Tagged: stan winston

Stranger Things: Please Use Practical Monster Effects!!

Stranger Things Season 2 finally dropped this Halloween and damn was it good! So much fun and such a total and complete trip down memory lane. The show plays off of the wonder filled nostalgia of the 80’s and almost perfectly captures the magic of movies like Poltergeist, E.T., The Goonies and The Lost Boys to name a few.

This show couldn’t possibly get any better at delivering the ever so sweet 1980’s cinematic magic could it?  Well I say it could do the job way better, after watching the second season it was apparent once again that this show could really up it’s game by ditching a lot of the shoddy CGI effects it uses for it’s monsters.

 

 

The show sure looks and feels like an 80’s Amblin flick, that is until they introduce us to the other worldly monsters. Then it quickly becomes very apparent it’s 2017 and that some questionable CG has entered my 80’s fantasy! So for season 3 of the show, I think they could do better, to really recreate that magic of old, it’s time for the show to incorporate practical creature effects! Puppetry, makeup, animatronics!

 

 

Imagine the creatures on the show if they had the feel of E.T., The Gremlins or Pumpkinhead?! The CG takes me out of the moment, the realism fades quickly and I imagine how much more effective the experience would really be if it just gave this tweak to say 75% of it’s fx work. That alone would give us the ultimate nostalgia trip, let’s face it, fans would go nuts for this and especially those who are real fans of the genre the show’s replicating. So help me spread this idea #strangerthings80sfx & Let’s demand that 80’s special effects magic be utilized for the next season!!!  They’ve come a long way with practical fx work and blending with CG or using CG to eliminate wires & puppeteers would take the show to a whole next level of 1980’s love….

 

Advertisements

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?

 

Stan Winston Fans Rejoice for ‘A Gnome Named Gnorm’?!

I love Stan Winston, he made soooo many amazing movie monsters come to life with his genius special effects wizardry! From the Predator, to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park to the incredible Pumpkinhead! Yes Pumpkinhead is one of my fave monster movies of the 1980’s hands down, and it was also directed by good ol’ Stan! Now let it be known that he really didn’t direct much, The Terminator 2 mini-film for the Universal Studios theme park and the Michael Jackson movie/video “Ghosts” in 1997 I thought was it for him. But I just found out today that he did indeed direct another full length feature film besides Pumpkinhead, so naturally I was pumped to check out his follow-up he did back in 1990!   Well it just so happens to be a flick titled “A Gnome Named Norm” starring Anthony Michael Hall and a horny ass Gnome who’s lookin’ too impress the ladies!

Check out the trailer:

Well, now isn’t that something?! It looks like perhaps Winston was the inspiration behind flicks like “Munchie”?

Not quite what I was expecting after motherfuckin’ Pumpkinhead, but hey I gotta say that ‘A Gnome Named Gnorm’ looks like a damn good time!! So this one will go on my list of must watch movies-however this one I may need to view with a gang of friends and a few too many drinks!

You can watch the full feature on youtube too! This movie also went by the name ‘Upworld’, it’s crazy to find movies like this that somehow slipped under the radar!

Harbinger Down: The Real Prequel to “The Thing”!!

I just checked out the long awaited trailer for a movie I’ve been pumped about for quite some time time now, Harbinger Down! If you follow my blog at all you’ve probably heard me complaining a lot about CGI and how there aren’t nearly enough movies these days that utilize rad practical monster effects like they used to back in the 1980’s. Well Alec Gillis at Studio ADI announced a while back that he planned on making a full on monster movie utilizing all practical effects only using CG to eliminate things like rods or wires.

You see a while back they made a prequel to the classic John Carpenter Monster flick “The Thing” and Gillis and his crew were hired to do the special effects, they were told to use all practical monster effects to keep the same vibe as the 1982 classic. They went hard to work and filmed much of the movie with the effects but at the last minute the studio changed their mind, and CG’d over all of there work, claiming that people these days like their movies to look more like modern video games. The movie was bashed by fans of the original and did little at the box office. So here is Alec Gillis’ response to what happened to them, a movie that bears some resemblance to the premise of The Thing, as if him and his crew is giving the fans the movie that they were hoping for in The Thing prequel. So take a look at the trailer, this one is on the top of my list!!

ADI: Wizards of Special FX!

I just wanted to post a couple videos from ADI, they are an effects studio that specializes in hands on practical effects. Their work never ceases to amaze me. Today they are still pushing the bar with their makeup and animatronics, which I hope more people take notice of. I’ve heard recently that most movies today are made to look like video games, as so many kids expect their movies to look that way and that glossy shiny video gamey look may actually be intentional. There’s a time and a place for both styles of fx, practical and CG and when they are used together it’s often times has created the best moments in cinema.

goro

But for movies today ADI is pretty much the best at what they do. They’ve done a ton of work on some great films, the biggest controversy was all of the special effects they did for the prequel to “The Thing” which ended up a box office flop. The work they did for the film was replaced with shoddy CGI and this outraged the real fans of the iconic 1982 masterpeice. Had they used the ADI versions the prequel would have been the perfect companion piece to that movie. I just watched a great mini episode of Fangoria’s Blood & Guts with Anthrax’s own Scott Ian and it was worth posting again here.

It just goes to show you that these type of effects aren’t dead and in many cases to this day are better than CG. It also reminded me of how rad the monster design was for Goro from the campy  Mortal Kombat. Seeing stuff like that done over fifteen years ago makes me wonder why they chose to go fully CG on characters like The Incredible Hulk. Well I guess I am going to have to at least watch Mortal Kombat again! I recommend subscribing to their Youtube channel, there;s some amazing stuff on there!!!

Also any chance I get I love to show this Green Goblin they were working on for the Raimi Spider-man movie. A total shame they didn’t go with it, however my bet is that in the newest reboot of The Amazing Spider-man, The Green Goblin will most likely appear in the third movie-Hollywood don’t blow it get ADI to design his look!!!

 

What’s With This Real Life Mermaid Video?!!

I’m sure everyone has seen or heard about the supposed real life Mermaid video that Animal Planet showed on their documentary “Mermaids: The Body Found”. I just watched it for the first time, only the video of the kids on the beach and yeah it scared the shit out of me!! Mainly because I wasn’t expecting it to play out like a horror film.

From what I have heard thus far it’s being hyped as a possible real video, but I am certain it’s just a “show” as AP has already says the show is for pure entertainment. It sure would be cool if the video of the kids on the beach turned out to be authentic, at least for a moment here we can believe in their existence. The only real problem here is that to me this “Mermaid” looks a bit on the CG side.

Still you can’t help but wonder if there really were mermaids they probably wouldn’t look like Daryl Hanna from “SPLASH” and yeah that’s too bad they’d probably look like a strange sea creature.

So if you really have the Mermaids on the brain and liked the found footage from Animal Planet’s documentary then you need to check out She Creature, the remake by Stan Winston, easily the BEST monster mermaid movie ever made!! Check it!

The Evolution of the CG Hulk….

Yesterday there was a brand spankin’ new image of The Hulk released to the public for the upcoming Avengers movie. I must admit it’s the best most realistic looking one yet but to really be certain it’s perfect we’ll have to see this once again entirely computer generated character in the flesh or um…pixels or whatever it is on screen moving around with living breathing real human beings. Lets face it the last two Hulks were pretty piss poor and personally I rather see Lou Ferrigno back with the ripped jeans and green paint than more of this poorly done cg. However this still shot of the Hulk does look pretty dang nice and I am willing to keep an open optimistic mind about ol’ Jade Jaws until I see it for real. Lets though take a look at all three of these cg fakers and see if the new image actually holds up…

First the Ang Lee CG “dumb jock football player” Hulk…

Verdict: Wow this one looks even worse than I remember! What is that live action Shrek doing onscreen with Jennifer Connelly?! Did George Lucas do this cg version of The Hulk on his lunch break?! This one has GOT to be one of the worst cg charcters of all time!!

Second we have the Ed Norton “totally ripped” Hulk…

The verdict: This one actually looked pretty good….as long as there weren’t any real human beings on screen with him! This one at least got the look and spirit of The Hulk correct. Plus he wasn’t twenty five feet tall like the “Jolly Green Giant” Hulk that Ang Lee gave us. Still this version of The Hulk was to me quite a disappontment.

Lastly we’ve got a newly released shot of the “Joss Whedon can do no wrong” Hulk…

Verdict: This one is hands down the most realistic looking one yet but that don’t mean squat til we see him standing next to Robert Downey Jr. I am willing to bet this one could win the prize, but if it doesn’t well three strikes and you’re out CG Hulk!! With that said we still have the Guillermo De Toro Hulk to look forward to and I am sure that one will deliver the goods…