Friday, 01 September 2006 |
Even though “Species” is such an “Alien” knockoff that the creatures
were designed by “Alien”’s H.R. Giger, it’s one of the better such
imitations that followed in the wake of Ridley Scott’s scary movie.
This time, the alien menace is on Earth, a human-alien hybrid with an
ingrained compulsion to mate as soon as possible. When she looks human,
she looks sensational—no wonder, she’s played by striking, statuesque
Nastasha Henstridge, making her movie debut—but when she’s not, she’s a
sleek, pinkish-gray, elegant but monstrous-looking predator with fangs,
claws, and extendable nipples.
“Species” was one of the first movies in the wake of precedent-setting
“Jurassic Park” to make extensive use of computer graphic special
effects, and evidently the first to use performance-capture technology.
That’s the steadily-improving technique of attaching highlights to the
bodies and limbs of actors—often little red dots—which are registered
by a computer and used to drive figures otherwise created in the
digital realm. ...
Tuesday, 01 August 2006 |
As high-definition DVDs roll out in the form of Blu-Ray discs and the
incompatible HD DVD, some studios show little care in selecting what
films are released in this dazzling format. So far, it seems
Columbia/Sony is just grabbing the last group of theatrical releases,
or films like “50 First Dates” that already did well on standard DVD.
“Ultraviolet” is a good example in several ways. It’s a lousy movie, no
question of that, even though the usually-appealing Milla Jovovich is
the star. Perhaps her career has been derailed by her starring role in
the wretched “Resident Evil” series, because now she seems like Action
Girl #1. “Ultraviolet” doesn’t require much of the acting abilities she
displayed in “The Fifth Element” and “The Messenger: The Story of Joan
of Arc.” On the other hand, those films also required her to be nimble
and graceful, even while wearing a full suit of ...