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The design geek on Valkyrie - Elf M. Sternberg
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The design geek on Valkyrie
I tend to be more of a design critic than a designer these days, and there are two moments in Valkyrie, neither of which are spoilers, that made me go "eww!" Both have to do with the titles.

Tom Cruise, in a fit of nostalgia blended with too much money, now owns the United Artists logo. Do you remember that logo? Back in the 1970's, it had a nifty hand-animated rotating look to it that was sleek, metallic and sexy. Cruise has had it updated for 2008, and the result is awful; it's a blob that smears across the screen in an unreadable blur before the UA logo finally snaps into place, and even then it doesn't look right. I suspect the attempt was to make the chrome look more mirror-like by adding "real" reflections, but the result is puddled-up goo.

The same is true of the actual title screen for Valkyrie. The attempt was to "translate" the film for audiences from the German that was being spoken to the English that we had to hear, so the opening shot is just the name, "Walküre", stencilled on a sheet of vellum, which then does an animated blur to the name 'Valkyrie'. But the blur can't decide if it's a gaussian blur or a sliding fade-transition, and it looks like the animation team at Pacific Title chose to do both. It's a confusing mess at a time when confusing messes should be avoided, since Singer is about to create an homage scene to Patton as a launching point for his own story, when clarity and linearity are the name of the game.

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