Archive for February, 2010

Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein was one of my favourite films as a kid. It was a film that I found to be both scary and funny in equal parts. I really loved this movie so much that I just had to order it from Amazon because I could not find it for sale anywhere in Australia, and I desperately wanted to see it again. I just wanted to know if the film held up as well now as it did back when I was a kid.

I popped the DVD disc into my Sony DVD player the other day and found that the film really lived up to my expectations. Whilst I no longer find the film as scary as I did as an eight year old there were still a few heart pounding moments, especially the scene when Lou is unknowingly being stalked by the Wolfman in the hotel room. (See picture below) Also, like most seventy year old comedy films, the humour has dated quite a bit, but there are still a few chuckles to be had, especially the look of fright on the Frankenstein Monster’s face when he first lays his eyes on Costello. It’s funny to see the Monster being so afraid as someone as harmless as Lou.

It is probably true that this film was probably the beginning of the downward spiral in A&C’s popularity even though they did have a few box office hits after this film. Their popularity really waned as Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis became the #1 Hollywood comedy team, and A&C started to go back to the same ideas again and again (ie; going back to the team ups with Universal’s monster icons). They really weren’t known for their innovation, especially as they really only liked to use gags and routines that they had honed to perfection by performing them thousands of times on the vaudeville circuit. Still A&C Meet Frankenstein is a classic and a movie that I recommend for anyone who likes both classic comedy and classic monster movies.

The animated titles at the start of the film were animated by Walter Lantz of Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda fame. He also animated Dracula’s transformations.

Avatar

The Art of AVATAR - James Cameron's Epic Adven...

Image by AntSizedMan via Flickr

Today I finally went to see Avatar. I think that I may have been the last person in the universe to see Avatar, but today I finally took the plunge and headed to the Village Cinemas at Crown Casino to watch the film. I did so under a lot of trepidation and even a little bit of dread, mainly because of my aversion to motion capture special effects and how every film that I have seen that uses this technology has looked really fake. It is to James Cameron’s credit that the film did not seem to descend down into Uncanny Valley territory.

I was a bit taken aback by the price to watch the film. It cost me $20 to see the movie and because it is a 3D film there was no concession or price reduction for tight Tuesday. If I had of see a non-3D film it would have only cost me $10.50 today, so this may have ruined my enjoyment of the film. Also I think that the whole 3D thing is just a gimmick and hopefully won’t last longer. Avatar did

not have to be 3D and would have been as enjoyable as a 2D film. In fact I don’t think that the 3D aspect of the film added anything to the enjoyment of the film and may have even made the film less enjoyable due to the fact that the 3D glasses were so darn uncomfortable to wear. Perhaps 3D may be more practical when they can develop the technology to be able to screen it without having to wear the stupid Roy Orbison glasses. Who knows, this may happen in another 50 years!

I was surprised that I enjoyed the film so much. I needn’t have worried about the motion capture ANIMATION (yes that’s right James Cameron, motion capture is in my mind, a form of ANIMATION!) as there were very few times where I thought that the Na’vi looked fake. There were only a couple of times where Neytiri and the other Na’vi gave that blank soulless stare associated with mo’ cap’, but the action was moving too fast for it to be too distracting. I will just say that this is so much more realistic and believable than any of the crap that Robert Zemeckis has made lately.

I could detail the plot of the film or give a detailed analysis of it, yet as I am the last person on Earth to have seen it I don’t think that is necessary. It is an incredible film and I will grudgingly say that it is the best thing to come out in 2009. It probably deserves to win the best picture Oscar at the Academy Awards, although I have a feeling it won’t. I think that this is the best film of the last decade and better than the totally over-rated Lord Of The Rings trilogy.