Monday, January 25, 2010

The Changing of the Guard, but The Emperor Wears 3D Clothes

It's been awhile since I posted, but I was working on a VERY big project (more on that in the near future). Thankfully the first major hurdle is complete and on to the next three....

Yep I said three. *Shaking my head*

But I perused through the blog and realized the last post was about the hype of Avatar. LMAO

Quickly and without any fanfare I won't make this a full review nor will I call it a 50 word review, but...

Was it over hyped? Yes. Is it a good movie? Yes, especially in Imax 3D. Did I feel like I was watching the changing of Hollywood and the way it creates films? Not at all. I felt like I was watching REALLY impressive special effects by WETA Digital which is known for making REALLY great special effects (See: The Lord of The Rings Trilogy). The basic story was nothing new, but I appreciate the way the actors were captured by the WETA Digital staff. I'm sure this was one helluva behemoth to produce, but hey that's why you have $200 Million right?

Pardon my cynicism, it's a good film and I'm happy 3D has advanced beyond an actor poking a spear into the camera for the "ooooh" effect.

I however, think that the BIG change in filmmaking can be seen in smaller big ways. I think it's with the RED camera bringing very impressive photography for cheaper (see The Book of Eli or coming soon "The Truth About Lies" a short film I co-produced with writer/director Shalako Gordon *shameless plug*). It's in Final Cut Pro allowing young talented minds to edit on their laptops. The state of film is changing in the computer screen/mobile phone screen you're reading right now which will soon be the place many films are PREMIERED.

*steps off soapbox*

OK going off to do some schedules and film related work while I also work on two or three stunts I plan on bringing to the site.

oh yeah...Congrats to the Producers of The Hurt Locker, Up, Mad Men, Precious and everyone else that won a PGA tonight.

"Tell 'em why you're mad, sun!" - The Madd Rapper

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Friday, October 30, 2009

A few words about hype

There's been a gang of hype over the "revolutionary" new film "Avatar" that's set to hit theaters in December. I know lots of work (and hundreds of millions of dollars) went into making this thing, but I'm totally underwhelmed by the footage I've seen.

"ooooh wait until you see how different the aliens look" - they look like The Littles from the old ABC cartoon.

"James Cameron invented and entire world for us to see." - Didn't George Lucas create like twelve over that entire Star Wars thing?

Any trailer that dedicates ten full seconds to laying out the directors CV will definitely get the cocked eyebrow from me. Really? You're really going to intercut quick shots with a laundry list of films I may or may not have liked by this very good, very money equipped director? That's what you're going to do to convince me that this film is visionary? Why SHOW me something, that I think I've seen on my nephews video games, then say it's incredible wait until you see it in the theater? Hype.

Hype can kill a good project. It can spoil it right down to the last drop in the corner of the carton. While I'm kind of convinced Avatar will look good on an Imax screen and won't look as Xbox as it does in trailers online, I'm not convinced to pay money to see it. That's the problem. They cranked the hype machine too much.

I've read another reviewer say what's missing is "Matrix shock". I'd agree. That first trailer for "The Matrix" has Keanu Reeves (of all people) look cool then inhumanly bend backwards as we see bullets fly by him. "Bullet time" was introduced and the film world and fanboys alike, drooled. Was their hype? Barely. The directors damn sure didn't slide in "from the directors of Bound".

They actually gave out free tickets to see 12 or so minutes of footage of Avatar in Imax and the site was shutdown from demand! Hype. I really hope there's some story in there because what the new trailer achieves is stripping out several plot points and telling us as viewers way too much.... What we do see story-wise is woefully video game. Not Hype!

Nothing against the video game guys. Hell, the video game industry is making more than the film industry. Perhaps because they don't try to tell us it's visually revolutionary, they just let us see it.

Is it worth the hype? You tell me? I just wonder what Spike Jonze, Spike Lee, Charlie Kaufman or Zhang Yimou (co-director of the incredible 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony) could've done with $200 + Million.

I'm sorry am I too hype?

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

50 Word Review: Good Hair

Chris Rock tackles one of the most controversial and misunderstood preoccupations in the African-American community with hilarious, eye opening edutainment. From the Indian hair bearers to the wearers, Rock covers all spots and stays on track;-) No matter how you wear your hair, this film is styled right.

14 More Words:
Bring your friends of all colors because you will have plenty to discuss afterward.

Out of Four

Stars: Chris Rock, Nia Long, Maya Angelou, Melyssa Ford, Raven-Symone, Sarah Jones, Salt n Pepa, Ice T, Tracy Thoms, Eve, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Meagan Good, Lauren London, T-Pain, Paul Mooney, Vanessa Bell-Calloway

Directed by: Jeff Stilson
Executive Producers: Nelson George and Chris Rock
Producers: Jenny Hunter, Kevin O'Donnell, Jeff Stilson
Genre: Documentary

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

50 Word Review: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

First let me say I wish I could give myself more than 50 words for this review...but hey if I'm going to stick with this silly 50 word thing, this will be the review challenge of all challenges.

Like great chocolate, the film is dark, rich and fulfilling. It’s a clear contender for best in the series with beautiful cinematography, dazzling special effects, heart-tugging emotion and laugh out loud moments. Readers will notice omissions from the book with great additions that broaden the Potter world outside of Hogwarts.

15 more words:
The film forgoes the importance of the title but you’ll be too intrigued to care.

out of four

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon and Tom Felton

Directed by: David Yates

Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel (Cinematographer for one of my favorite films "Amelie")

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Friday, July 10, 2009

50 Word Review: Blood:The Last Vampire

Blood is visually exciting with incredible fight choreography. The downside? The Americans. Whenever an American shows up, the film turns dim. When it’s just the Japanese characters, the beautiful photography and incredible fight scenes, things work very well. A great fight film unfortunately loyal to the source material.

Ten more words:

I prefer Japanese film like sushi, authentic with no Americans.

Out of four

Opens in selected cities today

Stars: Gianna Jun, Allison Miller, Koyuki
Director: Chris Nahon

Rated R

129 Minutes Action/Suspense/Horror/Thriller

Based on the popular Manga and Anime projects of the same name.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Thank You For Letting Us Walk With You


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers Fallen?

Having been on the other side of the camera/production/magic, I know how much work and toil it takes to make a film or TV show happen. Quite often there are 14 hour (or more) days involved. Families miss their fathers, mothers and siblings. Bills go unpaid because you forget what day it is, grass goes uncut, neighbors look at you funny when you leave early and return extremely late (and that grass isn't cut). On the studio side, there are meetings on top of meetings and script revisions that can label in the hundreds. Don't believe the studios on "going green". Most of those scripts are printed on PAPER... COLORED paper. There's lots of work to make a film, you get the point.

So, how do you feel after you've toiled, bled, sweat, circumnavigated the globe for press and you get hit with horrible reviews? Not just horrible reviews, but hilariously horrible?? This is what Michael Bay, the cast and crew are feeling right at this moment. I'm sure it feels like dread and disappointment, but it definitely smells like money and lots of it.

I haven't seen Transformers Revenge of The Fallen yet. [Hmmm Those Paramount people still haven't relocated my number, huh. ] But this is the second Summer film (Wolverine was first) that has come with such advanced word on stanky breath, I just refuse to kiss the lady early. Seems the one film I was invited to see early and didn't (The Hangover) has come with the brightest shine and thus my disappointment. Thus far, the invite Gods have been good to me.

Now what? Do I see the film that was described as

"Like watching paint dry while getting hit over the head with a frying pan!" - Bradshaw, Guardian


"If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times.

While it's also garnered a 21% on the Rotten Tomato Tomatometer? Of course I will see it! Not the first weekend. I'll let the crowds subside and see it mid-next week maybe after seeing The Hangover. I appreciate the work of all those below the line people that worked their butts off only to have the goodness pulled from beneath them because some asshole thought it was funny to have illiterate "hip hop" robots speaking in stereotypical broken English (yes really). Hmmm, maybe I'll sneak into this movie after paying for The Hangover... I'm a cineaste first and this thing seems like this year's horrible (transforming) train wreck.

Well...until GI Joe comes out...

Have you seen it? Please tell me what you thought...

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