Friday, 27 March 2015

Film Review: Reservoir Dogs (1993)

                                                  Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Fig 1. Film Poster

Quentin Tarantino had created a film featuring blood, a lot of blood, gun shots and tones of offensive language. A crime-thriller with a heist gangster element. It's not a film with a huge narrative, but yet it gives us a piece of information a piece at a time as we go deeper into the movie. There is nothing to compare this film too, its unique from ever other crime thriller that seem to easily captivate audiences in a way that can be understood in an instant. Instead it is perceived to more the the crime thriller that has a lot of drama, so much so that the audience is thirsting for more after each scene.

Fig 2. Shooting Scene
The film focus's on a group of men who are brought together to run a job together. Each are designated a colour for their name as identity needs to be kept a secret. The heist is not seen on camera properly, so we start by seeing the getaway, where two of the group are in a car and the character who is later revealed to be an undercover cop, is badly wounder with a gun shot to the stomach. As the movie progresses we see the group turn on each other, blaming each other for the heist going wrong.  From that point on, everyone starts pointing guns and it ends with one shooting the other. (See Fig 2) The story may be vague and vile but visually it has a lot to offer. Candice Russell writes “A superb character study of tough guys turning on each other, it is also an edgy drama about the dissolution of trust.”(Russell, 2013) Reservoir Dogs looks at how trust is crucial, not just in preforming a crime, but as working in a team and completing a task without messing it up, resulting in a lot of feuds, blood and ultimately death for one or all the party.

Mr.Brown is actually played by the director himself, and interesting fact there, at the beginning of the feature we observe the group around the diner, talking about songs and their meanings. Mr. Brown brings up a topic on Madonna and her songs being about a man's genitals but we don't clearly see any judgment given about that, just an analysis. Furthermore, we start to learn more about the characters like Mr. Pink, who particularly does not want to tip and is acting negatively about Mr White's replies. As quoted:“These people bust their ass. This is a hard job… Waitressing is the number-one occupation for female non-college graduates in this country. It’s the one job basically any woman can get and make a living on. The reason is because of their tips.” (White, 1993). This is a very powerful line as it speaks about he feels that woman, even though they did not get the good jobs in that time era, having to earn a living if they are unsuccessful at completing a college education. It was revered that women wouldn't work any higher as they were incapable. (See figure 3).
Fig. 3 Diner Scene

This scene, this act, shows how each of the characters characteristics are in the feature, Mr. Pink is seen as the arrogant one due to his dismissal at tipping, Mr. White is the more sympathetic, caring one. It is also shown in the scene where Mr. Orange attempts to steal the car from a woman, but she shoots him first and he returns a shot. The reaction he has also shows a perception that women are too innocent and obedient.

To summarize, this feature has a lot of positives, and is a great film to watch, with its slight humor and unexpected climactic scene. Owen Gleiberman qoutes to end this review, “Tarantino, in Reservoir Dogs, has made a nihilist comedy about how human nature will always undercut the best-laid plans.” (Gleiberman, 2011)


Russell, C (2013) Sun Sentinel At: (Accessed on: 27/03/2015)

White, (1993) Bitch Flicks At: (Accessed on 24703/2015)

Gleiberman, O (2011) Entertainment weekly At: (Accessed on: 27/03/2015)


Figure 1 Film Poster (1993) (Accessed on 27/03.2015)

Figure 2 (1993) Shooting Scene At: (Accessed on: 27/03/2015)

Figure 3 (1993) Diner Scene. on: 27/03/2015)

Film Review: Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg 1993

Jurassic Park
Fig. 1 Film Poster

It can be speculated that this film, being one of Spielberg's most famous, has had tones of mixed reviews over the years. It's released marked an era where we look at the prehistoric and how visual effects can bring the creature out of extinction rather fantastically. With another movie due to launch this year, the Jurassic Park series has frightened many, even with the lack of a story, the visual concepts deserve the jaw dropping. It's popularity grew quickly, with re-runs and blue ray releases it has become a sensation of a series. "The effects have barely aged and the joy is timeless." (Richards,2013). The early stages of CG and anamatronic's are a breeze for this film, making everything seem believable down the breathing Triceratops. 

Essentially the film revolves around an old eccentric billionaire, Dr. John Hammond, (See Fig 2)
Fig. 2 Dr John Hammond
who has found the way to reproduce genetic strands of DNA to re-grow Dino-Embryos. Billions of years of History boils down to a little mosquito that had fossilized inside amber and had Dinosaur blood in his system created a world that Spielberg brought alive. A single island containing these amazing creatures, opened to the public as a theme park, something just had to go wrong didn't it? After inviting a group of scientists, and architect and his grandchildren, this billionaire could not have predicted that chaos that followed - well he could have when he thought about breeding Carnivores, creating a series of events that put everyone in perilous danger. 

The main focus of this movie is the beautifully stunning dinosaurs. ‘’Spielberg was wise to not rely entirely on computer images, rather blending the new technology with old-fashioned practical designs" (Dunks,2014) Using a combination of CGI and Animatronic's, Spielberg has created creatures that look and feel like they exist in the world. Everything from the triceratops, the Velociraptors to the T-rex are believable, making the wonder and dread that the Sam Neil's character experience even more real. The dinosaurs are what makes the set pieces in this film truly astounding and the stories behind some of them even more interesting.

The darkest most recognised scene of the film begins where the convoy of jeeps that take everyone on a tour, break down outside the T-Rex pen as it’s feeding. The electrics blow and things go to hell, this sort of scene really does get the audience on the edge of their seats, jumping at every flash of lighting.  When we hear the roar of the beast it sends Goosebumps up your spine, it’s a thrill to see, but the T-Rex may be the biggest beast on the island, but it is not the biggest threat. We come to the part of the movie that terrifies. Velociraptors. "They were absolutely frightening when they were first revealed" (Reyes,2014). The intelligent pack-runner, the Velocirapotors,
Fig.3 Velociraptors
their hyper-inteligence gave them the phrase ‘’clever-girl’’, which is becoming a well know phrase in cinema. These beat’s give the film its thriller factor, bringing it away from the ‘’family-adventure’’ theme and more of a ‘’slasher’’ themed one instead. (See Figure 3). They hunt down the group, killing and maiming a few of them and almost killing the main stars. These beast's bring the thriller factor to the movie, turning it into what seems to be a slasher movie of sorts. They hunt down the main group, keeping themselves hidden until they strike. Their horrific screech and the way they move makes them some of the scariest creatures to ever be shown in film. 

But these beautifully master creatures are not the films only focus, the character introduced to us all have a profound effect on the atmosphere of the movie. For instance, Sam Neil's character, Alan Grant, establishes that he does not like children from the beginning of the feature. But as the film progresses he starts to grow an attachment to the two grandchildren of Dr. Hammond. As the choas unfolds, he adopts a protective nature over the children, making sure that they are safe, like saving them from the falling car. (See Figure 4)
Fig 4. Trapped Jeep
In the final shot of the movie, his views of children change dramatically, as he solidifies the idea of becoming open to the idea of having children for himself.  

Secondly, we have Ian Malcolm, played brilliantly by Jeff Goldblum. His character talks about the theoretical side of the inhabitants and how nature cannot be controlled or ceased by humans. The unbeliever basically. The dinosaurs are created to only be females, however as Malcolm shows in the helicopter with the two female ends of a seat belt, life will always find a way to procreate, and reptiles - which dinosaurs relate from - are able to change their sex when there are no mating males available. 

In conclusion, Jurassic Park is a stunningly visual masterpiece that holds up to even today's CGI capabilities. The story is simple, but so detailed that the characters and dinosaurs become a part of our world, become memorable and appealing to the eye. With the new movie ''Jurassic World'' on it's way, it's no wonder many children today wish such a park existed - which there are adaptations, but only with robotic dinosaurs - but still that's good enough. 


Olly Richards, Empire Magazine,, August 19 2013. [Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Glenn Dunks, Quick flicks,, September 23 2014. [Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Mike Reyes, Cinema Blend,, November 10 2014 [Accessed on 27/03/2015]


Figure 1. Film Poster, [Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Figure 2: John Hammond, 1993[Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Figure 3: Velociraptor, 1993[Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Figure 4: Trapped Jeep. 1993 [Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Thursday, 26 March 2015

@Phil FV: Virus Zeppelin Design

I wanted to make modeling simpler, so I used the Anti-Squad zeppelin to basically extrude spikes out of it. Does that look right or?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

CG Artist Toolkit: Life Drawing - Final lesson of the year.

It's a shame that my attendance to these lessons lacks, but I really enjoyed the time in which I did do it. Today we were asked to use what ever medium we chose, and did a serious of 10, 5, 3, 1 min poses, 30 and 10 second poses and then finishing with two 20 min poses.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Film Review: Jaws 1975 Steven Spielberg

Jaws (1975) 

Figure 1 - Film poster

A excellent production and suspense thrilled movie, Jaws is Spielberg's adaptation of Peter Benchley's novel. Eht5y comments in their review that  it ''[Jaws]is the original summer blockbuster, setting the standard by which all others are measured. It's the Michael Jordan of cinema: there will never be another 'Jaws,' simply because the film so profoundly changed the way movies are made and marketed.'' (Eht5y, 2004). It's a movie where it is said to mark the beginning of how  movie should be made in a ideal way. For an older movie, this scared a lot of young viewers, and is a fully package carnage of a thriller movie, with a story pumped with jump scares; powerful sound effects and a camera - even though was supposedly the shark as the mechanical shark had malfunctions. 

Simply put, the film depicts a story about a great white shark that attacks people who go swimming in its waters. This leads on to killing them and causing a spike in interest of a marine biologist who feels that it is better that they shut the beach down first for safety, but the Mayor seems to be more worried about tourism, money income and his publicity than the the safety of the people. After many more attacks, the group consisting of the biologist, a shark hunter and the chief decided that killing the shark themselves would save a lot of time, be safer and quicker.  They couldn't be more wrong. 

Throughout the move you can start to get the hint that there is a hidden message within the movie. A rather vague one at that. The shark, with its large jaw and teeth is represented as ''Vaginal Dentata'' (Latin for a woman's Vagina with teeth), the men, once so eager to enter the ''water'', now tremble in fear and do not want to venture there anymore. This is a intricate way of showing how sexual intercourse with a female, with teeth, would cause serious damage to both partners.  In other words it's a woman who is both beautiful and frightful, infected with some STD, and threatens the men who want her. The men who are after the shark in this interpretation are aware of the situation and do not want to just in case they suffer. A couple of quotes from Peter Biskind about some other symbolism that the shark could represent,  ''A few years ago, during the Cold War, the shark would have stood for International Communism, pure and simple. '' and ''While the shark serves as a convenient metaphor for sexual and class power, this metaphor is extended in the book to include the town’s relation with its summer guests as well. It becomes clear that the town’s handful of year-round residents need the summer traffic to survive the year.'' (Biskind, 1975). (See Fig 2).

Fig 2 Movie Still

There are many moments within the film that cause the audience to be on their toes, the most tense of these segments are definitely when we seem to not notice the shark in full body. We only ever see signs at the start, like it's fin, but you know when then shark is there because of the sound effects. There were many issues when making the film, this didn't hinder the productions,  Joe Alves states “When we were running out of time, it wasn't that we were going to use the shark so much more,” Alves continues. “When the shark wasn't working, we shot everything we could shoot. What worked well for us is we used the barrels to represent the shark, and it did so in a very dramatic way. That was sort of planned, and it allowed us to keep shooting while we didn't have the shark.'' (Alves, 2013). As the audience watched, their hearts become synced and become restless and react to little things that wouldn't usually spike a reaction, and associating them to being the shark even when they are not, just like when we seeing the dead body pop out of the boat and the yellow barrels that were shot at the shark so that they can locate its position.

It is quite remarkable that with a faulty mechanical shark, no CGI and a lot of open water, Spielberg created a unusual but exciting adventure. Simon Reynolds will conclude with “Quite simply, Jaws is a masterclass in blockbuster entertainment -- a tense, exciting thriller that redefined contemporary cinema.” (Reynolds, 2013)


Eht5y (2004) Jaws. (accessed on: 24/03/2015)

P, Biskind (1975) Jaws.

Alves, J (2013) Jaws. (accessed on: 24/03/2015)

Reynolds, S (2013) Jaws. ( (accessed on: 24/03/2015)


Figure 1 (1975) [Film Poster]

Figure 2 (1975) [Movil Still]

FV: Model Animation Practice.

He moves a bit quick but I have managed to make my Zeppelin move :)

Monday, 23 March 2015

CG Artist toolkit: Master Photoshop - Self portrait

Not the most enjoyable task when you don't like looking or drawing at yourself and have low self esteem as it is. We had to paint ourselves in different angles, with different brushes and in ways that we were not comfortable with. Eh.

CG Artist Toolkit: Maya Fur Presets

Surface Texturing Part 1: Maya Fur Presets & Attributes