Tag Archives: CGI

Countdown to Halloween Special: Top Ten B-Movie Monsters

So we here at Grizzly Bomb have a mammoth Countdown to Halloween going on, focusing on some of the greatest Halloween icons to ever terrify humanity. However, here I just want to give a thumbs up to some of the more obscure creatures of the night who have terrified me over the years.

So welcome to our Countdown to Halloween Special – Top 10 B-Movie Monsters. Click on through our new handy Tabber below and prepare yourself for some B-Movie greatness.

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GB’s VHS Vault: The Truth about the Jaws Sequels

Jaws is an amazing film. I think most people would be hard pressed to argue with that fact, and if nothing else Jaws made almost everyone afraid to go into the water.

The VHS and poster art is a work of genius, so simplistic and yet so powerful. It is also a great example of summing up an entire movie. People swim, Jaws eats them. Aside from how they beat the shark, that’s pretty much the movie in a nutshell. It is the Jaws sequels I want to cast my beady eye over this week and the slap dash approach they took with VHS marketing. Like a lot of series, this line of movies went from great to dire until they decided to knock the whole franchise on the nose and send it on its way (that’s how you distract a shark for a few minutes you see, by hitting its nose, so that comment is actually quite clever!).

Jaws 2 decides that Jaws was such a winning formula they should just copy and paste it into a new plot line. So not much has changed, it follows Sheriff Brody again, and people still will not listen to him about there been a pesky shark roaming about. The man paid his dues, surely they should cut him some slack. Anyway the cover is pretty standard; it has blonde looking happy, water skiing until old Bruce (the sharks nick name from Jaws) 2 pops up behind her. This is where I start to get a bit pedantic people, as it’s the same shark. Now I know this may come as a shock, but not all sharks look exactly the same, sure similar – but not identical. Does the shark from Jaws have a bloodline that covers the entire frikking ocean? I know it’s iconic and all, but come on.

In the first Jaws film the shark is coming from the bottom of the ocean to the top to get the woman. But here the shark is already behind the woman in question, and she is facing us directly, not swimming sideways. So the angle of the shark looks all wrong. He should be facing the front of the cover, so we see his eyes and teeth or at least his fin poking out. It just looks like the shark has torpedoed himself out the water like a missile, and it seems that the water-skier would have noticed that. Most of the shark attacks I have seen (well on TV at least) always have the sharks pop out the water at a slight angle, so it can get a better grip of its food. Not the case with this shark, he is a drama queen and must make an entrance. The funniest thing I found about this is, if he is coming in at that angle he will land down onto the water pretty quickly, creating the biggest shark belly flop known to man or beast.

Jaws 3, alas does not change the formula either. In its defense though, it does at least show two sharks (which is a big part of the movie one a baby, one its mum) on its VHS sleeve, and it does show the SeaWorld staff having a good time until the shark chases them. Maybe if they spent more time sorting out the SeaWorld pipes they would have noticed the damn sharks, but that’s beside the point. The shark is actually going in the right direction this time, with its fin just been visible. It makes it a lot more credible and to be honest a lot more scary. The artwork is pretty good here too, so it is a definite improvement. The SeaWorld resort is plainly seen in the background and it looks huge, which makes it a little bit more believable that two sharks would pop in for a visit. This was 3D in the cinemas and the Jaws 3 logo makes it look as such, which also adds just a little bit more originality to it. My VHS copy however does not have 3D capabilities, so it puts me in a foul mood to think I missed 3D Jaws. Overall in cover and plot at least they tried something different. What they did not do however, is get rid of that bleeding shark image! Even worse on this one – it’s not even in the water, it’s just hovering over the resort like some mega shark waiting to attack. In all fairness maybe they were going for a metaphor on how the shark is like a spectre of death hovering over the resort until it has its revenge, probably not though.

This brings us to Jaws 4The Revenge. Wait I thought the last film was about shark revenge. Well ignore that, as this film brings us right back to sheriff Brody’s family. He is dead now, shark induced heart attack (or maybe boredom as I would get sick of sharks popping up every two seconds). His wife thinks that a shark is stalking them. Is it? Who cares that’s not what I’m here for, I’m looking at the VHS cover. And boy this is a slap dash affair. There are two different covers for this. The US one which is the best, actually looks pretty good. It has a woman, alone on a ship, ready to fight a ticked off shark. It even breaks the trend of completely ignoring the human cast involved in the film, by having them on the bottom of the front cover.

Maybe they put them on so we knew who to blame when everyone who watched this thought it was a turd sandwich. The other cover, which is also the promo poster for the movie sucks. It is the exact same cover as Jaws 2 but it has removed the girl entirely. Even the people who make the VHS covers were sick of having teenagers on the cover! All they have done is add a few splashes around the shark mid rift to make its jump out of the water scarier. But it’s not, because the shark looks like an idiot. He is in the middle of the ocean (there is no land present anywhere on the sleeve) and there is no one there, he is actually chasing nothing so why the big entrance? A Shark Prima Donna yet again, making a big entrance but this time for no body. It actually just looks stupid. And no extra points for using the shark as the A in Jaws – The Return, it’s not clever and it reeks of desperation. The viewers thought so to, as this nose-dived at the box office and killed the series. So what have we learnt from this? Well Jaws 4 needed better VHS art (or a better plot I’m not sure).

Just for giggles I’m including the unofficial sequel Jaws 5 – Cruel Jaws. It was a TV movie shot by Bruno Mattei which focused on a tiger shark (so not the right shark then) kicking off and doing the usual shark things these movies do. The cover is hilarious though. It is the exact same cover as Jaws 4 only more crudely drawn and with an explosion in the background, because everyone loves sharks and explosions right? This may be my favourite cover actually! But all this bitching and moaning aside I should not complain. Without these films we would not have had some of the amazing rip offs (like the above mentioned film) which would warrant an article themselves. We would also not have had the CGI shark flicks of today. Hell some companies would go bust if it was not for the fact you can mix a shark up with pretty much anything (Two headed shark, Shark man, Dinoshark and Sharktopus been fine examples). I don’t know if I could live in a world that did not have these. So for that reason alone I salute the awful VHS covers of the Jaws franchise and thank them for kicking off a run of awful shark movies.

New Trailer For “Starship Troopers: Invasion”

Starship Troopers has always been a polarizing franchise. The original Heinlein novel split readers down to whether or not it was pro or anti-fascism, or even a pro or anti-war novel. Even the titular 1997 adaptation saw its fair share of criticism for being mindless, overly gory and disrespectful of its source material, and alternatively being a cleverly made satire of fascism and militaristic jingoism disguised as a brainless action movie. (This years Battleship accomplishes the same feat, despite its source material being a damned board game.) Over the years however, Starship Troopers has developed into its own franchise, with it’s own set of sequels, albeit terrible ones. It was only a matter of time until someone decided to try to reclaim the franchise, and bring it back from straight to DVD hell in one way or another, and surprisingly, it has, this time in CGI form.

Wow. CGI Denise Richards looks different. Better? You decide.

That’s right, the film is being made entirely in CGI animation, by anime director Shinji Aramaki, who is known for his designs for mechs and powered exoskeletons for many anime series. This should ring a bell for fans of the novel, as the mechanized suits played a substantial role in the novel, and were unseen in the original film. However, the trailer indicates that it seems to directly pick it’s continuity from the first film, ignores it’s awful sequels, and furthers the direction of the original characters story, rather than reinterpreting and/or re-imagining a new adaptation of the book entirely.

It’s like a feature length videogame cutscene you can’t play!

The trailer shows Johnny Rico, who is now a battle hardened, eyepatch wearin’ , scarred roughneck, ready to rumble and barking out orders. We also see brief clips of soldiers attacking the bugs, ships flying, and a glimpse of the powered suits that the novel featured. The actual plot of the film takes place 10 years after the events of the Starship Troopers, and we see that Carl Jenkins, originally played by Neil Patrick Harris, has taken the Starship John A. Warden on a secret mission, and of course, ends up going missing. This leads to Rico sending off the Troopers on a rescue mission, where they’ll surely uncover new, horrifying and awesome bugs to kill. Also returning, is the character of Carmen, who was previously played by Denise Richards, and is now going to be joining Rico on the rescue mission, and possibly rekindling whatever broken romance she had with Rico from the first film.

How could you not love that face?

Some might think CGi is a strange direction to take for a sequel, but it’s not without precedent, as there was a mostly forgotten, and short lived CGI television series, called Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, that skewed much closer in tone to the novel, than the film itself. However, this film seems to preserve the satirical spirit of the original film, with Troopers spouting out famous one liners, “C’mon you apes! You wanna live forever!”,  and even keeping the famously propagandistic  line, “Would you like to know more?”.

Behold! Paranormally gifted Col. Carl Jenkins! Previously played by Neil Patrick Harris! HAIL!

WIll they survive? Will they stop the bug menace once and for all? Will they make an entertaining and watchable film? It remains to be seen, as no hard release date has yet been confirmed, just a “Summer 2012”.  We’ll inform you as soon as there is more info, because we’re all sure that you Would Like To Know More!

The Teaser For the ‘Tomb Raider’ Trailer…

A teaser to a trailer? You can’t be serious, right? What kind of world do we live in nowadays? We’re having foreplay’s before foreplay’s. I don’t get it. Whatever. I’m here to give you some of my impressions on (the teaser to) the upcoming Tomb Raider, pending a release window sometime next year.

Before we get into anything, it’s vital for you to understand that I have never played a single game in the franchise, nor did I watch any of the movies. I wrote this article after skimming through a few Wikipedia articles, and watching a couple of gameplay videos. Most of the time, I just end up staring at Lara Croft’s two lumps of meat, located right above her abdomen. I’m not even into boobs. Talk about dedication.

One of the bigger deals about the game is that it’s a reboot to the Tomb Raider franchise. You can obviously tell from the new, re-designed, “I am going to be taken seriously” look to her, as opposed to the “I am actually a blow up doll playing someone with brains, or no brains? I don’t know. My boobs are larger than my brain anyways. Wait, do I have a brain? Oh no, I don’t!!! I’m a sex toy!!!!”

Trivia: Lara’s huge boobs are the result of an accident on the artist’s end as he was making adjustments to her figure. They decided to stick with it.

Anyways, here’s the teaser to the trailer to the game:

I hope they realize how ridiculous it is to give us a preview to a preview.

First of all,  I have to say that this game is looking amazing. The environments look vibrant. Lara actually bears great resemblance to her conceptual design unlike*ahem*FemShep in*ahem*ME3*ahem. It is also worth noting that the cut scenes seem to be rendered using the in-game engine. At least that seems to be the case when Lara Croft lights up a match and sits right next to the campfire. CGI cutscenes are falling out of favor fast, given how realistic graphics in modern video games look.

There isn’t much exploring in the teaser. The sequence they have shown involves Lara walking on a plank of wood, and climbing up the frame of a dismantling aircraft stuck to the edge of a cliff. To the best of my understanding, the game is supposed to be somewhat “sandboxy”, so this might just be a linear portion of the game.

Compared to previous games, which focused on puzzle-solving, Crystal Dynamics has decided to place a larger emphasis on combat. I’m somewhat intrigued by this direction, since there are already some well-established franchises which share the same vision (eg. Far Cry). I’m excited to see how the devs are going to mix things up.

We’ll be back on Friday to give you our thoughts on the trailer. In a shameless attempt on hyping up that piece and generating traffic to the site, we will also release a snippet of that article two hours before putting up the article for everyone to read.

‘Half-Life: Origins’ Fan Film is Pretty Neat

If you never got a chance to play the original Half-Life, you probably don’t realize the impact it had on the gaming community. The game featured a sense of immersion that was kind of groundbreaking to players and creators in 1998, and its developer Valve has held a longstanding reputation in the industry by consistently hitting that same mark with every one of their games since, a quality which few others have been able to match.

One of the major things that stuck out for players in Half-Life was the extended intro sequence that had you playing through protagonist Gordon Freeman’s slow commute to work, from the long train ride to the meandering, chatting co-workers in the physics lab. It goes without saying that it’s a fond memory for fans.

Director Brian Curtin, who you might be familiar with from his previous Half-Life fan film Beyond Black Mesa, is back with a commendable tribute to that very sequence. Combining live-action and some pretty swanky CGI for a home-made short, Half-Life: Origins is a brief callback to your first run-in with Black Mesa. It’s a nostalgic trip if you’ve had a chance to play the classic PC shooter, and even if it’s all new to you it’s definitely worth a look:

Hopefully it’s enough to tide you over while Half-Life 3 painfully remains a mystery.