Tag Archives: CGI

Ready Steady Cut EP56 – Terminator 2: Judgement Day

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This is Episode 56 of the Ready, Steady, Cut! Podcast. On this episode, with the re-release and 3D remastered version hitting limited cinemas, we discuss what is regarded to be the best Sci-Fi Sequel of all-time – Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Trailer Talk is The Meyerowitz Stories and as always, we answer questions raised by our listeners and play another game of You Can’t Beat Me! This week it is iconic 80s characters

Episode Summary:

00:00 – Introduction and Episode Summary
04:48 – Trailer Talk – The Meyerowitz Stories
08:45 – Terminator 2: Judgement Day Discussion
1:00:16 – Questions from Listeners
1:13:02 – You Can’t Beat Me! – Iconic 80s Characters
1:27:27 – Final Comments

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Review – Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 

What’s this?

After many apparent hesitations, director Luc Besson and his wife decided to write an English-language French science fiction action-adventure film titled Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It is based on the French comic series Valérian and Laureline. I am not familiar with the comics but in the past couple of months, I have admired the trailers from a visual standpoint. Then again, the movie did have a budget of 197 million Euros, so it should look mightily impressive. The movie has nowhere near matched the budget in the box office, and it is the most expensive European and independent film ever made. Ouch. I would hate to deliver that news to the board.

What’s it about?

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a space station. Wait, this will not work. Instead, clear your mind for a minute and imagine a space station in 2020. Then years later, leading countries of the world attach their station to this one. Then many years later, other species from different planets send their station to join in on the action. This continues to happen until the 28th century. We now have one large planet made of cities (named Alpha) with a multitude of peace agreements. Still with me? Good. Now, imagine a planet far away with pale looking, peace loving Avatars, who are living in harmony amongst powerful energy-containing pearls, in a tropical paradise. All of a sudden, huge ships crash into their planet and they are wiped out. Lead male character Valerian wakes up. He just had a dream about this decimated planet and he is about to embark on a mission with Laureline ordered by his commander to retrieve a converter. They are later told that Alpha is infected by an unknown force and they must investigate and protect the Commander, suspiciously performed by Clive Owen.

Can you see why I told you to close your eyes? This narrative has so many obstacles to jump around that, at times, it felt mentally challenging.

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Review – Resident Evil: Vendetta

What’s this?

Resident Evil: Vendetta is the third CG movie in the series after 2008’s Resident Evil: Degeneration (which I reviewed here) and 2012’s Resident Evil: Damnation. You shouldn’t confuse it with Paul W. S. Anderson’s increasingly-belaboured string of live-action shenanigans, the most recent of which, The Final Chapter, brought that particular series to a spectacularly mediocre conclusion.

What’s it about?

A bioweapon, naturally. When I reviewed Resident Evil VII, I noted that the series’ viruses and parasites are the most malleable narrative tool that the property has, and nothing has changed since then. It’s called the A-Virus this time, and it has been engineered by a vengeful arms dealer (John DeMita) to only target specific unlucky sods of his choosing. On his trail are series favourites Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman) and Leon Kennedy (Matthew Mercer), as well as series not-favourite Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill), who here has been reimagined as a well-regarded university professor with a plot-convenient specialization in vaccine development.

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Review – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Somewhere in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, there’s a Guy Ritchie movie. You can see it, occasionally. For two or three scenes, the FX-leaden sky peels open just enough to let a glimmer of light shine through; and with it comes personality, comes style, comes wit and verve. Ritchie has reimagined the Arthurian legend as a deliberately anachronistic working-class Cockney Herbert soap opera, and when this movie is allowed to be that, and only that, it’s great. The trouble is that two or three scenes in a two-hour movie don’t amount to very much. The rest of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword could have been made by anyone. And it’ll probably displease everyone.

Not that it’s bad, necessarily. But there are worse crimes in blockbuster fantasy filmmaking, especially since Game of Thrones colonised the murky stratum of swashbuckling that this movie lives in. Legend of the Sword might not be bad, but it is rote, derivative, listless and uninteresting. Which is quite a feat, considering the opening scene contains a 300-foot CGI elephant. The movie leans so heavily against its visual effects that it’s a surprise the thing didn’t topple over and flatten the rest of the movie.

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Review – Alien: Covenant

Ah, the Xenomorph. The alien. H. R. Giger’s contribution to the pantheon of movie monsters is made of goo and glistening sinew; long, slender limbs, and an oblong cranium like a cyclist’s helmet. And that mouth! It’s all teeth and tongue, and another little head on a stalk, with its own razor-sharp gnashers. Since Ridley Scott’s 1979 original, a character in almost all of these movies has told us that the Xenomorph is the perfect organism. It’s evolved and adapted and perfected. Designed for a specific, singular purpose: To kill people in horror movies.

The Xenomorph is still interesting, and, despite its cultural ubiquity, sometimes still scary. It’s the abstract embodiment of cosmic phobia; the lanky amalgamation of every unknowable horror awaiting mankind in the bleak vastness of space. At least, it should be. But Prometheus, and now Covenant, the second in a planned trilogy of prequels designed to re-contextualise the original film, seem determined to give the Xenomorph the one thing it doesn’t need: Backstory. A mythos. A reason. A large part of why the spare minimalism of Alien worked is that it was devoid of reason. The alien was the what, but it was also the why.

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Review – Warcraft

On the face of it, Warcraft: The Beginning is a film for the ever-growing and dedicated fanbase. It is not for people like me who know nothing of this world, and I can respect that. Putting this into consideration, I tried to be as open-minded as possible when watching this film. I appreciate that World of Warcraft is more than just a game to some gamers – it means a lot to them. On reflection, I am afraid that despite my open minded approach this film is flawed at the core.

Warcraft: The Beginning is as the title suggests, it provides a story to how this world was formed. Azeroth, a realm which is at peace and ruled by humans suddenly becomes fearful of invaders, who turn out to be Orc warriors which are fleeing from their dying world through a majestic portal. The Orc warriors have one purpose, which is to colonize Azeroth. This leads to a war between them and the human race.

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Review – Mad Max: Fury Road

Throughout the press tour for Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller frequently parroted something Hitchcock had said about his desire to make movies so visually clear that the Japanese could enjoy them without subtitles. They could probably enjoy this one on mute. In the post-apocalyptic Australian outback sound seems almost superfluous. It isn’t that you can’t hear anything; the engines never stop rumbling, the desert sand never stops hissing, and there’s a skull-faced dude strapped to a truckload of amps, riding into battle spewing riffs and plumes of flame from a double-necked guitar with complementary flamethrower. But constant, cacophonous noise is no different to silence. It doesn’t mean anything, and Fury Road doesn’t really care about it. It only cares about furious forward momentum; never stopping, never slowing down, barely even relenting. The closest this movie comes to a plot twist is everyone doing a U-turn and heading back in the direction they came, only faster.

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