Seen: Book of Eli ★★★★✮

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Wow. Best post-apocalyptic setting I can remember now. Deep, rich, apocalyptic feeling you can cut with a knife. A few “buts” (once again, the female lead role looks too clean and polished just like in e.g. King Arthur), otherwise, I hope the guys behind the quite shallow, robotic, empty-eyed Fallout 3 have watched it with pens ready.

Excellent dialogues (I hardly could forsee anything!). Even though it’s a bad ass action flick, they twist those typical dialogues very well. You know, silly lines like in “Legion”, are taken and twisted, or almost delivered then smashed by a sudden attack. Brilliant.

Religion is a central theme and I think this is one of the few occasions in which I am happy with it. Worship sign of approval. Yes, the message is NOT religion = evil, OK, but still, it’s so dirty and painful, like a monk in a torture chamber, that I can except a positive picture of faith. But, they casually refer to religion possibly being the source of the world’s destruction (true), so all is well.

What I don’t like is that the movie doesn’t peak. There is some revelation, a cool surprise (no spoilers), but no real closure. Feels a bit like Matrix 1, a bit open end, so much unresolved…

Still, I watched parts of it twice, read something about the movie afterwards on the web, and thought about several times afterwards: A big success, a movie that had an effect, and entertained me. Definite GO watch it.

Music: The three credited composers (headed by Atticus Ross) provided a modern “evolve”-esque , pad-rich sound with an interesting, unexpected theme. Highly processed, very unnatural, and very cool.

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Seen: And Justice for All ★★★★✰

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1979 is a long time ago. German dubbed version reads out all on screen text, and that’s about 20 signs with long texts in the (normally silent) main title montage. Weird! I want the English sound track… Grmlg Video On Demand grmslgjsl.

Otherwise: Very cool scenes of every day life (I like those, you know, exactly the stuff you usually cut out nowadays). Slow progress, interesting development of the lawyer story. Big theme of justice, truth and morality, deep characters, excellent unconventional ending.

Sound wise: Let’s forget it. 😉 No, I don’t know about the music, can’t remember now, but the sound design is as weird and sparse as it was before the Star Wars revolution kicked in universally.

Seen: 8mm ★★★✮✰

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Lovefilm.de (yes that Link gives me $$ when you use it to join)  now has Video on Demand, only 150 movies so far, but 5 added to it every day it seems, and only in German. I talked about their DVD rental flatrate (I currently pay 17€ a month and have 2 DVDs of my choice at home, when I send them back I get new ones from my list). So let’s cut the advertising…

I have no time at all, but I managed to squeeze in a quick movie while I was looking for sound effect source material for a project (currently doing the ambient tracks for Dungeons).

8mm is staring Nicolas Cage, which me and my friends call The Mumbler, though his mumbling is lost in the German version. Damn you Video On Demand, I hate dubbed versions!

It’s about murder and snuff porn, so just my thing 😉 No really, the story was much more gripping than I have expected, even though I was working and watching it on the side, my adrenaline went up in the action scenes (which almost never happens, usually I am distant and analytical). Some emotion affected me, even, while other scenes were overplayed I think. Once again that Hollywood thing, try dry understatement with depth and meaning, this will make a brilliant movie, no need for weepy bombast with an army of violins, we have 2010 goddamnit.

Talking of violins, god this must be the most annoying soundtrack of my life. Filmtracks gave it 2 of 5 stars, and that’s flattering. 😉 While it does work in the action scenes, and while it is fresh and new and a weird approach – it is also totally annoying and hate-inducing: The movie is about a hidden crime in the underground illegal porn scene, strictly American, with basically only white people, and half of the music is weird morrocan chanting like a yodeling cat in a grinder. Who gave the go ahead for that? Why are scores rejected all the time, by the biggest composers out there, and somehow this gets green-lighted???? (try it from 1:20, and tell me you like it, I dare you!)

I refrain from talking about the sound, I did not catch the credits and those Video on Demand movies are compressed. No sound rating for those.

Sorry, once again I have to hurry to blurt this out, I am very busy before Xmas blabla…

Satachrist’s Castle

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While my machine is rendering, I am cleaning up my webserver. As I never delete anything, I find a lot of shit from 2001 (when I got that webspace). At that time, I was a wannabe webdesigner, quite new into Flash. I was never awesome, that’s why I am no longer working in that area.

Among the weirdest things I have ever done is this website for my good friend Martin, a dark author. It is half browser adventure, half website. You can read some of his short stories in there. Some links don’t work, and it was only half finished. I hate that, we had a lot of additional material ready and not inserted. We had dialogues and 2 more characters…

Sorry if it’s too crappy for your time. The beginning font is hard to read, click the T symbol to remove it. Also, the crappy art is my doing, and I play the first character you’ll meet. Almost the only one in there I am afraid.

Among the better features I think is the dialogue system, with the possibility to enter text at one point, and the interaction with the books in the library. Also, I like the part of dressing up as characters, and photoshopping them into crappy art. I don’t know what you think, but when i see it, I would love to finish an adventure in that style (with better graphics of course). If anyone is into that, hit me…

Side note: There is a preloader, the crows that land on the sign posts. Back in 2001, it actually took a while for the game to load. Today, no problem. Ohh, damn, the possibilities, I would love to do such a game right away…

–> Try it here  [UPDATED: Changed the link]

Screenshot of Satachrist's Castle

Screenshot of Satachrist’s Castle

 

Seen: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ★★★★✰

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So I now saw the movie to one of my favorite soundtracks. Expect the review to be seriously biased.

It’s of course a teenager fantasy flick, but as I have learned with Eragon, that doesn’t need to be a bad thing. If you prepare yourself, and are able to connect with your inner teen, they can be quite alright.

I hand out 4 stars because I am overall very happy with the movie. Awesome music, some of those themes turn my knees into butter. Harry Gregson-Williams is my hero 🙂 Great battle scenes (which was a weakness of Eragon I think), special effects massive (the attacking trees really rocked).

It’s long, over 2 hours. So every scene has room to breath. Many moody scenes, which other people would cut. Slow progress. Battles in which you can follow the tactics and enjoy the outcome. It is a bit darker than Narnia 1, and there are only a few unbelievability problems with the script as it was shot (something I watch out for in watered-down-for-children movies).

It’s like a tiny toned-down Lord of the Rings, with a little bit of make-belief and roleplaying. Plus weird talking animals. BUT while they do throw a Disney face once in a while, they take themselves seriously. Not too awful.

20 people working on the sound… It was spotless indeed. Together with my fav recent fantasy score.. can’t go wrong. 5 Stars for audio (and I look the other way regarding the awfully sweet pop song at the end)

Seen: Legion ★★✮✰✰

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Sorry I am in a rush. I had this movie lying here for over a week until I had time to watch it. I am in a the middle of a tight soundtrack job, but I had enough emails to write in the last days that I could watch the movie on the side.

Well. Apocalyptic and religious and dark and horror – seems like my movie. But it isn’t.

The religious thing is on the backseat, front row is reserved for Zombie-like fight scenes. After a very broad stroke epic beginning with lines that could rival the stupidity of Arnold in End Of Days, we are suddenly at a truck stop in the desert, where we will stay until 15 mins before the end. Until that point, if you would just rewatch Night of the Living Dead and add a few feathers to it, you basically have the same experience.

We hear about each character’s uninteresting background, and there is death, and blood. I thought we get interesting in the end when we finally change the location, but to stay spoiler free: No we don’t.

I don’t know, I need to feel the massive awe of the supernatural in such a movie. You have to put some layers in it, the feel of epic things going on in the background. But every line that could help deliver such a feeling is copied from a cowboy movie. If you have a plain simple two liner, don’t make a 10 seconds break in the middle. I could have written the 2nd line on a blackboard and shown it to the actor just in time for him to completely unimpress me with its foreseeability. “You wanted to live like them”. Half an hour later: “Now you’ll die like them.” I want to take the actor and hit the screenwriter on the head with him.

Nothing else is handed to me to impress me with the massiveness of the occasion, angels coming to earth and shit. We could cut about 5 minutes of the movie, and we would have a perfectly standard bible-free zombie movie. The only biblical feeling in this movie is the psalm quote in the beginning and half a fight scene with Gabriel. Hmph.

Ah yeah and cut out the crap with babies and children in danger. I think it’s as off-limits as rape. Not amusing at all I think, but that’s just my opinion. I am getting soft.

Music composed by John Frizzell, solid horror job, with all the epic horror oomph you might desire.

12 people working on sound design. Also, good work.