Archive for June, 2003

Ang Lee’s HULK

Posted By yonghow on June 22nd, 2003

As much as I enjoyed Ang Lee’s treatment of the story and the movie itself, let’s leave the debate on the merit of the show and talk just about Mr Green himself.

ILM’s rendition of the Hulk has been nothing short of breathtaking. ( One writer in a local newspaper passed him off as been “rubbery”, and I’ve since dispatched David Banner’s mutant mouse after her, god bless. ) For the uninitiated, computer graphics are terribly afraid of a few things : close ups ( and we’re talking full, cinema resolution ), water/wet skin, green or not, and notably, bright scenes with lots of sunshine and daylight, because its excruciatingly hard to blend CG and make it believable in such conditions. But here, the Hulk is just flaunting it, plain. In the scene where he bursts out of the containment chamber, water spewing and hands raised in rage, I might as well have believed that he was a living, breathing Hulk. Let’s not even get started on the desert scenes.

Realism aside, my favourite scene has to be the electrifying shot of father and son, rocketing through the sky, their silhouettes etched onto passing clouds like giant impressionist paintings, coupled nicely with Elfman’s dramatic score.

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Juon

Posted By yonghow on June 16th, 2003

I’m not entirely sure how the makers of the Japanese horror film Ju-on decided on the peerless tagline “The scariest movie ever made”; painfully it is anything but. Gimmicky publicity notwithstanding, no one still has the foggiest idea why folks are willing to spend good money to get spooked, myself a guilty party, albeit a terrible choice this time.

The premise and plot of the entire story, juxtaposed on a nonlinear timeline, escapes me completely so let’s just move on to the scare-o-meter. Woefully, this one barely registers a single hit, resorting so blantantly to cinematic devices already seen in more original films like Ringu and Dark Water, bordering on absolute banality and triteness. Developed photos getting wracked, ghastly figures peering into lifts, did I mention something wierd on TV ? In one particular memorable scene where the protaganist of the moment gets hunted down by her 3 dead friends, I was quite convinced that the filmmakers were on to a parody from Night of the Living Dead or the more recent Resident Evil, whichever one better.

“The scariest movie ever made ?” NOT ! Mr Nakata please, we’re still waiting anxiously.

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Finding Nemo

Posted By yonghow on June 1st, 2003

Pixar has outdone themselves once again with Finding Nemo, an animation feature so rich with overwhelming tapestries of colour and vibrancy its hard to appreciate with only one viewing, and where the words “computer generated imagery or CGI” seem to lose coherence with what the eyes actually see on screen. As animators ourselves, me and my friends have expressed both awe and disbelief at the level of complexity and depth of the character animation, which is only achievable by a marriage of immaculate animation techniques and self acting on the part of the animator to immerse himself/herself into the role. And of course, we were more than happy to see David Tart’s name ( http://www.tartamation.com/tartamation/ ) as the credits rolled, an animator from Pixar that taught us for 3 days during a short program back in school. Yes, Pixar ok, don’t play play.

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