Whilst on a bit of a Star Wars kick I thought I would throw in a quick post on my favourite storyline from Season 3 of the Clone Wars series. I particular enjoyed Anakin being shown his future, as a way to lead him to the Dark Side to 'prevent' such events. The story did involve a little bit of a mind wipe, so as to not to mess with the continuity of the films - but was an incredibly enjoyable story to watch. The visions were reminiscent (although far more literal) of the Vader Prophecy in the original 2D Clone Wars series.

Star Wars: Underworld

Star Wars: Underworld is the working title for the long in-production Star Wars live action tv series. In a recent interview Rick McCallum divulged this as well as reiterating the kind of show that they are hopeful of producing sometime in the next 5 years.

To summarize, the tone and target audience for the series remains very adult, akin to Battlestar Galactica or Mad Men. Focusing on the workings of the society in the galaxy far, far away - removing the Skywalkers from the equation. The main hurdle is how to produce a vfx-heavy show within a small(ish) budget and retain the quality and within reasonable time constraints, as well as which broadcasting approach to take in regards to distribution. McCallum also comments that they have 50-odd scripts ready to go.

Hopefully it comes to fruition.


Amazing photographs that should belong in a post-apocalyptic world such as those seen in The Book of Eli. Unfortunately this is not a movie; these photos were taken in China, 40-odd minutes from the centre of Beijing.

The photographs document farmers replanting crops - reestablishing the abandoned property as farmland. The 100 acre lot holds the evidence of a fake Disneyland that was underdevelopment and has since been abandoned. Last year there were several highly detailed fake Apple Stores throughout China, but a fake Disneyland is something on an entirely different scale.


Ridley Scott is finally heading back to a genre he helped define in the 1970s early 80s with his legendary classics Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982). His upcoming film Prometheus is something I have been looking forward to since I heard rumours a few years ago. At first the misconception was that it was a prequel to Scott's Alien film, which did not really do much to endear the concept to me. How could you possibly undertake a prequel to a film in which the first encounter with the xenomorph occurred?

Let's say I was skeptical at the beginning.

Then last year the story and setting were defined;
"While Alien was indeed the jumping-off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien's DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative."

 It has since been stated by various actors/writers involved that interpretations of Scott's statement have been extreme to the point of believing that this new film is a separate entity to the Alien franchise. Obviously this is not the idea, as the film being set in that universe establishes a firm connection to the previous film and in a sense will prelude the events of Scott's original film.

The concept of using the established universe in a new, unseen way allows Scott to explore a new and different set of mythology to what the Alien films exposed us to was an idea that I could very easily fall in love with. In the era of remakes and sequels, I love that there is a filmmaker out there willing to revisit old work with a new approach - respecting the original. There will be the exploration of the Space Jockey from the original film, something that fans are certainly looking forward to. Perhaps after 33 years there will be some sort of explanation? Will there be nods to the Predator series in the film? That's anyone's guess, I would hazard a no - but you can always hope. We did get an Alien reference in Predators after all.

The cast that Scott has collected is extremely promising; Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce and Michael Fassbender. I am looking forward to Fassbender's character in particular; filling Ian Holm's shows from the original as the android on the crew. Fassbender has commented that he did not look at the original film for his inspiration, instead turned to Blade Runner for a basis for his character.

And randomly, a fan trailer for Alien - 'Prometheus-style'. Quite well done!

The Last Suit You'll Ever Wear

The first trailer for Men in Black 3 hit just before Christmas, revealing a decent look at footage from the 2012 threequel.

I have been both looking forward to and dreading this trailer as I hoped that they kept to the style established and not get carried away with over the top cgi characters. It's hard to tell whether they have gotten lost in the haze of cgi yet, but the style is certainly there.

As for the story, I wasn't too excited for the time travel initially but it's growing on me. One thing I didn't stop to consider when they cast Josh Brolin as a young Tommy Lee Jones is the way K speaks. Brolin is eerily superb in his brief scene is the trailer. And yes, after 15 years Will Smith still makes the suit "look good", in fact he hardly seems to of aged.

As long as they stick the established style and tone there should be no major dramas. So here's hoping MIB3 is as fantastic as I want it to be!

The Lion King Rises

The latest in countless trailer mashups, all with varying degrees of success. This particular attempt works beautifully, with particular effort paid to matching up the small bits of dialogue that there are. My personal favourite is Bane's line matched up with Scar - fantastic! When I first read the story I was quite skeptical that it would work, but clearly it does! It certainly stands as one of the better mashups around at the moment too!

2012 VFX Oscar Short List

Shortlist for the VFX Oscar for 2012 has been released. Five of these ten films will make the final cut to be officially nominated for the award;

Captain America: The First Avenger
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Tree of Life
X-Men: First Class

An excellent collection of prime vfx examples, quite a few genre films included. Looking at the candidates, I would take a stab and say that the following five films are likely to be nominated;