Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Raised by Cinema

Here's a list of movies that I was really obsessed about when I was in primary school. They've literally changed my life. My dad was the ultimate influence for me in terms of movies. So tip for you parents out there, if you want your kids to grow up to be creative.  Don't watch shitty drama serials and movies with your kids (Come on, it's bad for you too). My dad always brought back the coolest videotapes from the rental store and that  stuff began my film education and consequent love for cinema. I feel so lucky to have been a child of the 80s. I hope this blog entry will bring back some fond memories for you and if you haven't seen these films... Do go out and buy them. they don't cost much cos they're old movies at the DVD stores. I hope you'll enjoy these films as much as I did (AND STILL DO). Ladies, if you wanna buy a gift for your man and have no idea of what to get him this valentine's, buy him some of these. If he doesn't like em, drop him! He's not a real man.

Bloodsport (1988)-
I used to stare at this poster on the video tape for hours

This martial arts bonanza stars Jean Claude Van Damme and Bolo Yeung. I know it might be a stereo type but all I know and respect about Belgium is action star Van Damme, chocolates and Franco Dragone. JCVD was my first martial arts hero. 
Bolo Yeung as the brutal Chong Li!!

If I were a fish, Bloodsport would have blown me out of the water. gasping for air. I had seen rocky before but this one had loads of kicking in the fight scens! My cousin, Abel and I watched this together and it was the only thing we wanted to watch for weeks.  Homework done? It was bloodsport time. We thought the fight scenes were real! It inspired us to re enact the fight scenes, awkward dialogue and we we enrolled in Tae Kwon Do.
I used to do this as a kid but now I don't even dare to try. Gotta work on my flexibility!

This movie kicked off my lifelong love for sports and competition. I'm a pretty competitive guy when it's something I want to be good at. Till now, whenever Abel and I meet each other we quote lines from the film. Like, "You break my record, now I break you, like I break your friend!" Lol! Nobody gets it.

Masters of the Universe (1987)
I was so excited to see this movie but I remember feeling so let down.

Starring Dolph Lungren. Being an obsessed fan of the cartoon from as far back as I could recall (I had to watch this cartoon when I ate my meals at home.) Till now, I like to watch something or listen to music while I have meals alone. This film was a total let down for me when I saw it in the cinema. I learned that sometimes, Hollywood churns out shitty movies that aren't at all faithful to the source material.

King Kong (1976 version)
I grew up with this version. Jessica Lange was HOT

Directed by Dino De Laurentis. This film made me fall in love with Monsters! That scene where Kong fought the snake was my favourite. I didn't want either of them to lose. None of the human actors left any impression on me and I hated that the humans destroyed Kong. Stupid destructive human race.
Kong vs the Serpent!
Silly humans!

Salem's Lot (1979 theatrical cut)-
Be afraid!

This adaptation of Stephen King's novel left me and my cousins with many, many sleepless nights. The vampire that was designed a lot like Max Schrek's Nosferatu scared the hell out of us one Sunday afternoon! It was good family fun watching this.
This vampire make up gave me the creeps!!!

The Shining (1980)- 

Stanley Kubrick's Masterpiece left me one cowardly little boy. I was afraid of hotels for years after watching this one. I know I shouldn't have been watching it but my dad thought it would make a man out of me to endure the horror. It turned me into a horror fan with an eye for creation.
These twins haunted me for a long time.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
turtle power

Being a rabid fan of the cartoon, this movie didn't disappoint. Stan Winston's creatures and the whole vibe of the movie was so true to the cartoon that I loved put it on repeat for months. Although I thought the 'Shredder' character wasn't buff enough, I was amazed by the baby 'Splinter ' stop motion animation sequence in there.

Enter the Dragon (1973)
Wonderful art work.

My dad had all (and still has all) the Bruce Lee Movies, so needless to say, I've seen ALL of them. Of all his films, this one left the deepest memory in my young mind. I wanted to be a fast kicking, hero too! 
The unforgettable fight in the mirror room
Bruce Lee changed my world. The scene with him fighting in the room full of mirrors is permanently burned in my head.
Looking at his muscles makes me feel like a big fat wussy.
Fun fact- Bruce Lee used to fence!
BIG SIDE NOTE- Bruce Lee used to fence! He integrated a lot of the fencing fighting styles into Jeet Kun Do. He used the arms and legs like swords with the parries and ripostes.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)-
I want your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.

James Cameron's work of sci fi art. I saw the first one, but it didn't leave quite an impression except the end part where the terminator's metal endo skeleton walked out of the flames. Maybe I was too young to appreciate the story and all that stuff when it first came out. The sequel grabbed me by the balls!
I'm living tissue over metal endoskeleton.

T2 turned me on to Motorcycles, leather jackets and Sunglasses. It's become a lifelong love.
The leather jacket and sunglass fetish began with T2

Jurassic Park (1993)

Steven Spielberg brought Dinos to life. Do any of you remember the old Panini Dinosaur sticker book? That was always by my side. i can't get enough of dinosaurs.  I used to sit at the door of my flat just admiring the pictures in there. Speaking of prehistoric reptiles, I really wanna make a trip to the Singapore science centre for the "Dinosaurs Alive" exhibition. It runs till end february.

Stan Winston is a magician

The Lost Boys (1987)-

I love this rehashed poster by the Alamo drafthouse
Kiefer Sutherland changed my whole viewpoint of vampires. Joel Schumacher's teen vampire film cemented my love for the same couple of things, rock n roll rebellion, leather jackets, motorcycles and fangs, "Party all night, sleep all day... It's fun to be a vampire." Damn right!

Who wouldn't wanna be a vampire?!
The Crow (1994)-

The last movie that Brandon Lee (RIP) made. The Crow started my love for all things goth. Stumbling on this was like stumbling on a gold mine. I found a subculture that I wanted to embrace, the clothes, the look, the music. I was so attracted by this when it came out. I saw the trailer and got my cousin, Rebecca to sneak me into the cinema during the school holidays to watch it. (We got pass the ushers at Lido Cineplex on orchard road,) After watching the movie, all I wanted to wear was black (that habit of mine is still very much in place). Another cousin of mine, Vanessa got me the audio cassette for christmas. I still collect the toys, posters and memorabilia from this film that changed my life.

Just in case you didn't know, The Crow was based on a comic book by Jame's O Barr. It took him many years to complete his work and the author himself had to battle many personal demons and tragedies in the process. He's recently released a Special Edition with 60 pages of extra material in it. I haven't been able to find a copy in Singapore at all!! Sigh. Read about the new release here.

New Artwork for the Special edition of the comic book released july 2011
Also, there has been talk for years of a remake of the original crow movie. there have been a couple of sequels, City of Angels (which was okay), Wicked prayer (which I haven't seen, I heard it's pretty bad) and a TV series as well. None of them have matched up the the artistry of the Brandon Lee version. It's hard to beat a classic and a dead man, I guess. Apparently, the rights have been bought by the Weinstein company and they've lined up Bradley Cooper to take on the role as Eric Draven. The last update was that Bradley Cooper has been booted aside and they're looking for a new leading man. Some studio legal problems or whatever.  I wish they'd cast me. Damn it! I'm so far away I don't even know who to send my resume to if I wanted to! Maybe I should leave the country, oh well. Maybe I will. I used to camouflage my face in the Army in the style of the Crow's makeup. It looked pretty good!

Anyway, here's some concept art of the new Crow movie that was created for Bradley Cooper in mind. I don't know what to think of it, I know I love concept art and I'm really curious to see what the movie shapes up to be.

Friday, 27 January 2012

My Lovely Lady Crushes

Growing up as an only child, I was weaned very much on movies. My father was a big movie fan and I spent many nights watching video tapes with him and many mornings being late for school. There was no censorship in my house. I was watching lots of Rated R movies before I hit the legal age. Here are some of the women from the silver screen that I enchanted young me and took my breath away. I loved how how they carried themselves and how they've aged. I guess you could do a psycho- analysis on me with this info if you wanted to. ;) Of course, I know these women don't care what I think of them but at least, it's all praises, eh?
I've always had a thing for nice muscle tone, Fitness is always important.
Sharon Stone- This brainy lady was the my dream woman for a long time. Her look in Basic Instinct and Casino (The first half, it went downhill once she went psycho and cut her hair!) cemented the fact that I liked the ladies in dresses.

Elvira- Mistress of the dark. The combination of horror, slinky black dress, smoky eyes, comedic wit and those great big blinkers (by that I mean, EYES) make her a winner in my book. 

I've been meaning to buy this toy but I have been resisting the urge,
Gong Li- She's very asian and very stunning. Her filmography and body of work speaks for itself. I admire how she's stayed relevant for so long.

For me, she stole the show in Memoirs of a Geish

Kelly Hu- I have to admit, I haven't really followed her career nor do I know anything about her. But when I first saw her in The Scorpion King- Holy cow. I was blown away., by her looks, obviously. I confess, I can be a pretty shallow guy.  In that costume, she made an impression!

The Scorpion King was a pretty bad movie but she made it watchable
Michelle Pfeiffer- This lady is super sexy. From the time I first saw her in Batman returns, then Scarface and even recently in Stardust. I really dig her style, she's aged very graciously and has brains to boot. I love her speaking voice.
Older but Still smoking hot in stardust
Pfeiffer in Scarface- Awesome flick.
Winona Ryder- This Bad girl with an angel face looks better with age.

The Pink Flare Girl- This lovely business woman/fashionista created and runs the very successful www.pink-flare.com with me. She does most of the work, designing her own clothes and sourcing for the beautiful things on the online store. I just butt in and annoy her with my opinions. She's just great and I love her to bits. Of course, I'm a little biased.


I'm the Pink Flare Catalogue Photographer!
A lot of people always ask me what I find attractive in a female. The first impression is always about how she carries herself, after that it's all about values, a strong personality, backbone, toughness all mixed up with a good dose of fun and femininity. I've never liked girls that wanted to be princesses, I've always loved women that could get their hands dirty. I'm quite very fussy. I know. :)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Famous Monster Endorsements

I guess by now, you all know that I'm maniacally mad about monsters. As I was putting songs into my new mp3 player, I dropped my old one on the street a few days back. Damn it!! ROAR!! Anyway,  I decided to look at some old Godzilla videos. This led me to finding many an awesome monster ad! Here's some really fun, funny, creative ones. Man! I'd love to work on stuff like this. Isn't it just great seeing your favourite monsters sell products?

What Majesty!!! Godzilla is just grand.

This Chewits monster from the 1980s is very, very cute! There's a whole range of these ads.

The Chewits Muncher gets a makeover in the 90s

This Old Man Skeleton sings a funky song for an old Scotch Brand ad. Excellent!

These Milk commercials made me laugh out loud like a crazy person when i was alone.

This one has a King Kong type monster with junior

Ad for Resident evil 4... Zombies... Obviously!

King Kong Volkswagen commerical

Loch ness

Frankenstein's Monster

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Painstaking Passion for Stop Motion

There are a few things in life that I can "nerd out" about for hours on end. I can spend nights days and nights, hours and days can go by without me even noticing that I've been on about the same thing over and over. one of those things are animation. Well, I'm basically just obsessed with the production of media. I must have mentioned this time and time again. I would only buy a dvd or blu ray if it was chocked full of special making of features. It's not enough to watch the film, play the game and listen to the record. It's the process that intrigues me. Toy making, sculpture, special effects, filming, cameras, animation, voicing characters, concept art, scoring... it's all magic to me. I love it.

I've had the great fortune to make a friends who are involved in work like that The more I learn about the process, the more respect I have for the people that do such inspirational work. I, myself am always involved in sound production and creating music but no matter how much I know, to me it feels like I'm still merely scratching the surface of this wonderful art of creation. When I was working on a daily basis in "Voyage de la vie", it still blew my mind how everything came together in such harmony for that hour and a half.

I've had the luxury of trying out Autodesk's Mudbox at Lasalle College of the Arts yesterday and I can't begin to say how much I enjoyed it. I've only sculpted using clay and sculpey (I'm still rubbish at it) but the program coupled with a wacom could make me literally rot in my chair! I was glued to the screen. Transfixed by the spell of being able to create a fantasy world.

Anyway, I was motivated to take some time off half way through reading "Cracking Animation" today to blog because I remembered that this year is going to bring what I'm sure will be a big step forward with animation. Tim Burton's "Frankeweenie". (I have to confess, although I love most of the work that Burton has put out, some of them I wasn't quite into. But I understand that's just the way it is. As much as I love Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter,(although, she's his wife and I would probably do the same, had I a gorgeous wife) I do get a little tired of seeing them all the time. Oh well, maybe I just wish I had their jobs. Lol!)
My current reading. It's such an inspiring book.

Back to the "Frankenweenie".  I don't know how many of you own "The Nightmare Before Christmas" DVD, but that was were I first saw this Short Film. It was tucked away in the special features. Frankenweenie is basically a spin off "Frankenstein" but I loved it all the same. This Short is going to be released this year as a full length stop motion film! I found the short films on Youtube so you can clck on the links below. 

Part 1

Part 2
Part 3

Here are some production stills from the upcoming 2012 stop motion animated film.

While we're on the subject of wonderful stop motion films, I might as well just put a couple of other stop motion animated masterpieces that have touched me and turned me into such a fanboy of the medium. I'm not going into detail here about the stop motion animation process (you can read about it here) but it's safe to say it's a real painstaking labour of love to create these animated works of art. Enjoy! If there are any animators out there who need a voice! Get in touch. I'd love to meet you to exchange ideas! Would I love to work on character voicings? Hell yeah.

*Wallace And Gromit- This British Duo from Aardman Studios made me fall in love with the medium with "A Grand day out"

They made a full length film too, "The Curse of the Were Rabbit"

*Coraline- This stop motion adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel is amazing

*Shaun the sheep

*The Work Of Ray Harryhausen!

*Faust (1994) by Jan Svanmajer

* Tim Burton- Vincent (1982) I love that this film was made the year I was born. It's voiced by Horror Icon Vincent Price.

* Robot Chicken- Where love for retro cartoons and jokes come together in crazy short attantion span TV.

* Gumby- This green dude and his horse is just too cute.