Archive for August, 2008

West World

August 29, 2008

West World though somewhat an old film it has the potential to entertain and gives a sense of nostalgia. The structure of the film follows the structure of the ‘3 Act Structure’ and one could suggest that it is a perfect example of the fundamental way to scriptwriting.

Act 1 – who, what where
Act 1 sets of with a reporter asking people about their holidays in the worlds. It acts as an advertisement for people to get out of their everyday lives and live in a superficial world where the guests are holidaymakers and the people living in the world are not actually human but machine/robot droids replicating every minor detail of that of a human (except for the hands of course). The story moves along with two men that are taking a holiday to ‘West World’ where they become cowboys again.

Plot point 1
It is at plot point 1 where the malfunction problem of the droids is revealed to the audience. It is at this stage where the real problems begin to start.

the malfunctioning droid

Gunslinger: the malfunctioning droid

Act 2 – Pinches and half way point
In Act 2 the audience is shown the rebellion of the machines/droids as one of them (Gunslinger) retaliates and returns to search and kill one of the two men. It is the confrontation part and the first pinch in Act 2 of the film. The half point of the film shows a snake biting one of the main characters. It shows the audience that the machines have now lost control.

Plot point 2
Here is where the droid (gunslinger) that already has been killed twice has come back and hunted down the two main characters. It is here that the droid actually kills one of the main characters. This is not supposed to happen and this now leads into the resolution where the other main character tries to escape death from the droid.

Act 3 – Resolution
Here in the resolution in the film is where the alive remaining character runs from the machine and tries to escape death. The remaining character runs through other worlds and discovers that everyone is dead. He tries to kill the machine with acid but the machine comes back. He then kills the machine with fire and the machine dies eventually.


Speed Racer

August 21, 2008

Speed Racer, though a little hard to sit through, had a rather comical side to it. Adapted from the animation Speed Racer, it was formerly contrived from the original Japanese version Mach Go Go Go. Both the anime series and the movie was action packed with technology and danger. The plot follows the world of an ambitious young man who falls in love with racing and becomes a professional racing car driver like his brother.

The original version

The original version

Because the film was based on a cartoon animation the conceptualisation of the story for the directors of the movie was already set out. However the only challenge for them was to add the watchability characteristic of the film so that it could be enjoyed in modern day. The use of computer generated animation and a lot of green screen effects the directors of the film have pulled of a somewhat believable movie (though this may be due to darkening the lighting to cover up rendering in animation). Though as an animation one could suggest that the film was not just targeted at the younger generation but also the past lovers of the old version of the cartoon.

The directors of the film The Wachowski Brothers like in many of their other films tend to follow a centre style and genre. You could say it was a textbook style storyline (sympathetic character, urgent difficult problem, bad odds against major problem, the crisis of the last chance to win and the problem solved by the central character). Just like in their other films like the Matrix (most closely related with CG animation) and Assassins, they almost always are centralized around a central character that has to overcome this difficult problem (good guys vs. the bad guys theme). Though some people may Speed Racer is not as good as their other films, one must take their hats off to the actors with most of the film done with green screen.

Because Speed Racer was an animation prior to becoming a feature film the Wachowski Brothers were somewhat limited in the way the story could be tuned and directed keeping in mind that changing the way the film may turn off previous lovers of the cartoon. Yet I suggest they stick to films like the Matrix and Assassins.

My favourite movie

August 12, 2008

I have so many favourite films, but if I had to choose one it would be from Sean Penn’s Into The Wild. Such a great film with nice wide beautiful scenic shots with a great solid story to tell. I’m not anti Hollywood or anything but I really believe that a good film has to tell a story, a good story, and be somewhat realistic and something that we can relate too. I also like the Australian film Wolf Creek. It had awesome cinematography and good locations and was directed really well given that it was the directors first feature film.


John Jarratt in outback horror film Wolf Creek.

John Jarratt in outback horror film Wolf Creek.

Last year in 2007 I was living in Japan going to University and working part time as an actor. I was fortunate enough to work with some very creative and inspiring directors cinematographers and all kinds of people. My favourite Japanese film would have to be Sugar and Spice (and also another one, but forgot the name). The locations used in the film really captures the mood and helps add to the feel of the story. The acting in both films was really good and artistic work in the film has to be commended. Have had the chance to work on films like these (as an actor and backstage staff) you really get to appreciate the work people do. There are some amazing people out there.

Brick and Enter Zombie King

August 8, 2008

click for a full review

If there was any movie that I would ever enjoy burning, it would be ‘Enter Zombie King.’ It comes down to everything; the acting, the camera angles/shots, the sound, the directing and cinematography. This film shows exactly how not to make a good film on a low budget. Some people would argue that the film is ok in regards to its low budget. However, in a comparison with the film ‘Brick‘ one would have to suggest that ‘Enter Zombie King’ lacked in many areas. Even though ‘Brick’ had a larger budget that budget was used wisely and effectively taking in mind that their budget was still very small.

Check the Brick trailer out.

It is clear to anyone that in the development stages of Enter Zombie King, the film was not clearly conceptualised, planned or allocation of the budget in specific areas. On the other side, when viewing Brick you can feel and see through the film that it had been clearly thought out and conceptualised. Though I would have to agree Brick had a better script, so did too Enter Zombie King yet failed to follow through in the acting.

Enter Zombie King had organised great locations to film in but they again failed to follow through with cinematography and directing of the shots (front on in your face home video style shooting not good!). Acting in the film was absolutely nowhere near to a satisfactory standard, where a lot of unneeded pauses were evident and general movement in the scenes including the fighting choreography lacked in realness. You most well go see a wrestling match instead of watching this poorly put together film. The score of the movie sounded like a cheap Nintendo video game and during the postproduction of the film the editor could have cut the scenes and shot more closely together for a sense of flowing-ness. For future film makers though, it is a good lesson in not what to do in making low budget film.

Check out IMDb's full review

Brick was an escape and quite a relaxing film to watch. Since the film had been thoroughly thought out from the development and preproduction stages, with well known and good locations, the production of the movie had a big effect on the finished product. The acting, cinematography, scenes, artistic feel of the film topped anything of Enter Zombie King. Everything was well visualised with great locations and a vast array of different camera angles and shooting styles with nice lines in each shot, made the film have an artistic feel which helps capture the audience and making it easy to watch. Even though not many extras were used in the film having just a few actors on the screen gave it an empty feeling of sadness and conspiracy which added to the mood of the film. Postproduction of the film, including the score, background sounds (foley), and editing and filtering was well done. The score matched the mood, and editing was well put together.

Overall, Brick gets the thumbs up and Enter Zombie King can burn.