Things I Love This Week

There are a lot of things I’m excited about this week, my friends, and I feel like sharing. Admittedly, there’s a little horn tootin’ here, but not too much, I promise. Big Hero 6 — First off, today is the official release day of Big Hero 6, the latest animated feature from Disney, and the reason I was pretty quiet over the summer. Whew! In all my years in animation and vfx, I think this is the hardest I’ve ever worked. I’m biased, of course, but I think it turned out pretty darn well. If you like animated films, Disney, or superheroes, then I bet you’ll love this one! Look for me in the “Technical Animation” credits. (That’s cloth, hair, and character cleanup, plus other squishy things like Baymax’s skin.) Congrats to all my fellow (very talented) artists and filmmakers on the film! … Continue reading

Five Movies on an Airplane!

The great thing about international travel is getting to see places way outside your everyday experience, expand your horizons, and gain new perspectives. The great thing about being stuck on an airplane for 13+ hours each way is catching up on some of the movies you missed whlle you were busy working over the summer. (Well, maybe not ALL of the movies were so great…) Minor spoilers ahead, and caveat: I watched them on a seat-back screen at standard def in the twilight zone of airplane brain…   The Amazing Spider Man 2 – Andrew Garfield continues to fill the moodier shoes of our favorite webhead, this time with more of Spidey’s trademark humor, too. The chemistry is better with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, but the cracks are beginning to show in their relationship, and if you’re any kind of Spider-Man fan, you can see what’s coming. The VFX are top … Continue reading

Man of Steel: Not the Review I Expected to Write

So, before I start the review, I have a confession to make. I kind of started composing this in my head days ago, long before seeing the movie. I’d seen all the trailers, and most had failed to move me. They all showcased a Superman who was a cold, brooding outcast. I was sure that Superman in handcuffs was the epitome of Zack Synder’s cynical, nihilistic, hyperkinetic brand of film making. Conventional wisdom on the interwebz was that the movie was a big letdown*. “MoS = PoS,” I even snickered to a friend. I was happy to be proved wrong. Minor spoilers ahead.  Remember that feeling we all got when watching The Phantom Menace? How fifteen minutes in, the elation of OMG New Star Wars movie was replaced with a gnawing feeling it was a terrible film?** Man of Steel was like that, but in reverse. I went in grumpy, disinterested, ready to hate … Continue reading

Star Trek Into Darkness, a review.

Red Alert: This is a long post, and contains spoilers a little ways down. I haven’t been so excited for a summer movie this year as I’ve been for Star Trek Into Darkness. Despite 2009’s Star Trek major plot holes and logistical issues, I’ve generally been a fan of J.J. Abram’s reboot. Roddenberry’s characters are iconic enough to withstand (and even flourish from) new interpretations and perspectives. Like Batman, Spider-Man, James Bond, or even the works of Shakespeare, there’s room to explore the essentials of Star Trek from many angles. So in that regard, I enjoyed what Star Trek into Darkness had to offer: the friendship between Kirk and Spock, the rousing adventures aboard the most famous starship ever, the stirring score, and the top-notch jaw-dropping vfx. The overall plot was a nice twist on some Star Trek stories that have come before. If you’re looking for some big-budget, gorgeous … Continue reading

The Joad Less Traveled (Reading: The Grapes of Wrath)

Here I am, untold years out of high school and finally getting around to reading The Grapes of Wrath. (Sorry for the pun in the title. I just couldn’t resist.) It’s been high on my “to read” list for quite some time, but kept dropping to the perpetual back of the line like some Jean Claude Van Damme movie on my Netflix Queue everytime something new came along. And in case you think I’m a total jerk for comparing one of the Greatest Novels Ever Written to JCVD,  I should point out that my favorite book is East of Eden. (I don’t know whether that absolves my sin or compounds it…) I just started reading, so I don’t have a lot of well-formed opinions on the novel yet — other than as usual, Steinbeck does a wonderful job of evoking character through place. Few worlds are as vivid to me … Continue reading