Saberspark’s History of Pixar and DreamWorks

I have a tendency to lump all CGI children’s and family movies into one category. These videos reminded me, “Oh yeah, Pixar and Disney make consistently decent movies compared to DreamWorks, Illumination, Blue Sky, and Sony.” I think I have such a negative outlook on these movies because I forget that. O.o


Weekly Update

Improvised Incoherence – I edited and released three episodes of Improvised Incoherence on Saturday, one more episode than I thought I would have with what I recorded. They are… a blast from the past.

The Twelfth Hour The other major thing I did this week was prepare and submit the first chapter of The Twelfth Hour to the Critters website (finally). It’ll be up for review in a couple weeks. I’ll probably spend more time reviewing stories on Critters between now and then to see if I can encourage more people to take a look at it and get lots of feedback. How terrifying. O.O

Burst! – Finally, I started familiarizing myself with the code for Team KAIZEN’s rhythm game Burst! this week and audio visualization in the Unity Game Engine. I’ll be updating the fireworks that appear in the game and making the editor that our volunteers use to create the button combinations for each song and difficulty nicer.

New Episodes of Improvised Incoherence

This month, I read and discuss random writings I found in my closet. Most are stories that I wrote when I was little. Some, however, are bizarre… other things.

A raccoon must find happy flours. They can cure you of any decease.

Did you know that being scary and scaring people are two different things?

Finally, I read James Frederick Christian Von Uhde III’s carefully researched report on the life and accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin.

Unsolicited Comment: SuperButterBuns’ Kingsglaive Reviews

In these video, SuperButterBuns reviews Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. She discusses its poor characters, strange pacing, inconsistent themes, lack of explanation, and general nonsense. Ultimately, however, she gives the film a 7/10 for its pretty graphics, fun action, and relation to Final Fantasy XV.

While I agree with (her love of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and) the 75% of her reviews in which she discusses Kingsglaive’s many problems, I’m not sure how she arrived at her conclusion. One of her favorite scenes is Regis’ tense conversation with Niflheim’s ambassador right before the Crystal is stolen, which I agree is the best scene in the movie but don’t think excuses it from everything else it does wrong. She claims that Noctis and the gang tied up the movie by introducing the game post-credits. She also appears to take it on faith that the game will explain the elements of the movie that the movie didn’t, which makes it a good film for fans. Basically, it got her excited for the game and provides empty action and visual entertainment. Therefore, it’s a good movie…?

It’s interesting what fans who’ve followed Final Fantasy XV since the Versus XIII days bring to this movie. From ButterBuns’ perspective, Luna and Regis were automatically cool characters from how they were portrayed in the game’s promotional materials. She admits that Luna mostly just looks like an idiot in the movie but continues to believe that she is a cool character. Buns has an affection for Regis’ character and found scenes with him the most interesting. This I find shocking because, to me, all I see in Regis in the movie is a heartless, selfish king of a kingdom no better than Niflheim’s.

ButterBuns also had an interesting interpretation of the scene where Luna jumps out of the airship. To Buns, “Not all miracles are made by magic,” was a major theme in the movie. Luna jumping out of the airship could have illustrated this theme if only Nyx hadn’t “rescued” her with magic. Luna’s confidence in her ability to reach the ledge would have demonstrated that magic isn’t everything. What I focused on in this scene was Luna saying, “I do not fear death,” and then throwing herself out of an airship, which contradicts her supposed importance to the Noctis and the future. While the theme ButterBuns perceived would make this movie interesting, she herself admits that it isn’t shown very well in general. If it were, then Nyx wouldn’t have used magic at the end of the movie. Instead, he only spends a brief time in the middle of it without magic. Then, miracles are made by fancy cars. 🙂

There are a few other minor points I disagree with. I also went to college for film and animation, but I completely disagree with Buns’ assessment that this film, in general, is well edited. The realistic graphics don’t make up for the poor cinematography or hyperactive video editing in my opinion. And Kingsglaive is a giant step backwards in terms of storytelling from both Advent Children and The Spirits Within.

Overall though, SuperButterBuns is entertaining and makes a lot of good or at least interesting points about what makes this movie good and bad. I DEMAND AN ADVENT CHILDREN REVIEW!

Weekly Update

The Twelfth Hour – This weekend was my birthday, and I ended up saying, “It’s my birthday, and I can write if I want to.” Then, I worked on The Twelfth Hour for 30+ hours and didn’t do much else with my week. At least the protagonist’s arc in chapter 5 and 6 has a sensible beginning, middle, and end. Now that that, the backbone of the chapters, has been better defined, it’s time to revise the other sections, figure out how to order all the scenes, and determine what is extraneous crap that needs to go in the garbage.

RPS Wars – I ran out of job-related programming things to do, so I worked on Start and Pause menus for RPS Wars. Team KAIZEN, however, just asked me to work on another video game Burst! for them, so I’ll probably have to set RPS Wars aside again.

Improvised Incoherence – Before I dropped everything in favor of writing, I got a couple hours of video editing done on the next episode of Improvised Incoherence. We’ll see if I actually do something other than write this week. Maybe I’ll finish it finally!

Unsolicited Comment: Antz – AniMat’s Classic Reviews

Another AniMat video response? I found some of his theories interesting and wanted to comment on them. So sue me!

In this video, AniMat reviews Antz. Having spent some time with Antz’s story and themes for The Philosophy of Antz video, I found it strange that AniMat proclaimed its story as barely present. He describes Z’s life as a worker ant who falls in love with a princess as a separate story from Z’s desire to leave his colony and travel to Insectopia. These sound less like separate stories and more like Act 1 and Act 2 of the movie. Act 1 introduces Z, the colony, and his feelings of not belonging. Z falls in love with Bala because it appears to him that she’s rebelling against her position in society, too. In Act 2, Z rejects the colony’s collectivist ideas and travels to Insectopia where he and Bala can be their own ants. The overall story is about Z finding his place in a society of overwhelming conformity. The film ends with Z proving the value of individualism in society. He finds his place here, in between the militaristic conformity of the colony at the beginning of the film and the complete independence and solitude in Insectopia.

AniMat also criticizes the characters for being avatars for the actors who portray them. This isn’t so much a criticism as it is pointing out that the actors were cast into roles that they are good at playing. People who don’t know the actors certainly wouldn’t think better or worse of the film because of them. I can’t see Daniel Radcliffe as anyone but Harry Potter, but I’m not about to criticize Horns for that. Similarly, Sean Bean and Lena Headey make Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV reminiscent of Game of Thrones, but I’d sooner criticize the movie for having morally reprehensible characters. Someone who’s very familiar with Woody Allen or the other actors in Antz might have trouble seeing past them, but that isn’t a mark against the script, the characters, or even the film. For someone like me, who recognizes only the actors’ names for the most part, I only hear the characters in Antz, and I thought they all worked well in carrying the film’s story.

Weekly Update

The Twelfth Hour – It looks like I’m going to be editing Chapter 5 and 6 at the same time because all the scenes with my protagonist I wrote and placed out of order between these two chapters. I wanted to change a few details about them, but because of the order I originally wrote them in and the protagonist’s consequential stinginess with sharing what happens and why, I’m basically rewriting them. It’ll be good though. At best, the protagonist won’t contradict himself. At least, he won’t contradict himself for vaguely-explained reasons.

Improvised Incoherence – I must have spent a couple hours screwing around with clip lights and microphones, but it’s recorded! I used a lapel microphone for the first time, so we’ll see how that turns out and if it cancels out the terrible lighting. Content-wise, I’m excited to get these episodes put together. They’ll be… different.

PDF Splitter – I finished implementing the latest batch of requests for my PDF splitter application. This means, while I’m waiting for more feedback, I can get some video editing and writing done… I hope. I spent an hour today hunting for a copy of the original Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children English movie script and reading tidbits from The Reunion Files Artbook. It made me happy, but I don’t know how more Advent Children trivia will help me be a productive member of society. 😛