Just realised my driver's licence expires in a few weeks time. Bah! Anyone know an easy way to get it renewed that doesn't involve paying bribes or standing in queues for six years?
I feel like watching movies today. Seeing I have to be at the office instead, I'll just blog about them...
Saw District 9 last night. I must disagree with Ches, who hated the movie (although he does make some valid points). Maybe it was because I wasn't expecting much, but I thought it was pretty damn good. Generally, when people rave about a movie I end up hating it and there was quite a bit of hype around this flick so I figured it would disappoint. But it didn't.
I think it's a great movie. But that doesn't mean I enjoyed it. Let me clarify... there are movies that you can admit are totally brilliant without finding great pleasure in watching them. The same goes for books. Like JM Coetzee's Disgrace. I don't deny it was clever, well-written and worth studying for high school English. Doesn't mean I liked it though.
District 9 was, IMHO, well filmed with good actors, nice fast-moving action scenes and effective special effects. Yes, there were a few cliches and some bits that could easily have been left out (the last sequence seemed a bit protracted to me), but overall, it was well directed and edited. What surprised me though, was how much I was moved by the film.
I left the Il Grande cinema in a sober, pensive mood. I knew District 9 would touch on issues of xenophobia, but it really, really got to me. It was so gritty and dirty and South African and... real. It wasn't an idyllic, romanticised, pretty picture. I liked that about it.
The only thing I truly didn't like (aside from the fact that the main character only seems to know one expletive, which he uses about six times in every sentence) is the portrayal of Nigerians in the movie - they are shown as being completely devoid of human empathy and moral standards. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
If I were Nigerian, that would piss me off no end.
But all in all, a good film in my opinion. What are your thoughts?
TSC and I also watched Coraline on DVD the other day. Let me start by saying that I am absolutely fascinated by stop-motion animation. I think my dream job would be to build sets and props for a film like this. The puppets, sets and art direction are amazing!
Ok, maybe the storyline was a little... odd, but even if I didn't find the plot particularly gripping, I was impressed by the colours, characters and even texture of the film (does that make sense?).
I know this movie was released in 3D, but I'm glad we saw it on DVD so we had access to the special features showing the making of the film. Like Transformers or Nightmare Before Christmas, this is a movie I believe you can appreciate more once you know what the production entails.
Basically, there are 24 frames per second of film. In stop-motion, you have to film each frame one at a time, readjusting the puppet and set so that when you string all the frames together and speed them up, it flows like a normal movie. It can take an animator days or even weeks to film a few seconds.
It is enormously labour-intensive to shoot stop-motion and Coraline was no exception, with around 450 people working on almost 150 sets with characters no taller than a nice new pencil. The clothes are hand-stitched, the fires are hand-drawn into scenes after filming and the puppets have over 200 000 facial expressions that need to be hand-created by the animators and designers. The work is phenomenal!
If you want a feel-good, easy-to-watch animated story with a nice storyline, rent out Finding Nemo. If you want to watch a beautifully-designed stop-motion work of art, plus all the in-depth features, Coraline is worth a look. and if you do watch it / have seen it, please let me know what you thought.