Saturday 23 June 2012

The Attic - SEE IT NOW!

After months of waiting, The Attic is finally here! I know it's early, but I got it uploaded ready for June 28, and couldn't resist showing it off now!

Please dedicate some time to viewing it properly for the best experience; a dark room is helpeful to see the night scenes well, and full screen is essential for maximum effect. Please leave your feedback when you have finished watching it - positive and negative feedback are both as welcome as each other!

Sunday 17 June 2012

The Attic - New Trailer!

After a long wait, here's the final trailer for The Attic! It has a different style to the previous trailers, yet maintains one staple feature present in them (which should be obvious). It has plenty of new footage, but we don't give anything major away!

Please enjoy! The full film is out in just 11 days, so I hope you enjoy that too when the time comes!

Also, as I'm focusing on this new trailer today, I won't be putting up the next Making of Harry Potter Experience post until tomorrow. Sorry!

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Nintendo E3 2012 - My Thoughts

Nintendo had me won over completely by the end of their E3 2011 conference, with a slew of brilliant 3DS titles shown and, as the delicious cherry on top of the cake, the announcement of their upcoming eighth generation console, the Wii U. I was initially pessimistic toward the massive controller and its lack of games upon announcement, but in hindsight it was early days, and as time went on I grew to appreciate the console a lot more.

So, with all the rumours and speculation, I expected a lot of awesome Wii U games to be presented at Nintendo's E3 2012 conference. The main rumour that grabbed my attention was one of an upcoming game by Retro Studios, which could have been a Zelda or Starfox title. I also had my own personal wishful thinking that, after so many bloody years, a new F-Zero would be announced.

Boy, was I disappointed.

The conference started with style, featuring a nifty opening video depicting the man himself, Miyamoto, preparing to go on stage as little Pikmin characters crawl after him, one slipping into his jacket pocket. It then cuts to the stage itself, where he walks in and introduces Pikmin 3 for the Wii U. I myself aren't very big on Pikmin, having only played the second game very briefly, but I was impressed with the stunning visuals and the creative gameplay elements represented. I'm definitely not jizzing with excitement, but it was a great way to kickstart what seemed like a great conference.

New Super Mario Bros. U looks like a fun game, but what was shown looked like New Super Mario Bros. Wii with a few new elements. Don't get me wrong, it looks cool and the visuals are exuding with colour and charm, but it's not enough to truly get me excited. I'm sure I will buy it and enjoy it, but with this and the announcement of New Super Mario Bros. 2 on 3DS, this formula seems to be getting a little bit old now.

After the aforementioned announcement, Nintendo's first party titles slipped down the toilet and third party ruled over. Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition was one of the first announcements from third party developer Warner Bros. Interactive, promising to provide the same experience of the original 360/PS3 game but with added features thanks to the Wii U Game Pad, such as selecting weapons and using them in a number of ways. I'm certainly keen to try this one out, but as we all knew it was coming, it didn't exactly overwhelm me. Some other third party titles unveiled like Rayman Legends, Lego City Undercover (which I have to admit looks fantastic visually and a lot of fun gameplay wise) and ZombiU also looked rather impressive, albeit not mind blowing. The latter didn't look particularly innovative, but the creepy atmosphere and fun looking gameplay made it one of the better titles revealed at the presentation.

The conference was ravaged with disappointment, however. Wii Fit U looks like nothing more than an updated version of its Wii predecessor and will undoubtedly shift a ton of systems, but it honestly didn't excite me at all. As for Sing, I was simply erupting into tears when that shitty video began to play; what kind of thing is that to show at E3? It was just embarrassingly silly.

The 3DS was shunted aside in favour of the Wii U, getting around 10 minutes of time devoted to its games which included Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Both were glossed over a little, which I expected, but what was shown impressed me immensely; it's just a shame hardly any time was given to Nintendo's latest handheld, though it was good to hear that it will be getting its own conference tomorrow.

I await the killer announcement at the conclusion of the presentation, and what do we get? Nintendo Land. This game combines a selection of renowned Nintendo franchises into a number of minigames that help demonstrate the capabilities of the Wii U Game Pad, much as Wii Sports and Wii Play did with the Wiimote and Wii Sports Resort did with MotionPlus. It certainly looks pretty, and much more engaging that the bland Wii Sports, but the level of detail put into talking about it drove me insane; it seemed Nintendo thought this would win everyone over and so would not shut up about it, bombarding us with endless clips and instructions. It was a boring presentation, and the game didn't excite me at all; I'll probably enjoy it for a week or so before it collects dust. I know I sound dickish, but it honestly doesn't look that special.

Yeah, I was disappointed. E3 2010 and 2011 were awesome moments for Nintendo, yet the attempt to gain a hat trick has failed miserably. Some good games were unveiled, but no killer announcements came to fruition, making for a bland and predictable conference overall.

The fact that we didn't get any Metroid, Zelda, Starfox or F-Zero is enough for me to kill myself. Goodbye, cruel world.

Saturday 2 June 2012

The Attic - Filming Complete!

What you see above is the official poster for The Attic - not a lot, but it works! The slogan is relevant to the events in the film as you will see when you watch it! It may be hard to make out, but the ghost is standing at the doorway, leering back at Joseph. Once you see it, the poster becomes a lot more effective.

I am also proud to announce that filming is complete, and as it was all edited as we progressed, the film is pretty much finished! It runs for 44 minutes excluding end credits, which have yet to be inserted. With 26 days until release, you can expect more stills and a new trailer to increase the hype ready for June 28!

Thanks to all who provided feedback and support, and of course a special thanks to the people who helped out with the film!

Friday 1 June 2012

Movie Review - Prometheus

Years after the Alien tetralogy's conclusion, acclaimed director Ridley Scott returns to the saga he created and the genre he mastered with his latest film Prometheus. Not so much a prequel as a new narrative established in the same continuity, this new science fiction blockbuster intertwines the origins of the infamous extra-terrestrials whilst creating its own unique and thorough storyline to expand this vast universe.

In 2089, the starship Prometheus lands on a distant terrestrial planet which archeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) claim has answers for how the human race came to be. However, their thirst for knowledge eventually threatens them all when a species of biological killers attacks the crew, forcing them to fight a horrifying battle to defend the future of humanity before it's too late.

Striking visuals are consistent throughout. Though CGI is not used to a great extent, everything looks believable and atmospheric, making for a film that looks crisp, polished and extremely pretty. The cinematography emphasises the scale of this intergalactic universe, with sweeping wide camera shots and intimate detailed close ups. Practical effects employed throughout are equally as impressive, and when the time comes for necessary use of CGI, it's just as realistic and pleasing to the eye as the rest of the film. With 3D cameras employed in production, Prometheus exudes a very clean if conservative 3D effect with ghosting and other visual glitches absent. The score by Marc Streitenfeld communicates a sense of mystery and majesty and slots into the film scenes perfectly, most notably in the beautifully shot introduction.

The narrative feels a bit flimsy initially, with the opening scene appearing rather vague even by the time the end credits roll. Stuff happens a bit too fast, or feels a little forced, and some of the characters are shunted aside too soon - the consequential lack of development renders some of them meaningless and uninteresting, though fortunately most of the characters truly prominent to the story do not suffer from this. As the narrative unfolds, a lot of clever twists are conjured, and many revelations take place to further piece together the puzzle, if you will. The entire plot structure feels extremely satisfying and intelligent, making for a film that sparks enjoyment in the audience by allowing them to piece everything together with the main characters.

Is it grim? You bet it is. A handful of the events that unfold can be emotionally saddening and extremely dark, and in terms of gore a decent balance is met. There is certainly no abuse of blood or internal organs, but there is a plethora of disturbing moments that will have you on the edge of your seat; those expecting a scare equivalent to the chestburster in Alien, however, will leave the cinema underwhelmed.

A strong cast made up of some big name celebrities such as Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron also increases the drama and emotional intensity. Particularly with Noomi Rapace and Fassbender, the acting is universally impressive and works in conjunction with the narrative and events to anchor the serious atmosphere; never are the performances silly or over the top or too bland that they disrupt the realism. Charlize Theron is impressive in her role, but her character is plain and, by the end of the story, seemingly underdeveloped and almost useless.

Prometheus is a film that demands a reasonably intelligent audience who can understand and flow alongside its complex albeit satisfying narrative. It distances itself from the Alien franchise well enough to feel fresh and original, yet cleverly brings in references to its acclaimed predecessors (or successors in a story sense) which are more than just clever nods. It has its problems which weaken the flow of things, but with stunning visuals and fantastic acting alongside its gripping plot, Prometheus comes highly recommended.