Wednesday, May 17, 2006

DreamWorks Delivers Mediocre Film

I had an opportunity to see "Over The Hedge" from DWA earlier this week. I enjoyed myself and even laughed outloud a few times. Overall, I had a good time. However, as a whole, I'd rate this movie 2 1/2 stars out of 5.

(very mild spoilers)

Some of the lighting and textures were very nice, and the animation was well done. The story just felt like a big, "ehh, so what?" I just didn't care about RJ the raccoon. Whether he ends up getting eaten by the bear or captured by the animal control guy, it really didn't matter. Bruce Willis is a horrible voice for a cartoon character and that only made it harder to care about his character.

(/very mild spoilers)

I was more interested in paying attention to the animation, lighting, textures than caring about the story itself. That isn't a good sign at all. On the plus side, DW didn't throw in a bunch of songs to try and make it sound hip and cool or splatter it with timely references. At the same time, I really didn't like Ben Folds music in there (and I am a fan of BF5).

I don't imagine this film will have very long legs.

Prior to Hedge, they screened "First Flight" a short film produced at DreamWorks. It was pretty good. I'm not sure if it was the projector or the render itself, but there was some flickering and out of focus moments that started to give me a headache. Maybe they rendered it low and bumped up the res. However, I can't imagine they would do that. Put the visual glitches aside and it was a nice film. Almost in complete contrast to Over The Hedge; the texturing and lighting fell a little flat, however, the story was interesting and kept me wrapped up.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

John Lasseter’s Directing Days Are Over

No, there wasn’t a press release nor did I hear anything at the water cooler. This is just my gut instinct. John is now overseeing Pixar and Disney, if this guy can direct a film while doing all of this, I’d be blown away.

Don’t get me wrong; his hands will be all over every project that comes from either of these studios. He will have a huge influence over everything. However, his directing career just has to be over. If he ends up in that role again, he will either be stretched so thin that some other aspect will suffer, or he will have to relinquish his duties as creative at the two facilities. As golden as John may be, he is still human. I’ve already heard rumors that John has been dozing off in meetings. Maybe things will settle down, but really, does anyone see that happening?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

That New LA Studio

Intergalactic asked about that would-be animation studio in LA. You know, the one I have mentioned here and there over the (how long has it been now? A year?) months. I don't have a lot of new information that I can share on the blog, however, I will say a few things.

I've spoken with a friend about this in the last few weeks. The latest information that I can mention openly is that they are still in negotiations with the people supplying the first major monies in. Word is, the papers could be signed anyday now. Unfortunately, when those papers go through, that will only signal the beginning of operations for a very small core group of people. Any development on an animated film will be quite a ways in the future.

These things can move incredibly slow. However, I honestly expected something to happen already, but it has not. When you are talking hundreds of millions of dollars, everyone has to be on the same page. The business guys have a lot of juggling to keep track of.

I'm hoping it does come to pass. The people behind it are smart and talented. It could make things very interesting.


My apologies on the last post. I started writing this really long entry, and then decided three quarters of the way through to bail. Unfortunately, I forgot to delete one of the paragraphs.

So, if anyone read the entire "Cars" post, it probably didn't make much sense at the end. You were actually reading part of a larger post that I somehow forgot to get rid of. :o

I guess that is what happens when you try to write something when you are in a hurry.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Pixar - Cars

A friend of mine had the chance to see Cars. He said it was a good movie. But, in his opinion it is definately his least favorite Pixar film. He just couldn't get connected with the characters. However, he did say that the worst Pixar film is still better than most other animated films out there. He praised the animation, the environments, the art direction, the everything - EXCEPT the story. In his opinion, it was just average.

None of this really matters. The film will be big and draw a nice BO here in the States. I'm not so sure about overseas, but Pixar/Disney has nothing to worry about (unless they are expecting Nemo numbers).




IDT - Everyone's Hero - Throw Enough Shit

I was looking at a poster for IDT's coming film: Everyone's Hero. In big bold letters at the top it says "From The Producers of Shark Tale and Robots". This kind of misleading boasting has become so rampant lately...

I guess all of these studios putting out films have nothing else to rest on but advertising what some lacky worked on previously. I mean, who really cares if one of 100 producers that were involved with Shrek ended up going to Valiant to Exec Produce. Do you really need to advertise it? I guess the answer is obviously "Yes". Cause the story certainly isn't enough. They have to be banking that 99% of the world doesn't understand, and will automatically believe that Valiant is being made by the same studio that made Shrek. That is so wrong - on so many levels.

"Everyone's Hero" is doing it too. As we all know, DreamWorks (Shark Tale) and Blue Sky (Robots) have nothing to do with this movie. Yet, they throw those headlines around. Come on. Give us all a break. Either rely on your own merits or leave it out of the advertising (and wait till you have something legit to advertise) you scum.

While we are on the topic of Everyone's Hero. This is another one of those movies that are being pushed out in record time. Judging by the distro deal with Fox, I guess they prefer the shotgun method of doing animated films instead of the sniper-like-precision of Pixar, DreamWorks, and Blue Sky. It didn't work for Valiant, it didn't work for that expensive mess known as The Wild, it just doesn't work. If you aren't going to spend the time to fine tune these stories, then why bother? I guess the idea is to diversify and spread the risk. Maybe it is because Fox has Blue Sky and this other deal is their multi-million gamble that if you throw enough shit against a fan, something will stick.