Massawyrm Has Chosen HD DVD...And Other BNAT Short Stories!!
Published at: Dec. 12, 2007, 10:07 a.m. CST by merrick
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
Now why am I hearing the words FIASCO spoken about BNAT 9? BNAT this year was anything but a fiasco. Did it have two geek-a-licious films drop at the last minute? Yup. Did it have the single worst 3 movie run in the history of Butt-numb-a-thon? Sure did. Hell, Nordling - who practically pulled out his piece and blew a wad over the Wall-E footage - leaned over to me during Farewell Uncle Tom and said "When Harry said we would all get a FREE HD-DVD player at the end of BNAT, he lied." But all that doesn't exclude the fact that everything else ranged from pretty kick ass to completely fucking awesome. The first 15 hour run was incredible. So talk of worst ever or fiasco can be dropped right now.
Massawyrm has Chosen HD DVD and Here's Why -
First of all, anyone who thinks that giving away free HD-DVD players to a room full of people whose DVD spending habits rival the GNP of a small, European country is a bad business move or a silly publicity stunt needs to rethink their stance a bit. I know for many of you it's easy to think that Harry must have been paid off for his profession of love for the format. Of course, you haven't sat in his house listening to him go off for an hour about the picture of the naked woman on the back of the Ford Falcon Interceptor from Mad Max that he'd never been able to see before. It's rare that I've been to his house in the past 6 months when he isn't screening some incredible looking HD DVD. And as impressed as I've been, it never convinced me that it was anything but a collectors format.
Then we got that nifty HD presentation to kick off BNAT. Nice, cute, fun. Hey look, they'll teach you how to make a Mojito in the middle of a pretty cool scene. The picture on the screen looked just as good as the theatrical release for both (arguably shot on HD) films they presented - 300 and Miami Vice. And there was some cool picture in picture for the making-of folks. But then he uttered a few magic words that changed my own perceptions on my upgrade to HD (especially for those of us lacking an HDTV.) No. Region. Coding. I about shit myself. You mean the European Terminator 2 release coming out next month…will work on my HD player here in the states? Yes. Ho. Ly. Smokes.
Put that shit in the talkback, assholes. Massawyrm has chosen HD DVD and here's why - It was free and there's zero fucking region coding. Add to that the fact that my HD-A3 plays DVD's, DVD-R's, DVD-RW's, CD's and you have one happy Wyrm that can disconnect the four DVD players he has to use to juggle discs that won't play on certain players. So, much love to the folks at HD and Toshiba for hooking a brother up.
That said, I'm certain Blu-Ray is a great format and I hear the sound is killer. Personally I think the format war is pretty silly and the folks lining up on either side are getting a bit too personally involved in something that mainstream America will never embrace. This is our generations Laserdisc. And laserdisc was fucking awesome. The difference this time is that once Downloadable, streamable Hard Drive content is perfected, these HD DVD's and Blu-Ray discs will rip nicely into that format. So yes, this should be the VERY LAST TIME we have to by The Thing. Which I will buy. Again. But just this once more. Seriously. I hope.
Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian
Now I'm on the record as having dug the hell out of the first one – and I still do. Sure it isn't LotR or on par with the best of the Harry Potters, but it is better than the weakest of the Potter's. Liked it better than The Golden Compass as well. But this one looks like a light speed jump in what they're trying to accomplish.
The footage they showed us was decidedly darker and really seemed to move on from the dropping jaw golly gee whillicker effect that first fantasy films tend to fall prey to. The footage they showed us was of a ruined Narnia – a Narnia some 1300 years later than when last we saw it. Where palaces once stood, now outcroppings of polished stone remain. Everyone we've come to love in Narnia is dead. Evil has crept in once again to take the place of goodness. And our four young heroes return as nothing but legends of a bygone age – needed once again to help free the land of tyranny. Sounds pretty good to me.
The centaurs are back. The Minotaurs are back. And this time they both appear to be working alongside our heroes. But most importantly, there were a few sequences of this crudely drawn sword-wielding rat. This was some placeholder animation to show us what this oversized rodent was doing during key sequences, and I for one will say that what he was doing was pretty sweet. If the animation comes out right, he could be one of those truly wonderful characters that folks can fall in love with.
Much like the 10 minute sequence Disney showed us at Fantastic Fest, this footage took me from curious to pretty damn jazzed. Can't wait to finally sit down and watch the final product. Disney's live action film department has been on a serious roll the last few years and hasn't gotten the props they deserve. Everyone talks about the animation issues and glows about Pixar. They forget that almost everything Live Action that Disney's been party to has been pretty stellar. Even their lesser films have been fun, family fare. This looks to be up in the peak of their abilities, however. Fans of the series are going to lose their minds when they see the set design and creature work for this. Top notch stuff.
Okay, we've been over this before, but once more for the new kids. I am not the worlds biggest fan of Pixar. I don't dislike them, and I love their work and story ethics. But I don't fall over and go gaga retarded when I see one of their movies. Yes, I do that for other movies, but for some reason Pixar doesn't ring my bell. I love everything they've done with Brad Bird and have enjoyed everything else. But it just doesn't scream magic to me like it does others.
Now, that said, Wall-E just about made me lose my damn fool mind. The idea is wonderful. The execution looks killer. The concept of classic, Lucas style robot in love with a modern looking, Honda-iRobot envisioned by Apple is adorable. And the animation is K-I-L-L-E-R. It has one issue and one issue only. The character's don't "speak". They talk, in a sense, but not in a we've hired Renee Zelwegger and Ewen McGreggor to play the robots sort of way. They talk in an R2-D2/Chewbacca sort of way. You know EXACTLY what they're saying. But they ain't really saying anything, or when they are it is pretty disguised with an awful lot of vocoding.
And that. Is. Awesome. Film lovers, sci-fi geeks, pretty much every movie lover over the age of 15 is going to fall in love HARD with this movie. It is gorgeous and appears to be something of an incredible love story. My only concern is for kids. Look, I remember being a kid. I remember how bored I was watching The Pink Panther or what I thought were the crappier of the Tom and Jerry's. I look back at them now and see how great they were, but as a kid I got bored with them easily. My hope is that they "talking" that Pixar says will be there in the form of other characters is enough to keep the kids locked in to watching the antics of these adorable robots. Because I want so badly for this to succed. What I saw was fucking incredible, and might even have thew possibility of surpassing my love for The Incredibles. And that's saying a lot. So more high hopes here.
Sigh. I want to see this so bad it hurts. There's really not much to say about this sequence we were shown aside from the fact that it is everything you're expecting from Rambo. Somebody fucks with Rambo's traveling companions, Rambo gets medieval on their ass. It was glorious. If the rest of the film lives up to the few minutes we were shown, it will be to First Blood what Rocky Balboa was to Rocky.
Well, that's it for the short program stuff. All in all everyone who showed up was very proud of what they brought, and they weren't full of shit. I can honestly say that every bit shown to me excited me greatly about the coming projects. That's not always the case with BNAT previews – but this time the short program stuff was all Grade A, 100% kick ass. Now, time to take a short break from the keyboard to hook up this HD player. Someone's got a date with Hermione in Hi-Def.
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.