I would still prefer a BTTF hover-conversion over a Maglev
When you have a think tank filled with futurists, an obvious subject for speculation is of course transportation. Discussions of alternative fuel sources lead to the concept of magnetic cars and highways and voilà, the so called 'Maglev' was born. And with it one of the most memorable action sequences in the first Spielberg/Cruise SF collaboration, Minority Report. Pre-visualization supervisor Ron Frankel talks about the Maglev system in three dimensions even though the entire sequence is obviously completely CGI. Unlike the Spyder robots featured in a previous Bonsu (= bonus feature), this set piece was too tough for the Dreamworks animation department to crack on their own, so ILM was called in to help them out.
If you think 'Maglev' sounds rather like a foreign car, you're correct, for it was engineered by German vehicle designer Harald Belker. Unforutnately he doesn't reveal much about the magnetic car that we haven't already heard in other Bonsu's on the second disc of the MR DVD set. What is worse, by the time you reach this particular one, chances are you'll have seen the live action shots of Tom Cruise climbing out of a mock-Maglev so many times before that you know the sequence by heart. The same thing goes for the pre-viz stuff and the combination of live-action plate with CG surroundings. Belker also came up with some more little electric cars to be used in the backgrounds that are even uglier than the Smart. Sound designer Gary Rydstrom talks about the difficult task of creating sound effects for the type of car that would most likely make no sound at all.
Moving right along to the flying vehicle nicknamed the Dispenser. They clearly couldn't use the one from Artificial Intelligence again, so this time around the police hover-ship looks a lot like Boba Fett's Slave One (which made a comeback in Attack of the Clones the same year M.R. came out) . A 28 feet high version was build by special effects supervisor Michael Lantieri that could actually hold the actors playing cops in a circular seating arrangement. This time around Rydstrom saw the vehicle as a futuristic version of the Hindenburg, so he went out and recored a hovercraft. Unlike all the other short subjects on this disc, there is no quote from the film at the end this time - well what did you expect, none of these vehicles talk
5 out of 10
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