Saturday, June 14, 2008

Simply Marvelous

Still animating, still making progress. After doing that action scene, I've realized that, though relatively much simpler, animating dialogue-heavy scenes is painfully tedious and pretty boring. Just gotta get them done and get to the meat.
Our internet is finally up and running again, though I'm thinking I may continue to lay low with my online activities a bit longer to keep focused on Fan Film.

Mom and I went and saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls on Thursday night. I was surprised that there was nobody else in that theater when the movie's still so new, but it's always nice to have a whole theater to yourself.
As I mentioned before, I'm not the hugest Indy fan. I only saw the movies a couple times when I was younger, so I guess the nostalgia factor most people have with the movies isn't quite there for me. I recently rewatched the original trilogy and though I enjoyed them, they didn't fully do the trick for me. I get and appreciate that they're a big nod to the old serials, but the cheese level kept getting pretty high at times (especially in Temple of Doom) and that always tends to bug me. I think without Harrison Ford's performance, I probably wouldn't have liked them much at all, but that's just me.
That said, I really enjoyed Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls. Sure, there were things I didn't like (the nuke scene, all the CGI animals, the killer ants, and everything between the Tarzan bit and the waterfalls), but I did end up really liking it. I won't give any details incase anyone reading hasn't seen it yet, but it was fun.
It amazed me how it was such a big gathering of sci-fi/fantasy movie stars. I mean, not only do you have Ford, who is both Indy and Han Solo, you've got people representing Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Transformers, Beowulf, Hellboy, and possibly my personal favorite brief appearance, though not sci-fi or fantasy, was the Janitor from Scrubs himself, Neil Flynn. That cracked me up.

Yesterday we went and saw The Incredible Hulk. I was nervous, I didn't like any of the trailers for the movie, I thought they were terrible. To my surprise, I loved the movie. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed it. I thought the effects were great, but I'm worried how they'll look on DVD. CGI almost always looks better on film, but then looks really fake on DVD, in my opinion at least.
I even had a nerdy moment during the final fight when I realized I was sitting there slackjawed.
I'm surprised I'm saying this, but The Incredible Hulk is right up there with Iron Man. The movies share the feeling of a deeper world by acknowledging the existence of other superheroes and even appearing in each other's movies. It opens thing up SO much. Before this, the closest thing I can recall is a mention of Metropolis in one of the Batman movies and a mention of Gotham in Superman Returns. The result is that instead of just having Marvel movies, we now have a series of movies taking place in the Marvel Universe. I can't wait for The Avengers.
It's time for DC to step it up. I loved Superman Returns and Batman Begins and The Dark Knight looks amazing, but it's time to open up the Universe.

I got a surprising and awesome note on MySpace the other day. It turns out I was the 20,000th friend added to Stan Lee's MySpace page and will be receiving a personalized autographed prize signed by Stan Lee himself. How insanely cool is that? Expect pictures when it arrives.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tech Troubles, Movie Musings, and the Wee One

I hate those moments when I realize how much I rely on the internet. Our service has been wonky for the past three weeks. My high speed is slower than dial-up (when it even works) and only reaches close-to-normal speeds when someone's using the phone. We've called AT&T for help several times, obviously without any success as of yet. I'm pretty much fed up with them.
It's surprisingly frustrating to not be able to check your email or peruse YouTube whenever I feel like it. It does have its advantages though, as I've been getting loads of work done.

I've used the internet downtime to really hit the animation hard and finished the scene from The Greatest Fan Film of All Time that I've been dreading since the start. It was my first all out action/chase scene and I really questioned my capability to pull it off. Amazingly, I finished the minute-and-a-half long sequence and I love it. Progress is nice.
Speaking of progress, we had a recording session for Fan Film on Saturday night. Larry, Derby, Clint, and Ian came up and we got most of the remaining dialogue recorded. Jeff even pitched in and voiced the Atom. Everything went well, we had fun and got a lot done.

When I'm not making movies, I have been going to see a few. Iron Man was excellent and really impressed me. It seemed like they really went the extra mile to make it more than the average superhero movie.
I also saw The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, which I loved. I remember I wasn't sure what I thought after I first saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was so soon after The Lord of the Rings, it seemed to me like they were trying to make a kid-friendly version to ride the wave. I liked it, but that was it. Then, every time I watched it, my appreciation for it increased, I saw new sides to it and kept getting more from it, I grew to love it. Prince Caspian was a great follow-up that really felt like it moved the story and the characters forward. For such an action packed movie, it surprised me how the whole thing seemed to have a sad undertone to it.
I still want to check out Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls. I can't say I'm a huge Indy fan and I've heard very mixed reviews from friends, but I'd still like to give it a go.
It's looking to be a good summer for movies, my biggies are definitely The Dark Knight and Wall-E. I admit, I already caved and got myself a Wall-E figure, which is too cool for words, so here's a picture.

I'm curious about Hancock and hesitant about The Incredible Hulk. I'm in the minority in that I liked the 2003 Hulk movie and while the whole cast and so much about the movie tells me it should be great, the previews have left me cold.

I've gotten to hang with Cathy a bit lately, which has been really fun. She's getting married this weekend and moving to Seattle shortly thereafter. I'm so happy for her, though it'll be sad to see her go. I'm sure she and Ben will love it out there.

Matthew, me, and Hanna

Baby Matthew turned 6 months old last week. That went by really fast and yet it feels like he's always been here. The kids a bruiser and a ham, but an adorable one. His interests include drooling, eating, blowing raspberries, trying to eat things that aren't meant to be eaten, pulling his uncle's hair, hitting tables and various other surfaces, and did I mention he's a cowboy?

It's crazy to watch how fast he grows, you can see changes from day to day. He's already got a few teeth, he's very vocal, and he'll be crawling within days (right now he just rolls over and spins in circles on his belly). I discovered a few weeks ago that the Dixie Chicks song Lullaby has a powerful enchantment on him and will make him fall asleep nine times out of ten, it's hilarious.

I'm definitely keeping busy, but it's hot and I'm antsy. I want to go to Niagara Falls.