New Clash of the Titans Trailer

Hi all…

Sometime in 2009, the new Clash of the Titans started to get some press and I have to admit I was curious.

I fondly remember the horribleclassic movie from the 1981 movie starring Harry Hamlin as Perseus, Sir Laurence Olivier as Zeus, Ursula Andress as Aphrodite, Burgess Meredith as Ammon, and more. It was a merging of stop motion and live action, but never seemed to have the gravitas it needed even then. The mechanical owl, Bubo, will forever make that movie much more cartoony than it ever should have been.

As a lover of mythology, the Greek myths were of course some of the first I was ever introduced to in school. Perseus was a hero who would of course kill the Gorgon Medusa, who could turn anyone to stone who returned her gaze.

Yes, it looks like there will be a new war between gods and men. This time with better CGI and special effects! Plus, it has a heck of a cast…

And yes, Medusa, Pegasus, and the Kraken are there too based on the trailer… I keep waiting for the mechanical owl to show its ugly head, but so far it’s escaped notice. 🙂

March 26, 2010 is only a few months away… Hopefully the new trailer will tide us over in the meantime!

–Fitz

p.s. In the meantime, catch the old movie on DVD or watch Sam Worthington in action:

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Book Review: The Art of Terminator Salvation by Tara Bennett

Hi all…

In May 2009, Terminator Salvation began hitting theaters worldwide to continue the saga of the Terminator story begun back in 1984 by James Cameron. Set in the time after Judgement Day, when the self-aware computer system Skynet launched a devastating nuclear attack that was the beginning of humanity’s war with the Machines.

Terminator Salvation focuses on the intertwined paths of two very different men. John Connor (Christian Bale), a soldier in the Resistance, has not yet come into his own as the leader of the war. And Markus Wright (Sam Worthington), a prisoner condemned to death by injection, suddenly wakes up and finds himself in a world gone to hell. Both men are seeking to find their own way and both leave definite impressions on each other and those they encounter along the way.

Tara Bennett’s book, The Art of Terminator Salvation, provides a glimpse into some of the amazing art that led to the scenes eventually seen in the movie. Each image taken on its own is spectacular in its own right. But they’re even more impressive when you consider what it takes a movie crew to go from art to the finished product for a motion picture with a budget of $200 million.

Not only does the book provide glimpses into what the crew thought scenes might look like, but storyboards and context all the way from beginning to end. The artwork is simply stunning. And when you add technical drawings of some of the machines, like the Hunter-Killer, the Harvester, and the Moto-Terminators, you begin to see the engineering know-how that these talented people must have.

At the end of the book you get a glimpse of the production art for the Terminator Factory, and it is just incredible and scary at the same time. A factory run by fiercely intelligent machines creating an army of invincible robotic warriors. And to see some of the possible hardware the artists and designers imagined was unbelievable.

I was blown away by the artwork from beginning to end. I liked the movie, but books like this reinforce the sheer amount of talent necessary to make a movie of this size work. Whether you liked Terminator Salvation or didn’t, books like The Art of Terminator Salvation are inspirational and provide a platform for the many talented people to show off their work. And if nothing else, it’s one heck of an interesting centerpiece for a coffee table!

Be sure to check out The Art of Terminator Salvation at your favorite online or local bookstore. And while you’re at it, check out Bennett’s other book for the movie – Terminator Salvation: The Official Movie Companion!

–Fitz

p.s. Click below to pick up these books from Amazon!

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Book Review: Terminator Salvation: The Official Movie Companion by Tara Bennett

Hi there!

In 1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton starred in Terminator, which introduced us to the spectre of a dark future. On Judgement Day, Cybernet, an artificially aware computer, starts a nuclear war. From that day forward, the machines ruled the earth with only a few ragtag resistance groups fighting back.

In 2029, the machines send back a “Terminator” (Schwarzenegger) – a cyborg – to kill the mother of John Connor, leader of the resistance mounting against the machines. Sarah Connor (Hamilton) is saved by Kyle Reese (Biehn), a soldier sent back to stop the Terminator. During their fight for survival against the Terminator, they fall in love and through that union, John Connor is conceived.

Directed by James Cameron, Terminator was a science-fiction stalker movie that caught moviegoers by surprise and gained worldwide notice.

In 1991, the fight against the machines continued with Terminator 2: Judgement Day. This time, a Terminator (Schwarzenegger) is sent back to protect a young John Connor (Edward Furlong). A second, more advanced Terminator (Robert Patrick), is sent back to kill John. John and his protector work together to get Sarah Connor (Hamilton) out of a mental hospital and then the trio work to stop the new, shapeshifting cyborg from killing John.

As with any good movie idea, the second movie spawned a third and in 2003 we saw Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Continuing the story, we moved further along the Terminator timeline to the days when Cybernet became self-aware and triggered nuclear holocaust. Along the way, we meet Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), John’s future wife, and a more grown-up John Connor (Nick Stahl).

That brings us to May 2009, when Terminator Salvation began hitting theaters around the world. Writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris and director McG aimed to reboot the Terminator franchise and fill in the time between Judgement Day and when Kyle Reese is sent back in time to protect an unknowing Sarah Connor from the machines.

Tara Bennett’s book, Terminator Salvation: The Official Movie Companion, provides a closer look at the process that went into making Terminator Salvation, from pre-production through to production design, costume design, actors, stunts, cinematography and visual effects.

The book goes into a ton of detail about each phase of production, providing a wide variety of pictures and text to inform the reader about decisions, early designs, and discussions with cast and crew. Some of the imagery is striking, including an image of four different Terminator endoskeletons, from the initial T-600 of the first movie through to the time of Terminator Salvation. The many storyboards scattered throughout the book are also very helpful as you see the progression from early thoughts to finished product.

The production design chapters included many, many pictures from early phases of the movie. Production artists created what must have been 100s of different paintings depicting different scenes and how they might look. Comparing those early images to what they looked like in the final product was very cool.

Christian Bale as John Connor in this incarnation was a bold choice by McG. Bale has a history of devoting himself fully to projects like American Psycho, The Machinist, Rescue Dawn and both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. He works very hard at each role, investing himself physically and mentally at each phase of production. This movie was no different. As McG says in the book, “This is the story of the becoming of John Connor.” Bale took that seriously and made sure Connor started at one point in his development and came out the leader of the Resistance he would become.

Sam Worthington is a relative newcomer to Hollywood, but he was picked for James Cameron’s upcoming film – Avatar – and was approached by McG to become Marcus Wright, a core character in Terminator Salvation. McG looked hard “who can stand up to Christian Bale, face-to-face, and not flinch.” And Worthington fit the bill. Originally a brick-layer in Western Australia, Worthington has a working-class quality that comes across in his acting.

And the rest of the book dives deeply into constructing the many different Terminator models seen in the film, working with cast and crew on this project, and so on. Definitely a ton of detail to make you appreciate the time, energy, and skill that goes into making a film of this scope.

If you liked the film, this is a great book to learn more about how it was made. But even if you didn’t like Terminator Salvation, I’d recommend you take a look at the Terminator Salvation: The Official Movie Companion just to understand how much work went into the film. It’s obvious from the book that everyone was quite passionate about the project – not only as a huge film production in the present, but to make sure that it lived up to the legacy of the previous Terminator films.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Terminator Salvation: The Official Movie Companion at your favorite online or local brick-and-mortar bookseller!

–Fitz

p.s. Click below to pick up this book at Amazon!

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