Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
The Good of Wanted
The reason you'd go to a movie like this is because of the action. When you saw the trailer or you saw the commercials in your mind you aren't thinking "oh, that looks like an interesting story". That could cross your mind but in the forefront you think "what great action that seems to have". I can tell you this, it delivers with action. The first scene of action was very cool and the huge reveal at the end of the scene (as well as the reveal at the end of the movie) were especially thrilling. The curving of the bullet effect was done very well and surpasses even the things anyone in The Matrix could achieve. The car-chase scene, however unbelievable, was done very well, especially its finale. It wasn't as amazing as The Matrix: Reloaded freeway scene but it was a nice urban action scene. The montage of Wesley's training with the weavers was pretty awesome and engaging. There were a few scenes of his first hits that were really great amazing, especially with the the hit he had to do with the the man in the limousine. The train scene was fantastic. I really love how since these people are ultra-assassins they have the ability to pretty much "duel" with the bullets in their guns. It was rather neat. One person will shoot their gun, curving the bullet when the other would do the same and their bullets would collide in mid-air. I actually wish I could see more of that but in a faster pace. The finale of course is epic, especially what Angelina Jolie's character, Fox, does.
The next thing that is very strong in the film is the humor and comedy of it all. I didn't except to laugh as much as I did in this film as I did, especially in the first act of the film. I was laughing really hard when Wesley quits his job, cursing out his boss and giving his so-called best friend a well-deserved hit across the face with his keyboard. McAvoy whom we last saw in Atonement played a very serious in that and he transitions from Robbie to Wesley in Wanted very well. He handled the comedy with wit and charm. Jolie's character Fox has a few comedic moments. She definitely plays the role she should as the hot co-star, which brings me to my thoughts about the acting and the story.
Although Fox is merely the co-star, the "hot chick" of the flick I always felt like she had a lot of character and Jolie pulled it off well. She could have been developed a tad bit more but all and all the slight mystery holds it well and her motives hold true to her final decision in the film. As I said before McAvoy did very well and I forgot that he was Scottish (what is with all these forgein actors playing Americans now-a-days?). Morgan Freedmon did alright as the top-dog of the faternity. The story too, was pretty cool. For me, it brought up a lot of questions. Basically, the faternity is ruled by this giant weaving machine which has the names of the people "fate" chooses to kill through an intricate code in the cloth. The code is interpreted into binary code (which explains the binary code on Fox's arm in the poster) and then deciphered into a name. There is a great twist with this in the end which I won't discuss because it's a major spoiler but I do have a lot of theories and ideas about it. The story actually kept me very intrigued and I do not believe it was over-done as most other reviews are saying.
The Bad of Wanted
When one sees the title "Wanted" they may think that the protagonist are running away from the law. Well, at first near the beginning of the movie we see Wesley on a newspaper as a "wanted" man but the thing is I never once saw a cop on his tail or saw him on the run. In fact, there isn't a single police officer in the whole film (there is a police car though). The title is a bit misleading but when I look into it further now it could play into the fact that the fraternity wanted Wesley.
While I was intrigued by the story and I do not think it was over-done I did pick up a few plot-holes, or what I thought were plot-holes but they could be forgiven. Plus, some of the over-the-top nature of the film bugged me at points. I couldn't tell what was my reality that I am familiar with in my own life and what was their reality. That doesn't make sense but what I mean is that I could really decode the limitations of these assassin's powers. While one thing was possible, another wasn't and I couldn't make sense as to why. But again, with the nature of the rest of the film it was a passable.
The action was great, of course, but sometimes in terms of the editing and the way it was shot it was hard to follow some of the sequences. Yes, action stuff should be shaky and hectic at time but the audience should be able to follow what's happening within the scene or else how would they know their hero is in danger or is conquering over their foe when all they can see is a bunch of blurry motion.
The acting was good but Morgan Freedmon didn't give a phenomenal performance as Sloan. He was alright, not even good, perhaps at points though.
Conclusion of Wanted
Good, solid action flick. Story may be a little bit out-there at times and there may be a total disregard for human life within the film but it's definitely an entertaining film. McAvoy does well from coming from an Oscar-nominated film to a summer blockbuster. Jolie is back in the action, but its a bit sad seeing her in the co-star chair. And Freedmon has had much better performances.
Apparently this film does not relate to the comic book once it gets into its second act. In the comic book it's about superheroes versus supervillians and its a world where the villains have killed off all the heroes and ruled the world but the film took the approach from an assassin organization's P.O.V.
Story: Passable. Good but may not be for everyone. (7/10)
Action: Very great. Over-the-top but once you get into it it's very enjoyable indeed. (9/10)
Special FX: Very good. But I could tell the rats were done digitally :( (8/10)
Pacing: Very fast, very humorous, slowed down when it needed to. Well paced. (8.5/10)
Editing: Good but sometimes couldn't tell what was going on in the action scenes. (7.5/10)
Acting: Avoy and Jolie give some good performacnes and have good chemistry. Freedmon could have done better. (8/10)
Recommeded: Yes, but only to those who are 14+ years of age and want to see some awesome action.
I like what one of the girls said and it really isn't a typical comic-book movie about superheroes and the like.
Off Subject Note: I bought a sixteen-ounce strawberry wild & a zucchini bread from Jamba Juice and it came out to $4.20. Hehe!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
The Good of Iron Man:
The special effects in this movie was top notch. Nothing less than amazing. Close-Ups of Tony Stark in the Iron Man suit were superb and watching him battle was even more marvelous. Of course, this is the backbone for a movie like this but where it really shines is in the acting and the relationships the various characters have with each other. So far in all the movies I've seen so far Robert Downey Jr. has got to be the most perfectly cast character I've seen, hell, I'd say I haven't seen a better casting job since I don't even know. Downey has such a swagger about him that exudes Tony Stark. He's quick witted, charming, dashing. The movie opens up on him swooping up a hot date with a new reported who is against everything he stands for with his weapons development! Tony and Pepper's relationship is fantastic as well, I couldn't get enough seeing them together, they worked so well toghether on screen. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this film. The pacing of it was pretty near-perfect for me. The first time we see Iron Man is some real combat (when he goes to the small middle eastern town) is really great. I especially enjoyed the part where the terrorist were holding a few civilians hostage and Iron Man easily calculates and separates friend from foe and easily gets rid of the terrorist with precise shots from his shoulder-weapon thing.
The Bad of Iron Man:
The only very small issue I had with it was the end battle. It was okay but I ended up enjoying some of the other actions sequences like Iron Man's race with the military Jets, his escape from his captor's clutches or his little escapade in the small middle easter town.
Story: The story was great. A very nice introduction story that did what it had to: introduced Tony Stark and his co-stars while leaving us wanting more. (7.5/10)
Special FX: Superb and practically flawless. To me, pretty jaw-dropping. (9/10)
Pacing: Very well paced. Very good balance of comedy and serious scenes with a mix of action. I never felt bored or confused. (9/10)
Editing: Very nice, the editing played a lot into the pacing of the movie but nothing spectacular. (8/10)
Acting: Very very splendid. Couldn't ask for better performances, perhaps from a few characters maybe. (9.5/10)
The Good of The Incredible Hulk:
The action is the strong suit of this film for sure. The story was alright, I did like how he was always on the run and trying to control the beast within. The special effects were really great. The Hulk looked really good on his own and the only time it was really obvious he was a CG character was when there was a two-shot of him and Betty under the cave. Besides that I really did believe Hulk was a breathing character on his own. I especially love the scene where Bruce is strapped down in the doctor's chair when he attempts to cure himself from the Hulk. I couldn't tell the difference between Bruce and Hulk as CG and live-action. It was very slick. I enjoyed Edward Norton as the new Bruce Banner but I think I miss Eric Bana's take, plus I thought Bana had a better look for Bruce. I don't think the problem in the previous film lied with the lead actor, it was with its story. My favorite part of this film (actually I have two) but my primary favorite part of this film was Stan Lee's cameo! It was brilliant. My second favorite part of the film had to be the near-love making scene between Betty and Bruce. Betty seriously sounded disappointed.
The Bad of The Incredible Hulk:
The first act of the film was a little slow. Those establishing shots of South America were a tad too long for my taste. I did not enjoy the relationship between Betty and Bruce as much as I did with Tony and Pepper. There was just something missing between the two of them. With Peter Parker and Mary Jane in the first Spider-Man you really get a good feeling about the two especially after the scene where they talk to each other about their aspirations in their backyard and you get a good feeling with Tony and Pepper when Pepper's changing out Tony's battery that keeps him alive. But with Betty and Bruce, aside from their intimate scene, which was good due more to the writing rather than the performances, you don't really feel an attachment to the two as much as you do with other superhero couples. Perhaps that's just me but I really didn't care if they saw each other, got together, or broke up. With Spider-Man I was rooting for Peter to get Mary Jane and with Iron Man I wanted so desperately for Tony and Pepper to kiss at the end of movie. That could just be me, though. The other thing that bugged me in the film was Emil Blonsky (the main villain who ends up becoming Abomination). His transition into villian just didn't work for me. At first I felt for him as a confused soldier who had no idea what was going on when he first meets Hulk. He doesn't like going into a mission where his commander or general doesn't tell him what's really up but then all of a sudden he's on a crave for power and become a drug attic of it. The transition was just too quick. I just couldn't believe why he would stand right in front of Hulk and taunt him into kicking him into a tree just to test his power. His character didn't come of to me as craze and that was a pretty rash thing to do.
Story: The story was okay. A good revamp of the franchise and great job with integrating it with a larger marvel universe. (7/10)
Special FX: Great, the Hulk looked real and the final battle was marvelous (9/10)
Pacing: Little slow in the beginning but picked up nicely enough. (8/10)
Editing: It was alright, nothing especially special. Just solid editing. (7.5/10)
Acting: Didn't like the relationship between Bruce and Betty as other Marvel relationships. Didn't enjoy the main villains performance and transition to villain. (6/10)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
So what did I get? Well as you can see above and below I got a trophy and with it I got four movie tickets to a Landmark Theater (I already know where I'm going to use the tickets for and for whom. I owe someone and I think I'll take her friends too) :). Along with the trophy and tickets I got a Best Buy gift certificate worth $200. So pretty much, that means I'm getting a new external harddrive that's firewire-ready. I was thinking about the one you see to your right. It's the Iomega - Minimax 500 GB. But that's just from a first look, I may by a drive from a name brand I'm more familiar with!
Well anyway that's it! Tomorrow is my CSI Editing visit :-D!
Friday, June 20, 2008
So I went to Disney Studios and went on set and then went to see The Incredible Hulk. I think I'll make my review of Incredible Hulk later. VideoBlogs should be coming back in three weeks time and along with them I'll be doing movie/show reviews.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thanks to Whoopi for pointing this update out!
UPDATE: Right after I made this blog Firefox 3.0 crashed on me. Eek!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Note: The other blog post are going to take time to do. But there has been so much going on even pass the four I promised a while ago.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I came back home from the art show with Taylor who's Humanities Project I was helping out with. We worked from like 9 PM - 12 AM before she left. Then I worked the remainder of the day until about 3 AM. Man was that a major drag. Our plan was that I would finish editing and export to WMV file which was a compatible file she could burn on her PC but when I woke up around 8 AM the export screwed up so I did that last thing I could think of (and I would like to thank this YouTube guy who's name I do not know). In Final Cut Pro the fastest way to export a file is through QuickTime Movie (None Self-Containing). What does that mean? Well it means I could only play the exported file on my computer only, no where else, even if another Mac had the same version of my Final Cut Pro. So what does that mean? I had to bring my whole PowerPC Mac G4! MY WHOLE COMPUTER! MONITOR, KEYBOARD, TOWER, MOUSE AND ALL! Low-key I really want to ask for more money. I said I'd do the project for $40 but it's been a lot more work than it was worth.
The BBQ was a lot of fun though. I did a lot of sitting though because I wasn't letting my sweet Mac G4 out of my sight. But for a short time I went outside and got some food (thanks Taylor, Ms. I and Ms. Madan). I got a veggies burger and some fruit and some salad. It was actually very good. Then I went back to my sweet G4 and wrote some of this story I'm working on right now. It's a fanfic on my character Antwone Thomas. It goes over his past mostly and how he came into being a werewolf.
I guess a good short plot summary is this:
The story opens with Antwone Thomas, Age 20, in his small apartment after he has transformed into a werewolf. The young wizard is at his lowest. No one will take him for jobs, he's arguing with his girlfriend and he, in his eyes, had ruined his beloved uncle's life. As the dawn is rising Antwone reminisces back to the day he was turned into a werewolf to his three months in St. Mungo's to his life with his uncle to a horrific event he can never forgive himself for.
So after the BBQ I called ICF (Inner City Filmmakers) to confirm when the Student Academy Awards was starting and that leads into the next blog post ...
Monday, June 9, 2008
The previous night, which was Thursday, I was up all night doing a documentary I was doing for a Humanities student. Actually, I still need to get paid for that. But I was doing that all night and woke up very sluggish. I still needed to edit a handful of animations for the art show that afternoon (Friday). There was a teacher's strike in the morning so school wasn't to start until 9:00. I arrived at about 7:45 and I snuck into school into the video editing room and guess what!? Ms. I's computers came! What kind you ask? A Mac Pro! The latest Mac Pro! And it finally comes now! Now! Two weeks before I leave the school! Typical. Also three new iMac Intels came for the animators. Oh well!
So I began taking the animations from the OSIX iMacs for the whole hour I had but when they came off the files were not being recognized as QuickTime movies. So I couldn't animated a full two animations worth of four periods! Yikes! By this time Ms. I is freaking out and saying she'll cancel the art show but I pulled through and got a few done by the end of school but it was quite stressful.
After school came and I was burning DVDs for the art show with Jinah and Hannah Yang (two identical twin Asian sisters whom I can tell apart now). They were cool people. The show went on pretty well. I showed the trailer to Whoopi vs. SilentBat II and people enjoyed it, I showed And He Gets The Girl and people enjoyed it, I showed the animations and people enjoyed it. It was cool. I only got one cookie before they all vanished though. The electronic music performance was alright. Pretty good stuff. I went home and did more editing for that Humanities project and that leads into the next entrie.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
The Art Show
Humanities Senior Project BBQ
35th Annual Student Academy Awards
Mother's Birthday BBQ
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
It's here, be sure to vote for your favorite entry!
These are my first impressions:
First Impressions (trying to keep these one sentence or so):
1st Entry - BruceM: Definite improvement. Keep at it and I think you'll really be able to make a quality entry.
2nd Entry - Darkpitaman: Alright. Pretty average. Nothing too memorable. Needed more time to practice to really make the moves pay out more smoothly.
3rd Entry - Demogoblin2: Couldn't watch it. It crapped out on my computer.
4th Entry - FSFilms # 1: White Masked Dudes = Putties from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Intense. Really enjoyed this. The sound editing could have been a bit better. 6:28 Amazing! Simply Amazing!
5th Entry - FSFilms # 2: Not as amazing as the other but pretty good for the time given. That ending was .... interesting.
6th Entry - Tim DeHaas *NON-TFN MEMBER: Cool setting but pretty generic fighting and kind of slow. Sound editing was off. Some of the sounds just didn't work with some of the strikes.
7th Entry - Jacob Landis-Eigsti *NON-TFN MEMBER: Strange opening. Cool idea with B&W with lightsabers. Don't appreciated the sped-upness of it though. Couldn't really make sense of it.
8th Entry - Ramsaur: Cinematography and Editing needed a lot of work.. The choreography didn't amaze me. It just seemed like it needed more practice.
9th Entry - ResidentOfEvil: 2:03. THE MAN WITH NO EYES! It was alright. The dueling with the apprentice should have been cut cause the only thing worth watching was the duel between the Jedi and Sith. Holy shoot I forgot what you looked like Laughing_Cheese.
10th Entry - Ryan_W & BrandonFlyte: Ryan ... that ending ... arghflagems. I can't talk about this right now. My feelings are hurt.
11th Entry - StickGuyProductions: It was really slow and the choreography was really simple and unexciting.
12th Entry - Whiteley79: 0:33 reminds me of Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix. Like the choreography but I think some of the cinematography takes away from it. There were elements that I liked but I can't say I enjoyed the duel in its entirety.
13th Entry - Tyson Benard *NON-TFN MEMBER: This as just alright. I really wasn't thrilled much at all.
I'LL MAKE FULL REVIEWS THREE AT A TIME WHENEVER I HAVE THE TIME.
Also, I had some fun with one of the entries:
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Incredible pictures of one of Earth's last uncontacted tribes firing bows and arrows
By MICHAEL HANLON
Last updated at 4:43 PM on 30th May 2008
Skin painted bright red, heads partially shaved, arrows drawn back in the longbows and aimed square at the aircraft buzzing overhead. The gesture is unmistakable: Stay Away.
Behind the two men stands another figure, possibly a woman, her stance also seemingly defiant. Her skin painted dark, nearly black.
The apparent aggression shown by these people is quite understandable. For they are members of one of Earth's last uncontacted tribes, who live in the Envira region in the thick rainforest along the Brazilian-Peruvian frontier.
Thought never to have had any contact with the outside world, everything about these people is, and hopefully will remain, a mystery.
Scroll down for more
Painted: In a thick rainforest along the Brazilian-Peruvian border, these tribespeople are thought never to have had any contact with the outside world
Their extraordinary body paint, precisely what they eat (the anthropologists saw evidence of gardens from the air), how they construct their tent-like camp, their language, how their society operates - the life of these Amerindians remains a mystery.
'We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist,' said Brazilian uncontacted tribes expert José Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Junior. 'This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence.'
Meirelles, who despite once being shot in the shoulder by an arrow fired by another tribe campaigns to protect these peoples, believes this group's numbers are increasing, and pointed out how strong and healthy the people seemed.
But other uncontacted groups in the region, whose homes have been photographed from the air, are in severe danger from illegal logging in Peru and populations are being decimated.
Scroll down for more
Mystery: The tribespeople are likely to think the plane that took this photograph is a spirit or large bird
Logging is driving uncontacted tribes over the border and could lead to conflict with the estimated five hundred uncontacted Indians already living on the Brazilian side.
'What is happening in this region [of Peru] is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the 'civilised' ones, treat the world,' said Meirelles.
It is extraordinary to think that, in 2008, there remain about a hundred groups of people, scattered over the Earth, who know nothing of our world and we nothing of theirs, save a handful of brief encounters.
The uncontacted tribes, which are located in the jungles of South America, New Guinea and a remote and the beautiful and remote North Sentinel island in the Indian Ocean (the inhabitants of which have also responded to attempts at contact with extreme aggression) all have one thing in common - they want to be left alone.
And for good reason. The history of contact, between indigenous tribes and the outside world, has always been an unhappy one.
Scroll down for more
Human nature: One man points at the plane. Others ready their weapons
In our overcrowded world their very future hangs in the balance. Almost all of these tribes are threatened by powerful outsiders who want their land. These outsiders - loggers, miners, cattle ranchers - are often willing to kill the tribespeople to get what they want.
Even where there is no violence, the tribes can be wiped out by diseases like the common cold to which they have no resistance.
According to Miriam Ross of Survival International, which campaigns to protect the world's remaining indigenous peoples, 'These tribes represent the incredible diversity of humankind. Unless we want to condemn yet more of the earth's peoples to extinction, we must respect their choice. Any contact they have with outsiders must happen in their own time and on their own terms.'
As to who these people are, how they live their lives, what language they speak - we know nothing. 'Normally you can tell who tribes are by their language, how they wear their hair, how they adorn their bodies and so on, but in this case the photos don't allow us to get close enough to see,' says Ms Ross.
Scroll down for more
Hidden homes: The tribe's tent-shaped dwellings deep in the rainforest
When anthropologists first overflew the area, they saw women and children in the open and no one appeared to be painted. It was only when the plane returned a few hours later that they saw these individuals covered head-to-toe in red. 'Tribes in the Amazon paint themselves for all kinds of different reasons - one of which includes when they feel threatened or are aggressive,' Ms Ross says.
'And they are almost certain to feel threatened by or aggressive towards a plane, which was where the photos were taken from. They are almost certain not to understand what the plane is - perhaps a spirit or a large bird.
'The jungle is fundamental to their lives and survival. It's their home, their source of food, the source of their culture etc. Without it, they could not exist as a people.'
Contact is usually a disaster for these remote tribespeople, who live a life probably unchanged for more than 10,000 years. Even if the loggers do not shoot them (which they often do) or force them off their land, diseases against which these isolated humans have no resistance typically wipe out half an uncontacted tribe's numbers in a year or two.
Stay away: The anthropologists saw evidence of gardens, but exactly what they eat, how they build their huts and why they paint their bodies remains unknownMs Ross added: 'These pictures are further evidence that uncontacted tribes really do exist. The world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct.'
Hopefully we'll get a teaser trailer soon :)