Sunday, August 31, 2014

Gotta talk About Doctor Who

We are two weeks into the new season of Doctor Who and I figured I should chime in with my thoughts on it all.

I saw the premiere on the big screen at a special event hosted by Denver Comic Con at the Sie FilmCenter.
I ended up winning first place in both the costume contest and the trivia contest they held that night. It was a fun way to begin the new season.

This season introduces Peter Capaldi as the latest regeneration of the Doctor. I am going to come out and say I have not fully formed my opinion on his Doctor yet. They are very much still forming the character and may be doing so through out the season. In his second adventure I get the impression that he has still not pulled himself together. He is a darker Doctor than the last few have been. He is also the oldest Doctor since William Hartnell took on the role as the first Doctor over fifty years ago. So far he has come off as a bit of a jerk, quick to give insult and highly condescending. In some ways he is much like the Sixth Doctor, who was one of the harder ones to enjoy. Capaldi's Doctor at least seems to be trying to work on this where the Sixth Doctor seemed indifferent. It does feel as if this regeneration may take all season to stabilize. Don't know if that will be a good or bad thing.

There is a lot of potential here, so I am ready to wait it out and see how things develop.

One of the big things that is clearly going on is the mirroring of past episodes. In the first adventure, 'Deep Breath' we saw clear connections to 'Girl in the Fireplace' and references to 'The Fires of Pompeii'. The second adventure 'Into the Dalek' felt similar to the 9th Doctor's adventure 'Dalek', with some of the same questions regarding Dalek morality. Knowing some of where this season is supposed to go, I am expecting most of the episodes to have these kind of connection. It can work if done right. If they can balance the episodes as being fully original stories that are all their own, but still feel connected to what has come before it can actually be a very strong season. These first two adventures have done this well.

One of my big hopes for this season is that Moffat actually pulls off the big reveal of the overall storyline. So far that has not been his strength. Too often the way the storyline gets tied up over the last few seasons have just lacked the drama it needed to really deliver. They have felt more like added in aspects rather than actual thought out storylines.

I am looking forwards to seeing just where the new season will take us and I have faith that in the end it will be an enjoyable journey.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

the 2014 Denver 48 Hour Film Project

So this year I was involved in an entry for the 48 Film Project here in the Denver area. ( Your team has 48 hours to put together a short film, no longer than 7 minutes (Before credits). I've been part of a team before and was very proud of our final product:

This year I am not sure what I can say about our final product.
Somehow all the needed dialogue to make the story clear got cut. I was not involved in the editing process, so I am unsure why that happened, when the film could have been two minutes longer, and included all that NEEDED dialogue. We filmed those scenes and they would have added so much to the film. As it is I do not think anyone who has not read the script will understand all of what is going on.

I have other isseus beyond that, but it is the feeling the the script itself got ignored for the most part that bugs me the most.

I am taking it as a learning experience. I have ever intention of participating in these contests when the chance comes my way. Even when it feels like a lot of mistakes were made, it does not scare me off from doing something I very much enjoy doing.

Here is another short film I was involved with that I am very proud of:
Birthright was done for a 72 hour film contest. My son got a staring role in it and I am really pleased with how it came out.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Obligatory Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Yesterday the family got out to the movies. Do I need to tell you what movie we saw? Read the post title.

As the internet is flooded with reviews for this movie already, I will do what I can to offer some new insight into it all.

Let's start with what are the greatest CGI characters we have seen to date. Make no mistake, I love what they did with Golem in the Lord of the Rings, but Rocket and Groot are so well done you really do not think of them as being CGI. Remember, we are talking about a sentient tree and a talking Raccoon as being believable character. While they have the comedic moments, they are not comic relief, but real, significant characters. Even with Groot only being able to say 'I am Groot' we are still able to see a fully realized character in that. Rocket and Groot kick Golem's pale little ass, as well as stomp Jar-jar and Dobby into insignificance.

Then you have the rest of the team. Starlord, Gamora and Drax. They work and are enjoyable. That really is all that needs to be said.

Now this is that basic story of a rag tag bunch of misfits come together and in the end are able to overcome their differences to work as a team and save the day. We've seen it a million times, but when done well it works.  Here it has been done really well.

One aspect I often have issue with in movies in motivation. Why are these characters doing what they do? Too often in movies we have characters that really have no motivation, or questionable motivation.  Here ever character has a believable motivation. You will not leave the theater questioning how everyone ended up where they did.

Also, this movie has a very relevant narrative to our times, which I have not seen mention of elsewhere. One of the biggest motivation in the film is the villain Ronan the Accuser inability to accept peace with his people's long time enemies. In the aftermath of a war with Xandar, Ronan is unable to get over the death of his family. He is seeking revenge, an act that will only promote more hostile actions, destroying any chance at a lasting peace. If you are unable to see how this is reflected right now in our world... There is a world outside your little house and if you need to become more aware of it.

So far Marvel Studios is doing an incredible job of giving us some of the greatest comic book movies ever seen. I truly hope they can keep this going, as ti has been a incredible run so far and with what they have announced as their future plans, it sounds like we have a lot to look forwards to in the future for Marvel films.

The after credits piece is worth seeing just for the amusement of it. The surprise character there got me thinking about his under rated movie from 1986 and I will most likely be writing a post on that here shortly.