Why? The only question I was left with when I heard the news from /film that there were talks that they might try an all CGI Avengers movie.
I can understand trying a live action format because it lends a more realistic flare to the movie.
I can understand doing an animated format because, brace yourself for the "duh factor," people are used to reading the comics and seeing their favorite characters sketched thus moving sketches is no stretch for the imagination.
Doing a live action format also brings with it a lot of expense and hassle but at least that format brings a competitive advantage because the fan base can see their beloved comic characters IRL instead of just imagining it.
A CGI format screams out "Danger Will Robinson"! Why attempt a format that is more expensive than animation and has a greater risk of failing / offending the audience / having the look go wrong. Beowulf is a great example of that format failing with scenes that has both beautiful looking characters and characters that look like they were drawn on the screen with Crayola Crayons.
Don't get me wrong, there are many types of stories that lend perfectly to CGI. I love the Shrek series, Shark's Tale, and Finding Nemo. But why go through all of the risk when the stories and tradition of comics lends perfectly to the animation format.
Join me in telling the studios, "Please, Please! stop putting out disappointing films, wasting your money and mine by making the movie projects needlessly overcomplicated. I would rather have more of the beautiful Avengers films in animated format like Ultimate Avengers & Ultimate Avengers 2 or if you must try something different go forward with the live action at least then there is a greater chance of success to go with all of the risk and a greater chance of bringing me something I will enjoy ."
Why? The only question I was left with when I heard the news from /film that there were talks that they might try an all CGI Avengers movie.
Theater or Renter: May 2010
Theater or Renter: May 2010 includes five SF movies Iron Man 2, Robin Hood, Shrek Forever After, Prince of Persia, Survival of the Dead. Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?
Iron Man 2:
Release Date: May 7th
Listed as: Action, Superhero Film
Studio: Marvel Studios
Director: Jon Favreau
Produced by: Kevin Feige, Avi Arad, Susan Downey
Written by: Justin Theroux
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson
The Plot / Story: Sequel to Iron Man it's six months latter. The world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts and James "Rhodey" Rohdes at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces, Whiplash and Justin Hammer.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)
- Theater: I will have to watch this in the theater because the first Iron Man was so good. I have great concerns about this movie based on the Terrence Howard scandal and advertising. I'm very unhappy with switching Rohdey from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle. This looks like a repeat of the first movie but with two Iron mans in it and multiple iron mongers as villains. They even went to the point of making a rival weapons merchant who wants to do Tony Stark in through the business world, hrmmm sounds familiar. Here is hoping that I am wrong.
Release Date: May 14th
Listed as: Action, Drama, Fantasy
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Ridley Scott
Produced by: Brian Grazer, Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe
Written by: Screenplay: Brian Helgeland Story: Brian Helgeland, Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris
Stars: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Macfadyen, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Kevin Durand, Mark Addy, William Hurt, Danny Huston, Max von Sydow
The Plot / Story: It is late 12th century England and Sir Robin Longstride, Earl of Huntington, has returned to his northern English village after fighting in the Third Crusade. Upon arrival, the nobleman and his servant discover the oppression caused by the new Sheriff of Nottingham. Sir Robin uses his intelligence and military skills to free his home village from tyranny and corruption in England, by taking back what is rightfully his, and by taking back what rightfully is theirs, to restore justice and happiness to England. Robin must also win the affection of the recently widowed Lady Marian while leading his Merry Men of Sherwood Forest to victory and fairness. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)
- Renter: This looks like they are just trying desperately to capitalize off of gladiator and I'm not a big fan Russell Crow or his movies. On the plus side: Cate Blanchett, William Hurt and a movie with sword play in it. This is probably a renter though if I have time or the early reviews turn out to be good I may switch to Theater.
Shrek Forever After:
Release Date: May 21
Listed as: Fantasy, Comedy
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Director: Mike Mitchell
Produced by: Gina Shay, Teresa Cheng, Andrew Adamson, Aron Warner, John H. Williams
Written by: Josh Klausner, Darren Lemke, Ryan Harris
Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Walt Dohrn, Julie Andrews, Justin Timberlake
The Plot / Story: After all of his adventures, Shrek has become a domesticated family ogre. Instead of scaring villagers away as he used to, Shrek agrees to autograph pitchforks. Longing for the days when he felt like a "real ogre", Shrek is tricked into signing a pact with the smooth-talking deal maker, Rumpelstiltskin. After signing the contract, Shrek discovers he has been tricked, and the day Rumpelstiltskin took out of Shrek's life was the day that he was born-meaning that he never existed. Now, stuck in a twisted alternate version of Far Far Away where he has to gather the gang and fix everything. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)
- Theater: I have loved all of the Shrek movies and expect to really enjoy this as well.
Prince of Persia:
Release Date: May 21
Listed as: action, adventure, fantasy
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Mike Newell
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer
Written by: Jordan Mechner, Boaz Yakin
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina
The Plot / Story: Based on the game Prince Of Persia. Dastan is a street urchin in 6th century Persia. Adopted by the king as his heir after showing valor in battle in hopes of keeping the king’s two sons from fighting over the throne. Dastan teams up with Princess Tamina to rescue the Sands of Time, a gift from the gods that controls time, from the hands of the villainous nobleman, Nizam.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)
- Theater: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time only caught a passing interest from me. Movies based on games tend to be a hit and miss venture. Add to that Disney's involvement and this project had caution written all over it, that is until I watched the trailer above. I’m now excited about Prince of Persia. The effects looks good. I like the use of a broader variety of weaponry especially the more exotic ones. The trailer does a nice job of setting up the back and forth between Dastan and Princess Tamina, even if a bit cliche.
Survival of the Dead:
Release Date: May 21
Listed as: Zombie movie
Studio: Independent Production
Director: George A. Romero
Produced by: Paula Devonshire
Written by: George A. Romero
Stars: Alan van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, Athena Karkanis
The Plot / Story: It's a desperate, nightmarish world where the dead walk the earth, relentlessly attacking the living. Plum Island is a beautiful refuge whose isolation allows two powerful families to maintain a semblance of order in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. Over time the two clans become sharply divided: The O'Flynns believe that the undead must be destroyed without exception, while the Muldoons insist that afflicted loved ones be kept "alive" until a cure is found. Added unto this situation wander a small group of National Guard soldiers who, after robbing the protagonists of the previous film, have decided to strike out on their own in an effort to survive. Survival of the Dead follows the thieving National Guardsmen characters who briefly appeared in Diary of the Dead. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)
- Renter: working against this movie is that it's a zombie flick which has been done to undead and like the creatures they feature just won't go away and give me a rest. That said it's a George A. Romero movie, this is a huge plus. Romero created the zombie genera and the best zombie movies. This may be enough to move this movie to theater status and at least makes it a renter.
Animation Verses Prejudice
Fans would be willing to accept further adventures of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly in an animation style. The bigger question is would the general public accept further adventures in animation style? Would the studios have the patience to back and distribute further adventures in animation style?
Joss Whedon has already transitioned those settings and characters into a comic format. There is great acceptance and love for the continuation of the series in print comic form. This leaves a short step to move from print to animation.
The current success of animated shows both on TV and in the direct to DVD markets also support the plausibility of doing more animated shows. Clone Wars had a rocky start getting accepted though most of it was due to the new style they used in animation that took some getting used to. The Simpsons had a lucky start with "bartmania" that still gets large ratings decades latter. Both DC and Marvel’s direct to DVD animated movies prove both quality in animated projects and how they can cater to the adult market.
We face several problems that are hindering future projects.
General Public Prejudice
The general public in the American market has a prejudice against animated shows. When first approaching an animated show they presume it is for children not adults. Many don’t even bother to give those shows the time of day unless they are bringing their kids to watch it.
Though this public prejudice has decreased some in recent years it is still rampant. I could not count the number of adults that give subtle nonverbal clues of disdain when they find out I’m watching Clone Wars or Planet Hulk. Others still voice their prejudice by replying “I thought that was a show for kids?”
Many creators of animated projects have their demons to wrestle with too. First, before the project is even done they have to admit they won’t win any prizes for the work due to the prejudice in viewing it as less no matter how brilliant and deserving. Look at Avatar, the movie would have been better going full animation but instead it went with live action parts so that it could be a “movie with cool special effects”.
This prejudice holds back studios from giving a green light to an animated project that is not targeted toward the children / young adult markets. This forces many good projects to include in kidsey elements and to remove some of the better adult elements. Clone Wars season one is a great example of this problem. The show was so much less than it could have been. Once they got past the prejudice it got better in season two.
I Find Their Lack of Faith Most Disturbing
Because of the prejudice against animated projects they tend to take longer before picking up larger audience share.
Studios have been trending toward a less lenient policy when it comes to new projects. They have been quick to cancel projects that don’t show immediate success.
This is a recipe for failure by proclamation instead of giving the project time to get over the inherent hurdles.
A New Hope
I hope that the American public continues to learn from the Japanese, and Korean animated markets.
I hope that we continue to see the trend in the decline of prejudice against animated projects.
I would love to see the continuing adventures of Firefly and Buffy the vampire slayer in animated format.
I've always wanted a Faith The Vampire Slayer series and wrote up a series outline. Maybe one day I will hook up with some animators.
I hope John finds some animator to help him with his Faith the Vampire Slayer project and that they then check in with us for many more projects.
- Get your copy of Serenity Comic: Those Left Behind from amazon
- Get your copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Comic lovingly called Season 8 from amazon
SF News Bites: Avengers, Transformers 3, Conan The Barbarian and Mortal Kombat
Producer Kevin Feige confirms the main characters in the Avengers movie. "It’s three people – four including the Hulk; five including Nick Fury – who you’ve seen before in other movies, coming together for the very first time.” I can only hope that this movie is as good as Ultimate Avengers animated movie. (via Gay Sci-Fi Nerds)
In the works as expected. Currently Michael Bay is moving along with the script and scouting locations for Transformers 3: Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C. I really enjoyed the first two Transformers movies my main concern is in the script. (via SCI FI Wire)
Conan the Barbarian
Jason Momoa has been cast as the New Conan The Barbarian. I'm excited with that pick. Jason's a great guy, talented actor and can physically fill the role of Conan. Most are familiar with him playing as Ronon Dex from Stargate: Atlantis (via /Film)
A Mortal Kombat redo is in the works, they have selected a writer Oren Uziel. The hope at /Film is that he will bring more depth to the Mortal Kombat movies then the previous films. I like the idea of adding more story depth to the Mortal Kombat movies but that can not be at the cost of loosing what made the series so great. They are so much fun to watch.
The Avengers Reborn into Heroes of Tomorrow
The Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow is fifth in a series of animated Marvel Comics movie by Lions Gate Entertainment. It will be released on September 2, 2008. The first sneak peek of the film was featured on the Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme animated movie but was under the name Avengers Reborn which sounds much cooler.
- Watch the Trailer in the Project: Shadow HQ
I'm excited to see this one because they did such a great job with the other movies. That said I also have some concerns. This movie has a PG ratting instead of the usual PG-13 rating that the other movies have. I hope that they didn't dumb down the story or make it too kidsy to get the PG rating.
Plot / Story: The Avengers united to protect earth against evil and after defeating earths enemies they returned to their personal lives. They fell in love, had children Captain America and Black Widow had a son, Thor had a daughter, Black Panther had a prince, Hawk Eye a son, Giant Man and Wasp had a son.
Ultron arrives on earth wanting total domination but the Avengers stand in his way. One by one with his knowledge of their weaknesses he defeated each avenger. They hid away their children from Ultron to have hope for the future.
Now with the hope of the future in their hands Iron Man and The Hulk must raise and train the children so that one day they may unite the Next Avengers and overthrow Ultron.
- Voice Actors: Tom Kane, Dempsey Pappion, Aidan Drummond, Brenna O'Brien, Fred Tatasciore
- Director: Jay Oliva
- Studio: Lions Gate
As a little side note Giant Man is the scientific genius Hank Pym also known as Ant-Man. So no worries he and Wasp have a son.
- Get your copy of The Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow & on Blue Ray
- Other animated Marvel Comics movie
- Ultimate Avengers - The Movie
- Ultimate Avengers 2 (Rise of the Panther)
- The Invincible Iron Man
- Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme
The Official Site sadly void of information
Netflix lets you rent, watch and return DVDs from home - Try free for 2 weeks
Review of The Golden Compass Movie
The movie is based on the Philip Pullman Book "The Golden compass" which was originally published under the name "The Northern Lights". It is the first in a trilogy, The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass . The story is set in an alternate earth and is about a young girl named Lyra Belacqua who stumbles upon a political conflict occurring amongst the adults in her life. Her uncle, Lord Asriel is conducting controversial research on this mysterious thing called Dust. This research is opposed by the Magesteriem who are the controlling authority in the setting and are determined to save the population from Dust's corrupting influence. But when Lyra's best friend Roger gets abducted by the GOBBLERS she needs to head to the north pole to rescue him. She teams up with Mrs. Coulter who takes a special interest in Lyra and promises to take her to see the North Pole. Before Lyra departs the school she is given a secret to guard and protect by the head master. A secret she must epically keep from Mrs. Coulter.
The movie Starred:
|Marisa Coulter||Nicole Kidman|
|Lord Asriel||Daniel Craig|
|Lyra Belacqua||Dakota Blue Richards|
|Pantalaimon (voice)||Freddie Highmore|
|Iorek Byrnison (voice) armored ice bear||Ian McKellen|
|Serafina Pekkala||Eva Green|
|John Faa||Jim Carter|
|Farder Coram||Tom Courtenay|
|Ragnar Sturlusson (voice) bear king||Ian McShane|
|Lee Scoresby aeronaut from Texas||Sam Elliott|
|First High Councilor||Christopher Lee|
|Stelmaria (voice)||Kristin Scott Thomas|
|Second High Councilor||Edward de Souza|
|Hester (voice)||Kathy Bates|
|Fra Pavel||Simon McBurney|
|Magisterial Emmissary||Derek Jacobi|
|Ma Costa Gyptian matriarch||Clare Higgins|
I really enjoyed this film and had a lot of fun watching it. The acting quality was really outstanding with even the CGI Characters behaving in a realistic manner. The animation is consistent throughout the film so as not to break the immaculate reality of the setting. The steam punk elements were visually stunning leaving me memorized in my seat. The film was exciting and entertaining but it didn't quite reach the knock out film level which is why I give it 4.5 stars. I will own it and want to watch it over and over again. I have also included a section for those who are familiar with the book.
I loved the acting quality in the film. I felt that the people involved with the film really had a firm familiarity with the materials both the script and the book. I say this because many of the actors and actresses really hit the right emotional note for their scenes. This is particularly difficult feat with this project because there are a lot of subtle actions being taken and secrets that are not reveled until a latter point in the movie. Some of those things are only revealed in the book. I really appreciated seeing the responses that I expected see to seemingly innocuous events.
The quality of the CGI characters just amazed me both through the amount of emotion that was shown through the characters and through the realistic behaviors and movements. I was very touched to see Iorek's feelings toward Lyra develop and grow. I was also very entertained in the scenes with Mrs. Coulter's monkey, where she was able to be so reserved hiding her emotions and her monkey was not able to hide anything showing her true feelings. I was most amazed by the realistic movements of the various CGI animals. The animators really captured the natural movements and behavior quarks of each animal lending a delightful realism to the film.
The animation was consistent throughout the movie maintaining the immaculate reality. I was able to be pulled into Lyra's world.
The steam punk elements were visually stunning. I particularly enjoyed the gyroscopic propulsion elements and how they were consistent throughout the film whether it was on an air ship or on a carriage. I found it a nice visual addition.
The movie was not a knock out film though. The events were exciting but the end just didn't pop. This was not a big surprise and I would bet that the studio felt the same and for that reason gave the movie a December release instead of a summer release.
For those who are familiar with the book.
Book Was better but it's rare for that not to be the case. In the book Phillip Pullman is able to really build a tension and excitement that just drove me all the way through the last 1/3rd of the book. The ending was more of a knockout in the book although more controversial and darker too.
They made some changes to adapt the book to the movie. the first 2/3rds was true to the timeline with the events occurring in order as they were in the book. The last 1/3rd of the movie had a different order of events than the book but this was done so that they could end the story on a happy note.
That being said the abridgement of the movie was very well done cutting out material to make the movie fit into it's time constraint but also maintaining the spirit of the story. I was very impressed with the movie for that because it is very hard to make the length of a book fit into the short time space of a movie.