Monday, July 30, 2007


We're laughing now, but ... please tell me people have heeded the warnings from films like Terminator, The Matrix and I Robot?

Friday, July 27, 2007


This weeks Illustration Friday Topic is "Moon".

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Met up with comic artist Matt Brooker (D'Israeli) for elevenses yesterday at the Malt Cross. Great to meet up with him at long last. Daleks did crop up in conversation. Go check out his wonderful blog. He often posts about his work process, and if you scroll down the sidebar you'll notice he has an indispensable section called "Tools, Materials & Resources". Go check it out now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


A while back I posted about Hans Fisherkoesen's Verwitterte Melodie (Weather-beaten Melody), well here's some more from Hans Fisherkoesen. The first film here is The Snowman which again shows off some very early 3D techniques as Verwitterte Melodie did.

And here are some of FisherKoesen's commercial, from which the Philips light bulb commercial is perhaps my favorite. Enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Hell is the second song from The Tiger Lillies album "Births, Marriages and Deaths". The Tiger Lillies are the greatest. My wife and I were fortunate enough to catch "Shockheaded Peter" when it was on at Drury Lane. An amazing spectacle it was too. They're a three piece from London who cite Gypsy music, Russian music, Greek folk, Blues, Italian Opera, Kurt Weil, 30's Berlin cabaret, French chanson, Flamenco as their influences. Their songs are about blasphemy, murder, criminals, prostitution etc, all delivered with darkly comedic aplomb.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


The New York Times has the first image from "The New Frontier", a straight to DVD animated adaptation of Darwyn Cooke's funny book mini series of the same name. Due to be released in February 2008 and previewed at the up coming San Diego Comic-con.

According to the original article neither Wonder Woman nor Lois Lane (who make prominent appearances in the comic) were in the first three drafts of the adaptation. So the above image is somewhat reassuring, as is the following from Mister Cooke himself.
“It’s much more complete than I would have thought,” Mr. Cooke said. “Even things we dropped, we reference in scenes. It won’t interrupt the story for people who don’t know, but for someone who has read the book, it’ll hit that trigger and be there for them.”
Lucy Lawless stars as Wonder Woman, Steven Blum as Batman, David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Kyle MacLachlan as Clark Kent/Superman.

Superman: Doomsday, the first of three straight to DVD animated adaptations (of which "The New Frontier" is the second) is due out in September 2007 and features the voices of Adam Baldwin as Clark Kent/Superman, Anne Heche as Lois Lane and James Marsters as Lex Luthor.

The third film in the line "Teen Titans: The Judas Contract" is set for a 2008 release.

Friday, July 20, 2007


I am back after a week long holiday with my wife and son by the Norfolk coast. We managed to catch some sun! Feeling slightly shattered now after driving through torrential rain. It's good to be home.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


First thing this morning I thought I'd stroll by the Indiana Jones front desk to check out any stirrings and sure enough, they've posted a clip of Harrison Ford as Doctor Jones. All tremendously exciting stuff, naturally, seeing Harrison Ford donning the hat again, but much more exciting than any of that, and something that had me spitting out my cereal in surprise was to see George Lucas wearing a Han Solo t-shirt designed by JAKe Steel!! A "Han Shot First" t-shirt no less!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Often referred to as the 'fuzzy felt Moomins', this was the third production of five to make it to TV screens. It was made in Poland (Opowiadania Muminków) by Film Polski for Polish, Austrian and German television and later sold to the UK (among other places) where I think it really benefited from another integral ingredient, the voice of Richard Murdoch.

The series has been collected onto DVD. There are a 100 English episodes in all, edited down into 5 minute episodes from their original 78 x 30 minute episodes but you can watch the original episodes also (in German and sans Richard Murdoch's wonderful voice).

For more on Tove Jansson's Moomins I recommend you visit Brian Sibley's Ex Libris blog where he's written a wonderful piece about the books and their author.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The Big Story. This brilliant short film was carried with the screening of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction upon its theatrical release in the UK.

Tim Watts (one of the directors and animators of the film) , a fellow Kingstonian alumni, came back to Kingston when I was studying there and gave a talk about his work, which included The Big Story. We even got to see pencil tests for the film which you can view by clicking this link.

Tim told us that originally they'd tried to contact Kirk Douglas himself to get him to do the voices but eventually got through to one of Kirk's sons (I cannot recall which) who said Kirk wasn't available to do the voice, but all was not lost. Tim and David where advised by one of Kirk's sons to get hold of Frank Gorshin and get him to do it because apparently, according to them Frank Gorshin could do a better Kirk Douglas than Kirk Douglas. As was testimony in a short clip Tim showed us of one of Gorshin's impersonation routines where he pretends to be both Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. For an example of Gorshin's talents outside of playing the Riddler in the Batman TV series watch the following clip.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Right now, the internet is abuzz with news of JJ. Abrams monster movie Cloverfield, a Blue Harvest smoke screen title for a movie barely anyone knows anything about. The movie has an estimated budget of $30 million and began filming last month in New York. A teaser trailer appeared before Transformers and a viral campaign is under way in order to build hype. There's also a puzzle website which presents you with 5 puzzles that unlock a series of video messages and then leaves you with a code you can use on August 1st when I'm guessing more stuff will be revealed (the puzzles are all relatively easy, it's just the interface makes it all look like hard work).

The teaser trailer is a heck of a tease, showing a group of people at a party when a thunderous roar outside halts celebrations. News channels are seen reporting the disturbance. Revelers spill out onto the street and see a large rolling ball of flame down town and the statue of liberty's severed head lands in the street as people scatter. It's noted on some sites that the ball of flame is an explosion but to me it looks like a rolling ball of flame, like an abstract monster from H. P. Lovecraft's mythos (there's a lot of talk that this all has something to do with Great Cthulhu, but he wasn't available for comment when I called). That's the great thing about this teaser, you don't really see a great deal of detail, and really you're at the mercy of the panicked camera operator given as the whole teaser appears to have been filmed on a mobile phone-camera. So you're left to fill in a lot of the gaps and that's the best bit. It's terrific.

There's also this site (click the link), which is basically the film's release date, and it has snap shots from what I can only assume is the party in the teaser. I read somewhere online that someone had checked the registration for the site and it belongs to the Freemasons and one Albert Pike. Which sounds like the people in charge of this campaign are either incredibly clever and that there's a wealth of information if anyone cares to dig deep enough, or people are reading too much into what little information there is out there. Some people have even taken the photo of the two frightened young women that appears on the 1-18-08 site and spliced their faces together in the hope that this is some sort of clue, and others are seeing the devil's face inbetween the two women. I think its more of a coincidental simulcrum myself, but it goes to show what an effect this pre-movie buzz campaign is having.

The problem with a lot of stuff like this is that the 'mystery' can often be greater than the truth. And it's largely because people build in their own conclusions. They imagine a far greater payload than the initial idea can deliver and so when the initial idea reveals its payload it usually doesn't reach spec. VAL LEWTON WAS RIGHT. Never show the payload (or in Lewton's case, never show the cat people). The mystery is the monster.

UPDATE: You can watch the teaser trailer here (click for the link). Seeing the severed head of the statue of Liberty really does evoke memories of "Escape from New York".

Yet another 'interpreted' rumor going around now is that the monster of the movie (which has been referred to as "the Parasite"), is in fact a Lion. If you listen carefully, just after the scene on the staircase as people spill out onto the street, you'll hear someone say, very quickly "I saw it, it's alive, it's huge". At least that's how I hear it. But some people are hearing the words "a Lion" in place of "a live", and drawing the conclusion that the monster is some sort of lion.

"Nice thinkin', Ray."

UPDATE PART DEUX: The rumor mill concerning JJ Abrams' untitled film thunders on. This time in JJ Abrams drops Harry Knowles a line over at Aintitcool.

So according to JJ Abrams, the Ethan Haas puzzle site has nothing to do with his film. The Ethan Haas puzzle site certainly has all the trappings of a video game. At one point I even suspected it might be the launch for a new MMORPG as the mysterious video message guy says "What role you will play, and how you live or die, is completely up to you." Time will tell.

Ethan Haas Was Right, it turns out, really isn't marketing for JJ Abrams Cloverfield. It's marketing for a game called Alpha Omega by Mindstorm labs, which is an RPG. So there you have it.

With regard to JJ Abrams Cloverfield, it's also been said that it is not "a sequel or a remake". Which rules out "Zombie Kong"!

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I love this film. I saw this film when it was on the BBC many MANY years ago. Cannot recall precisely how old I was at the time (though I'm guessing it was the early eighties given when the film was dubbed into English by the BBC, so I would have been about ten or eleven years old) but it left an indelible impression upon me. I no longer own a video player, so I've not seen this film for a few years). From time to time (once or twice a month) I've been logging in to You Tube and searching for this just to see if anyone would post this, and bingo, here it is at long last. I've also since found that it is available on DVD from China (with English subtitles), so this is one I will definitely be adding to my reference library.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Spotted this over at Drawn! Just had to post this here because it is just too beautiful to miss. The great thing about this morphing technique is how there appears to be a constant in motion, as though all these faces were just one woman turning her head from side to side whilst shaking off thinly veiled disguises (though it does get considerably more abstract towards the end). The amount of emotion conveyed is simply wonderful. It's a work of art in itself. Enjoy.