Archive for September, 2010

27
Sep
10

Blotter Patch kid

Just finished my first full stop motion short film and the opening project in my production class and while it was fun, I must admit I’m glad to be finished. To say that stop motion is tedious is an understatement.  The biggest challenges I faced came in the form of continuity errors. I found it was hard to keep track of all the objects on my set while moving my camera, my figurine, and my various other props. Also, I found it very hard to plan shots with stop motion, as a shot is not one running piece of film, but rather hundreds of pictures strung together.  On a side note, the Blotter patch kid I used was actually the 3rd model I constructed, as I did not take into account how ridged he would have to be to hold shape while I took pictures and moved the camera.

With all these flaws sighted I will humbly admit that stop motion is not my bag and that the final product is far from perfect, but it was nice getting my hands on a camera again, and reestablishing myself with final cut. I can’t wait to get back into reel film, and can only hope that our upcoming projects allow a little more creative leeway.

Stay Dangerous,

Neff

22
Sep
10

Its a red red dawn

“In our time never has a foreign military occupied American soil, until now”

Will Neff’s review of Red Dawn

Red Dawn follows a group of American high school students who are thrust into a fight for survival when Russian and Cuban forces conduct a full scale siege on the state of Colorado. Soon after initial combat spills into the streets the students are forced to flee into the mountains, where they live off the land for the next few months. After the panic of the preliminary attack wears off, it is reviled that Colorado has been lost and the children are behind enemy lines. The kids decide that they are going to fight back and form the rebel group, The Wolverines. The wolverines engage in guerilla warfare and battle back against the evil Cuban and Russian military, while inspiring American patriotism and rousing other citizens to join in the struggle for freedom.

Of all the cold war remnants, I would argue that Red Dawn might be the most entertaining. Something about seeing a group of teens led by Patrick Swayze Kill countless Rooskies, just makes me want to grab an American flag and sprint down main street.  While the plot may seem a little implausible (why would the Solvate union attack Colorado of all states) it’s hard to scrutinize because you’re having too much fun. The film only has 5 minutes of opening before the violence starts anyway so you won’t have too much time to worry about believability. While it does seem a bit cheesy at times, Red Dawn will make you feel proud to be an American. Red dawn is also slightly a cut above you common place action film. The editing is not bad and rarely will you see the poor continuity cuts that plagued action films of the era. Cinematography is almost nonexistent as 99% of the film is people getting shot but it doesn’t detract from the overall theme of the movie. The only place where I can find a major beef with the film is the sound, often times the speech is inaudible and the sound effects sound a little like a kung fu movie. I give this move a 4/5, unless it’s being watched on the 4 of July in which case I give it a 6/5.

America…. F#@& YA!

20
Sep
10

Disney gets Digital

In preparation for the upcoming release of Tron legacy in December, I decided to finally watch the original 1982 cult classic, Tron. The original Tron is set in the early 80’s and is largely influenced by the introduction of the mainframe computer. Tron follows the story of a computer hacker named Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who is literally sucked into the world of the computers while trying to shut down the evil Master Control Program, who is bent on world domination. Flynn finds himself in a world of florescent lights and deadly video games and must battle in various video game arenas to stay alive. Flynn teams up with a computer program named Tron and sets off to shut down the Master control program and save the world. It’s easy to why this film is considered a “cult classic”, rather than just a classic as it is down right campy. Half of the dialog sounds like it was taken directly from a computer manual and the other half feels deeply cliché. I wont pull any punches Tron is a bad movie. The dialogue is terrible the plot is confusing and the characters (other than Bridges) are flat. With that said, the film is so bad that its actually entertaining. It’s like watching a two-hour running joke about the 80’s. Also the visual presentation of the movie is very unique and ground breaking for the time. Its one of those films that gets an A for effort, but the over all execution is poor. If you feel like reminiscing about the 80’s or having a good unintended laugh then Tron is well worth a watch, but other than that your not missing anything. Tron gets a 2.5 out of 5.

P.S. Im still going to watch The up coming remake Tron Legacy, as Daft Punk is set to make the sound track, and they can literally make anything good.

06
Sep
10

Film review #1

Hell hath no furry…

By William Neff

Sympathy for Lady vengeance Is the third and final film in director Chan-Wook Park’s, vengeance trilogy, and provides all the bite and blood the series has come to be known for.

The Film opens with Geum-Ja Lee, a young attractive female inmate being released from prison after serving 13 years for murdering a small boy. After her release Lee quickly goes about acting out a mysterious plan that she devised while in prison. While the majority of the film is shrouded in mystery, it is clear form the start that Lee is seeking not only redemption for her own sins, but also vengeance for someone else’s. What follows is a dark and ultra violent revenge thriller that would make even Kill Bill blush.

I give this film a high 4 out of 5 stars, but at the same time warn viewers that this movie is not for everyone. First the film is ultra violent, and not recommended for any one with a week stomach. Second the film is Korean, and with out at least a rudimentary understanding of Korean culture, the plot may not translate well. The third thing that I would caution the potential viewer with is that Park’s style of direction and filmmaking is highly experimental. I cannot stress this point enough, the film is not linear, not every thread will fit neatly, and you will most likely have to view it twice to get every thing out of it. With all that said, I still highly recommend this film to those who are adventurous enough to view it. The entire film is visually stunning, Park’s use of space, color and shadow, remind me of classic filmmakers like Wells and Hitchcock. The real selling point of this film however is not how beautiful it is but rather that Park offers a completely unique story to the audience; I guarantee no one will guess the ending to this film. Just remember hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, so have some sympathy for lady vengeance.