Monday, June 30, 2008

WANTED --good flick, nice style

So I finally get around to seeing the one film I've been dying to view since the comic was created. I already knew the movie diverged away from the Mark Millar comic book in regards to super villains and super heroes but I was ok with that. See unlike all the other fan boys, I knew that the original material would not translate well to the silverscreen or mass audience. They just wouldn't "get it" and I'm fine with that. Let the comic book exist as one version of the story and the film version as another.

Now they did a great job of keeping the essence of the comic book buried within the film. Dorky loser guy with no life finds out he is a bad ass assassin from hot chick called, Fox, and meets his mentor, Sloan ( not in the comic book but a semblance I suspect of The Professor ). Fox helps Wesley become the bad ass assassin that is locked inside him from his father. And the story continues from there.

Here is a good reason for all of what I explained but in better terms from a Dallas Reviewer Dan Koller.

And here is a great review of the comic. Pretty much spot on.

What I thought was interesting was the style which can seem a bit "Matrixy" but really has it's own tricks that stem from the afore mentioned. The director, Helmer Timur Bekmambetov, pulls these effects off with perfect timing and substance. WANTED draws alot in this style from his previous Russian vampire films, Nightwatch and Daywatch, which I must say I've only seen clips from and find quite interesting but odd as well. Someday I will get around to seeing these films in their entirety.

Another aspect that appealed to me in the film was how Helmer worked in key comic book moments and references to comic book characters. Look for this one in the movie if you've read the comic book, Mr Rictus is mentioned as being killed but he is a normal guy, not the super villain ring leader.

The only thing I was dissapointed in was not seeing Wesley in his iconic assassin gear like at the top of my post. Perhaps we will see this in the sequel.

Already this movie is one of the top R-rated grossing films of all time and came in second with about 50million on opening weekend to WALL-E. Still it made more than WALL-E per theater earnings as it was released in less theaters over all.

I enjoyed this movie for exactly what it is and didn't have "fanboy" rage as far is it deviating from the source material. Really looking forward to a sequel with Wesley in his assassin costume ( wink wink nudge nudge screenwriters ). And yes I definitely recommend checking this flick out, it's crazy violent but fun.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kermit Love passes away at 91 :(

Kermit Love was the creator of Big Bird and Mr Snufflleufagus. He worked with Jim Henson but in case you were wondering, Kermit the frog was NOT named after him.

I met Kermit Love years ago in the mid 90's when I was a runner for a post production facility in Las Colinas, TX ( Dallas area ). He was producing a new children's show called "Whirligig" at the time. He was genuinely interested in my video and animation work and gave me some good positive feedback. The curious thing is just recently I was thinking about what he was doing these days and googled his name online. Now this bad news surfaces and I find it interesting in a weird psychic kind of way. Strange stuff I tell ya....,0,1027932.story?page=2

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

11 Second Club Critique

Kevin Koch has a great and inciteful critique of last month's 11 Second club animation winner. It's about 50 minutes but chock full of gooey animation goodness!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Funny of the Day - Just Watch

Game Design Challenge

While waiting for my sluggish system to cleanse itself of all spyware vermin, I found this online. Also was discussed on Game Theory podcast. I might give this a go myself if I can get some time management down!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sad Day---Stan Winston dies :(

One of the great visual effects pioneers and influential personalities in the movie industry died today. He was 62. Sad sad day for the FX industry...

Legend tells of a Legendary Warrior---Kung Fu Panda

Well I just have to see this based on the intro animation sequence. Great style, animation, and of course humor.

Randy Pitchford of GearBox interview

Randy was one of the few people who gave me a start in the game industry. Well, his wife Kristy was the real reason and she is such a wonderful, nice, genuine person. I was working for free with some other grads from the Art Institute with Kristy on a children's project. It was a great environment to develop in and Kristy and Randy made us all feel welcome working in their home at the time. Randy had just started a new game development studio called Rebel Boat Rocker and he allowed us to use their engine to create the children 3D technology for Kristy's vision. Unfortunately real world requirements,, kept use from staying on board but I've always been very thankful for the opportunity both of them extended to me and my fellow Art Institute colleagues ( who all now work in top notch studios ).

Rebel Boat Rocker fell through and then came Gearbox. Ever since then I try to keep up on Gearbox's properties and IP. Randy, I believe, is the type of CEO every game development company should look for. He's a true gamer at heart and his dedication and positive energy to innovation in the field is what is needed for this industry.

So recently I came across this great QA article with Randy of Gearbox and I think it truly shows the type of positive person he is. Enjoy...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

WANTED more trailers and RED BAND trailer

After seeing the comic book to movie behind the scenes clip, I'm even more stoked for this movie. Mark Millar seems genuinely into the film and last I heard he was completely not into the project at all. Be sure to see the Red Band R rated trailer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Games Education Summit

Some friends of mine from the old Paradigm/Atari days are speaking today at the Games Education Summit. Mahdad Ansari and Mark Grigsby. Wish I was in Dallas today but this Summit should really help educate our future game developers with the skills they need to be successful in the industry. Now if Quality Life issues could be discussed with producers managers in a summit....hmmmmm ( my GameWatch link on right )

Monday, June 9, 2008

3D chalk paintings

I've seen Kurt Wenner's work before on the net but here is a sample from a recent post. Amazing how he can create such works of art on pavement and walls.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quake Live- or Quake III in a web browser..Can you say FRACKEN SWEET?!?

I totally agree with Carmack on this one in regards to Quake III...

Obviously, we have examples like World of Warcraft that show how the PC can be viable and vibrant in its own way. But in terms of first-person shooters, if you look at something like Crysis and say that’s the height of what the PC market can manage, I don’t think that’s necessarily that exciting of a direction for the PC to be going in the future. With Quake Live, we hope that there’s an opportunity for people who’ve never played shooters to give this a try, and with that, the potential of actually growing the PC gaming market. I still have a lot of a faith in simple gameplay formulas - it might not be the game that everyone plays for three hours a day to be the best at, but it’s something that offices, dorms, and schools across America can have fun with.

Personally I can't wait. A free classic back in new graphics? Hell yes! Quake III always had superior control of any FPS I have ever played .

BF series while I love em has clunky controls and terrible collisions, speed of player also suspect.

UT series always had a quirkyness to them that I couldn't get over. Either levels were strange design or weapons had bizarre design.

Counter Strike and Valve games, like TF2, come the closest to my preference of controls but still not as good as Quake III.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein which was built on the Quake III engine is still one of my all time favorite FPS's. Was and still is a great game. Excellent and smooth control response. Amazing level design that was simple but effective. Also introduced first aspect of classes that you see now in the BF series as well as first for teamwork encouragement( god forbid that medic didn't give you a health pack :) and objective based maps.

Load up Quake III demo or your old copy and see for yourself.

Sam & Max

Now I always knew about Sam & Max from the LucasArts game in the early 90's but never got around to playing it. Except now I wish I had. The new series by TellTale games ( same guys who do the Lego Star Wars games, etc ) have created episodic content for Sam & Max on I recently tried out the demo and was laughing constantly at the witty dialogue and characters. Even the normal boring setting configuration screen is a riot. I highly recommend you give it a shot. Here is a link to the TellTale website where you can download demos, etc

And if you want a taste of's a YouTube video