Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Poster # 1


Film Review: Clash of the Titans

Film Review: Clash of the Titans
I caught an early screening of Clash of The Titans last night, a film which I have been very interested in seeing since I first heard word of it. I am a HUGE fan of the original Clash, notably for the incredible animation from Ray Harryhausen, a personal hero of mine. I was skeptical of the remake and also a bit worried that younger audiences may overlook the classic and adopt this new CG heavy version as their preferred film.
I must say I was quite happy with the film. It ran at a brisk pace and was filled with some very memorable moments. I was especially happy to see this film, since I am such a big fan of classical mythology. Stories of gods and all the crazy shit they did is very interesting subject matter. There are so many stories I read back in school that would make for excellent films. I'm hoping we will see some of these in the years to come.
So the things I liked about the film were:
* the fantastic set design
Numerous scenes had a grand sense of scale and wonder to them. Giant statues of Zeus, a cliffside town, foggy and dark underworld, and Medusa's lair all looked amazing. Mount Olympus was a highlight as well. I really loved how the God's were able to look down on a miniature world complete with clouds, mountains, etc..
* the creatures
It is clear a lot of attention went into designing all the various monsters in the film. The Kraken looked excellent, and dangerous, and Medusa was extremely cool too. I liked how she was still beautiful, save for the snakey hair. Personal preference makes me like the original Medusa though... I just felt she was far more terrifying as a stop motion creature. Stop motion in general is a bit more creepy, since the characters would move in a slightly unnatural and jerky way.
* the story
Although the story deviated from the original film a bit, and left out a couple things I would have loved to see, I thought they did a good job with it. The relationship between Perseus and Zeus was done well, and I warmed up to the scheming side story of Hades as well.
* the casting
Liam Neeson as Zeus... YES! A win all around for the casting.

Things I didn't particularly like
* the 3dness
I felt this film didn't have to be in 3d at all. Wearing 3d glasses does a few things to the film. First of all, the glasses themselves were slightly tinted making it difficult to see some of the more darkly lit scenes. Second, trying to take in the 3d of the film and pay attention to the battles was a bit hard. My eyes were straining far too much and my head began to throb towards the end of the film.
* character development
The film had a very short run time... almost too short. I felt like we could have gotten to know some of the side characters a bit more intimately so that we cared about their fate a bit more. I got the feeling a lot of side scenes were left on the cutting room floor. Perhaps we will see them on a dvd.
* the fight choreography
The fights were filmed really close and mainly in super shaky cam mode. This made it difficult to focus on the action. Also, there were a few sloppy moments that bothered me, such as when Perseus somehow ends up inside of a giant scorpion. We didn't see this happen on screen and it just seemed weird to me. I wish they would've given us a few more long shots so we could see what the hell was going on. Not all were bad though. The Medusa scene was very nice!

Overall I really enjoyed the film. I bet it is going to get some hate from people who hold a torch for the original (I do kinda), but I say enjoy it for what it is. I've never been a fan of watching films to pick apart the blunders anyways. To be clear, the original is still the superior film (obviously), but I do enjoy a cheesy film from time to time.
You know what I'd like to see? A sequel. Yeah I said it. That way we could see what the filmmakers do with a new storyline all on their lonesome. Also, does this mean we will see a Jason and the Argonauts remake? Time will tell and I remain skeptical. Come on God of War movie! Bring us something REALLY epic!
I rate it around 3 out of 5

Film Review: Antichrist

Film Review: Antichrist
I just finished watching Antchrist (which is available as of this post to watch instantly on Netflix).
I really enjoyed it! The cinematography was absolutely stunning. Just about every scene looked like a moving painting, worthy to have hung in any art gallery in the world. Even some of the more grotesque and shocking scenes would work well in one of those 'shock' galleries the cool kids hang out at.
The pacing of the film was spot on. I loved how they separated the film into little chapters. Each one seemed to have a different aesthetic which worked out well.
The acting was also a highlight. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg both delivered strikingly realistic portrayals of a couple in the midst of a terrible tragedy. Apparently Gainsbourg's agents refused to allow her to take the role due to its shocking subject matter, but she insisted.
The entire film has a sense of mystique to it, and it seems every shot holds a deeper symbolic meaning. I personally am not too sure how I feel about the story, perhaps due to a lack of knowledge on the religious undertones. I enjoyed it for what it is and can definitely recommend a viewing, although it is not for the squeamish or those offended by sexually explicit material.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Film Preview: Shutter Island

Shutter Island: Film Preview

Here is a trailer for newest film from Martin Scorsese, a psychological thriller mystery based on a novel of the same title. So far the film gives a Hitchcock feel and has an eerie undertone to it. Looking forward to watching this film soon and reviewing it. Never been disappointed by Scorsese.

Moon: Film Review

Moon:Film Review


A very well crafted film showing a man experiencing a personal crisis on a Moon base to harvest resources for Earth. The film was shot very clean and gave the feeling of solitude through out the film even with the help of his only contact a personal robot, voiced by Kevin Spacey, to care for him as he breaks down slowly as the film progresses. The acting in the film is superb and just stunning with a twist towards the end that will make you question. One of the best Sci-Fi films of last year.
A note from Eric
I was eagerly anticipating watching this film when it was released. The talk surrounding it made it sound like a return to the brainier science fiction films of the ole' black and white years. Some were comparing it to 2001. After watching the film I must say I agree with both points. I loved the sense of isolation you experience along withe the main character. I was also extremely impressed with the way Sam Rockwell's character interacts with himself (not much of a spoiler to be honest). Coming from someone who has done some basic split screen type effects, including some interaction, that ping pong scene was stunning.
The music was one of the highlights of the film as well. The score moves the story forward at an almost constant pace. It was hypnotizing to be sure.
Now I had a few issues with the film to be perfectly honest. When I sat down to watch it I had totally different expectations as to the plot. The ending threw me off completely. I have a feeling if I rewatch it I would actually enjoy it even more than the ... confusing... first go through.
I'm looking foward to seeing what Duncan Jones does next, since this was his first film.
I agree with Richard. Best Sci Fi film of 09'. Of course the only competition was Pandorum, a more action/horror driven story that wasn't too shabby in my opinion but it aint winnin' any awards.
I give it 4 out of 5 split personalities/clones/mental breakdowns/who knows

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Modest Mouse documentary

Modest Mouse

modest mouse

I ran into Modest Mouse long ago when I was living in New York back in the early 2000s or very late 90s and spent a weekend with them at the Bowery Ballroom not knowing who they where until after the show. Just on a friends reference to check them out. Just thought these guys were amazing and lived the moment to the fullest with randomness. Also it's pretty awesome to watch someone play a guitar with his mouth yelling out lyrics. Sounded like a plan over a mountain of Paps Blue Ribbon cans. They've greatly changed since the late 90s to what they are today and I doubt they remember me. Johnny Marr from the Smiths is currently in their lineup which I find strange. I still listen to their first three albums occasionally. Here's a very old documentary with the group and featuring many artists such as Built to Spill and Elliot Smith featured below in order. Enjoy and please ROCK ON!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Akira Kurosawa: 100 years!

My all time favorite director was born 100 years ago yesterday, March 23rd, 1910.

It's odd. Two days ago I got the sudden urge to check out his films again. It had been quite a while since I took one of them in. I decided to go with Yojimbo so I put that in for a whirl. The next morning I stayed in bed to start the day with Sanjuro. That evening was The Hidden Fortress, and just tonight I was watching Throne of Blood.

I heard it was 100 years since his birth, but I didn't even realize yesterday was the day until I saw a friends tweet. There must've been something in the air to compel me to watch his films these past few days. It feels almost supernatural.

Kurosawa is one of the reasons I wanted to pursue filmmaking. The man was a true genius in every sense of the word. All I can say is Thank You to Akira Kurosawa for changing the lives of so many people for the better with your visions. You are seriously missed.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fictionist - Blue Eyed Universe

My latest music video is now complete! Take a look. This one is for Fictionist's song "Blue Eyed Universe" off their just released (as in today) LP "Lasting Echo".

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pulp - This is Hardcore

Jarvis Cocker


Pulp is an amazing yet quirky group that attended St Marks College in London that was part of the Brit Pop movement in the mid 90s. Led by the daring yet exceptionally talented Jarvis Cocker. This a brilliant video they did long ago in the 90s. I'm just finding the way it was shot so clean with that film noir feel that I miss in films these days. Jarvis went to film school while forming Pulp. I can see his influence in taking part of the video. He was one of my influences when I was little and still is an influence on the way I see things.