Friday, May 20, 2005

IIIrd Times A....

Saw Episode III with a bunch of pals yesterday, and it was definitely the best of the Prequel Trilogy...But instead of posting an in depth review I decided to put some random one liners and statements from my pals who saw the film.


-"THAT SUCKED….not sure why with dialogue like this

: You are so beautiful…
: You are blinded by your love
: no for it is you who is blinded by your love
: no you are….
: no you are….
: no you are….

-"instead of dialogue, I heard Lucas almost made that scene with a duet sung by Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie."

-"Well, obviously you've never been a young Jedi in love! Anakin wasn't speaking metaphorically here... when deeply in love, a Jedi's midichlorians all migrate to his genitals, leaving him quite literally unable to see (or to think, or to keep his lightsaber in it's sheath)."

-"Yeah no kidding it was better than the first two....It's like saying that TimeCop was a better Van-Damme movie than Hard Target."

-( Right at the end of the infamous Nooooo! scene, after laughter) " George Lucas...What a dumb f*cking asshole."

-What's with the Frankenstein walk, I was waiting for a little girl to run up and give him a flower."

-… a distinct improvement on the last two episodes … but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion.

-"I really loved all the dramatic ground work Lucas laid for Anakin’s eventually turn to the dark side.

Anakin: “Wait This…This is wrong!!! (sobbing)..I’ve attacked a jedi!”

Emperor: “No worries! Now go murder some innocent children.”

: “…umm…er…okay.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sith Happens...Or Will It Be Something Else?

So the latest, and last of the Star Wars films is opening in theaters this Thursday and anticipation among all of geekdom is running rampant, all the while we are keeping our fingers crossed. We are hoping that George Lucas has emerged from the quagmire that he has been in, and has finally delivered a "Star Wars" film. Now if Lucas was a typical Hollywood exec and was spending his amassed action figure and collectible fortune on a drug and hooker binge, I might understand the drop in creativity. But Lucas has sat at his Skywalker ranch working on his 3rd chin and the three Star Wars prequels for some time.

When The Phantom Menace came out, I ( and my friends ) were ready, it had been 13 years and the story that had festered in the genius's head for all that time, about the fall of Anakin Skywalker was finally upon us...And then, we get Jar-Jar Binks, Meta-chloridians, virgin births, and Anakin as an annoying kid with his pudgy little "Awww shucks" face as he flies around fighting droid ships...Yes, there was some cool, such as Darth Maul, and the very beginning when the Jedi are on the ship..That's it. 13 years and that's what we get? Where did he write these in the bathroom the night before filming?..I mean I'm sure it's the most comfortable sh!tter in the world, made of solid gold and satin, but F*ck man. He pretty much destroyed some of his own mythology in this film here are some examples:
-Obi-Wan is trained by Qui-Gon Jin..But didn't he say YODA trained him in Empire?
-The force is now something you can take a blood test for. It's just like syphilis. Forget all that Yoda stuff where he was saying it's all around and binding us.
-C-3PO is built by ANAKIN?...WTF?

Needless to say I was pissed and then I hear George Lucas saying that the fans should "relax" and that "it's only a movie"..Yeah George, when everyone loves your movies, you talk about your "art" and accept how everyone calls you a genius..But when they suck, their "movies" and we have to get a grip.

But a few years later I started to see the trailers for The Attack of The Clones and it looked ...GOOD!. I thought "O.K little whiny kid is gone, and now we get to see the much talked about Clone Wars, THIS is the ONE." So I get geeked up once again and went to the Cinerama here in Seattle and there was everyone all dressed up, and then the film starts. Once again, I am left slightly numb from watching the film..Yes there is less Jar-Jar, and no little whiny Anakin. Instead we get an older Anakin who, is acting wooden ( thanks to the great direction of "The Genius" ) spilling out some of the worst dialogue ever caught on film ( hey look at that "The Genius" wrote it too ) and is the whiniest, bitchiest kid in the galaxy..Yes whine a bit, but you're DATH VADER..Oh, and we get one of the worst lightsaber duels with Count Dooku?..I love how every Jedi who is more powerful, fights slower that the one is superior too..But then Yoda complete with his "busted leg"..turns into the Tazmanian Devil, with KUNG FU moves and proceeds to whirl around..I may be in the minority but I cringed when I saw this...Because he then after being all bad-ass picks up his little stick and hobbles along again..I know some people will say "Oh but he is trying to keep his powers all under wraps. The stick and the hobble is all an act?" and to this I say FROM WHO?...Every Jedi must know Yoda is a bad ass, so who is he hiding it from? Can't be Dooku cause he trained him. I guess while he was training Obi-Wan too I guess? We had the explanation of the clones in the very cool Jango Fett, but I still left the movie pissed ( not as much as phantom ), but still questioning what the hell had happened to this movie franchise.

I figured it was this.
-George Lucas was young when he made the original trilogy..We are more creative when we are young and have less too lose if we fail. Most of us don't have kids, and are gung-ho to bring our ideas to life. Lucas conferred with his peers, like Francis Ford Coppola, about his film and he accepted their criticism. When Empie and Jedi came along he actually shared writing with Lawrence Kasden, who is a great screenwriter and director in his own right, and had Irwin Kirshner direct Empire. So you have a collaboration of great ideas, and Lucas with a gusto attitude.

So, now we come to Revenge of The Sith, and Lucas has me whipped into a frenzy again, I am expecting this to be the one film that I will feel is "Star Wars", it ties everything up and boy does he have a lot of tying up to do..What you may ask?
-C-3PO and R2-D2 have to forget they remember anything and anyone from this trilogy.
-Even if they have their memories wiped it doesn't explain how come Obi-Wan in Episode 4 doesn't remeber them or mention anything about them at all in the later trilogy
-You think with a name like Skywalker it would be like having the last name Hitler..Anakin Skywalker is responsible for the deaths of millions you think when Luke would say he was a Skywalker, people may look at him just a little bit funny..Not to mention that when his dad was a little friggin kid, he was the first slave/ human kid to win the thing..Guess everyone forgot about that too
-R2-D2 had ROCKETS on his feet in Episode II..What happened to them when he fell into the sand in Jedi?..He could have flown all over the place instead of waiting for Lando and his pals to pick him and 3PO up ass first.
-Why hasn't Qui-Gon become a ghost like all the other dead Jedi?
-Where'd all the droids WITH FORCE FIELDS go?....You think they'd be handy, ya know with the whole force field thing. But they istead up for Stormtroopers who Han Solo can kill with one blaster shot.

I know there are others that sprout up with the new film, but I 'm not going to spoil anything..But things look promising, as he did get feedback on this film, and he said it's really the story he wanted to tell. Plus he got his good buddy Steven Spielberg to direct a few scenes ( mostly battle sequences ), so things may end up being great, and faith restored. But I just watched a TV ad for Sith and the tagline was "Sith Happens"...Man if this movie stinks he is making it way toooo easy to trash on it.

But I ask myself, even if this film is balls to the wall great, then what the hell was he doing with those first two?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Count Olaf's Mansion #3

click image to enlarge

Here was the last concept drawing I did for Count Olaf's house..This one I did completely in Photoshop, I never took a pencil to paper for this one, I simply built it up with color. I just started and then I started to see things appear, and I built those features ( windows, roof etc ) up.

It was a completely different approach to what I normally do, but I was really pleased with how it cam out, I wanted to place some brighter buildings in the back because in the book Olaf's house is right in a normal neighborhood. He didn't live on some remote estate. In this concept I really tried to push the whole "Nightmare Before Christmas" look...I have worked on so many different styles as an artist, but this my first time doing an entire piece in Photoshop.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Count Olaf's Mansion #2

click image to enlarge

Here is another sketch I did of Count Olaf's house, well mostly the tower..This was actually done before we had any sense of art direction or look to go from based on the Snicket films. I had actually done this just from a book description, and as compared to the one below I went more gothic... I was pretty happy with the layout, but I wish I had the complete version that a co-worker and friend Todd had colored up. He really took these pencils to a whole other level..If I ever find it I will show you all, the man could paint.