Tag Archives: CGI

Lessons for 2017 Superhero Films: Spider-Man (2002)

spider-man-stills-006.jpgReleased in 2002, the original Spider-Man is what arguably kicked off the superhero movie craze*. As we enter what might be the peak saturation point for the genre, re-watching the spidey film for perspective reveals less how far the genre has come, and actually highlights where it has faltered. 

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Special Effects you won’t believe were done for real

Here at The Filmsmith we have a great love for all the hours that go into practical special effects, those pieces of wizardry that aren’t created by computer animators.  These guys have to battle the restrictions of the real world (time, space, gravity) in order to do their job well, because when they do, you feel the term movie magic.  So here are some of the highlights from Cracked’s, “8 Special Effects You Won’t Believe Aren’t CGI.” Continue reading

Tron Legacy as sterile as its environment

Over the last decade, blockbusters have been slowly leaving the big kid’s pool of the summer season to capitalize on Holiday ticket sales and a schedule usually clogged with award winning dramas and foreign films (and less blockbuster competition). This December, Disney rolls out a sequel to a film released almost 30 years ago. The results?  Fun to look at, but lacking narrative pulse. Continue reading

Summer Movies: July-August (Part I)

Immediately following my coverage of the 2010 Edinburgh International Film Festival, my wife and I packed our tiny flat and moved back to the U.S.  We spent a month home and then finally moved to Iowa where she is now working on her PhD.

Thus, the summer was very busy and scattered; I left many films in my wake with nary a commentary post.  I will now provide a quick rundown of what you should check out and what you should chuck out. Continue reading

How they shot Inception’s hallway scene without CGI

Back in February I had a chance to talk with one of the crew members from Inception.  Turns out that hallway fight scene was not CGI, they did that for real:

However, more interesting were his comments on Christopher Nolan (a bit chaotic in his shooting style), since he worked with him on Inception and The Dark Knight. He showed me a video of the rig they used for a hallway scene in the film, which was larger than a semi-truck’s trailer, that completely rotated. He went on to explain that they rubberized everything inside and painted it so the actors inside could roll around and fight. They also locked down a camera inside the hallway and used a camera crane that could go inside the moving rig. Evidently I’m one of the only guys outside of the film industry to see his little cell phone video of this rig.

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“Predators” is a damn fine sequel to the original

The original Predator (1987) is one of those films that is a defining moment for masculinity.  I saw Predator when I was 8 years old and the mixture of mass muscled men, “bad” words, bullets, and bravado introduced me to what it meant to be male. The film is not a traditional work of art, but like director John McTiernan’s Die Hard, Predator is a quintessential action/sci-fi film. Continue reading

“Monsters” leaves audiences in shock and awe

When you start watching films for a living, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” becomes the haunting muzak filling the background of your consciousness.  Films quickly pile up in the mediocre category, with few hitting genius, or even atrocious levels.  When Monsters finished, however, I was covered with goose bumps and wanted nothing more than to sit quietly in the dark to mull it over. It is a film so powerful, fascinating and personal that it is a celluloid definition of why we go to the cinema.

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