Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Constantine (Digital Visual Effects)

October 22, 2008

Constantine is a perfect example of the important role digital visual effects play in creating a great movie. Visual effects were used in practically every scene in this movie, covering every single 3D process. One of the most outstanding visual effects was the process of creating the demons from Hell and bringing them to live onscreen. This character was computer-generated (CG) but in order to make it seem more realistic in terms of movements and actions, motion capture was most probably used. In this case, a person was put into a costume with reflective markers or lights at the joints so that their motions could be detected and used to control the movements of the CG demons.

  

The demons were only one example of the many CG characters in this movie. Another CG character which played a crucial role in the movie was the vermin-man demon. The director Francis Lawrence admitted the creation of this character to be costly. There were a lot of steps involved to bring this creature to live onscreen. As the vermin-man was also computer-generated, this meant that Keanu’s character, Constantine, has be shot alone, fighting and struggling against an unseen demon. Then, the CG demon as well as the bugs and snakes had to be added into the scene. A lot of work had to be done to make the bugs appear as alive and moving on the vermin-man’s body. Compositing was done to add all those elements together to create the final scene of the fight. In addition to the vermin-man, the cars speeding past on the road as Constantine dashed across was also computer-generated to ensure the actor’s safety.

Another outstanding visual effect in the movie was the portrayal of Hell. Practically every single element in the Hell scenes was computer-generated as well. The 2D painting process was also used, in which a picture was taken of a particular location, and then the picture was processed to make it appear more dramatic. Most of the time, this painting process was also used to paint out the wires and harness attached to the actors during the filming so that they do not appear in the movie. Then all the CG elements will be created, such as the fire, and the dust and debris in the air. The cars that Constantine was walking past will also be processed to add in the effect of the rust and corrosion. During the scene in which Constantine was in Hell, the actor Keanu will most probably be filmed in a studio with a greenscreen. The surroundings as seen in the movie were created digitally. Then, compositing was done to put all those elements together to create the complete scene. Again, the demons seen in the Hell scene were all computer-generated.

Portrayal of Hell

 

 

Other CG characters seen in the movie include the flying demons on the street; in the beginning just after Angela seek out Constantine for some answers. That scene involved quite a number of camera tricks as well. As usual, the demons had to be created digitally. Therefore, Constantine had to be filmed fighting against nothing again. Then, the burst of light from his hand has to be created separately. All of these elements are again put together to create the final scene. Another nicely done CG character was the Child of Satan, which was seen in the movie approaching Angela when she was pulled down to Hell. For this character, motion picture was probably needed to capture a more realistic sense of movement, and then added to the 3D character.

One particular feature which I found interesting was the beautiful creation of the half breed’s wings. These would most likely have to be computer-generated as well, and motions and movements of the wings will be added digitally to make it appear life-like.

 

 

Another obvious example of visual effects used was in the scene where Angela got sucked through the walls of the building. As before, the debris and dust was computer-generated. The actress playing Angela was filmed separately in a greenscreen studio, with wires lifting her up into the air to make it seem as if she was being pulled back. In a separate shot, the walls were filmed being torn apart, with unseen wires attached to it. These separate shots are then put together to create the scene we see in the movie.

 

Compositing plays a crucial part in the visual effects of the movie. In many scenes, the actors which appeared in the same scene together were shot individually, then put together to make them seem as if they were communicating with each other.

These were only some of the examples of visual effects used in Constantine. As I mentioned earlier, mostly every single scene of this movie contained some sort of visual effects. With realistic and interesting portrayal of demons, Hell, angels, and all sorts of never before seen creatures, Constantine is a great example of how digital visual effects, if done well, can make a truly awesome movie.

References:

http://www.jistyles.com/content/3D/images/Constantine_Demon_01.jpg

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/02/06/arts/06devr.650.jpg

http://fightrunner.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/constantine-1.jpg

Extra Feature of Constantine DVD

http://www.vfxtalk.com/feature/images/feature_0305_tippett/vfxtalk_vm155.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jarhead (Editing)

October 18, 2008

Generally, the editor has done a good enough job as I did not notice any jumpcuts in the movie Jarhead. However, I managed to identify a few editing techniques used in the movie. The first technique I spotted was in the starting scene when Swoff was telling the audience about the past events in his life and how he ended up in the marines. I identify this to be the cutaway and motivation technique as some short clips were added into the main scene to show the audience Swoff’s family background, his college life and his girlfriend. At the same time, these clips were also flashbacks on his life, therefore, explaining to the audience why Swoff chose to enter the marines.

The second editing technique I spotted in the film was during the soldiers’ training session. Some of the shots were cut and edited into three separate parts, which made them appear as if they were done on different days. I would identify this to be the continuity editing technique. This technique made it seem as if the soldiers had to undergo many days of gruelling training to prepare themselves for the war.

This next technique is used frequently during the movie, which is the eyeline editing. In several scenes of the movie, Swoff was shown taking careful aim at a target using his sniper rifle, and the audience is shown the telescopic sight from the rifle. This shows that the audience were shown the point of view through Swoff’s eyes. This exact same technique will be used again several times throughout the movie. Another scene in which the eyeline technique was used was during the scene when the soldiers were ordered to demonstrate how the gas masks work by putting them while playing a game of soccer. The audience was once again seeing through Swoff’s eyes from inside the mask. This technique was also again used later in the movie.

  

Several scenes were also edited to impart to the audience that several passed without much happening in the camp. Short scenes of the soldiers going about their normal routines, shadows of the sun setting seen on the desert grounds, and the sunrise all comes to tell the audience that nothing exciting or important was happening, and all those ordinary routines were skipped.

Acceleration editing was used in the scene when the reporter was interviewing the soldiers. The reporter asked them a few of the same questions, and each of their interview session was edited to show each of them reacting differently to the same questions. It showed how different their characters were, and also added a touch of humour to the scene. It would be far more boring if this scene were not edited, and the soldiers were shown being interviewed each in turn.

In many other scenes, continuity editing was also used to exclude all the uninteresting parts. For example, when Swoff was riding on the army truck with his sniper partner Troy, to another camp, the ride was cut short. They were both seen sitting at the back of the truck with a few other soldiers for a few seconds, then the next scene showed them arriving at the camp. Another edited scene was towards the end of the movie, when Swoff and Troy were taking the long trek in the desert back to their campsite. It would be time-consuming to film them walking all the way back to the camp. Therefore, continuity editing was used to make the journey short.

Parallel editing was used again in the Christmas Eve scene. While Swoff and his other comrades were busy celebrating inside the tent, Fergus had to take over Swoff’s watch shift outside. Both sides were shown simultaneously.

References:

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/images/pics/jarhead2.jpg

http://www.auphanmovies.com:8080/articles/images/3156/1131918199_500x500.jpg

http://www.empireonline.com/images/image_index/300×250/1983.jpg

Experiences and Comments

October 1, 2008

Before I entered Griffith, I spent two years completing my diploma in Journalism. Truthfully, I never had any intentions of venturing into digital video, even though I have always had a passion for movie-watching. When I discovered that I had to pick two majors in order to complete my Bachelor of Communication, naturally, I chose digital video. Besides writing, I could not think of anything else I love doing more than watching movies. However, I was a little worried that I would encounter problems keeping up with the lessons as I had no previous studies and no knowledge whatsoever of digital video. As it turns out, Digital Video Foundation proved to be surprisingly fun and not as tough as I initially feared. Seriously, what other courses would allow students to watch movies, some awesome, some not so, every week during lecture.

 

Through this course, I have come to learn a great deal about the different elements found in movies. Before this, a good movie, to me, was just a good movie. As long as the movie was able to make me laugh or cry or stir up some kind of emotion within me, I would consider it a good one. But now that I have learnt more about this field, I realize that there are many other elements that help make the storyline good and believable. These are what distinguish a good movie from a bad one. I begin to notice the tiny intricate details carefully added into a scene to perfect it. Things that the audience will normally miss out on, but are vital to the scene anyway. Such as how a certain lighting are created to give a certain sense of feeling to the scene, or the way a location or a subject is shot may alter how the audience feel about it. I truly begin to appreciate a good movie for what it is worth, and take into consideration the amount of time and effort put into each scene. 

 

Overall, I would say that I am extremely satisfied with the way the classes have been conducted, and also all the knowledge that I have gained from this course. As an added bonus, we are not even required to give oral presentations. Honestly, students hate having to give presentations. We usually consider to be the worst kind of embarrassment that can be bestowed upon us. Besides the constant technical problems encountered practically every week, I can think of no complaints and I would not recommend the classes to be conducted in any other way. I am sure that the future students will enjoy it as much as I have.

Commando (Lighting)

September 29, 2008
Many of the scenes in Commando was filmed in the daylight. Therefore, in most of scenes, the sunlight was the source of illumination. The lighting director would have to consider this, and set the camera close-up positions to be consistent with this source of light. For example, in the beginning of the film, Jack was seen carrying a log through the woods and heading for his house. In this scene, when Jack came to a brief standstill, the sun was filmed to be directly behind him. If the lightings were not set correctly, Jack would appear a mere silhouette in the film. In this case, a reflector was probably used to reflect the sunlight onto Jack, so that he did not appear dark. Low-key lighting was also probably used in this scene to emphasize on the brightness of the sunrise.
The last fight between John Matrix and Bennett took place in an underground room. Due to this the fill light has to be turned down to increase the amount of shadow. For instance, when John ducked to the side after having been shot by Bennett, his face was somewhat dark and shadowy. This could probably be the result of the fill light being turned down to a lower level. The dark lighting was probably done to help create a suspense and tense feeling in the audience.
Another example of a well-lit night scene was during Jack’s pursuit of Sully. When Jack finally caught up with him, and dangled him from the hillside before releasing his grip, his face and features could be clearly seen despite the dark background. However in this scene too, the fill light probably had to be turned down low to create a shadowy depth, bearing in mind that the only source of light in that place was supposed to come from the street lamps. There was also evident use of back light, as there was a distinct outline of Jack, separating him from the dark background.

 

Another distinct lighting effect was shown in the scene where Jack was preparing to launch his attack on Arius and his forces. After having prepared himself for the battle, he stood up with the rocket launcher in one hand and a rifle slung behind his other shoulder. In that scene, low-key lighting was probably used as his contour was clearly visible, yet at the same time, his features weren’t clear. The lighting director for this movie was able to control the use of lights to create certain desired effects.

 References:

http://www.reelfilm.com/images/commando.jpg

http://mm.soldat.pl/wp-content/commando01.jpg

http://www.imdb.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commando_(film)

Elephant (Audio)

September 27, 2008
Most of the soundtracks featured in Elephant are classical pieces such as Fur Elise and the Piano Symphony No. 14.  In one of the scenes which showed Alex, one of the two guys involved in the massacre, playing on the piano. This may be one of the few soundtracks in the movie which are made during the shoot itself. This music falls under the category of practical music as the source of the sound was made by the source on screen. Therefore, the character was able to hear it as well as the audience. I find that the music Alex was playing displays a sense of irony as the calm and soothing music is a total contrast to the emotional turmoil he was going through at that moment. This could be the director’s way of hinting to the audience that something is wrong with Alex. It does not seem right for someone who was picked on by the other students in the school and who was so troubled to be playing soft classical music.
Most of the other sound tracks in the movie were accompaniment music, meaning they were added in during the final editing. In the case of accompaniment music, the characters will not be aware of the presence of the sound, but the audience will. This music falls under the category of extraneous music. One of the examples of such music was heard during one of Nathan’s scenes. Nathan was the popular athlete of the school. When he was first introduced to the audience, he was shot walking through the school premises to meet his girlfriend. During this scene, when the camera was trailing behind him, another instrumental piece can be heard. This piece of music was only added to accompany the picture, and was only added in during the final editing of the film. All of the soundtracks heard in this movie were canned music as they were taken from existing scores. No original scores were composed for this movie.
As for the filming techniques, the director did many long tracking shots, with the camera trailing quietly behind the characters. He also seemed keen on showing observations of the characters’ expression, filming the expressions on their faces longer than necessary in certain scenes. This movie is also shot in a way that portrays the different eye-view of each character. As a result, there were multiple repetition in the scenes. Moving on to the composition of the movie, in one of the scenes when Elias walked into the classroom, the camera focused on him, leaving the other students and the background a blur.
 References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Deulen

http://www.moviescreenshots.blogspot.com/2008/03/elephant-2003.html

http://www.elephantmovie.com/

Kill Bill 2 (Framing & Composition)

September 19, 2008

Kill Bill 2 offered a number of dynamic composition as well as various examples of framing images. Entering into the first scene of the movie, in which Beatrix was driving in her car in the continuation of her quest to hunt Bill down and kill him. The camera closes up on Beatrix’s face, with her voice acting as the narrator in the background. Obviously in scenes such as these, her face will be the center of focus, commanding the audience’s attention. Even though at first sight, one might think that the composition technique used in this scene is weak as it obviously went against two guidelines of composition. The first being her face located right in the middle of the image, thus breaking the guideline of the rule of thirds. As for the second, this particular composition also seemed to have broken the guidelines of visual perspective, in which it is advised never to position the camera straight in front of the character,  but to keep it 45 degrees from the subject.

Having said that, if one were to observe the scene closely, it would become noticeable that even though the overall image did not adhere to the rule of thirds, Beatrix’s eyes were situated near the points indicated. This was perhaps the director’s way of emphasizing to the audience that the center of interest is not her face, but in fact, her eyes. Perhaps the director understands the importance of a person’s eyes in revealing their true feelings or emotions. In this case, Beatrix’s eyes were the main tool which showed the audience how determined and driven she was in her quest, and that she would allow nothing or no one to stand in her way. Also in this scene, the audience would notice her sword set beside her on the car seat. This sword served as a tool to support the theme of this scene, and highlight the ruthlessness of her character.

Moving on to some interesting framing, one of which was shown during Beatrix’s flashback to the dress rehearsal of her wedding. She walked out of the church for some air and discovered Bill sitting at the side, playing his flute. When he stood up to greet Beatrix, the camera did a big close-up on their feet, frequently diverting from their faces to their feet, showing them slowly and gradually closing up on each other. This technique of framing probably aimed to show the audience the intimacy between the two. It also showed the contrast of their actions, their faces showing no emotions whatsoever, and yet they kept stepping closer and closer to each other. This action revealed that there was some sort of attraction between them.
 
Towards the middle of the movie, another effective composition can be spotted. This one again showed Beatrix driving in her car to locate Bill after she discovered his whereabouts from one of Bill’s acquaintances. In this scene, the camera closed up on the side of her face. But this time, her face was set on the side of the frame instead of the middle, leaving some free space in the rest of the frame. This use of space effectively allowed the audience to get a feel of the fast speed at which the car was moving.  
Also, another interesting composition was seen in the scene where Karen Kim, the hired assassin, shot a hole in the door with her shotgun and entered the hotel room. After Beatrix managed to persuade Karen to leave by telling her that she was pregnant, Karen walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. The camera shot a wide angle of the room and the audience was able to see the spacious room. And yet, despite the wide angle, the audience would find their view instantly focusing on Karen’s face on the other side of the door, which was framed by the round hole she left on the door with her shotgun. One crucial composition tool used in this scene is light. The lighting of the hotel room was dim, drawing the audience’s eyes to the circle of light coming from the bright hallway, which could be seen clearly from the hole on the door.
An example of another movie which offered various types of composition tool is Talladega Night. This movie is mainly about the ups and downs of a famous racer and the challenges he faced. Similar to the technique used to impart movement in Kill Bill 2, the same technique is frequently adopted in Talladega Night. The racers’ faces were set at the side of the frame, allowing some free space in front of them to give the sense of the car racing. This composition tool played a crucial part in this movie as the main theme of the movie is movement and speed.  Another distinctive composition in Talladega Night was the use of lines. The race tracks were shot in a way which made them look like curved lines, thus, giving the audience a sense of movement, as well as the grace at which the cars were racing by.
References:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0378194/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_Bill_Volume_2_(soundtrack)
http://207.177.51.234/images/Kill-Bill-Uma-in-Car.jpg
 

Westworld (Screenwriting)

September 4, 2008

If one takes into account the fact that Westworld was produced back in the year of 1973, one would actually come to appreciate the visionary ideas that the director applied in the movie. Concepts such as the computer generated images proves that Westworld is a movie which was way ahead of its time. This sort of makes up for a few noticeable flaws in the movie, including a scene when the robots were being analyzed, in which their eyes were blinking, when they were supposed to be static.

The plot of Westworld fits nicely into the three act structure of screenplay. Let me first analyze the first act, which is the setup. In the setup, the two main characters John Blane and Peter Martin were introduced to the audience when they meet each other on the plane. This scene basically covered everything there was to know about the main characters. We discovered their names, where they were headed to, which was the amusement park of Delos. It was also revealed to the audience that this was not John’s first trip to Westworld. From the orientation and also the brief descriptions John gave to Peter, the audience would start to understand more about the destination, and what was to be expected when the two guys arrived at the place. The end of Act 1 probably came when John and Peter arrived at their destination and were herded away together with a group of other guests, to Westworld, the zone of their choice.

 

Moving on to the second act, the confrontation, this structure probably began when the technicians in charge of running the resort realized that there is a malfunction in the robots. From that scene, the audience will start to have a premonition that some serious mishap is about to take place. True enough, a series of malfunctions followed after the first one. These various malfunctions, including Blane getting attacked by a rattlesnake robot, and another guest killed by a robot knight during a duel, were probably the pinches of the structure, the minor obstacles which slowly leads to the final ordeal that the main character has to overcome. The halfway point of the movie was probably when John and Peter were confronted yet again by the gunslinger, and John, not realizing the systemic failures of the robots, treated the confrontation as another entertainment and was shot as a result. Finally realizing that something has gone horribly wrong with the robots, Peter panicked and ran away from the scene, only to be pursued by the gunslinger.

Lastly, the third act, the resolution. This began when Peter, in his escape from the gunslinger, sought refuge in an underground tunnel, which turned out to be the control centre of the resort. When his diguise as a robot was discovered by the gunslinger, and he splashed a beaker of acid on the robot, it was clear that the robot’s system was weakend by the attack. Even though it managed to survive the attack, its sight was damaged, and the audience could already sense the story going downhill from there, moving towards the conclusion. Finally, the end came around when, after seemingly survived being torced by Peter, the gunslinger suprised him by appearing suddenly behind him, only to submit to its damaged system, and falling off the top of the stairs.

 

 

References:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070909/

http://www.leninimports.com/yulbrynner1.jpg

http://www.its-prof-again.co.uk/westworld.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westworld

Speed Racer Review (Visualisation & Conceptualisation)

August 20, 2008

The first thing that comes to mind after watching the movie Speed Racer was how completely blown away i was by the visuals in the movie. There are definitely more than a few similarities between this movie and the anime in which it was adapted from. The Wachowski brothers definitely showed us their skills in creating the essence of the movie and captivating the audience with the visual effects. To me, the visuals actually played a big part in making the movie worthy of watching, mainly because the entire storyline is so dull and predictable, i felt as if i already knew what was coming at the end of the movie. It seemed to me that from the beginning of the movie, the audience was already being led directly to the plan of Speed winning the Grand Prix race.

Another factor in which i have to give the directors credit for, is the fact that they have not forgotten the initial target audience of the Speed Racer anime, which of course, are the younger generation. Therefore, the Wachowski brothers have kept the more playful and humorous elements in the movie, which in my viewpoint, was done in an effort to buy the votes of the loyal Speed Racer anime fans. At the same time, the directors used the visuals as a tool to reel in the more mature audience. As they have said that Speed Racer is actually produced to be a family movie, that means they have to make this movie all-rounded by ensuring that they have attended to different elements in the movie that appeal to all audience, regardless of the age group.

Many have said that in comparison to the Wachowski’s prior blockbuster movie, which was the incredibly successful Matrix Revolution, Speed Racer was decribed as being merely mediocre or even disappointing to others, I on the other hand, would beg to differ. However, having said that, i have never personally watched the former before, therefore have no idea how good it truly was. But i assumed it had to be extraordinarily good to have received the praises i heard. Nevertheless, even if compared to a praiseworthy movie such as The Matrix, i still maintain that Speed Racer was not given the credit it deserved. I have to admit that entering into the introduction of the movie, i was a little skeptical of the whole flying-vehicles futuristic world idea, especially as it was accompanied by the sleek and shiny costumes which made the entire cast seem like sausage casseroles walking around in aluminium foils. But moving on from there, slightly towards the middle of the story, when the races truly began, that was when the magic of the movie started drawing me in. From that point on, it was impossible not to be captivated by the brilliant colors of the race cars, or to get caught in the rush of the race.

In my opinion, the directors did a masterful job of creating each racing scene. Just the look of virtual cars defying the laws of gravity as each tore down the race tracks, trying to outrun their opponents, spiralling down sharp turns, looping round 360 degree turns on the roller coaster tracks, with the sounds of the racing cars ringing in your ears, is enough to fulfill any child’s wildest fantasies. All of these have proven to me that the Wachowski brothers have lived up to our expectations, that the visual techniques embedded in the movie were nothing short of genius.

The audience should not try to compare a movie such as Matrix with Speed Racer, as they are both clearly set in different genres and appeal to different people. The Matrix is leaning more towards the sci-fi action genre which involves lots of conflicts and combat scenes, whereas Speed Racer is merely just an adaptation of a children’s anime. Unlike Matrix, a movie such as this does not take a lot of brainpower to understand the progess of it. It only aimed at allowing the audience to have a good time, which the directors did superbly.

I was able to spot a few key elements in this movie which was crucial in determining its success. For the first element, which was having a character that the audience can believe in and sympathise with, was clearly portrayed through Speed. The audience would be able to identify with the inner conflicts he went through when he discovered that the Grand Prix was nothing more than a fixed race, and that all the past winners had been decided beforehand. This is clearly a reflection of reality, reminding the audience that at times, no matter how hard one tries to change the world for the better, there is only so much one can do, and that some things are just out of one’s hands to control.

The second element, which is the rise of an urgent and difficult problem, would most likely be, again, the part when Speed discovered the reality of the racing world, and strove to change it for the better. Moving on to the third element, which is the characters’ attempts to resolve the problem, which fail and make their situation more desperate, is clearly seen during the scene of the Casa Crista race. Speed Racer teamed up with Racer X and Taejo, in an attempt to convince Taejo to reveal the wrongdoings of Royalton. However, after having helped Taejo win the race, he in turn, went against his words and left Speed in a stage of betrayal and turmoil.

The fourth element, the arrival of the big crisis and their last chance to win, is obviously the last big race, the Grand Prix, in which Speed got the chance to race in and have a final chance of trying to change the corrupt world of racing. The last element of a successful movie, which is predictably, the successful resolution of the story, is identified with Speed’s victory in the Grand Prix. At the end of it, he had been able to prove that he was capable of changing the world he lived in and loved, which is the world of racing.

After watching Speed Racer, and having had a taste of what the Wachowski brothers were able to serve to the audience, let’s just say i would definitely be queuing up in line for their next movie.

References:

http://www.danimation.com/blog/wp-content/speed-racer-dec1.jpg

http://peopleareamazing.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/speed_racer_movie_poster_new.jpg

http://image.eurotuner.com/f/editorials/speed-racer-movie-review/9802615+cr1+re0+ar1/speed-racer.jpg

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0811080/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_Racer

Brick (Budgeting & Scheduling)

August 11, 2008

After watching both Brick and Enter the Zombie King, my observation is, both movies, in certain aspects, have some differences. Despite the fact that both movies are produced on low budgets, Brick covered all aspects of the movie down to the last intricate detail with such expertise and precision, which is what distinguish it as a brilliant movie compared to  Enter the Zombie King.

Let’s begin with the comparison of the script organisation of both  movies. In Brick, the opening scene shows the main character, Brendan, squatting down in front of Emily’s dead form. The director probably chose to start off the movie with this scene because he wants to impress the significance of this particular scene to the audience.

This scene is mainly the catalyst, the turning point of the story, which eventually led to other revelations, including Emily’s state of pregnancy when she was killed. This somehow makes the consequences of her murder seem even more severe. The entire storyline was well thought and planned out as it follows Brendan’s investigation, as he left no stone unturned in trying to find out the Emily’s killer based on the four letter lead she gave him before she died. In contrast, Enter the Zombie King as none of the precision and details as seen in Brick. My comment on Enter the Zombie King is, it is merely  a zombie slash wrestler movie with no developments on the part of the characters as well as the storyline. The only understanding i got from watching this movie is that it is about several professional wrestlers, including the main character, Ulysses, who somehow got linked with a bunch of zombies terrorrizing and slaughtering anyone who got in their way. Another thing which puts me off about this movie is the fact that the characters which play a big part in the movie are wearing masks that conceal all of half of their faces. This means that the audience are not able to watch the facial expressions of the characters throughout the entire movie. Due to this, Enter the Zombie King has lost an extremely important essence of being a good movie as facial expressions are often the most crucial way of conveying non-verbal messages to the audience, such as the characters’ internal feelings. To make matters worse, most of the conversations shared between the charaters in the movie sound over-rehearsed, with noticeable static pauses at the end of each line. Brick, on the other hand, displays truly professional acting skills as each charatcter deliver their line with precision and clarity, resulting in a sense of reality and involvement in the movie.

Next, in terms of the shooting techniques of the scenes, Brick is by far the better of the two. Often during a conversation in a movie, the expressions of the listeners are more important than the speaker’s as it shows the effect or impact of the words. Brick clearly understands this concept as the camera diverts from the speaker to the others in the background frequently to show their response. Enter the Zombie King does not show the same skill, probably due to the budget needed in editing the films, as it mainly focuses on the speaker until it is the next person’s turn to speak.

Lastly, let’s compare the audio effects in both movies and also the scores used for soundtracks. Brick demonstrates many good examples of creating audio effects for the scenes to make them more authentic. One of them is the scene in which Brendan is pursued by a guy who is armed with a knife within the school perimeters. There is a part where the camera zoomed in on the shoes of the pursuer, accompanied by the heavy sounds of his shoes clomping down the corridor. This audio effect is produced in the studios and added to the scene to emphasize on the aggressiveness of the pursuer in his attack. Also, the audio effect of a metallic banging sound is used to disguise as the guy’s head hitting against the pole when he is tripped by Brendan. These are only a few examples of the various sound effects found in Brick. In comparison, Enter the Zombie King has really minimal sound effects, almost to the point of none. The only ones that i can remember from the movie are the sounds of the car engine when Ulysses is driving. Moving on the soundtracks, the instrumental music used for Brick adds to the mystique and suspense of the movie, whereas the soundtracks in Enter the Zombie King are of a faster bear used in the wrestling scenes.

Overall, based on the elaborate comparison i provided, it is easy to see which of the two movies i favor. Brick has the kind of ability to keep the audience enthralled and wanting to know more, as bits and pieces are revealed to them as the movie slowly advances. This is something which Enter the Zombie King does not possess as the storyline is just so predictable and dull that the audience are most likely stifling yawns halfway through the movie. However, having said that, Enter the Zombie King will most perfectly suit those who want to relax and have an evening of mindless entertainment.

References:

http://www.cclapcenter.com/archives/brick01.jpg

http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/brick.jpg

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0393109/

http://www.brickmovie.net/