Wednesday, February 19, 2014
HVS Top 5 (plus 1) Movies whose Special Effects Changed Cinema
Since we're talking about editing, special effects and post production (stuff that's done to film on computers after shooting) here is a list of movies that changed our world as we sat in the theater:
Star Wars - The granddaddy of modern special effects. Special cameras and computers made miniature replicas, actors and backgrounds blend together into composites so believable we thought we were there . Star Wars gave birth to every space blockbuster we've seen since.
Superman - Seeing superheroes fly these days is run-of-the-mill. But before Superman you would only see them dive out of a window and then land somewhere. The special camera lenses and placement involved in making Superman took us with him high above the skyscrapers of Metropolis.
Jurassic Park - Never before had we been so close to living, breathing, textured beasts such as this. We could almost smell their breath (and it wasn't that pleasant). The dinosaurs were truly the star and movie creatures were never the same.
Toy Story - Toy Story proved that a feature-length computer generated film could be popular. In fact it won a place in the top 100 highest grossing films of all time and served as a template for all animated movies to follow.
The Matrix - "Bullet time" is so popular and effective it has almost become a cliché for martial arts movies. This effect combines slow motion with 360 degree camera shots that makes everyone feel like a ninja.
Avatar - Avatar has pretty much sealed the sum of special effects to this point. It made people capable of just about anything.
Friday, February 7, 2014
HVS Top Five Films for a Sentimental Journey
All Aboard! What makes for a sentimental movie? Usually emotions we all share, maybe some losses we've all experienced, always about relationships, and sometimes a few tears. Here are our top five picks. Settle under a blanket and keep a box of tissues handy (guys too).
First stop - Sleepless in Seattle. This movie is ingeniously sentimental because it pays homage to another sentimental classic An Affair to Remember. It has everything - a lonely widower, a kid, a cute girl, and plenty of love's "near misses" that make you wonder if they'll ever get together.
No sentimental journey is complete without a stop in mother/daughter-ville. The inherent love/hate relationship is at it's best here in Terms of Endearment when portrayed by Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger. Add in Jack Nicholson for some laughs and you have a funny, tenderhearted movie.
Million Dollar Baby. This is a great one with a gruff (but not really) old man, a talented and driven girl, their unlikely relationship, boxing rings and a memorable hospital scene.
Nothing pulls our sentimental heartstrings like a movie about best friends. Next stop Beaches, where, as the wind beneath each others' wings, CC and Hillary grew to be the "bestest besties" ever.
Last stop and our sentimental destination. The Notebook - a story of love that bears all, believes all, hopes all and endures all. Isn't that what love is?