Archive for June 2010

Will Neil Blomkamp be THE HOBBIT director?   Leave a comment

Hey everybody,

I was reading an interesting article today over at Ain’t It Cool News about Neil Blomkamp possibly directing the Hobbit. I know many of my friends in Vancouver are friends with Neil and His DP Trent. I had the opportunity to work on a few music videos in Vancouver here with them and found the experience as enjoyable as production can be really. They are both good people.
I really loved District 9 and think Neil would be a great choice for the job.
here’s the link. check it out
http://www.aintitcool.com/node/45502

till next time. keep on watching
J.

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15 Blu-Rays That Sold Me On High Def Part 4 of 5   Leave a comment

So…

I have a lot of friends that ask me about the deal with Blu-Ray and whether it is worth switching over formats or is it all a big money grab by the companies? Well let’s get one thing strait IT’S ALL A MONEY GRAB. But saying that, if you are a serious film enthusiast and are in search for the best looking, highest quality video media available then Blu-Ray is probably worth investing in starting now with new release movies or old stuff you’ve wanted to own. I’ve viewed over 400 Blu-Rays at this point and they are all superior quality to any DVD prints.

You still must be choosy as a consumer. Some studios have released Blu-Rays with 5 year old HD masters ( Ridley Scott’ s Gladiator is a serious offender in this category. it looks terrible and unlike the theater viewing of the film. Where the visuals were much more detailed) HD mastering has improved so much in the last 5 years. which is why companies are already “double dipping” ( putting out an early cheaper transferred version of a film with no extras for a low price, then a few years later releasing a upgraded new transferred extra special edition and putting a $30 price tag on it. Usually coinciding with release of a remake or sequel in the theater) sometime it’s worth it for me to spend $5 or $10 dollars on a barebones(no special features) Blu-Ray movie to be able to see it in the best format available ASAP, knowing full well I will most likely replace it when a better updated disc arrives. for most of you this is probably stupidity at its highest level. I totally agree.

The 15 Blu-Ray Discs on this list are all of superior quality and far surpass the view experience of any DVD versions or old theater prints (I’ve seen almost all of these multiple times on 35mm prints at midnight shows and I was blown away by the visual quality of the discs versus those viewings) . If you lucky enough you might catch a viewing of these on a new printed digitally cleaned 35mm or 70mm print, but that is probably unlikely unless you like in L.A. Or New York. Each Blu-Ray after viewing I had to immediately play again to soak up the viewing ecstasy of seeing some of my favorite fiction and non-fiction jump off the screen as if I was seeing it for the first time. I WAS SOLD. here’s #6-#4

  • Akira (director Katsuhiro Otomo) 1988- First off if you haven’t seen Akira before and are a sci fi or animation fan you should pick this up. The story is amazing and the technical side of the film  stands out as a benchmark in animation 22 years later.   The production budget was nearly $10 Million US Dollars, a record sum in Japanese animation film. The movie consists of 2,212 shots and 160,000 single pictures, 2-3 times more than usual, using 327 different colors (another record in animation film), 50 of which were exclusively created for the film. The reason for this statistic is the most of the movie takes place at night, a setting that is traditionally avoided by animators because of the increased color requirements. The Blu-Ray presentation for Akira is nothing short of stunning. I’ve wore out two VHS copies, seen 20+ midnight screenings and also have the pioneer special edition DVD, and the Blu-Ray video transfer slayes them all.   As for audio, this is where Bandai Entertainment has really gone out of their way to create a top-notch product. Being audiophiles themselves, the full capacity of the Blu-ray disc was used for the audio. “AKIRA” is the first film on Blu-ray that is released in 192 kHz/24-bit in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound. The highest level of sound quality attainable right now on contemporary media. ( CD’s are sampled in 44.1 kHz and reproduces at 20 kHz.) This Blu-ray is sampled in 192 kHz and reproduces at 96 kHz. CD’s are 16-bit, this Blu-ray Disc, the audio is 24-bit. The original soundtrack of “AKIRA” was originally recorded as a master tape that contained frequencies up to 100 kHz and so, with Blu-ray technology, this soundtrack on the Blu-ray is how the composer intended for people to listen to it. It is not possible for Akira to be completely fulfilling given that its original manga was started in 1980, not fully realized until 1990 and this film saw its release in 1988 and squeezed the complex themes of the nearly-3,000 page manga into only 2-hours. With that being said, however, Akira should still not be passed up by any film or animation enthusiast. Go Check It Out!

  • The Godfather Pt. 1 & Pt. 2 (Director Francis Ford Coppola)1972/1974- I guess if you’re really not interested in movies you might not have seen the Godfather series or if you grew up on an island with no cable ,video stores or theaters. If you don’t meet these criteria I would be amazed if you hadn’t seen these. Well be prepared to see them again for the first time. The picture quality is nothing short of stunning, especially Part 2 with it’s sepia-tone  flashbacks sequences. The picture comes alive on the screen, and for two films of this age the HD restoration done is phenomenal and comes very close to the color scheme from projected theater versions. I was very happy with this purchase. this is a must replace from you old DVD version. Well worth the upgrade.

 

  • Blade Runner: Final Cut Box Set (Director Ridley Scott) 1982-2008- Well I could write 5000 words+ on this set alone. Blade Runner has been one of my favorite films for more than 25 years. Ever since my father sneaked me to the theater at 5 years old I was hooked. Seeing 30+ midnight shows and owning every version out on VHS and DVD, I figure I’m a good gauge at the relevance of this set and the Final Cut. This is the only film  in history to bomb on it’s initial release only to be the highest grossing movie on subsequent re releases (the Directors Cut and the Final Cut were both #1 at the box office per each theater gross for 2-3 weeks after it’s small re releases.) And also I feel it is the only movie to not wreck but improve it by tinkering. This is helped in the Final Cut by staying away from too much use of CG that was way over used in the Original Star Wars trilogy special editions and ET special edition. For any one who knows Blade Runner frame for frame you will notice slight re edits of scenes and slightly different takes and close ups. The wires that held up the  full sized Spinner pulling it out of frame in all other cuts have finally been removed , but the biggest fix in replacing Zora’s stunt double with Joanna Cassidy’s face as she crashes through the plate glass window after Deckard shoots her in the back a few times, fixing one of the worst wig matches on a stunt double in history ( even the old stunt guys On the Original Star Trek has better wig matches). The final word is Pick this set up ASAP. Besides 5 versions of the film you get a long awaited documentary on the making of called Blade Runner: Dangerous Days. The purchase is worth it even if you just want to see the Documentary once. The look of this film on Blu-Ray makes my balls tingle upon every viewing. I think I’ll watch it again tonight. LONG LIVE SIR RIDLEY SCOTT.

Till Next Time. Go Watch Something New. Remember, I’ve Got My Eye On You.

J.

Posted June 18, 2010 by JMC in On The Couch

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15 Blu-Rays That Sold Me On High Def. Part 3 0f 5   Leave a comment

So…

I have a lot of friends that ask me about the deal with Blu-Ray and whether it is worth switching over formats or is it all a big money grab by the companies? Well let’s get one thing strait IT’S ALL A MONEY GRAB. But saying that, if you are a  serious film enthusiast and are in search for the best looking, highest quality video media available then Blu-Ray is probably worth investing in starting now with new release movies or old stuff you’ve wanted to own. I’ve viewed over 400 Blu-Rays at this point and they are all superior quality to any DVD prints.

You still must be choosy as a consumer. Some studios have released Blu-Rays with 5 year old HD masters ( Ridley Scott’ s Gladiator is a serious offender  in this category. it looks terrible and unlike the theater viewing of the film.  Where the visuals  were much more detailed) HD mastering has improved so much in the last 5 years. which is why companies are already “double dipping” ( putting out an early cheaper transferred version of a film with no extras for a low price, then a few years later releasing a upgraded new transferred extra special edition and putting a $30 price tag on it. Usually coinciding with release of a remake or sequel in the theater) sometime it’s worth it for me to spend $5 or $10 dollars on a barebones(no special features) Blu-Ray movie to be able to see it in the best format available ASAP, knowing full well I will most likely replace it when a better updated disc arrives. for most of you this is probably stupidity at its highest level. I totally agree.

The 15 Blu-Ray Discs on this list are all of superior quality and far surpass the view experience of any DVD versions or old theater prints (I’ve seen almost all of these multiple times on 35mm prints at midnight shows  and I was blown away by the visual quality of the discs versus those viewings) . If you lucky enough you might catch a viewing of these on a new printed digitally cleaned 35mm or 70mm print, but that is probably unlikely unless you like in L.A. Or New York.  Each Blu-Ray after viewing I had to immediately play again to soak up the viewing ecstasy of seeing some of my favorite fiction and non-fiction jump off the screen as if I was seeing it for the first time. I WAS SOLD. here’s #9-#7

  • 9. DARK KNIGHT (Director Christopher Nolan) 2008- From the opening scene shot in IMAX, to the incredible action scenes and performances, of course led by Heath Ledger’s tour de force performance as the Joker. One of my biggest film world wishes is that we would get to see him return to the role in the third installment, but we will have no such experience. Instead I will be happy that we got one movie that got the character of Joker 100% right. As far as the technical achievements of the film, 3 large scenes shot entirely in the IMAX format, flipping over a full size truck and trailer in the middle of the Chicago streets, blowing up a full size hospital building and not to mention the Hong Kong base jumping scene. I know they weren’t actually aloud to have anyone base jump off the building as first planned,  so to me the fact that I know is a composite shot and it looks very close to %100 real to me. Amazing. And of course on the Blu-Ray format the picture pops of the screen, especially the IMAX stuff incredible!  A must own for any Blu-Ray collector.
  • PLANET EARTH BBC SERIES 2007- When I first pick up this set I had never seen any of the episodes of really heard much about it. Let me tell you if you own a Blu-Ray player you should go and buy this ASAP. If you are going to buy a BR player pick this up along with it.  I can not recommend this enough. The picture quality is beyond what you could ever expect from a disc format. Besides the stunning quality of the images, the content is fascinating and down right surprising. I’ve traveled seeing many places and I was blown away by the part of the world seen in the series. Truly a treasure.
  • Baraka (Director Ron Fricke) 1992- Baraka is one of those films that can’t really be described in words. Well… because there are no words in the film at all. It’s sort of a documentary on comparisons of  human social behavior in regard to environment, as well as visual representations of the many cultures and lifestyles present on our planet. The cinematography is stunning, and the Blu-Ray visual presentation could be one of the best demo discs for the quality possible from the HD format. You litteraly see skin pours in a few scenes, the level of detail is worth the purchase alone. Another must buy. If you have not seen this film I urge you to go out and find it, now. Rent it, buy the DVD if you don’t own a PS 3 or a  Blu-Ray player yet. But the 1080p presentation will blow your sock off.

Thanks again everyone for having a look. Now go find a new movie to watch.

J.

Posted June 15, 2010 by JMC in On The Couch

“KICK ASS” Kicks Ass. So Why Haven’t You Seen It Yet?   Leave a comment

Well I’ve seen KICK ASS now twice, and I urge all of you to go take a look at this film. it is one of the few films in the last 5 years that I found myself cheering out load for the characters, and on both viewings.

It seems to be doing very poorly at the box office and I think this is in part to the poor marketing that lionsgate did for the film. Making it look more like a light teenage pg-13 action comedy. Now it is light, but it is so Hard R I can’t imagine a young kid watching it and getting any of the content. It is extremely mature and subversive humor done to perfection.
And I promise you, you will cheer out loud or at least make positive reactionary sounds the whole film. I can’t say how much fun this movie is. So help out this film. this is the kind of movie that we should be embracing so that we can get more mature R action pics that have a personality instead of supporting shit like Transformers 2 or Terminator:Salvation, go to Kick Ass this weekend. Tell a friend how much you enjoyed it and get them to go. Support a film makers like Matthew Vaughn who got this film financed independently after every studio passed on the idea initially. After seeing what he had put together there was a bidding war for the final product amongst the same studios in Hollywood. And I can see why. The title says it all, this movie “KICKS ASS”
Thanks for reading and taking my words to heart
Till Next Time
One Light One Love
J.

Posted June 13, 2010 by JMC in Film School Loser Talks Too Much, On The Screen

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Pandarific   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Here are some pics of a Microsoft add that my buddy Marcus Nispel shot last year. I had a lot of fun on this one. Skateboarding blind in a full fur suit with head and +20 weather. I got a good heat stroke from this day. but after seeing the check it was all worth the pain.

Hopefully we’ll see some more acting work this year.

Thanks for reading. More to come soon
J.

15 Blu-Rays That Sold Me On High Def. Part 2 of 5   Leave a comment

So…

I have a lot of friends that ask me about the deal with Blu-Ray and whether it is worth switching over formats or is it all a big money grab by the companies? Well let’s get one thing strait IT’S ALL A MONEY GRAB. But saying that, if you are a  serious film enthusiast and are in search for the best looking, highest quality video media available then Blu-Ray is probably worth investing in starting now with new release movies or old stuff you’ve wanted to own. I’ve viewed over 400 Blu-Rays at this point and they are all superior quality to any DVD prints.

You still must be choosy as a consumer. Some studios have released Blu-Rays with 5 year old HD masters ( Ridley Scott’ s Gladiator is a serious offender  in this category. it looks terrible and unlike the theater viewing of the film.  Where the visuals  were much more detailed) HD mastering has improved so much in the last 5 years. which is why companies are already “double dipping” ( putting out an early cheaper transferred version of a film with no extras for a low price, then a few years later releasing a upgraded new transferred extra special edition and putting a $30 price tag on it. Usually coinciding with release of a remake or sequel in the theater) sometime it’s worth it for me to spend $5 or $10 dollars on a barebones(no special features) Blu-Ray movie to be able to see it in the best format available ASAP, knowing full well I will most likely replace it when a better updated disc arrives. for most of you this is probably stupidity at its highest level. I totally agree.

The 15 Blu-Ray Discs on this list are all of superior quality and far surpass the view experience of any DVD versions or old theater prints (I’ve seen almost all of these multiple times on 35mm prints at midnight shows  and I was blown away by the visual quality of the discs versus those viewings) . If you lucky enough you might catch a viewing of these on a new printed digitally cleaned 35mm or 70mm print, but that is probably unlikely unless you like in L.A. Or New York.  Each Blu-Ray after viewing I had to immediately play again to soak up the viewing ecstasy of seeing some of my favorite fiction and non-fiction jump off the screen as if I was seeing it for the first time. I WAS SOLD. here’s #12 to #10

  • 12. Dark City: Director’s Cut (Director Alex Proyas) 1998- First off this an art direction spectacle alone, then throwing in a mysteries story with a weird sci fi twist which hold great wait for me. after they took out the clunky voice of at the start of the theater cut with other improvements but now as great as taking out the explanation of the whole picture in the first minute. now we as an audience wake up with the character inside the mystery finding out thing as he does. much more engaging than just telling us the end before we are ever aloud to get involved. Really Dark City is ahead of his time with  the comic book like feeling, logic and world. also it doesn’t hurt to have great actors taking the subject very seriously. One of the most underrated movie of all time. at a budget of $27 million dollars the scope is incredible. if you like mysteries of adult type sci fi movie. this is a jewel for you to discover if you haven’t already.

  • 11. CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE THIRD KIND:30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition(director Steven Spielberg) 1977- Well, if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen this, it really deserves another view on Blu-Ray. You all 3 versions of the film- the original theater release 1977 -the special edition 1980 re release with added footage, most notably the inside of the alien ship at the end of the film with Dreyfuss – and the final cut 1998 is another tweeked version taking out the added “inside of the alien ship” scenes and leaving other pieces in. In all Close Encounters is one of the most amazing FX movies in history without one frame of CG work. The whole thing was optically shot, meaning it was all made and physically shot in front of a camera not made inside a computer. The Alien mother ship at the end is still breath taking even when you are expecting it. The Blu-Ray image was clean, crisp and almost unbelievable that it was shot in the 70’s. This edition is hands down the best video presentation available, all 3 editions and a bundle of extras. Video Geek Heaven.
  • 10. FIGHT CLUB:10th Anniversary Edition(Director David Fincher) 1999- Any David Fincher movie is worth watching multiple times. He’s always able to build a world that is so layered, interesting and believable but yet so unlike the real world. He is a master at that “dramatic movie world” that can collapse on you if you don’t know how to play away from the obvious pit falls of  a dramatically creating a universe in any situation. He always beautifully walks a fine line between story and technical execution.  Fight Club as a movie is fun, crazy and even if you do know the twists and turns, I find the detail in even the sets worth a look again and again. pulling out more and more details during every viewing. hands down Fight Club’s Blu Ray presentation pops off the screen with all the deep blacks and all the atmosphere of a great theater viewing. A must study for all students of film. Actually, everything Fincher is worth multiple viewings. A must own for all.

Till Next Time.

J.

Posted June 13, 2010 by JMC in On The Couch

Jobs I’ve Had in the Spotlight   Leave a comment

Guess which person i played in the scene? I'll give you a hint. I'm dressed all in yellow

Here’s a shot of a promo/ commercial shoot for The TV show Phych . I’m the character all Dressed in Yellow. Do you see me? ya. that’s me. The corpse. Yes the corpse. nothing like a hard days work passed out under a yellow sheet.
I love show buisness
J.