Tagged: CG

Ash vs Evil Dead: Was it Worth the 23 Year Wait?!

Well last night was the night, the wait was finally over, twenty three years after the release of “Army of Darkness” we were given the first episode of the sequel television series “Ash vs. Evil Dead”! It seemed like an eternity and to be quite honest I was never fully convinced we’d ever see Bruce Campbell return as his iconic character Ash Williams. I’m a huge fan of the original trilogy, this was a bit like seeing Harrison Ford return as Indiana Jones back in 2008-it kinda gave me the chills. Yeah Ash is that legendary to me and countless others. So after a rip roaring near perfect trailer for the show the question must be asked was it indeed worth the wait?!

The answer is a solid you betcha! The first episode was awesome and it was truly an incredible moment really seeing Bruce return to his legendary role. He didn’t miss a beat and I’ve gotta say Sam Raimi did quite a nice job directing the pilot episode. We even got a longer run time as well clocking in at around 40 minutes or so. This first episode “El Jefe” didn’t have one dull moment and did a excellent job of giving a bit of Ash’s history once again with the Book of the Dead, while oddly not mentioning any of the events from ‘Army of Darkness’. This is only due to the fact they don’t have the rights to that movie as it stands, and can’t make mention to it in the show because of legal issues. But still that’s fine, us fans all know it clearly happened and the version of Ash we’re getting here is a direct continuation of the Ash we all fell in love with in Army of Darkness.

We notice he no longer works at “S-mart” and instead a similar place called “Value Stop” but after 23 years it’s totally plausible that he made a serious career move(in reality another problem with legal issues from AoD). What made this all even better though is now we really get to know just who the hell he really is. He’s not just simply some smart ass with a chainsaw hand, we get to see what a normal night in the life of Ash is really like. We get to see where he lives (surprisingly similar to My Name is Bruce), where he hangs out, his work life and just how much the guy  likes to party down. This tv series idea was the perfect way to really humanize Ash and I’m pumped to see how this all plays out for him and his new companions.

The episode wasted no time with any B.S. and really jumped head first in the blood, guts and comedy galore. We get a nice introduction to several interesting supporting characters and subplots as well, all so far played pretty straight and serious. We also got some scares, most delivered with real fright behind them. We’ve got a pretty seriously freaky world with our bumbling anti-hero smack dab in the middle of the mayhem. Well done. As far as action and gore go the first episode gloriously delivers that classic frantic 80’s Raimi style. Bruce is definitely giving it his all and it’s clear he knows it’s finally his time to shine in the spotlight again! So we’ve got a neat, simple plot that’s turning into one hell of a road trip adventure. Perfect. I can’t wait to see the next episode!

The special effects were also pretty fucking awesome, we got a ton of blood and some really excellent make up for the new Deadites that appeared. Much of it really did feel like an extension of the original movies. However I was bit surprised to see the amount of CG used on the show. My only real gripe with it was the shoddy digital effects used. The doll scene in particular had some downright horrible CG and we got more digital blood and gore than I would ever want near anything Evil Dead related. I just knew Raimi wouldn’t be able to resist.

Give me puppet or some stop motion animation instead any day of the week. I only say this because it detracts a bit from the tone of the original and honestly if you’re going to CG some shit in 2015 it better look good. But alas, in the end though it delivered on all cylinders and then some proving the charm of Bruce Campbell just cant be contended with. Here’s a series that I’m gonna find a way to see every week, it was a bit of a dream come true. Nice work Mr. Raimi I honestly didn’t think you had it in you….   

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Halloween Horror Movie Pick: ‘Deathgasm’ Will Rock Your Socks Off!

Looking for a cool new Halloween Horror flick to watch this year and are all out of new ideas?! Well I’ve got a fun one for you, ‘Deathgasm’ will deliver the mayhem and then some as the perfect Halloween party flick this year. This new movie, straight out of New Zealand delivers the blood and guts in the same vein as Peter Jackson’s classic splatter flick ‘Dead Alive’. Yep what you’ll get here is a full on black metal gore fest brimming with comedy and heart. This one would play quite nicely next to the 1986 classic “Trick or Treat” as it’s quite similar actually in many ways. Which is always a good thing of course.

It’s the story of teenage metal head who’s mom goes crazy and he’s sent to live with his uncle in a small town. His new surrogate family thinks he’s a total freak and his meathead cousin has got in in for him big time. At school he’s picked on and develops a crush on his evil cousins preppy girlfriend. Totally down on his luck he finally meets a fellow metalhead and starts a metal band eventually leading them to playing an ancient song that awakens vicious demons that run rampant all over town. From here things get super crazy as the band must find a way to reverse the spell and send the pesky demons straight back to hell!

As you might guess this is no easy task and the band has to slaughter of fuck ton of demons in the process. There’s a ton of crazy gore, heads flying, bodies sliced in two, weaponized twenty sided dice, dildos and of course anal beads. Yeah you heard that correct. This is a party movie above and beyond being a gory ass horror flick and is really the perfect flick for a wild crowd at a Halloween party this year. The movie delivers some pretty excellent practical effects as well and doesn’t skimp on the laughs either. It’s really more of Comedy than anything else which might be my only real gripe with it.

I totally dig horror comedies but I think this one might have benefitted a bit more in playing it’s story a bit more heavy handed. Sometimes the modern horror comedies play a bit too heavily to keep the fans too in on the joke. However this is one of the stronger flicks of the genre I’ve seen recently.

It reminds me a bit of the awesome 2007 flick Jack Brooks Monster Slayer (another great choice of a movie for Halloween), especially a scene in Deathgasm that’s almost a total rip from Robert Englund’s amazing performance in ‘Jack Brooks’. Lastly any fans of true metal will likely dig the music and the references to many classic death, grindcore and black metal bands. So if you’re in the mood for the perfect movie to crowd around with your buddies and a bunch of weed and booze this Halloween make no mistake Deathgasm IS your flick!! 

Let’s Head to The Void and Help Make Some Old School Monsters!

I love that people these days are using online avenues to make cool movies. Nothing satisfies me more than knowing people are getting things done with the help of true fans. In the end it means that most often times people are really getting what they want rather than a big studio pushing its influence on directors and turning a good idea into a load of bullshit. So we’ve got to take some time out from covering the glossy, over hyped, fully bloated flicks that Marvel & DC are cranking out and give some smaller projects some hype here. One such project is called “The Void” which you can help fund directly on Indiegogo if you’re a fan of old school monster movies, the kind we used to get back in the 1980’s back when life was a little more simplistic and the movies were a bit more of an art form. It’s pretty clear just by this amazing poster for the project that these guys are on to something awesome!

 

Here’s a little more info on the pitch:

“Cult indie directors Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie (Manborg, “W Is for WISH” from ABCs of Death 2) and producer Casey Walker of Cave Painting Pictures (A Little Bit Zombie) have launched an Indiegogo campaign to get a head start on pre-production for THE VOID, an original horror film that pits a small-town police officer against all manner of otherworldly creatures in a derelict, rural hospital.

“We’re launching this campaign early in order ensure that the film’s special effects are achieved practically. It’s important to start building our film’s creatures immediately to ensure we can realize them on set and in-camera,” said Kostanski and Gillespie.”

This sounds like my kinda movie, the type I’m always hunting down, whether it be a lost 80’s flick or a new one this is the kind of stuff I want to talking about here at Universal Dork. This trailer looks like a damn fine time and the effects look quite impressive already-so imagine what could be done with a little more funding. Check this shit out and if you have a few bucks to spare throw it their way! I’ll be watching out for this one!

 

 

Why Does the New ‘Mad Max’ Trailer Look So Awesome?!

I had to weigh in on this new Mad Max trailer and I have to admit I wasn’t the least bit excited about this whole thing. I haven’t seen much success by bringing back these classic movie franchises into the current world by way of rebooting or giving us the sequel we’ve “always dreamed of”. Let’s face it there have been a ton of less than impressive, totally forgettable films out there recently masquerading under the names of the movies we loved as kids. Most of them seriously, seriously suck. So to hear that a new Mad Max was on the way to me sounded like yet another weak ass attempt to yet again capitalize off of our nostalgia. But then the trailer dropped and it appears that Mad Max: Fury Road clearly ain’t fucking around!

So what gives? Why is this trailer so awesome?! Well for one it’s George Miller who’s directing, who also helmed the previous two Mad Max flicks of the 1980’s and it’s a continuation of his vision. Even if we don’t have Mel Gibson returning, who I think would have if he hadn’t turned into the world’s biggest douche bucket! Second he made it clear that he wasn’t focusing on modern CGI to bring this one to life, and the realism can clearly be seen in the trailer. He’s used 80% practical effects, with actual living human stuntmen, real car crashes and shot the film on location rather than putting everyone in front of a green the entire time.

By the look of the trailer you can see he’s using the prefect blend of CG and real world to make this one of the best looking, most exciting flicks(hopefully) of 2015. Let’s be honest here, I don’t think CG has much of a place in the action film genre, perhaps that’s why a great action flick is a dime a dozen these days. This is a breath of fresh air, and I’m starting to see a trend happening if even a little bit in Hollywood. Let’s hope this one has a great story to go along with it’s incredible visuals and action!

Jurassic World’s Special Effects Don’t Look So Special!

I just watched the latest trailer to the heavily anticipated Jurassic World, the fourth film of the franchise. I’m a huge fan of the first movie, it completely blew me away back in 1993. It was the first time I truly felt like I was seeing a real living breathing dinosaur on film.

I was blown away and much of the reason for that was the film’s special effects, which at the time were groundbreaking as CG was taken to a whole new level. But it really wasn’t all because of the CG, it was the way it was used along with incredible practical effects from Stan Winston. Winston actually built giant animatronic dinosaurs to use for many of the shots, they used CG only when needed and blended it together seamlessly. Check this out, it’s pretty  mind blowing…

This is why the dinos were so damn believable. Then the second and third movies followed, and though  not nearly as excellent as the first, I enjoyed them both. Now it’s 2014 and you might expect that over 20 years after the original we’d be more than amazed by the dinosaurs of Jurassic World, however after watching the trailer this certainly is not the case. Thus far this movie looks like pretty much any glossy blockbuster with the standard lazy CG we’ve grown used to over the years. I’m hoping there’s some magic here in Jurassic Park, I can’t help but wonder if it’s really missing Stan Winston’s genius…what do you think?

 

Automata: Antonio Banderas Shows The Fresh Prince How to do The Robot!!!

Been really digging what I have seen lately on the the upcoming “Automata” trailer starring Antonio Banderas! Can you believe it? I have a bit of a soft spot now for Antonio after seeing him in the latest Expendables movie, where he totally stole the show. Now we all can officially forget about the terrible pile of robotic bull shit that was I, Robot from 2004, you know the one with The Fresh Prince prancin’ around like a wise ass dipshit?! Here we have something that really looks quite a bit closer to Isaac Asimov’s vision, at least by the trailer, which is quite impressive.

It for starters blends some amazing special fx both digital and practical the way that it should have been done in the first place. Second it looks like it’s got a bit more heart and mind to it as well and even reminds me a bit of Blade Runner in the best ways possible. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet for this check it out, this looks like Sci-Fi done just the way I like it…

Sweethaven: The Real Life Popeye Village! RIP Robin..

It was very sad news yesterday hearing of the passing of Robin Williams, in a weird way he felt like he was a friend though i never met him. He seemed like a kind soul and it’s always so sad when someone takes their own life. When I was a child just six years old my mother took me to see the Popeye movie, Robin’s first starring role. I had already been a HUGE fan of Popeye as a child and seeing Williams brings him to life was truly a memory for me that I still cherish. I remember the day perfectly still. So last night I decided I would put on my Popeye dvd and it’s still just as charming in 2014.

One thing that I noticed again that simply amazed me was the setting and the sets that were used on this film. It’s such an incredibly beautiful landscape and the actual village that Popeye lands in is simply one of the most unique film settings I have ever seen. It dawned on me, what should have been very obvious, that the village of Sweethaven as it’s called in the movie must have been a real place! This was not a CGI creation and today you would most likely never see something like this in any movie. What’s more impressive is that this place was created by a film crew!

Here’s some info from Amusing Planet:

“When Walt Disney and Paramount Pictures decided to make a movie based on the popular cartoon strip Popeye, the production team picked the opened faced Anchor Bay in the north-west corner of the Mediterranean island of Malta, two miles from the village of Mellieħa, as location for Popeye’s fictional village of Sweethaven.

 

Construction of the film set started in June 1979. A construction crew of 165 worked over seven months building the village as described by the comic strip’s creator E.C. Segar. Nineteen authentic wooden buildings were built from hundreds of logs and several thousand wooden planks imported from the Netherlands, while wood shingles used in the construction of the roof tops were imported from Canada. Eight tons of nails and two thousand gallons of paint were consumed in construction. In addition, a 200–250 foot breakwater was built around Anchor Bay’s mouth to protect the set from high seas during the shooting.

 

This is the Popeye village today in 2014!

This is the Popeye village today in 2014!

Today the movie set is open to the public as an open-air museum and family entertainment complex. Aside from the village itself, there are boat trips around Anchor Bay, audio-visual shows which includes clips from the actual film and the set’s construction, water trampolines, mini golf, and other games and fun activities.”

I don’t know about you but suddenly I feel the urge to explore Malta and visit the Popeye village myself….amazing…check out the official Popeye village website!