Featured Review: White-Ra: The Beast Movie by Spitfire_ua: Download from MYM
Every once in a while, a movie comes along with such dazzling innovation, such superb technique, that it redefines the Starcraft movie scene and sets a new standard for all other moviemakers.
This is such a movie.
Even with about a minute and a half devoted to intro/outro (which are, incidentally, very unique and well-done), this movie (at 14:56) is easily one of the longer highlight movies ever made. Spitfire is a known movie-maker, with several other great productions under his belt, but he pulls out all the technical stops on this one. Extra-large battlefields, insets, unit info on the sides, unit sound effects for emphasis, musically-timed transitions - this movie has it all, and introduces in turn several new movie-making techniques I have never seen before. It is a step above even Spitfire's previous technically superb efforts.
Sometimes the effects just make you go, "Oh, that's cool!" (like the Monster Archon scene - one of the best parts), but what sets this movie apart from other technical showfests is that the technical effects are often used to great effect to highlight the scenes themselves. Spitfire has the benefit of working with top-tier material, as White-Ra is an outstanding player (many of the scenes are played against Korean competition). So there are several impressive feats of micro that would have otherwise escaped the notice of the viewer were it not for Spitfire's dazzling special effects. Examples include the dragoon vs zergling micro scene, where the unit insets show how many kills the dragoons can get before being surrounded and killed; the just-barely nexus-destruction scenes; the sair/reav taking out a Zerg base scene; the high templar storming scenes; and my favorite of all, a zealot vs zealot battle brought to life with wonderful (and to my knowledge, first such) use of unit wireframes.
As I already hinted at, the moves themselves are of top quality through-and-through. It has it all - destroying a burrowed lurker by shooting at his own zealot (taking no damage) with his own reaver; great PvZ action sequences; innovative moves like the use of mind control against a lurker contain; impressive reaver drops; great push-breaking; and a thrilling elimination race with Bifrost. Rarely have I ever watched a movie containing at once so much technical quality and so much player quality at the same time. There are minor flaws in the movie, a couple things Spitfire could have done better, sure, but that would be nitpicking. If this movie doesn't warrant the highest score on my rating list, I am not sure what could. 10/10
Fisheye Highlights by aN.Retuh: Download from Broodwar.de
The problem with this movie isn't really what is in it so much as what isn't in it. Fisheye is a great player with several major wins under his belt, and it just seems difficult to believe that what is presented here is really Fisheye's best. We see about 12 sairs and three reavers take down a base with about the same number of hydras; a quick cheese rush against a Terran in the beginning, several observer-less DT kills - nothing really inspiring. There are several good clips from WCG - but dyo already included them, and much more well-done, in his classic "WCG 2004 Highlights". The one notable feature of the movie is Fisheye's trademark storms - there are several scenes that have absolutely amazing storms, in all matchups. (I particularly liked the one where he cleared his entire cliff on Namja Iyagi with three or so storms, with the seven-tank kill a close second.)
The movie is short - very short - at 3:49, with no intro or outro, so this movie is what you make of it. It's not as good as it could have been, and several of its scenes are better done elsewhere - but hey, why not? At the very least you'll get a kick out of the storm scenes. 4.5/10
BW German Racewar by dyo: Download from Broodwar.de
In my movies folder, I classify my movies as type - Korean scene or foreign, then individual player, clan highlight, or tournament highlight movie.
Then I have a folder called "Movies by dyo".
Dyo is undeniably the most influential figure in the Starcraft movie scene - his original Pimpest Plays movies set the very first bar for moviemaking and inspired many to come. I'll be reviewing his movies one at a time as I go along, starting with what is arguably his weakest - relatively speaking, of course.
This 7:29 movie (with a little less than a minute and a half for intro/outro) is about a German tournament - I don't know anything about it, and therefore I don't know why it's called a Racewar. Suffice to say it involves some of the top German players in their heyday - Fisheye, Breakdown, Methos, Dolife, Dashwriter, Schniblor, Socke, etc. (Mondragon, poxxelo, and Goody - among others - are mentioned in credits but I don't think they're actually in the movie, just the tournament.) The technical effects are very old-school: limited strictly to transitions between scenes and superb syncing with music, as is dyo's trademark. It's very much background, and does not command your attention. The moves themselves are well-done for the most part - since it's a tournament movie, one's expectations cannot be set too high. There's a funny scene involving Fisheye doing a probe recall onto Dolife's tanks, and Hexer attempting an all-out zeal/probe counter after Methos destroyed his nexus, but nothing too outstanding. 7/10