Tag Archives: film

When I first watched this post-apocalyptic animated short by Oddball Animation, I felt like Star Wars and Indiana Jones had a video game baby. I just couldn’t look away. Visually, it’s absolutely stunning. And it features bad ass motocycle maneuvers and cleverly executed explosions. Umm…awesome!

The above is a video from Miss Representation, a non-profit that was birthed from a film. I went to see a screening of the documentary last night. Their trailer made the social network rounds several months ago so I was excited for the chance to see the film. A lot of the message I’d heard before, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded how important even the little choices are. Which leads me to my next point.

I went home after the screening and turned on the TV and indulged in my guilty pleasure- Criminal Minds- an absurd procedural TV show starring Mandy Patinkin. It’s about the behavioral analysis group of the FBI.  Half way thru I started to feel a little sick to my stomach. This particular episode was about a teenaged boy who fantasizes about killing prostitutes. Less in an hour before I had been patting myself on the back for seeing an important, thought provoking documentary about the portrayal of gender in media. Hypocrite much? These procedurals perpetuate the image of women as victims and men as monsters. I’m taking a vow starting today- no more cop shows. No forensic shows. No more shows where women get killed. Anyone else with me?

It’s fairly well established by now that we’re suckers for any video that uses movie clips in a clever way. And this musical mashup does just that!

Created by Matthijs Vlot (who’s web servers have died due to the popularity), this video clip art of famous movie moments embraces the emotions of both the films each clip is pulled from and the crooner of a love song they compose. Quite impressive!

(Warning: You will most definitely catch yourself humming this song at inappropriate times for the rest of the day. Yet another reason why the Internet makes life interesting…)

I feel I’ve made my love of mashups and remixes abundantly clear by this point, so it should come as no surprise that this week’s post remixes, art, sci-fi, movies, and a healthy dose of the surreal. But here’s another secret: I really love the movie A.I. – I know, I’m maybe the only one, but there’s something about that film that really hit he hard. The questions about the veracity of simulated and/or scripted responses to external stimuli, the inhumanity of humanity, the idea that our evolutionary successors might not be biological but technological – all of these were fascinating ideas to me, and have stuck in my mind every since.

So I’m excited that Pogo, one of the more innovative video remix musicians in the genre, decided to take on the film with a beautiful piece called Davyd. Whether or not you enjoyed the film, there’s a lot worth experiencing here. Pogo really captures a lot of the sweeter aspects of the film, preferring to utilize sounds from the first and third acts almost exclusively, while excluding the darker second act almost entirely.

This is one video best enjoyed via headphones. There’s just so much nuance and musical composition that really comes through with a more isolated soundscape. Either way, it’s a creative new spin on a familiar work of art, and I’m glad to have experienced it.

There really isn’t any point in denying my undying love for the Portal games. I think they’re fantastically fun, brilliantly written, and incredibly subversive in every way a modern game should be. They’re also incredibly cinematic, with characters that display true pathos and situations that try your emotions in unexpected ways. So obviously Portal is ripe for a transition to film. But here’s the thing: I can’t think of a single game-to-film translation that didn’t suck.

Until now.

Let’s get this out of the way right at the beginning: this film is awesome. Dan Trachtenberg, co-creator and co-host of The Totally Rad Show, commercial director, and overall video game connoisseur, took on the challenge of translating the Portal games to film and just knocked it out of the park. Taking on a decidedly darker tone than the games, Portal: No Escape is a distilled and concentrated 7 minutes of incredibly dextrous storytelling that notches right into the Portal universe while even making its own additions. This isn’t just a fanfilm, this is a proper creative addition to the Portal universe.

Dear VALVe: hand Dan the keys to Portal, find him a proper film budget, and let this man run wild. Trust us – the results will be worth it.

The Rocketeer 20th anniversary from John Banana on Vimeo.

I saw The Rocketeer at a drive-in theater with my mom and my little brother when I was ten. It was the only place in Sacramento still showing it, and even though the picture was…well, shitty, and the sound came out of a single speaker hung from the driver’s side window, I loved it. I loved every second of it not because the art design was spot-on perfect, or the costumes would go on to influence a lifetime of steampunk cosplayers, or because it was a love letter to early sci-fi – all of those appreciations came from later viewings by an older Barrett.

I loved it because he could fly. With a jetpack. And I wanted to be him.

20 years later, I don’t know how or why (and frankly don’t care) but France’s Digital Banana has reinvigotated and rekindled that joy with a fanfilm that’s equal parts Rocketeer, Looney Toons, and Pixar. It’s different from the film, but because it comes from a more reverent, more nostalgic place. The true test though, is that like all things awesome, it leaves me wanting more.

So to whomever requires my prayers/phone calls/favors/money, please give me more of this. Because I will watch every moment of it.

Because he can fly. With a jetpack.

And I want to be him.