Saturday, August 30, 2014

Take another Look: The Lion King

Lets take a look at a classic animated film the Lion King. When you see these movies as a kid you definitely don't see them in the same light you do as an adult. The Lion King is easily one of the more immoral movies I've seen.
Simba is a kid and acts like a kid would. Especially with the knowledge that he will one day inherit an entire kingdom. And thats fine. Mufasa attempts to impart wisdom to him, but with little to no effect. At one point he even says to Simba "Being king isn't about always getting what you want." Simba never seems to understand this.
Scar, Simba's uncle, begins to plot against Mufasa. He raises an army of hyenas to fight for him. This is fairly realistic. Several times throughout history family members have plotted to kill one another for political power. He felt cheated that he wasn't in line for the kingdom because of Simba. Scar thought he was a more fit leader, and in many ways he was probably right. After the successful coup, Scar convinces his nephew to run away and never come back. Which he was also right to do. Simba was responsible for his father's death. I understand Scar set this up, but Simba's eagerness and naivety was ripe for the picking.
He meets up with a meerkat and warthog. (On a side note, Timon the meerkat was the only creature in the movie that was anthropomorphized. He walked like a man does.) Simba hides out in the jungle with these creatures (that he should be eating) and learns concepts like Hakuna Matata. "No worries for the rest of your days" is the epitome of a childish world view. Simba should have had some worries. He left his mother and lady friend to suffer under his tyrant uncle Scar. While on this self imposed exile, he never hones his skills as a leader, a male, a hunter, etc. Simba just sits around (eating what I don't know, its hard to imagine he actually hunted and killed something.) By sheer happenstance, his lady friend finds him hiding out in the jungle (while she was actually on a hunt). After the surprise of finding Simba alive, she then reminds him that he has responsibilities to the people he left behind. Simba pushes back against this. And understandably so. Simba actually says to her "You think you can just show up and tell me how to live my life." Which is exactly what a child would say. His life is good the way it is. No need for the king of the "No Worries" brigade to get bogged down with patriarchal concepts like duty and honor and leadership.
After being repeatedly shamed for his abandonment by his lady friend, which she was right to do, he decides to go back. The main motivation for this was his own greed and selfishness (granted this is also what motivated Scar, but he acted on it directly). Simba still thinks being king would be neat and put him in the center spotlight.
Simba sneaks past the hyenas (because he's a wimp). Even in the final showdown, Simba is not willing to do what is necessary. He demands Scar step down and go away. Even after Scar admits he played a hand in the death of Mufasa, Simba still wouldn't step up. He basically backs Scar into a corner and they do the dirty work for him. Why anyone would want Simba to be the leader is beyond me.

In short, Simba is a pussy. He has absolutely no growth. Simba is a coward who runs away from his problems from beginning to end in this movie. Remain a child forever, run away from conflict, and you'll get everything you want. Is that a good message to send to children? 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

more zbrush sculpts

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Flint Lock Pistol

Sunday, April 27, 2014

RazorPaw in HQ

Just a little project I'm working on with Colonel Butros Butros Davey (the bear).
Also known as RazorPaw

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Zombie Dog

The first of a series of zombified animals I'll be making. ZOMBIE DOG.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Movie Review: Elysium (Contains spoilers, maybe)

I knew this movie was going to be bad. My brother really wanted to see and and was offering to pay, so I went to see it anyway. I could tell from the trailers that it had no plot and I wasn't let down. 
The year is 2154 and Matt Damon plays Max, struggling member of the labor class. During a freak accident at work (some vague arms manufacturers) he receives a lethal dose of radiation poisoning. Thats when he needs to get to Elysium. BTW, Elysium is the name of a version of the Greek afterlife. Elysium in this movie is a starfish shaped space station with gravity, where all the rich people live. Some magic boxes that can cure any disease are scattered through out the station. 
Of course, he can't just go there. He needs to put on power arms that look like Jax from Mortal Kombat. Despite these playing a dominant role in the marketing, they don't play a significant role in the actual movie. 
The movie is very political. From the very beginning I kept wondering "Why are they villains?" Why are the people of Elysium being demonized? Just for having wealth of all things. The movie would have made more sense if it was told from the perspective of the people of Elysium. Matt Damon is obviously the villain. He does flagrantly illegal and immoral things, all in the name of getting free health care (essentially). In the end, he martyrs himself for the cause (the cause of getting free health care, essentially.). 
Their was no story. No sympathizable characters. I'd give this movie 1/5 Stars. Hollywood attempting to put up a shallow Marxist themed drama and its as bad as you might imagine. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Movie Review: How to make money selling drugs.

This is the log line from IMDB for How to make money selling drugs. "Ten easy steps show you how to make money from drugs, featuring a series of interviews with drug dealers, prison employees, and lobbyists arguing for tougher drug laws."
The movie was written by Matthew Campbell, who also made the Last White Hope, a similar movie about the drug war. In that movie, he goes into how the drug war has personally affected him, but in the movie he just provides the VO work.
So, poor people typically sell drugs because its easy and lucrative. I think everyone gets thats. Even though the risk of death or incarceration is great. This movie, despite the title, doesn't actually teach anyone how to sell drugs. It just explains each rung of the drug business ladder as if it were a corporation. Whenever I watch one of these documentaries against the drug war I like it until about the halfway point. Thats when they, including this one, take 2 annoying directions.
Number one, conspiracy theories as an explanation. No matter how much of a tyrant they want to make guys like Harry Anslinger, drugs are illegal because most people they are dangerous. Of course, the big problem is we have a word like drug, which describes everything from aspirin to heroine. Some of these drugs are benign and other will instantly kill you. Because of that, people fear decriminalization and legalizing. They think this will open the floodgates and more people will become users. Right or wrong, thats the reason. The other conspiracy is that the private prison industry lobbies for harsher drug laws so they can make more money when more people are arrested. Money, Money, Money. On a core level I wish people actually acted this way. That people could cynically manipulate the system for cash. But who is really that smart?
Number 2, the drug war is racist. Because blacks are disproportionately arrested and convicted for crimes within the drug business, this is evidence of institutional racism. Again, who is the cynical genius capable of producing and maintaining racist drug swat teams across the nation. Blacks, for X,Y or Z unknown reason, are disproportionally involved in the violent aspects of the drug trade. Thats more important than the actual drug dealing part. If you're a gangbanger in Detroit dropping bodies to keep power on your corner, you represent a bigger threat than someone in Beverly Hills selling blow.
This does film talk about the frightening militarization of local police forces. Since the Federal government is willing to spend money on fighting this war on drugs, local police have an financial incentive to create special task forces and swat teams. We don't like to think of the police operating on a financial incentive, but they surely do.
Overall, the graphics, sound and editing were very good. I'm just not sure what the take away from this film is suppose to be. I think it tried to hit too many things at once. It came off as a bit scatterbrained.
2.5/5 Stars.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines (contains Spoilers)

Ryan Gosling has become one of my favorite actors. I can't quite put my finger on it. In this flick he plays carny white trash. Which reminds me of every d-bag whiteboy I grew up with. The open is him running his motorcycle threw a gyroscope. He finds out he now has a kid with a fling from the last time he was in town (Eva Mendes). Like any respectable carny trash he turns to crime to make some extra cash, specifically robbing banks. He hits a few banks without a hitch. His getaway driver says he doesn't want to do it anymore, and Ryan makes the dumb decision to do one more score. And of course he gets tracked by the cops. Enter Bradley Cooper. At this point he's just a beat cop. He follows Ryan into an apartment complex and ends up shooting him dead.
At this point, the main character of the movie shifts. I thought this was an interesting twist. The movie is 2 1/2 hours long. The main character switches from Ryan Gosling to Bradley Cooper at roughly the halfway mark. We get to see corruption on the police force Bradley works for. Ray Liotta shows up at this point for about 15 minutes. We fast forward 15 years and the son that Gosling left behind and Bradley Cooper's son are actually friends. And by friends, I mean assholes who like to get high together. Their unaware of their fathers' history. Gosling's kid actually tracks down the guy who was his getaway driver. He feels him in on the history. After a falling out the 2 sons had, Gosling's kid shows up with a gun. ETC. ETC.
I somehow never knew where this movie was going. I kept expecting Bradley Cooper's character to hook up with Eva Mendes, but it never happened and I'm happy about that. The movie may have been a little on the long side, but it really is an interesting flick. I'd give it 4.5/5 stars. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Movie Review: OZ The Great and Powerful

In short, this is the story of how Oz went from being a small town magician and scam artist, to being the man behind the curtain. After seeing the movie, I wondered who the movie was actually made for. I'm not sure if its for children. Do many kids today know bout the Wizard of Oz? Maybe they do, but what need was there to create a prequel to the Wizard of Oz. It didn't bring anything new to the table. Look there are the munchkins (little people, not the Dunkin' Donuts food), look theres the yellow brick road, look theres the witch. It was a series of "hey, remember that from your childhood."Many people critisized the film as being chauvinist, since it shows women concerned with gaining the effection of a man. I guess thats chauvinism now. And two sisters acting catty towards each other. Whatever! This was bad movie for a series of reasons.
First off, Who likes James Franco? Was he that good as the green goblin's son that we have to pretend he's a great actor? He looks like every other stoner d-bag I went to high school with. Because he has a sharp chin and looks confident so he's a lead. Granted, I grew up in an Arnold action movie era, but since when is a 5'10" charming stoner, the lead in a film. Ughh.
The CG in this movie left a lot to be desired. There were totally useless CG that seemed to be the artist just showing off. No wonder these movies cost a small fortune. Fog is a tough thing to recreate. In this movie they tried repeatedly to make it, but just never really worked.
I would not recommend this movie. Their will no doubt be sequels. Stay away from them too. The truth is that the Oz stories are not really that compelling. If your a depression era child, they were great. But now....lets put a road closed sign in front of the yellow brick road.

5/10 Stars

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The USS Indianapolis

This is one of the first fun things I remember doing. Me and my Dad made a model out of mainly wood and fixtures. Its the USS Indianapolis. I'm in the process of restoring it. I remember taking it to a shallow creek one time and getting it to float. It was great. Let the good times roll.