Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Review Of 'Avatar'

http://www.reviewstl.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/AVATAR-movie-poster-large-james-cameron.jpgWhat can I say about James Cameron that if he read it wouldn’t make his head grow ten times bigger? The man has directed some of the best movie and for any which have revolutionized recent cinema not to mention making it near impossible for another director to triumph in the sequel i.e. Terminator. Nevertheless, Cameron did it again with his 2009 box office smash Avatar. To rub insult to injury he then released an extended version which showed the true imagination of Cameron and his Pandora vision. Not to mention showing a more descriptive idea of his 2035 earth.

In essence Avatar story has been controversial at best. As we see (or believe we see) many ethical and political issues with the context of the film. As for the story it replicates and - if not to so bold – parallels the pilgrims going over to the new world with a Sci-fi twist. Jake Sully an ex-marine journeys to the magical world Pandora - A newly discovered planet – in the replacement of his brother who was sent to control an Avatar – or in other terms a mechanically body that replicate the feature of body it’s host and the natives of Pandora. Whilst in link Sully learns the way of the native a gains there trust in essence of moving their tribe. Unbeknown to him that it will see Sully ultimately falls in love with the ways of the native and even the Chiefs daughter. In result Sully turns rogue on humankind to defend them as the ‘Earth People turn violent
http://skew.dailyskew.com/uploaded_images/Avatar-movie-Wallpapers-793418.jpgWith such a big movie and ask. Cameron use of historical events, a artistic licence open the pathway for a plausible and effective story needed for such a complex environment. The ideas put forward of the inner evils of our race and the mistreating of a less developed population caused stir in society. Yet Cameron uses it to make us perceive the ideology of ourselves. Without doubt having trace to the old stories of the pilgrim and the Native Americans. Cameron displays the story a political issue, which with the advancement in space program needs to be looked at. Making Cameron’s story relevant to the present day, and for this reason, making the story a powerful tool, for such a powerful movie. Therefore ‘at first, Avatar is a bit disconcerting. The lush landscapes, the primeval forests bursting with alien life, the gorgeously lithe Na'vi and their graceful yet strong athletic movements -- it's impossible not to marvel at the creative prowess involved here. – Bill Gibron

Desktop Wallpaper > Movies & TV > James Cameron Avatar movieThe characters on the other hand feel a little questionable and in some ways highly racist as many native are acted by black people and yet on the side of the ‘Sky people’ only one marine share the same skin colour. As with the storyline the character has raised issue and yet for viewer who takes the film for what it is.  The characters in some respect resemble the same ying and yang scenario which we face in most movies of its genre. Nevertheless with it racial slant (obvious overlook on Cameron’s part) make for a bad choice as the respect issue of our inner evil feels more of an attack on Caucasian suggesting that we still have racist soul as well as implying the native as the black people as the less developed part of our species. Still the CGI of the character are uncanny to the actors/actresses appearance in reality and defiantly a feat. For a CG fanatic or a professional CG artist the biggest element of the character is their improvement on ‘Uncanny Valley’. Although still present; we can see more emotion in the eyes then standard 3D film. In turn we are able to sympathise more with the CGI than we had before. As we can see the sadness in the eyes of Sully as he loses Dr Grace to Ewa after being shot. Although nit picking at the racial slant the character have Cameron’s films has played host in this respect to the beginning of a more sophisticated character model in which animator can progress on to eradicate the big issue of uncanny valley.

http://www.hdwallpapers.in/walls/avatar_movie_space_ships-wide.jpghttp://www.avatarmoviewallpapers.com/wp-content/gallery/avatar-1/avatar-movie-wallpapers-flying.jpgYet the main success of the movie was its vast environment topping the creativity of Froud in Jin Henson’s classic Dark Crystal. Avatar place host to the biggest and most detailed environment, ever to be rendered out of a 3D package. Not to mention doing it with style. Cameron envision this feat way back in the 70’s and now has brought it literally to life as viewer are in awe of it complexity. The best of which are the night scenes as the vegetation literal glows with life. Not to mention my infatuation that you could personally re-act Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean video with the glowing of every item you touch. Not to mention it vastness catalogue in animal life. Immediately make viewers believe in its possibility of being true. In some reports depressing viewers as they want to actual go there. What is nice to see though is that Cameron didn’t taking though glowing too far and stuck only with the vegetation and the selected elements on creature as a complete glow of a native would only leave viewer to believe that Sully had entered some sought of ultra violet disco. Still the night isn’t the only clever and brilliant landscaping of Pandora as day come round the scenery is magnificent. In question the ideology behind the floating mountains is a little hazy – considering they are floating due to Unobtainium being a super conductor (mention in part of the extended scenes) and yet the sky people are able to use their weapons and vehicles without them being attracted to the magnetic pull of the material.  The first glimpse of them prove to be breathe taken so much so it like looking the vast expanse of the grand Canyon or even the height of Everest. Needless to say CG department did wonders for the lush environment, possible because as a sci-fi forestation has never been touched or for the fact the pure idea of such a vast expanse of the natural elements. Leads the viewers to perceive Pandora as Utopia or a beautiful paradise – minus all the animals that seem to be gunning to kill Sully. Yet the excellence starts and finishes with Pandora. With the extended version we get to see how earth is perceived in the eyes of Cameron or when looking at environment any director who has worked on a sci-fi set. In essence, when Sully looks up in the scene where he is thrown out of the club. ‘the design is Blade Runner Lite and it feels less epic than the impressionistic collage that kicks off the theatrical version.’ – Nick de Semlyen. As well as the scene inside looks like the bar scene from ‘Revenge of the Sith’ on Coruscant. But for an intro to the movie I can see its appeal and with no question ask it simile for Cameron’s (and many other directors) belief of our planet turning into nothing more than a concrete jungle when deforestation become factual. For a viewer it quite simple makes another issue about the deforestation problem occurring worldwide in the present day. 

http://www.wallpaperhd.org/walls/689/avatar-movie-wallpaper-8_1280x800.jpgStill Cameron didn’t stop there with his efforts to make such a mind blowing picture as his introduction of 3D. Did no more than heighten the experience for its viewer. Instead of bringing you into the movie with the customary tricks, with a widescreen or even Imax image filled with sweeping landscapes and big action, he uses 3-D seemingly to close the space between the audience and the screen. He brings the movie to you. – Manhola Darglis. An effected unprecedented in the medium and it’s effectiveness being outstanding and literally immersing the viewer into the world. Placing us on a chaotic and yet in some ways euphoric Pandora.
In conclusion the film is another Victoria Cross to add to Cameron’s accolades of in genius movie making, for once again he shown the way for film industry. As well as conquering the environmental aspects of a film. The film is most defiantly a must watch as it explore the boundaries of CGI and moviemaking not to mention pushing them further where possible. The uniqueness and individuality of his imagery in some ways clouds are vision towards a well though story (not casting) and yet any viewer wouldn’t mind sitting down and watching it for it pure beauty of the landscape of Pandora. For this reason many will be anxious to see the next instalment of the supposed trilogy. Hopeful making Avatar the first saga accolade James will be able to claim alongside fellow director like Lucas’ with Indiana and Star Wars as well as Peter Jackson’s  Lord of the Rings.  A disappointing thought is if Cameron re-enacts his experience with the Terminator series. By only directing two and leaving the other for director less suited for the roll.

Review Of 'Dark Crystal'

http://www.loftcinema.com/files/dark%20crystal.jpg

The only way to describe black crystal is Kermit The Frog put in a blender with Star Wars and Lord Of the Ring Saga. Without doubt Jim Henson stepped outside his boundary from childish television (although having a considerable amount, of sexual innuendos). Dark Crystal explores the Dark side of puppetry as well as depicting the basic story of good versus evil. Yet I find myself pondering the idea of what the target audience was for this movie. As the less than imaginative script depicts the film for a younger generation and yet by the character design you couldn’t dream of letting a 5 year old sit through this movie without having terrible nightmare about the Skeksis or even the Aughra. Still a visual and mechanical representation Dark Crystal shows the vast imagination of both directors Jim Henson and Frank 
 Oz.
Dark Crystal is a generic storyline depicting the ‘chosen one’ having set a quest from the wise to restore the earth from evil (Like I said no different than J RR Tolkien).  Henson depict the voyage of Jen a G(elf)ling who must restore the missing shard. Interestingly enough Henson incorporates the idea of being the last Gelfling supposedly only to stumble across another a female Gelfling (fortunate). $26 million film should restrict itself to a very basic pulp fantasy plot - the hero's quest to free his world from the ravages of an evil race – DP Finally ending in the classic decision between his lover or saving the planet for the greater good. Nevertheless ending in the classic hero gets the entire what he wants scenario after his noble sacrifice. 


When looking into the character design we can really see the Brian Froud (creative directors) mind at work demonstrating the full aptitude for creature outlandish creatures unimaginable statue making for a very interesting world which as viewer we can immediately immerse ourselves into the dark crystal world. Not to mention having such fluid motion that almost counters are beliefs that the movie is puppets. Nevertheless the character design hit a snag as the main characters are often lost in between other characters within the scene; as most are bustling with life form within the environment (i.e. planets eating small fur balls or big frog looking creature bulging out of sinking holes). - Vincent Canby also believe this as he states ‘A further problem is that the animated ''characters,'' with the exception of the Gelfling boy and girl, are so unexceptional that, most of the time, they could be part of the very busy background, which is often alive with anthropomorphic plants. The film is as much of a visual muddle as a dramatic one.’ 



Yet the most notable element throughout the movie was the environment the lush expanse of architecture, the forest and the interiors. All of which were loaded with detail. Interestingly the outside environment was of most appeal as Froud gave us the perception of a living forest which until Avatar has not been accomplished. Froud displayed the forest as alive; the lushness of the environment is some ways drowns out the characters as a viewer is more interested with the gimmick going on around them with other creatures. Nevertheless, the interior architecture was second to none. The integrated details leave nothing to the imagination as they depict perfectly the evil temple with rigid walls, dark symbolism and not to mention the colour scheme is well chosen. In result proving that as a vision it was nothing more genius and a great resource in which creative directors base their environment on.


In conclusion as film dark crystal has no unique quality in regards to storyline and yet apart from the release of Avatar; Froud vision and ability to show the world as living and brief is a really feat even for its time. Naturally the environment deters away from the story but for that reason makes Dark Crystal a must watch for the intelligence and expensive animatronics which are shown to us by Froud.

Review Of 'Barbarella'

http://www.turboradness.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/barbarella-poster.jpgWatching, the room as the beginning sequence of Roger Vadim’s depiction of the Barbarella comic strip. It was easy to feel divide in the room as the males drooled over the Strip Tease of Jane Fonda and as the female gave the sigh of another typical male flick. Yet this wouldn’t have been the case for its times as the new rave of casual sex and outlandish fashion this only supplied to revolutionary time period not to mention throwing out some exotic set designs not yet discovered by the film industry.
Barbarella is a sci-fi epic in which a young beautiful heroine is set a mission to recover a scientist lost on an ‘uncivilised planet’. As she attempts to achieve her goal she encounters many problems in which she sluts her way through. Nevertheless, implying the sexual frustrations or enlightenment of the 60’s culture.  Finally, ending with the destruction of stereotypical mad scientist - not before Barbarella breaks the scientists torture machine the ‘Orgasmatron’ apt considering it’s ability strips  Jane Fonda of her cloths whilst pleasuring her to supposedly torture.
Disappointingly the movie appears to ‘spends more time on the art direction, the costuming and the psychedelic music track than the plot (though it took seven credited writers to script Barbarella, including Terry Southern).’ – Kim Newman.  The plot felt ridiculously lost at time not to mention going off at more tangents than ‘Spaghetti junction’. Making the movie feel more infatuated with stripping the female lead every five minutes and that sex is the solution to all life problems. Interestingly, inviting the ideology of the 60’s to the viewer. This can be demonstrated in the casualness of the invite for sex from the hunter and the simple reply of ‘If You Insist’. Without a shadow of doubt the film is iconic not for its era and not necessary for the storyline engaged with what can be considered the start of super soft porn. 
 
As an environmental element ‘Barbarella’ to me resembles the era also. With a fur covered interior of a spacecraft and bright colours and dynamic scenery of the planet. In a sense `Barbarella'' is a pure goof -- Vadim called it ``a kind of sexual Alice in Wonderland of the future'' - Edward Guthmann. Not to mention feeling and looking like the stage crew have been on some drug like the author of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Without doubt, ‘The rest has the effect of a bit of cosmically spiteful chaos in an interior decorator's salon, space, or a cosmetics factory.’  - Renata Alder. The vast changes between scenes show the true potential of the set team exploring the elements and using artistic license to perceive the future. I.e. the idea of the pure the unfortunate ones being left in the labyrinth to become part of the walls, part of the environment (although sexual scenes of people in the wall caressing each other’s body) - possibly implicating were Cameron got his philosophical message for Avatar. Other scenes, such as in the City has a completely different tone displaying a more metallic look with bright colourful shields or barrier which we immediately fixate with the 60’s era and idea of radicalism with vibrant colours. Other typical set designs are the use of liquid to demonstrate elements such as space, the entering of the magnetic field into the planet and the liquid which supplies the power to the planet. In all respects it reminds me of nothing more of a lava lamp applying to that psychedelic feel and theme of the time.  Without doubt making the imagery very much the key interested when watching Barbarella (obvious when it interpreted in a uni-sex perspective) 

In conclusion, Barbarella is inspirational for the conducting of imaginative and vibrant sets not to mention putting forward the idea of intertwining the weak with the environment. This makes Barbarella a resource for many films present today. Not to mention showing us the initiative for creativity and metaphorical representation.  Barbarella is still a must watch for this very reason and yet for any male it is a must watch as youthful Jane Fonda strips at every turn.


Monday, 22 November 2010

Ready For final tweak thursday....Comments Please.

Today I have worked to improve my final images for friday. So far I have completed near enough the Cliffside/lake scene depicted in the chapter 'It was dreadful in the forest'. Obviously any suggestion will be appericated so that I can push the image further.






Thursday, 18 November 2010

So things Change...

I had noticed that there was a lot rocky sculptures in all my concept and although it a jungle and natural environment. So for the final will be a mixture of the cave which are present and the lake with the dinosaurs. here is the start but I need some pionters from Phil tomorrow morning.



3 is the magic number. Concept 3 a new begining

So this is my cave scene which is my final making concept piece. I am currently beginning this one but not too sure on this concept. Opinions are welcome but for now I am going to run with it.


Round 2 Of 2 The final development ready for PhotoShop Phil Lesson Tomorrow

So I have made some touches to the new environment. It's needs to have work to complete it but still round two is in the bag and reday for something more to take this one step at the time.











Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Going for round two on concept 2

So I have re-thought my pit scene. I have taken to accounts comments made the start result is the following.



Concept 2 so far - pterodactyle pit scene

Thebooks states that the pit looks a dante's seven circle of hell. so I gone with a stereotypical colour scheme to start out.




Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Nearly There...Just need something to take to the next level

Thanks to the comments I have progressed far with this concept. I am still wanting to go further with this. This is stage I am at now it's near completeion so I am goign to leave any comments for when I have the photoshop lesson with Phil. I believe that with his guidance I will be able to make this picture better.

Thanks Phil

Hi Phil,

I have re-evaluated that image myself with the help of your points made. I decided to scrap the image itself and start a fresh. One point fo me now is that I feel that it the image didn't meet the criteria. the fact being that it no spacious. This is espeacially necessary as the lost world need to be 'BIG','MASSIVE, MONTROUS. So here a start I have on the new edit.