Friday, October 24, 2014

Fortress




Fortress is a short film (only 3 minutes!) by a Russian film maker named Dima Fedotof. He describes himself as a "CG Enthusiast from Russia." That's about all I could find on him... not that I tried that hard. Whatever. Here is the synopsis. I'm pretty sure English isn't his first language...

This is cartoon parable. Despite the fact that mankind is killed, the war still continues. War continued with automated system left by people. One of the last surviving bomber and its pilot still performs its task. The city is dead for a long time. Dead people who built it. Dead people who gave the order to destroy the city. And war will continue until subside echo of humanity.But life will always find a way to survive. Cassette bomb submunitions became a fortress for the grass.

Well... that sounds interesting... I think.

Let's check it out.


Huh... not bad, right? It looked cool, there was some good designs. He tried a little too hard for poignancy at the end, but his intention is good. So, yeah: Thumbs up. This was fun, short, and kinda cool. 4 stars. Would recommend.

What do you think?

Jon

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Films I'm looking forward to: Avengers: Age of Ultron


Obviously I'm looking forward to this movie.

Obviously. I mean, duh, right? It probably seems almost a little cliched at this point, huh? I'm sure when you saw your local Internet explode yesterday with news of the leaked trailer, the first thought in your mind was probably: "Jon is gonna shit." Well, congratu-fucking-lations, Carnac, because you were right: I watched the trailer and I totally shit. Totally.

Let's watch it again.



Woo!

That right there is 100% pure awesome, people, that's what that is.

Granted, this is just a teaser, but from what I saw going on here (and from every little scrip and scrap of information I've read), this film is gonna be huge. Huge. And I can not wait. Seriously. What I see happening in this teaser, I can't believe it. It's all so familiar to me, and yet like nothing I have ever seen before. It's just so exciting to see it all realized. I'm sure some of you out there are like me, so you know, you understand, but for the rest of you, I don't think I can describe what it's like to see these things happening on film. Things like the Marvel movies, the Lord of the Rings films, and Game of Thrones on HBO, these are all things that for a long time were considered to be on the same list: The "Shit That's Never Gonna Happen" list. You loved them. You wanted to see them done, but they were just too big, too involved, too geeky. It just wasn't gonna happen. And for years, it seemed a pretty safe bet that none of them ever would. Honestly, even if/when one ever would get made, they'd end up under-funded, arbitrarily altered, terribly cast and written, in a word: they would suck, so you were almost afraid to see anyone even try.

And yet, now... here we are.

These favorite stories and characters have not only jumped off the "Never Gonna Happen" list, but they've done it bigger and better and more amazing than any of us could have ever dared hoped. Simply put, it's a great time to be a fan.

So, yeah... Anyway, what's the deal with this movie, you ask? Well, it breaks down like this... 

The Avengers have arrived and things will never be the same. Whether they want it or not, their very presence means they change everything, and the world has to scramble to keep up. They are powerful. They are strong. But that means greater threats, harder choices. With so much hanging in the balance with every decision, triumphs can easily become tragedies, and even the smallest mistake can end up destroying people, friendships, legacies. Everything.

Ultron has become self-aware. He does not approve.


And he has brought friends...


The Avengers are screwed. A new Age is upon them...

And it's gonna be awesome. Seriously, I apologize in advance, folks, because I'm probably gonna talk about this a few more times in the coming months.

I can't wait,
Jon


Friday, October 17, 2014

Films I'm looking forward to - Inherent Vice


With noticeable--and admittedly, perhaps avoidable--shades of Big Lebowski coming along for the ride, here is the latest from Paul Thomas Anderson. When it comes to his work, I am both a huge fan and not a fan at all. He generally makes movies I love, even if I never need to see the majority of them more than once. So, the art and beauty is high, but the re-watchability is low, I guess is what I'm saying. Not always, of course, but often. At least for me. Your own opinion may vary. Whatever the case, he's undoubtedly a fantastic film maker, and after seeing this trailer, I can't wait to see the film. Great cast. Great look. Seems funny. I'm interested. Inherent Vice is based on a book by Thomas Pynchon of the same title (available here). I haven't read it, but it's on my list now.

Here's the synopsis: It's been a while since Doc Sportello has seen his ex- girlfriend. Suddenly she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is just another one of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," except that this one usually leads to trouble... 

I'm a sucker for a hard-luck PI, man. Especially in L.A. Jake. Fletch. Dude. And now Doc. Awesome. I love it. Now, unfortunately some people have taken to calling this type of film "Stoner Noir", but hopefully that's a term that never catches on, because it's stupid.

Fingers crossed. In the meantime, let's check out the trailer...



Can't wait. 
Jon

Monday, October 13, 2014

Films I'm looking forward to - Interstellar (Final Trailer)


My opinion of Christopher Nolan's various films often vacillates between frustratingly obtuse and out-right genius. Interstellar looks like it's going to fall on the genius side. I hope. I don't know if it was just his general disinterest that killed his third Bat-flick, or if it was just to hard to make a new story after the death of Heath Ledger, or maybe a combination of both, but the result was a terrible mess of a film. Ugly and stupid. It is everything that is bad with the genre. That, plus a litany of bad story choices and behind-the-scene decisions sunk the film. It was almost bad enough to sour a guy's opinion on a film maker. So, with Interstellar, it's good to see that he might be headed back into the realm of "good", and that this might even be his attempt at an Oscar film.

Maybe. We'll see. It certainly seems "epic".

I've mentioned this film before, of course (here and here), but in a nutshell, the story appears to be this: The Earth is dying. We've finally caused too much damage. Matthew McConaughey is an astronaut. He and a crew of other astronauts--including former It Girl turned creepy Glee Club Songstress and Social Pariah, Anne Hathaway--are sent on a mission into deep space, tasked to find a new planet, a new home, all while his daughter--who eventually grows up to be Jessica Chastain--waits for him back home on our slowly dying planet.

Here's the big "story" trailer (a concept I've talked about before).

Let's watch...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Entangled

Here's an interesting short film. It's called Entangled, and it's written and directed by Tony Elliot. He is one of the writers of the super awesome TV show Orphan Black, which I have professed my love for on more than one occasion.




Here's the film's official synopsis from the TIFF site:

Forced to care for her catatonic lover Malcolm after a secret quantum experiment goes awry, Erin is determined to uncover the cause of his condition — even at the risk of her own life.

Sounds interesting, maybe... but why is it called Entangled, you ask? Well, the big hint is the appearance of the word "quantum" in the synopsis. That makes me think the film will deal with something called Quantum Entanglement. It basically (kind of) work like this: One thing existing in two places at the same time. A little more complex than that, but whatever. It's a pretty neat idea, one that pops up in sci-fi stuff quite a bit actually. I think Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle figures in there somewhere, maybe. Not that that is really relevant, but y'know... Breaking Bad was a real cool show. Anyway, I've seen Quantum Entanglement used in stories as a kind of long distance information transfer, or as a type of teleporter or even as a cloning device type of thing. In fact, the first time I ever heard of it was in a JLA comic back in the mid 90s, but all I remember from that was the idea itself and the part when Batman vanishes--poof--during a critical moment. It's kind of hazy after that. None of these examples were probably all that technically accurate, but... duh. Whatever. Like I was saying, the film's probably called Entangled because of something to do with Quantum Entanglement.

Let's watch.


Hmmm. Not bad. Not bad. Nothing too flashing, but I liked it. Nice performances. And it looked good. Plus, I totally called it on the whole Quantum Entanglement thing. 

Kind of cool, right?

Jon

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Harris


You may or may not have heard by now, but... my short story HARRIS has been available for download to your various e-reader devices for a few days now... well, pre-order, but hey... why would you want to waste time, right? Beat the rush. The early bird gets the worm, as the kids say.

But now the long pre-order nightmare is finally over, kids. Today. Finally. Today you can go online, you can order my story, and you can get it, all within moments. Think of the instant gratification! You know how much you like instant gratification, right? I know I do.

And you can find it all right here.

Muy convenient, huh? You're god damn right it is. Check out my sweet cover too. Totally sweet, right? Now, some of you out there probably remember the last time I was talking about this story (remember?), back when it first came out in the local sci-fi anthology Cifiscape Vol. 2--which is still available here, btw--Well, this is the same story, almost the same. I've added some new content, nothing major, just a bit of fleshing out here and there. If pressed, I'd say it's a deeper experience... but if pressed. If you've read it before, you probably won't notice, so read it again, what are you doing that makes you so busy, huh? And if you haven't read it before now, oh boy, are you in for a treat. And let's not forget about the price? $.50 direct? $1.00 from Amazon? Come on, man! That's a bargain, baby... That's a bargain!

Also, if you love it, leave a review.

Thanks,
Jon

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

URBANCE


I don't know much about this. I came across it on Vimeo, and it was kind of cool, so I thought I'd share it with you. It's not a short film, it's a trailer for a Project TV series directed by someone named Joel Dos Reis Viegas and it's called Urbance. 

Here's the synopsis: "In the big city, gender war rises. Sex is prohibited because of a genetic deadly virus. Ruled by hate and anger, boys and girls grow up apart from each other, forming rivals gangs. Among these lost teenagers, Kenzell and Lesya will fight adversity and defy all the rules in order to live their love and restore peace."

Crazy. "Gender war rises" and "Genetic deadly virus" is a bit awkward, so is "live their love" actually, but whatever. I don't know if this show ever came out anywhere or not. I don't even know what Project TV is, to be honest. Probably something the kids do, with their twittering and their who-sa-what-its, I bet... Joking aside, from what I've seen, I like this Viegas guy's stuff. I mean, yeah, I don't know if the show itself is any good, story-wise, but shit... at least it look cool.

Check it out...


Cool, huh? Pretty slick, some good style.

Turns out there's a KickStarter, if you're interested.

Jon