Archives For special effects

Avatar is Sweet 3D Eye Candy

December 16, 2009 — 2 Comments

When the first Avatar trailer went up, I asked myself what was that rubbish. Yes, it looked that bad to me. However, I must admit that seeing it on 3D was an experience very close to that of The Terminator show at Universal… after all, both are James Cameron.

This is the first time that I’ve felt that a 3D projection does justice to its 3D medium, and doesn’t just make objects pop out of the screen just because it can. Instead, Avatar pulls you in – in some scenes more than others – and lets you become almost part of it. There’s a scene in particular, in which the antagonist (Colonel Quaritch, played by Stephen Lang) looks through the rear-view mirror and sees himself. The way it was shot makes it seem like WE are there until Quaritch’s reflection hits us back. Is Cameron telling us something?

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Work hard! Sam Raimi is watching you.

I was having a discussion about 2012 (the year, not the film) yesterday, and I kept telling them that I have been expecting the end of the world ever since 1999. It’s been 10 years already. Moreover, my mom always tells me she’s been hearing this “end of the world” stuff — as she calls it — since she was a kid. LOL So that’s just too many years. xD

I just got back from the theater, after the studio stuffed me with free popcorn and soda. Are they trying to distract me? I remember watching The Day After Tomorrow (also directed by End of the World fan Emmerich) at the theater with my friends, and feeling super cold after the show. After 2012, however, I just felt okay. Maybe I wanted a bathroom, since the movie is kinda long and the free soda didn’t help.

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Is Sci-Fi Also Doomed?

October 29, 2009 — 2 Comments

I watched District 9 yesterday, and I enjoyed it a lot. Actually, I watched Moon this past weekend as well, which was also pretty great. However, I had noticed that I had previously marked both films as “not interested“. Why? Actually, because I marked most films that way, unless I’m already interested. But this also made me think about the films I’ve watched this past year, and which ones I’ve enjoyed the most.

I’ve never followed Star Trek, but I admit I enjoyed watching the film this year.

And on a similar topic, I finally finished watching Battlestar Gallactica Season 1. LOL

But why do I seem so reluctant to watch Sci-Fi? Yes, it’s the nerd tag… I guess. I think my mother puts it best — She’s not interested in aliens, in other worlds, or UFOs — I think I’ve had the notions that Sci-Fi was just escapism, and it is in some of the films, but some of my friends (some sci-fi and comic book lovers) have taught me and made me understand that Sci-Fi can be so much more. And I do love a good drama.

But in the end, people don’t really listen.

My cousin, yes… that same one that told me Love Happens was money well spent, HATED District 9. Her brief Facebook status read something like “District 9, sucks! Badly…” and it got a bunch of comments including mine asking whether to believe her or not, considering she liked Transformers 2 (So good, she said), to which she replied “aliens!? c’mon>>>> no more comments“. LOL – The fact that she thought the idea of aliens is ridiculous should have hinted that she shouldn’t have picked District 9. Actually, she told me she didn’t wanna watch Inglourious Basterds either, to which I fainted. xD

What is good sci-fi? My friend made me sit in front of my computer screen (we haven’t seen each other since we graduated) and told me I was wrong. He told me Good Sci-Fi is Good Drama, you get social commentary in the form of metaphor and you can place those stories in the real world. Good Sci-Fi is about the characters… much more than the universe created. He is the same friend who made me watch Firefly. Yes, that same sci-fi show that my sci-fi-hating mom loved to watch.

So if you’re not sure you like sci-fi, you can give Firefly a try.

Good Sci-Fi is also not about how high-end and kick-ass your special effects are. It’s not about how many explosions you can get on screen at the same time. It’s not about how cool your props look like.

As we see on Moon, it’s almost as if this sci-fi world becomes a character piece in which the main character talks to himself and re-discovers himself in the process. About his daughter, about his wife, about his work. The miniature models are far from the high-end spectrum of regular CGI effects, yet hold this charisma or perhaps it’s nostalgia.

On District 9, what could have been an alien invasion film with explosions where people save the day turns into a film where aliens live in slums among us, as big corporate heads try to find the way to use their bio-technology weapons and think they can get away with it when one of their workers begins changing. The character sort of begins a transformation worthy of Kafka, in which he starts becoming more a “monster,” but in reality human beings are the monsters. It’s sad.

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Jurassic Park Poster


Jurassic Park made a huge impact on me. Mainly because I saw it as a kid, and was amazed after the theaters that 1. I had a nightmare with a T-Rex… or more specifically, the eye of the T-Rex. LOL and 2. I wanted to be a paleontologist for at least 3 years of my life. Because of Jurassic Park and those scary Velociraptors I went to see Jurassic Park II three times at the theater – hahahaha.

But come on, you can’t hold that against me. After all, I also watched Jumanji twice at the theaters.

I think those were some of the factors that made me want to get into 3D and Special Effects – You know, since I was also blown away by Michael Jackson music videos xD. I think it was that first scene in which you see the Brachiosaurus coming out of the lake with the amazing John Williams piece. It’s just magical, almost like you were actually in the film because they saw something that didn’t exist right there, and we saw something on screen that was never before~~~

Of course, now I know very little about dinosaurs because I’ve forgotten everything that I studied. I only faintly remember about Sauropods because I did my presentation on them when I was like 10 years old. So it all is just a faint reminder that I once was a Dino-kid xD

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