10 favourite Movies

November 27, 2009

Heres a list that fits in with my project! Yay me! Now these aren’t films that I think are the pinnacle of the industry and are perfect in every way, on the contrary, most of them have glaring faults, they’re simply the ten films that entertain me the most.

10. Doom

This film is a bit of a guilty pleasure, it’s one of those films thats bad…but it’s awesome! When I first saw it I thought that it was gonna be another one of those cheesy, boring sci-fi horror films that leeches off of the game it’s based on, I was wrong, this film was funny, original and has the best acting that The Rock has ever done. Also the first person scene at the end is GENIUS!

9. Steam boy

A successful anime film that isn’t Ghibli? Surely not! Eastern anime always amazes me with the sheer amount of detail in every scene, and this film is no exception, but with a budget of $20,000,000 and a production time of ten years it kinda had to be. A thrilling story and a fantastic setting (woo England) this film is great fun.

8. Crank 1 & 2

These films are insane.

7. The Shawshank Redemption

A classic in every sense of the word. I could go on about how perfect this film is but I wont, it’s simply astounding. Based on (like all good things) a Stephen King novel this film showcases absolutely brilliant acting talent from every single character and one of the best stories you will ever see.

6. Army of Darkness

A cult classic (as well as the two prequels), this film is hilariously ridiculous with awesome special effects and gore as well as a lead role that only the one and only Bruce Campbell could play. It’s groovy.

5. Rocky

This film series is a bit of an acquired taste, it’s not for everyone. But personally I think they’re fantastic. They set the standard for all other sports films to come. Yes, they’re extremely cliche and cheesy but they’re aloud to be because Rocky invented all the cliches.

4. Anything that comes out of Pixar

Every single film that Pixar has ever made is incredible. Every movie is filled with brilliant characters, hilarious dialogue  and originality that just seeps out of the seems. You know where you stand with a Pixar film, whenever you go to see one you know that you’re in for a great time, young or old.

3. The Matrix

This film shaped a generation, with it’s unique filming style, brilliant casting and superb special effects it is a household name that asked it’s audience to question the very nature of reality. The inspired script delivered by a perfectly selected cast still makes people really think about life to this day. (I dont include the sequels here because I didn’t think they had the same effect on their audience not because they were ‘crap’. I actually enjoyed them)

2. Pulp Fiction

Three words, Bad Mother Fucker. Quentin Tarantino constantly impresses me with his distinctive style. His larger than life characters make this film seem so surreal and exaggerated and yet they are grounded by real obstacles that bring this films back into the real world. Never before has a film been so well edited and so well scripted that a barrage of separate tales and points of view flow so effortlessly into one epic story. (I strongly suggest that you see Inglorious Basterds, it’s a perfect example of the awesome insanity that is Quentin Tarantino)

1. Back to the Future 1,2 & 3

Do I even need to explain why these films are my number one? No I dont. Anyone who doesn’t like these films wasn’t paying attention, they are AWESOME in every meaning of the word. Time travel is a difficult concept to write effectively, but these films make it almost believable, from the 80’s, to the near future of 2015 (Im still waiting on those hover-boards) to the Wild West they make the sets and characters really feel like the era with subtle little effects and of-the-time dialogue that pulls the audience head first into the story. With the wild, eccentric Dc. Brown (Christopher Lloyd) providing all exposition with very natural feel and a grounded, struggling Marty Mcfly (Michael J. Fox) who handles the situation with a blend of difficulty and coolness, the pair gel as a great team and provide a superb moral compassion throughout the films with the ever present villainous Tannen family. Every time I watch these films I notice some new little way in which they tie in to each other in the flawless dance of plot that is the very definition of the word ‘trilogy’.

Take it easy.

Captain out

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10 best websites

November 15, 2009

Heres my personal 10 favourite websites, just because…

10.www.mono-1.com

This website is just so simple and so fun. Theres not much to it really, but if you’ve got a spare 5 minutes it’ll give you a laugh.

9.www.thedailynice.com

This is the simplest website I have ever seen, run by a lecturer at my university, Mr. Jason Evans, the site comprises of a single photograph of something that made him smile that day. Every day a different picture, every day a different smile for me, awesome.

8. http://www.yugop.net

This website is just awesome. It’s only a kind of online portfolio/branding site for KDDI, but damn I could watch that claymation page all day.

7. http://www.deviantart.com

I know most people just crossed off my blog because of this but hear me out. When I first started design in college (4 years ago, holy crap) I set up an account on this site and I found everyone really friendly and inspirational, its just a really enthusiastic online community full of amazing artists. Though it can be overwhelmed with creepy anthro-art and depressing self-portraits by people who think that taking all their photos in black and white makes them look ‘edgy’ and ‘professional’.

6.www.newgrounds.com

Similar to deviantart but much more mature and offensive. This site also exhibits peoples still artwork but is based more on a wide range of flash animations and games.

5.www.drewstruzan.com

Drew Struzan is one of my favourite artists alive today, what that man can do with a piece of blank canvas is amazing. His website looks very stylish and exhibits some of his personal artwork, while I find this very inspirational, he doesn’t show any of his movie posters (I guess because of copyright issues with the producers) and the website navigation can be awkward and confusing, but hey…it’s Drew Struzan!

4.www.youtube.com

Youtube is such a simple idea and yet it’s a house hold name around the world. If I ever need a laugh, youtube or I want to check a news report, youtube or maybe I want to see a friends short film, youtube! It has no genre or style it just is, youtube is never, never going to leave the internet.

3.www.wikipedia.com

Worshipped by students around the world this site is so user-friendly and simple to use that it’s no wonder that it’s risen greatly in popularity and fame as a reliable tool for information. Being written by viewers the facts are not 100% certain there is almost nowhere better or faster to go to for a starter course on any subject or field you could possibly think of.

2.www.thatguywiththeglasses.com

Here we have a website run by a group of creative writers and worshiped by an army of loyal fans. Based mainly around the comedic stylings of Doug Walker, this is a website that offers something for everyone, absolutely anyone can be entertained by the huge variety of video sketches and reviews on this ever growing website where the viewer is the most important person.

1.www.xkcd.com

This website is genius. Theres nothing more on each page than a simple, short stick cartoon, but they are so well written and just so intelligent that you ask for nothing else. I could spend hours on this website (and I have) being inspired by the creativity and intelligence from the mind of a brilliant human being.

Take it easy.

Captain out.

P.S. That last one is for Ben. Hi Ben!


Special effects, then and now.

October 20, 2009

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Now when I say ‘special effects’ I don’t mean some computer animated robots, I mean REAL effects, Im talking about the times when if a film needed a monster then you hired a crew to build one 2 meters tall hung from a forklift truck, covered in slime with ridiculously complex controls that took ten dudes with wires to operate. Now I’ve got nothing against CGI, those guys work hard, I mean it takes Pixar 4 years to finish a film, thats dedication, but when it comes to horror movies I just don’t think it’s the same. However good the CGI is you know deep down that the actors are performing in front of a green screen and screaming at a tennis ball on a stick, with the old effects you know that that thing actually exists and they’re really face to face with it, I dunno it just seems to make it scarier for me. So many classic films used these kind of effects to create staggering performances: Alien, Predator, Jaws, The Thing, Terminator even Star Wars.

A perfect example of what I’m talking about can be seen in the 1986 and 1989 ‘The fly’ movies. For those unfamiliar with thefly_posterfilms, they’re based on a short story written by George Langelaan in 1957 about a brilliant scientist (played by Jeff Goldblumin the 1986 film) who invents a teleporter, but in his haste to try a human trial tests it on himself, but unknown to him a fly lands in the pod with him. Though successfully teleporting, the scientist comes out of the pod not 100% human. The following story is a twisting tale of tragic love and gruesome effects. The sequel deals with a similar story about the scientist’s mutant son, but is a film focused much more on action and horror than love. In both films the creature effects were designed and executed by Chris Walas (he also directed the second film and invented the ‘Gremlins’). These effects are simply amazing, the detail and subtlety of some of the early effects (over the film the scientist slowly mutates into a hideous hybrid) while the later effects are shocking and truly horrifying. The creatures are made by a combination of time consuming make-up (early) and epic cable controlled puppets (later). What truly makes these effects amazing is how while they are able to create a horrifying creature they can also give it emotions and actually make the audience relate to the creature. An example of this can be seen in the second film when the main character finds a failed teleportation experiment in the form of what used to be a beautiful golden retriever (this dog gave me nightmares for a week) the way that the creature is controlled and the sounds it makes are so sad and painful that even the guy who wet himself at the back row when he first saw it, will start to see through the monster to the victim inside.

Like I said before, I’ve got nothing against CGI, but nothing beats a monster thats actually there, I really think that it just ha426959812_d3e2986a56_os so much more passion and subtly than a CG monster and I believe that you can see it in the actors’ performances too. Now far from gone I can see that these effects have evolved and combined with CGI; while the larger more complex effects are CG, the smaller and more subtle effects are created with more traditional means, we can see this happening in films like 300, where the deformed humans were good old fashioned men is grotesque suits while the shots of the army and the larger creatures were CGI. Now this I love, combining the strengths of both while dealing with none of their weaknesses.

Nowadays in horror films I always look for ways in which old school effects have been used in modern films, and I can say that IGangstaKermit am glad that CGI is there. Films can now truly expand in ways that old effects held them back, like taking a moving shot of a creature running, or having a lot more creatures. As long as we still remember the horrifying results that puppets can cause, I think we’ll be alright.

Take it easy

Captain out.


Ballsy Bungie

October 9, 2009

You don’t often see game trailers in live action, it’s just not a good idea. But if one company can pull it off it’s Bungie, I mean damn, the Halo game series has got to be the best selling FPS’s of all time so how do you do it credit with a new release? By making a short action film as a trailer you say? Bring it on! I swear that this trailer fits more emotion, depth and excitement into 1 minute and 32 seconds than most action films do in 2 hours. Man I don’t know why they keep canceling the Halo film, if it’s anything like this it’ll be amazing.

Take it easy

Captain out


Zombie 101

October 9, 2009

Do you like horror films? Do you like zombies? Do you like over-peppy presenters? Yes? Then sit back and enjoy a brief history of Zombies. This video contains what I believe to be essential facts that everybody should know about zombies. Because knowing is half the battle.

Take it easy

Captain out
P.S. Is there anything Michael Jackson didn’t do? Damn what a legend.


Fantastic mr. fox

October 9, 2009

Oh god I loved this book when I was a kid, and I cant believe that it’s coming out as a stop motion animation! It looks awesome! People dont use stop motion enough anymore, I mean yes it’s time consuming but it just looks so much cooler than CGI. Am I right? Of course I am.

Take it easy

Captain out


Review: Newton Faulkner

October 4, 2009

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Newton Faulkner is an acoustic guitarist who I heard of a couple of years ago, my brother was listening to his album one day and I thought wow, who is this? After a while a really got into his unique style of hammering the strings, and when I heard that he was playing at my very own Isle of Wight Festival I was very excited. After I saw him play an amazing cover of Bohemian Rhapsody I was hooked. He is an amazing performer who just isn’t famous enough. His style is so ori

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ginal and fresh (this he credits to his late teacher) and he has such a stage presence, he’s one of those people who can perform to a crowd of a thousand and make it feel like he’s just chilling in his house and jamming with his mates.

Whenever I get in after being out all day nothing beats just sitting down and listening to his album, it slips from one song to the next with perfection, nothing chills me out more. He sings each song with such passion and mind-bending vocal effects and the way that he plays the guitar makes it sound like a completely different instrument. I guess the main reason that I like him is because he’s just so original, there’s no-one else on the radio or in the charts who sounds anything like him.

Like any band or artist worth their salt he started off playing in pubs and tiny little venues, this is the sign of a real artist, seriously, no REAL band is made by a TV talent show. Slugging the equipment to the venue and spending hours setting up to play your heart out to a group of twenty for a couple of quid and a pint, and loving every second of it. This makes a real band.

But anyway, Im gonna stop there before I go off and rant about how most music ‘artists’ in the charts have less talent in their whole bodies than Hendrix had in his spit. So if you like the sound of Newton Faulkner then I suggest you listen to his song U.F.O first, it’s awesome, I don’t blame you if you don’t like him though, he’s a bit of an acquired taste.

Take it easy.

Captain out.