Sunday, January 23, 2011

I don't think I introduced myself.

    My name is Eddie Thomson. I'm 18. I'm a college freshman attending Alfred State College. I'm learning computer animation, and have just started working with high-end software, Maya 2011. Other software I use is Blender 3d, photoshop, and gimp-which is basically free photoshop. I've used other Autodesk software like Inventor and Autocad.
    I plan on not transferring to another school except for a possible grad school. After school I'd like to start working on short films and commercials.
    My favorite sports teams are the Mets, Jets, and Rangers. I can't wait to see the Jets game tonight. I actually do play football, basketball, and baseball. It's all recreational. My favorite tv shows include family guy, simpsons, house, always sunny, and south park. Favorite movies can't be listed, too many to choose. My favorite genres are comedies, animated, and action movies. I also really like mob/gang movies like Godfather, Scarface, Goodfellas, and Public Enemies-although it's been a while since I've seen that one. Least favorite genre is horror.
    I started this blog as a way to make some money, but more importantly I use it to relax. That's all I have to say about myself for now, I'll add more later.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Duck Dodgers In The 24 1/2 Century

One cartoon I remember watching several times when I was little was Chuck Jones' "Duck Dodgers." I hadn't seen it in a while, but I was able to recall several little details when I saw it in class, and again earlier today. For me watching these cartoons again after many years is about remembering those little details-the giant eye in the beginning of the film, the disintegration pistol, navigating to planet "X." The navigation scene has a classic facial expression from Daffy at the end. Those are still all my favorite parts of the cartoon, but I picked up on some new stuff-the story around the voyage to the planet is hilarious nonsense, and I was able to read the ultimatum bullets. Last time I saw them I could only read "OUCH!"(I was really young). At least I was able to respond to Daffy getting his face blown up. Daffy and Porky are a classic team, and they're hard to compare to any other classic Looney Tunes duo, you can't pick Daffy and Bugs because their relationship is too different. Porky is kind of like the "straight man" and Daffy is just crazy. I can't think of a single moment I didn't enjoy watching this, my only problem is it seems to run short.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Train Your Dragon

     When a DreamWorks Animation movie makes you feel something it's special. When a DreamWorks Animation movie makes you question which film will win Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes and Oscars it's interesting. When a DreamWorks Animation movie makes you wonder if this is the same studio that has become known for cramming pop culture references and farts into it's movies it's "How to Train Your Dragon."
     How to Train your Dragon is the classic story of the kid who is different from everybody else. That kid is Hiccup, and if you didn't know, that voice is Jay Baruchel's. Hiccup is a small, weak kid who wants to at least fit in with his fellow vikings. He's not seeking extreme popularity, and he KNOWS being accepted for himself is a long shot. His own father, Stoick (Gerard Butler), won't even accept him. However, he figures fitting in would be nice. The way to fit in is to kill a dragon.
     Along comes a "Night Fury," the most dangerous breed of dragon. Hiccup has trapped him and left him defenseless. With a blade in his hand, Hiccup looks into the dragon's eyes and sees a plea for mercy. Hiccup frees the dragon and starts their slow building secret friendship. Hiccup names the dragon Toothless, because he has retractable teeth, and together they are able to change their world for the better.
     The best part of this movie is that it's different from anything else DreamWorks has ever come up with. As I said before, no overly crude humor or cheap laughs. The goal of "How to Train Your Dragon" is a little less about laughs and more about creating "oohs and aahs" among the audience. This is accomplished through the action scenes. This film has some of the best flying sequences scene in any film. The 3D only makes it better, as it is done subtly and isn't overused.
     My only problem with the plot is that Hiccup's story arc and his dad's are familiar and have been done before. The good thing is they've never been done quite like this, so it's just a minor problem.
     Will "How to Train Your Dragon" beat "Toy Story 3" at the Oscars? Hell no, but it is still an amazing movie on par with some of Pixar's other best works and older DreamWorks Animation movies like Antz and Shrek.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Planes,Trains, & Automobiles vs Due Date

     I'm going to come out and say it, "Planes" is better than "Due Date." "Due Date" tries to be a bigger and better version of "Planes" and fails, so instead of having the flight land in a different city there's a ridiculous bomb threat. Instead of one major story point we have multiple plot details that didn't have to be written. These things and more amount to an ending that should've been reached through a faster and easier route.
     The characters are exaggerated to the point where Ethan (Zack Galifianakis) is just the most grating idiot anyone can meet and Peter (Robert Downey Jr.) is a ticking time bomb. They both have their redeeming qualities, but you don't always see them shine through. Instead Peter physically and verbally assaults Ethan, and Ethan seems unintentionally hellbent on ruining Peter's trip. While you will laugh at the movie a lot you'll notice something is missing, even if you've never seen "Planes." If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about the heart of the movie.
     "Planes" has several scenes that won't make you laugh, but will leave you thinking something like,
"What was this movie really about?" "Due Date" doesn't really have that, you go in, have a laugh (a pretty good laugh at times) and get out.
     Both movies are great, one just does the genre (road movie) justice. This is what it boils down to, "Planes" did it first and did it best. Does that make "Due Date" terrible? No, it's a great movie. It's just in second place.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Those Aren't Pillows Edition)       Due Date (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hair Raising Hare (Bugs Bunny)

     Some of the best of Bugs Bunny and Chuck Jones are shown in this film. What I really noticed about Hair Raising Hare is it shows how many different ways an action or emotion can be animated. And if I'm right, it's the directors job to pick out the best way to go for a particular scene. They decide how a scene plays out based on the script, am I right? Bugs goes through several different walkcycles, a take where he goes through several facial expressions of fear (complete with "Yipe!" sign), and several other animation exercises. Bugs has his greatest moments of breaking the fourth wall in this cartoon, my favorite being his response to the "doctor in the house." The monster is very funny, and part of his own set of interesting gags, from being in a suit of armor to "Canned Monster." His single line of dialogue-single word-is hilarious.The two things I didn't like-Bugs is WAY too smart to fall for the mechanical rabbit in the beginning of the cartoon, the second time makes up for it though.  Also that scientist guy is too creepy, if they could have made him kind of funny-just a little-this would be perfect. 

The King's Speech

   I walked into this film with no idea what it was about and no real expectations because of that. I knew it was generating a lot of buzz and great reviews, but I didn't have the faintest idea of what it was about. I just knew I wanted to see a movie that day and I picked "The King's Speech." I walked out of the theater amazed.
     This film is about Prince Albert (Firth), A.K.A Bertie, becoming the king of England during a period of personal and international crisis. Colin Firth gives a marvelous performance in the title role as a man with a severe speech impediment, a stammer, and self-doubt. To help cure the stammer Bertie sees a speech therapist, at his wife's (Helena Bonham-Carter as Queen Elizabeth) insistence. The speech therapist is Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) and he changes the lives of The King and the people of England. While all this is happening England is rocked by political controversy and WWII on the horizon. 
     The highlight of "The King's Speech" is the acting. Everyone onscreen gives it their all, each working off a great script by David Seidler and Tom Hooper's direction. Firth and Rush are able to play off of each other perfectly and through that we see the characters develop. Firth himself plays the role extremely well. He never makes the stammer feel fake in any way and he shows how much more there was to Bertie's life, his love of wife and daughters, concern for his brother and country, and grief and resentment toward his father. Rush comes in as a sympathetic friend and, more importantly, equal to his counterpart and plays the role gorgeously If you've only seen her in Tim Burton films and the Harry Potter series then Helena Bonham Carter is almost unrecognizable in appearance and demeanor. She, first of all, does not appear like she's escaped from a prison or asylum. Queen Elizabeth, in this film, is shown mainly as a wife. A very supportive wife who only wants the best for her husband, but isn't always sure what the best thing is when it comes to treatment. 
     I recommend you see this film at least once, I saw it twice (once with a friend). The second time around I was able to pick up certain key moments I missed much more quickly-and became more immersed in the films story.