StudioADI And ‘I Am Legend’

I liked most of I Am Legend, based on the story by Richard Matheson, though my admiration stopped at the computer-generated effects, which tended toward the cartoony.  What makes matters even worse was that StudioADI was actually working on practical special effects on the movie for a time (which actually effected the way that I looked at the director, Francis Lawrence for awhile, and not in a good way).

Included in the video are concept drawings, clay maquettes as well as actually makeup tests on models (it got that far before the approach was abandoned).

The makeup work looks pretty awesome and would have made a decent movie significantly better, which is why I am mystified they didn’t go with it.

‘Jurassic World’ Official Trailer

The full trailer for Jurassic World was released a few hours ago, and the first thing I noticed was that it’s produced with Legendary Pictures, which was unexpected.

What was also a bit unusual was that lots of people being literally eaten by exhibits in the last two films didn’t seem to faze the backers this time around, because they not only come up with an even grander dinosaur-based theme park, but they have cooked up a dinosaur that has no precedent in Nature.

Yeah, let’s create a new type of dinosaur that’s undoubtably faster, stronger and more intelligent that the dumber dinosaurs that turned people to kibble in the last movies.

What could possibly go wrong?

And you thought that GMO‘s (genetically modified organisms) were problematic.

Do You Remember When The Movie, Not The Trailer, Was The Event?

The halcyon days when trailers simply existed to inform viewers about a particularly movie, as opposed to being events in and of themselves, is pretty much a thing of the past.  If I had any doubts, then the email I received from The Hollywood Reporter removed them.

It explains that the trailer for the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens (I still can’t stand that subtitle) will be shown in 30 theaters from one end of the country to the next.

And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear that there are instances where people attend showings just to see it, and leave as soon as it’s finished.  I am not sure what such a hunger for movie-related information means, though I have a feeling that it’s not a good thing because it reflects a preoccupation that is perhaps better reserved for more tangible, more real things.

Then again, keep in mind this is coming from someone who had has a huge nerdgasm whenever a new Marvel Studios movie (or Guillermo del Toro directs a new feature) turns up, so perhaps I am not the best person to make such points.

‘Jurassic World’ Teaser Trailer

James Gunn, the director of Guardians Of The Galaxy, has some interesting words for studios that create cinematic universes based on weak properties, and it’s worth reading.  I mention it because Jurassic Park has spawned two sequels, Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Jurassic Park III so perhaps the time has arrived for a relaunch of the property.  Besides, Universal–the studio releasing Jurassic World–is unlike most other studios in that they don’t have much in the way of tentpoles like Disney and Sony, so they have to do the best with the properties they have.

Chris Pratt–also from Guardians Of The Galaxy–is playing the lead, so can we expect to see at least one dance-off between him and an dinosaur?

One can only hope.

‘Peanuts’ And ‘Popeye’ Trailers

Peanuts, based on the beloved cartoons by Charles Schulz, has been beautifully rendered in CGI, though looking at the trailer, I honestly can’t see a pressing reason why (other than virtually all American animation has gone the way of the computer). The characters themselves were never terribly distinctive–visually speaking–as cartoons, so it’s no surprise their CGI versions aren’t either.

Apparently they’re rendered so faithfully to the cartoons that it makes me wonder why they didn’t stick with that format in the first place.

While Popeye works better in CGI because the cartoon itself was always a bit odd and surreal, and if the test trailer is any indication, that weirdness has transferred over to the movie relatively intact.

‘Prometheus:’ Neither Fish, Fowl Or ‘Alien’

What I referring to is in interviews how Ridley Scott often says that he feels as if he’s taken the Aliens as far as he’s able–keeping in mind that Prometheus as originally written was firmly entrenched in the Alien universe, till Damon Lindelof joined the project and excised most of those elements from Jon Spaiths’ screenplay–yet he keeps throwing in ideas peripherally related to Alien, though not nearly enough to satisfy fans of those movies.

And while I hate to sound to sound cynical, it feels to me that he knows damn well that fans of the Alien franchise–hungry for new material–will see just about anything that has xenomorphs in it.

And I get that “Alien fatigue” may have set in and that Scott feels as if he’s taken the property as far as he possibly could.  That being the case, why not leave it alone and let someone else handle it; though admittedly the Alien sequels done by other directors have been uneven at best, with Aliens being the most watchable and Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem the least.

And while I wouldn’t call myself a fan of either Requiem or to a lesser extent, Alien: Resurrection, I’d rather see the movies embrace the material wholeheartedly and unashamedly, as opposed to the tentative way that Scott seemed to approach Prometheus, and how I am reasonably sure he’ll approach Paradise, its sequel, as well.

Though what’s really odd is that Ridley Scott intends to include Aliens in Paradise at all, which bothers me because, while Prometheus is a gorgeous to look at–it winds up being neither fish nor fowl.

Or maybe I am irritated over Vickers running in a straight line when the Juggernaut happened to roll in her direction.  Or how the pseudo-Facehugger not only survived decontamination in the Med-Pod, but somehow thrived.  Or…since showing is always preferred to telling, why don’t I just let CinemaSins give you a guided tour.

‘Late Phases’ Trailer

I know that this is going to sound odd, but I have a pressing need for Adrián García Bogliano‘s Late Phases to be a entertaining, well-done horror film, of the werewolf sub-genre.  For a start, I have seen Bogliano’s Here Comes The Devil, and it’s pretty mediocre.  I haven’t yet seen Cold Sweat–it’s currently on #Netflix, though for whatever reason I have had a only passing interest.

Late Phases has been getting quite a bit of good buzz, so that’s at least reassuring–then again, so did Here Comes The Devil, so I guess that I shouldn’t get my hopes up too much.

More recently, I have seen Annabelle and Ouija, neither of which meets my strict definition of what a horror film could–or should–be (which is that the film doesn’t necessarily have to be overtly gory, or even violent–though it helps–but it does have to be suspenseful, create a sense of tangible unease and/or discomfort, and make the viewer uneasy and perhaps most importantly, get the blood racing, pardon the pun).

Late Phases stars Ethan Embry–an uber-talented and extremely under-rated actor if there ever was one–and Nick Dimici (Stakeland) which makes me want to see it even more.