Film Review // Mary and Max

Firstly, a brief synopsis on Mary and Max, it is a claymation about a eight year old girl named Mary who is living in a small town within Australia. Living with her alcoholic mother, distant father and random pet rooster. Her life isn't perfect in any way, being a complete loner who is bullied. Through a small series of events she decides to write to someone, Max, in New York to ask where babies come from, being told that in Australia they come from the bottom of beer glasses. Max is a lonely, jewish yet atheist, middle aged man with aspergers syndrome. They begin writing letters to each other which lasts over a decade and covers all major life events as two unlikely people become friends.

The fact that Max has never been able to live a normal life and Mary being just a child, they both take a surprisingly heartwarming party where they become best of friends, although it is strange it is just as sad, they eventually grow into their own people and come to understand themselves.

The film constantly heads down a dark road into alcoholism, misery and heartbreak for both characters, throughout the years they accidentally upset each other with their decisions, although the film may not be a romance it is a different kind of love story, both characters would never come to that point but they have such great impact on each others lives. 

The animation itself has a strange atmosphere, created by the writer Adam Elliot, someone who can combine serious and dark issues with comical moments. The animation  is made in a way to handle situations that are both intelligent and amusing, at times allowing the audience to laugh at the tougher times in life we can all identify with.

Th characters are so lovely, Mary has this innocence that makes you feel sorry for her living with an alcoholic and busy father, not to mention her bullying, her constant positivity and light heartedness makes it so we are always wanting better for her.

There is a charming collection of supporting characters also, all of them are living strange hyper realistic lives that take an even stranger tragic and comical tone, examples being, Mary's mother, who is a secret alcoholic, drinking sherry from a tea cup.

The best thing about this animation is simply the story itself, an overly tragic and lonely story, depicting detachment from society. Lives of characters that never really get where they should be, There is a clear sense that Mary and Max's friendship would never have worked in person. The friendship somehow endures so many years, through thick and thin, helps each others lives.


Adaptation A // Progression // Ditch The Doughnut.


Although the vote went down to me doing a "How to build a DIY... Worlds largest donut" The idea itself didn't work, i looked into many things involving how that was possible and eventually i would have been creating a infographic about a recipe.

At the same time however i looked into how to build a DIY small scale particle accelerator, this was actually possible, even though the instruction are still slightly difficult to follow it made for a much more interesting infographic.

There is a small list of things you need, most things you can find within your house already, so with this knowledge i started to create small animations of the places to may find them. First thing you'd need is a glass bowl, so a rough sketch of a kitchen cupboard, then on to a shed where perhaps you'd find the conducting paint or old tv and so on...


Random Choice // How To Build a DIY... (HELP NEEDED)

- How To Build A DIY -
1. Rubik's cube.
2. Assault rifle.
3. Cybernetic human robot.
4. Worlds largest donut.
5. Psychic helmet.
6. Soul?
7. Atomic bomb.
8. Tesla coil.
9. Life size gingerbread death star.
10. Particle Accelerator.

- Preferred -
3 // 4


Maya Head Modelling Part 7-8

Vertex's starting to look messy -_-

Started having problems using the geometry sculpting tool, for some reason it didn't won't to relax anything so i constructed the neck best i could until i resolve the issue, the jaw is also suffers because of the lack of relaxing.

Maya // Head Modelling Part 1-6


The Rules of Documentary - Grizzly Man

A film about Timothy Treadwell, he spent thirteen summers with grizzly bears before eventually being killed by one in 2003. Timothy only started to film the expeditions for the last five yeas of his life, he filmed the environment around him trying to show all the animals he encountered in their natural habitat, later using the footage for kids education. Werner Herzog the director of the film uses Timothys footage with interviews of friends and family. There is a lot of controversy in that comes from the interviews, there are people that believe he was doing the right thing, not harming anyone by being with the bears and there are others that thought he was disrupting the bears lives and interfering in a already safe place. During Timothy's time out with the bears he tried to become a mythological hero among the bears, alone and fighting against poachers. His true love for these creatures and want to be one of them carries the story more than his message and more than what eventually happened to him. This was a man that truly believed the bears were friends and they understood one another.

The film may come across as a normal nature documentary, but after viewing it you realise it's more about Timothy. His love for these bears is childish and from the outside it looks crazy, Timothy was saying he was a warrior and guardian of the bears, while the bears were in a protected sanctuary and poachers were extremely rare. Herzog places clips together so that we are able to truly understand how much Timothy loved these creatures but how much he was also loosing his human side.

Werner Herzog presents this documentary without any bias, he does give is opinion on Timothy and his footage but in the most honest way. Herzog seemingly respects Timothy's footage and what he was trying to accomplish, when people in the interviews say Timothy did more harm than good Herzog argues it claiming Timothy's footage was something to be admired, he said this even though others may not understand or ever agree with Timothy's thoughts about the bears, there will always have to be respect for a man dedicating so much of his life in the wilderness for the education of others.

Herzog is able to create a understanding of Timothy, it's the special selection of footage he shows throughout, starting from a person we could all relate to, to someone withdrawing from reality, to someone who has lost touch and becomes a mystery. At most points its clear Herzog doesn't approve of what Timothy was really doing, but it was important to show multiple views on him, even so, the editing of the film does push the audience in a particular directions and the interviews adding to the overall tone.

Shown throughout are beautiful shots of nature, that without Timothy has a odd eeriness to them, it was always clear that this was not about nature, but about Timothy and his character changing.

Adaptation of Transcriptions - War of the Worlds (1898 / 2005)

Discussing the differences between the 1889 Novel of 'The war of the worlds' and the 2005 film adaptation 'War of the worlds'.

The most clear and defined difference is the time period the novel and adaptation are set in, the adaptation is set in the early 21st century within the United States where as the original is in England in the early 19th century. Another significant difference is the change of main character, the novel depicts a happily married middle class scientist without children which gets turned into to a divorced working class dad of two. But the character change is really important to the films plot, with his ex wife leaving him for a richer guy, her parents never approving of him anyway and his children treating him like he doesn't matter anymore, it shows a important side of the main character when having to survive and save his children who still don't trust him, this is all obviously resolved in the end when he finally embraces his son in the final scene. 

In the adaptation the war machines are already buried underground and the aliens travel down in pods by freak lightening strikes, discovered when our main character talks to a news reporter who filmed the lighting and played it black frame by frame, whereas the novel says they land on earth in giant cylinders before releasing their machines. In novel the alien tripods are much easier defeated in normal combat where as the 2005's machines have a forcefield stopping any normal human military attacks. They are later brought down by earths microorganisms.

The aliens themselves has something in common, they both consume blood of humans, in the book it is only described as finding human remains but within the film they are used for terraforming the planet. The novel says the aliens are simply from Mars, when the book was being written the idea of life on Mars was much more realistic. It goes on to explain the aliens are fleeing from their dying plant and finding a new one to continue there species. Much unlike the film where we are never told where they come from.

The similarities are easier to point out, the aliens in the end are killed off by microorganisms, the machines are both of tripod like design, the machines kill people using a ray like weapon that pretty much disintegrates humans, there is a scene in both the film and book that shows a train still running at high speed but on fire. Both types of machines can harvest humans with long tentacles that descend from the tripods. The aliens both try to terraform the planet by spraying the ground with blood causing strange red weeds to grow.

Over the years there has been many adaptations, they all contain different aspects of the original novel, these aspects are what make them individual and new pieces of work.


Comedy and Laughter - The Interview

Dave Skylark and his wannabe producer Aaron Rapoport run an American small news TV show called "Skylark Tonight". At the time Kim Jong-un is a serious issue and is being reported on every serious news channel, when they discover that Kim Jong-un is a fan they get a special one hour interview with him in hope they will validate themselves as real journalists. As they are preparing to leave their plans are changed by the timely arrival of the C.I.A with Agent Lacey, she informs them the C.I.A would like them to take out Kim Jong-un and supplies them with a fast-acting poison that can be transferred by a simple handshake, easy enough for the more profession type but for Dave and Aaron not so much.

When Dave finally meets Kim Jong-un they end up having a huge amount of fun together, which is highly comical, they quickly become close friends after spending the day rolling around in an old tank with drugs, females and Katy Perry, these are so unexpected of Kim Jong-un it makes the supreme leader laughable. It is a shame the movie didn't spend more time reenforcing this bromance between Dave and Kim Jong-un.

The film follows forms of stoner humour and idiotic logic, while still looking like a serious film, being well shot. But the film follows a set path and ends rightfully so with a serious note towards how Kim Jong-un is a terrible leader. The film should get more credit for it's little jokes throughout, like towards the start of the film however, as we first meet Dave and Aaron while they are still slumming through the world of news, they are hosting Eminem, while doing so he makes an off handed remark about being gay, everyone in the studio blows up about it and Eminem just makes casual comments like he was leaving a "trail of gay breadcrumbs" in all his rap songs.

Putting two typical Americans in North Korea is a huge source for racial stereotyping, but all the jokes remain self-aware, the laughs are at the dumb racist, there are certain points where you must commend Seth for finding a way to produce a "me so sowwy" joke that isn't offensive and laughable. There just isn't a shortage of them either, but they are always at the expense of the Americans making them, it's almost cringe worthy when Dave says "Konichiwa" to a large group of Koreans. It enrages you but you can't help but see the funny side.

Quality and Hollywood formula - B-Movies - The Blob (1958)

When a B movie becomes such a classic the production standards and the low budgets somehow don't matter. But how is it that these terrible B-movies are so terribly brilliant, it's a cinematic paradox. What really was a B-movie, they were usually a shorter and cheaper film stuck on before or after the main feature to give more for your money (double feature), often at this point no one really cared about the second film or the plot, but even so the "B" doesn't always mean bad, often these add ons were far more entertaining than the feature. Even when double features started to die out, B-movies kept going, if anything they become more popular in their own right, the 60's and 70's become prime time for B-movies, grind house movies and exploitation movies, their low budgets and low expectations allowed them to use rebellious themes that the hollywood of the time wouldn't touch, they were the unrefined films that were waiting for a new generation to appreciate them.

This little B-movie however had a brilliantly simple, yet affective plot, involving a small amount of goo that hatches out of a meteor after crashing to earth, as soon as it's discovered it starts consuming everything and everyone it touches, growing larger and larger each time, the only people who really know whats going on are a bunch of teenagers that the rest of the town refuse to believe.

For a 50's B-movie the effects were pretty good, even when the blob gets bigger and bigger and consumes more it still retains a realistic look throughout, which is highly impressive for the time.
The acting of course is often terrible, but you wouldn't want it any other way, with a villain as ridiculous as some space goop the actors done well reacting to it, but the film does befit highly from having Steve McQueen as the lead. For the time maybe the goop is seen as creepy, especially once it consumes a person or two, however it still isn't that terrifying, nothing to really force you onto the eagle of your seats. During the attacks not much is actually shown, which takes away from the thrills.
The general panic of the film happens very late on, only when the blob has become so big it attacks the movie theatre and causes all the towns people to run out of the building screaming.

The film certainly deserves more credit than it's received in the past, even with the goofy catchy theme song, which makes it clear the film makers weren't trying to be too serious.

There was a seemingly good use of modern graphics to represent the blob and its growth.
So, yes, there are many laughable parts in this film, as with any B-movie, the blob isn't terrifying and never was but the special effects were passable for the time. But when there is such awful acting, low budgets and silly plot lines, thats when it becomes so good and a must watch.