nervous character when it comes to talking in public, yet ironic in that he works as a letter-writer. He writes very emotional and passionate letters for people who do not have the time to write them. Set in the near-future, a new computer software is released. The software contains a very environmentally aware, and self-aware, artificial intelligence. Theodore downloads this software and eventually falls in love with the A.I., named Samantha. Theodore is one of many people who fall in love with their A.I.
In the scene above, Theodore is playing a holographic video game that fills up half of his room. The game follows a character that must be led out of a cave with the help of an angry little character who uses very mature, yet very comical, language. The character Theodore plays is controlled by Theodore moving his hands and fingers forward. He is able to talk with the angry character face to face, and the angry character responds back. This game is extremely cool and changes my perspective on the future of gaming. As motion-controlled games are becoming larger in the modern world, we are literally looking at the future of gaming in this movie. Theodore is a fantastic representation as the future "average gamer". Spike Jonze and game designer David OReilly do a fantastic job at bringing the future to life through the special effects that make up this game. It really appeals to gamers like myself in its simplicity, creativity, and imagination. This scene could never have happened without a professional animator. It brings about many emotions at once. I laughed at the angry alien character, I was amazed by the scale and fluidity of the controls for the game, and I felt a sense of hope for my favorite industry ever: the video game industry.
The ability to play this game so naturally, showing the public that while this is very complicated, it is very simple to play, builds up the credibility of Joaquin Phoenix. Before Her, Phoenix had been in a variety of movies. In his most popular film Gladiator, Phoenix played a brooding giant of a man who has very selfish and sinister. His role in Her, being the complete opposite, shows just how great of an actor Phoenix is. For Phoenix to be able to sit down and play with this holographic game certainly gives him respect as an actor.
This scene, through the use of many animations and special effects, is able to effectively bring to life the near-future world. It shows us that this future is actually highly possible for us in the real world. It is wonderful, appealing, and awe-inspiring. I give this scene three director's cuts because of it's highly-imaginative, highly-different, and highly-realistic representation of our near-future.