Friday, 12 June 2015

Jurassic World review

If you havent seen the movie yet, and you want to know as little as possible about the plot or any other aspect of this film, you should avoid this post completely.

You can however come back later and read trough my thoughts on the subject.

Spoilers ahead!
Proceed at your own risk!

22 years has gone by since Jurassic Park. 22 years man!! I'l never forget how I felt when a first fully shown dinosaur sailed onto the screen. Magnificent Brachiosaur. My eyes well up in tears. I was sobbing silently, watching this graceful sauropod propping up on it's hind limbs, grabbing couple branches and dropping down synchronous with the masterful score from John Williams. I've got goosebumps all over my body right now, as I'm writing, thinking about that moment.

During those 22 years, we've got one so - so sequel, The Lost World, and one pretty disastrous third sequel. Let's label it JP3, sort of like some code name for a failed lab experiment that it was.
Now after so many years and so many fails, You'd expect that there was a lesson to be learned in all this and it could quite possibly lead to something great?
Apparently not.

As much as I lowered my expectations, as much as I wanted it to win,(I wanted it to win big). Sadly, it did not happen for me.
Not to say that Jurassic Park movie from '93 was perfect. If you read the book you know it's not. But this...

Sadly, the best thing about Jurassic World was the creature that wasn't even dinosaur. Indominus Rex. This beast was awesome from the artistic design point of view.
It is a beautifully crafted cg character that I really enjoyed looking at. I did not like some of the directing decisions about it. It was too intelligent, too clever.
I had no other problems with it except the thing I mentioned of it being to smart. The part where it "talks" to Pterodactyles, to Raptors, that was a joke.

Someone said something like: "Why you have to invent anything else when you have T Rex. Is this not fantastic enough?" And I agree with that.
But the thing that should have been main attraction of the movie, the dinosaurs, they were collateral and gimmicky at best. There's not a single scene that comes even close to those Jurassic Park scenes with Brachiosaur at the beginning, the sick Triceratops.

There was a lame attempt to replicate that chemistry Sam Neil and Laura Dern had with Triceratops model. This time Chris Pratt and that red haired actress helped mauled Diplodocid ease into afterlife.
The rubbery animatronic head looked artificial and dead as a fckn' parrot. Design wise pale in comparison to Triceratops from JP.

This movie was all over the place. Exactly like my mind is right now. I cannot pick a point and go from there.
I'ts like Colin Treworrov and Spielberg did not completely agree whether they want comedy, parody, thriller, action movie?

There was a butt load of cliche. Butt load of poor attempts of homage to JP.
Characters were poorly written. Teenage boy and his younger brother were.. dont know what they were.
There's a scene where a Tyrannosaurus comes in front of the huge glass screen and chomps a goat. And this teen dude is on a phone with his mother I think?

And he's like bored. And his mother raves like a lunatic cos his aunt is not with them, instead this aunt, the red haired actress arranged a person to watch over them.. ahh.

You were invited onto an island with dinosaurs. You got WIP pass. You can spend a week there. What the hell? I dont see a problem there.
But seriously, why do movie directors have to turn every fricking subject into family issues.
Anyway, I dont want to turn this review into Dr. Phil episode.
For me, the acting and characters in this movie were dry and artificial. I hoped Chris Pratt could pull off some magic but it kind of did not happen.

To go back to dinosaurs. I think that this movie could not benefit from no level of plausibility in terms of how dinosaurs looked.
No amount of feather could help Tyrannosaurus Rex or Raptors cos poor direction is poor direction. And then after all the right and wrong and "how dinosaur might have looked like" You still have good design and poor design.

You can still have bald Tyrannosaurus that can be executed poorly or brilliantly. You can have fuzzy Rex that can look bad, or brilliant.
Jurassic World Tyrannosaur looked bad. Raptors looked ok-ish, other dinosaurs were barely there. Indominus Rex ruled the whole time and luckily looked great.

About the king of all dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus cgi model looked like an overly dehydrated fig ran over by a semi. Not sure why is that so? Maybe this is that Tyrannosaurus from the JP events. Maybe it's just 25-30 year old grandpa Rex?
Whatever it is it looked bad for me. The end where it fights Indominus is another one of those poor JP homages.

Raptors looked too muscled up. And I think they changed the way they walk and run. The scenes where raptors run after that mini truck with kids in the back. It's run associated me with jaguar or some large wild feline, only bipedal.
The Raptor design was beautiful as well. I love how their eyes moved and twitched when they were locked in those head-lock things. Anatomically, Raptors had nothing to do with reality. They might be better addressed dromaeosaur beasts.

But as I mentioned earlier, this movie suffers from lot worse symptoms then those of inaccurate dinosaur reconstructions.
There were so many points in this movie where I simply rolled my eyes in disbelief. Why oh why???

From a professional point, I'd be proud and ecstatic if I had the privilege to participate in the creation of this movie. To be able to say, you designed Indominus Rex, it would be fricking amazing!
As a fan of the original movie and the book. After 22 years, I'm still left wanting for something else, something that can replicate those feelings I had back in '93 or God forbid improve on that and bring more emotions to the table.
I know it's possible. I'm not too old, I'm not over it. Mad Max: Fury Road proved it can be done.

Anyway. I do not want to analyze all the tiny details of Jurassic World. Bottom line is that I did not like it. There were some highs and lots of lows.

I wanted to like it but I just couldn't. This doesn't mean it is a bad movie. It means I could not connect with it in the way I wanted.
It did not resonate with my core.
In my life, I enjoyed movies that were generally considered bad. So there's that. It doesn't mean a thing. If you liked Jurassic World I wont think nothing less of you. I hope you won't think nothing less of me either for sharing my disappointment

I hope next two movies in line are going to follow the Mad Max Fury Road route. Terminator Genisys and Star Wars.
Basically this year is a great year for me. It packs all the great movies that marked my childhood. I just hope those two end up being same as the source or better cos Jurassic World was a certain downgrade in my eyes.

I guess It's just down to the retarded hierarchy that rules the Hollywood. Too many decision makers when it should come down to one person. I believe that's why so many movies feel torn apart.

If you stop and think about Jurassic World, you'l realize it doesn't have a soul. Well, I realized it did not have soul for me, personally. And it's almost painfully obvious that it's made to make money.
All the product placement throughout the move in form of Samsung logos, samsung devices, Mercedes cars. Like a 2 hour TV ad. Jimmy Fallon pops in.. Could have squeezed in an entire SNL crew while they were at it.
I guess we will have a dinosaur movie in the next 22 years that won't be created with priority on making money. Making money will be the second thing, first would be to amaze and challenge minds of all ages.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies short review

Long time no blog entries on my end. Lazy bum.
To keep the thing alive and in tradition, here's another late December post.
I've seen The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies yesterday.
I enjoyed the final chapter, or the middle one, depending on how you look at it.
To anyone that is yet to see it you may wanna skip this read as it may contain spoilers.

Be warned ye who enters. SPOILERS AHEAD!

The movie starts out on the Lake town while under attack by Smaug. Impressive as it was I wanted to see more of Smaug here, opposed to second part where they showed it bit to much(Im addressing the part where dragon chases dwarves trough the halls of Erebor).. But our dragon ends up dead relatively quickly. That was a downer for me.
We then switch to Lonely Mountain and the dwarves. I liked the transformation of Thorin character. This sequel could have benefited of Thorin and his dragon sickness card even more than it did had they cut out annoying and unnecessary gag character Alfrid.
Seriously, I think this was the biggest issue for me in this sequel. It was stupid and made to satisfy needs of 7yr olds. I rolled my eyes whenever that guy walked in.
Im aware that the reference material for these sequels comes nowhere near LOTR books. But they deviated from the Hobbit book on so many occasions that it wouldn't hurt if they cut out all the gags and kindergarten level humor from it. I like the drama, seriousness and "realism" in fantasy. On one end we have battle of five armies raging outside and inside the Dale and they take a comedy central break with Alfrid dressed up as woman, filling his bra with gold coins. No! Shit no!
Im not going to give that annoyance of a character one more letter here.
Id like to clarify what the "realism" in fantasy means to me.
For instance. When the ground worms breach mountain making way for orc armies. Ive got no problem with giant worms digging trough stone. All legit. But I wish they showed some short shot explaining how orcs got those worms digging for them in the direction they needed in the first place. Something like Sauron casting a spell on them or whatever. But I might be nitpicking
There was a handful of scenes where I ended up with tingles down my spine. Part where Galadriel comes to rescue Gandalf. That was intense. Saruman and Elrond kicking 9 arses was joy beyo nd measure. Sauron eye effects on the other hand when it is being confronted by Galadriel.. This bit could have been made better visually. The way it was done now somehow felt rushed. I would describe this part with words from popular song.."If you dont know what you're doing make a cut, if you dont know what you're doing and you"...
Anyway, lot of cuts there in the Galadriel vs the Eye.

Someone reading this may think by now, "This guy enjoyed Hobbit?" "Trolling much?"
But I have enjoyed it. Very much. Especially towards the middle and end with climactic battles and everything. So many brilliant situations and choreographed fights.
The moment when Thranduil rides his Elkmoose and plows all those orcs of that bridge was fantasy porn in a super positive sense, ending with that sixtcapitation that made my jaw drop down and shatter in 1000 puzzle piece.
The moment Thorin fights Azog on the frozen falls. That wide slow mo shot with Thorin and Azog about to hit it off is a classic moment and looks so real.
Also one other thing I noticed.
Legolas. In first part of the movie when he shows up he has those weird bright blue almost glowing eyes as from Desolation of Smaug. Couple moments later he looks "normal", the type of "normal" he looked like in LOTR.
Not 100% sure why is that so? He did denounce his belonging to the woodland elves around that time or something like that. Maybe that was the reason.
Whatever it was I liked him better that normal way. Those glowing eyes just didn't work for me. It looked creepish.

To sum this sequel up. I would score it 7.8/10

Overall, Hobbit trilogy was awesome prelude to LOTR.
It lacked in sense it did not have the element of surprise and originality its predecessor enjoyed. It was built around arguably lesser Tolkien work compared to LOTR.
Realistically, if about 25 minutes of material could be cut out from the entire trilogy it would be even better. But nevertheless, it shall be owned on bluray when a box set hits the stores.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Tyrannosaurus Rex book project.

Been a while since my last blog entry.
Lots of stuff happened in the mean time but wont be writing much about stuff.
I'm working on models and illustrations intended for a book project about a Tyrannosaurus Rex started by Mike Kelly. Up until this point I have created female Rex, almost have male finished. Still have juvenile to do. Im also close to finishing first and major co star on the herbivorous side of the pack. Triceratops. Really looking forward to the first finished illustrations. This book could be big, both literally, figuratively, or any other way really.

I'l be adding some updates as this project grows further.
Attached is a Tyrannosaurus head snapshot. This is her majesty.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! So! I have seen "The Desolation of Smaug" Yesterday.
Did I love it? Yes I did. Was it better than the Unexpected Journey? It is continuation of the story. I look at it as a whole, one story told in 3 parts. This part was bit more dynamic compared to the first. I would score this part 8,5 out of 10, just like the first part.

I had no problems whatsoever with all the deviations from the Tolkien writings. Among other, Tauriel is awesome addition to the movie, just like the pale orc from first part. Nice to see Legolas here as well.

As far as the Smaug goes, "Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of your enormity, O Smaug the Stupendous..."  This quote is spot on. Smaug is terrific. I had fears of "talking Smaug" but it worked out. Tho, I have to say It could have been made more realistic, and I'l explain my reasoning. I liked how when Bilbo puts on the ring he picks up spiders talking in Mirkwood. Sort of like, when you put on One Ring you can sense, see and hear things others cant. I loved that. In my opinion. They should have kept that thing working trough the entire movie. When Bilbo faces Smaug. He should have been the only one that can "understand and hear" Smaug, regardless of whether he has the ring on his finger or simply in his hand. Anyone who holds the ring has his senses altered..
This would make dialogue between the Thorin and the Smaug pretty much impossible, or one directional to say the least... But they could have made that work as well. Smaug doesnt have to say anything to Thorin, his actions speak more than words.

Point is, I liked it, but I think it could have been made even better and more real, or more in sync with the LOTR and the "already established universe where animals/monsters dont speak"  Imagine Balrog in the first LOTR, when confronted with Gandalf who says to him " YOU SHALL NOT PASS" imagine if Balrog replied with anything else but a roar and a thunderous fiery whip crack?

This was one of the issues I had with Unexpected Journey as well. I still can't get over the three Trolls in the forest. They could have talked, but not in some english accent, they should converse in some trollish, orkish something something language..
I mean, I get that that scene in particular was constructed in a manner for the younger generations to have fun, but this same scene could have been made with Trolls speaking trollish and still make it fun and make the trolls look kind of retarded and clumsy...
To sum it up.. Smaug was awesome. Visually, it is f#ing stunning and I loved it from the top of his snout to the tip of his tail..
Anyways, what I felt in some parts of the movie is, as if it has been rushed. Some scenes lack the beautiful cinematic photography compared to some others.
I was not a fan of using HD GO PRO footage in some moments during the barrel down the river scenes(which was fantastic btw, the choreography of dwarves and elfs fighting orcs in that part of movie were pure fun)
There are couple more of these rushed scenes and parts in the movie. But non of it was detracting from the general atmosphere.. The Gandalf/Sauron confrontation was intense and I simply loved it!! I really love these deviations from the original story. PJ and co are doing great job in adapting the story to the screen and are pretty damn successful in adding their own twists and turns to the plot. Hmm..
There is so much in my head, it is hard to pick this beast of a movie apart.
Yes, the entire Bilbo/Smaug talk was brilliant. Later on Dwarfs join in and start running around the halls( excactly in the point one coin falls from Smaugs belly in front of Bilbo). That was all great. Until that point they all start to lure the dragon to those furnaces and that big golden dwarf cast in the "King Chambers"(not sure if that was the name).
I felt there were bits that were rushed in those scenes as well.. Smaug getting caught under the cable cart lines and so on, sort of as if they ran out of ideas of how to make it work. What exactly dwarves need to do to get Smaug killed.
I'm comparing these sort of messy scenes where they fight Smaug to the point in movie where Bilbo and dwarves came to the spot of a supposed entrance into the Lonely Mountain.
The scene where Bilbo figures out it was the moon light they needed to discover key hole and not the sun light.
Exact scene I'm thinking is when Bilbo searches for the key, then kicks key with his feet, then Thorin stomps on the key lace and stops key from falling over the edge. Picks it up and moves in towards the stone.. That scene was f#king epic in a most Epic kinds of ways. That metallic sound of key flying towards the edge.. These shots were filmed impeccably, immaculate.
These are the shots that make up cinematic history.
That scene in particular reminded me to the scene from the "Fellowship of the Ring" when Frodo "lost" ring in snow after he slipped down the slope, only for Boromir to pick it up and say "It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing" ...Chills down my spine!!!...
This is what I'm talking about. Pure cinematic art. There are lots of these small "gem of a scene" bits in "Desolation", but there are couple of scenes there that could have been left out or done better.....I need to go and work.

Bottom line is, Desolation is great, I enjoyed it, and I'l see it at least one more time before I own it on Blu Ray.
My conclusion: It is without mistake another accumulation of beautiful and breathtaking artistry of all forms put together by passionate and hard working group of people, all in one place, and should be thoroughly enjoyed for that.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Zbrush Hangout #2

Zbrush hangout #2 is over. You can see recorded session bellow. Video is available for viewing during the next 29 days.

Hook up with FB page for future livestream announcements and more images and stuff: