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Warcraft: Review

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First I must confess I am not a big gamer. I am basically still into all the Super Mario games and a couple of 1080 Snowboarding games. I am however, familiar with massively multiplayer online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft and EverQuest. Having seen both of these games played I was very eager to see this movie, plus, I love fantasy films.

I was not disappointed.

Warcraft (alternatively known as Warcraft: The Beginning) is a 2016 American action-fantasy film directed by Duncan Jones and written by Jones, Charles Leavitt and Chris Metzen. It is based on the Warcraft video game series and novels set in the world of Azeroth. The film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky and Daniel Wu. The film portrays the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs and takes place in a variety of locations established in the video game series.

Its movies like this that make me love being a nerd! It’s escapist fun like this is why such movies are being made. This movie actually did poorly with the critics and at the Box office. It has a 28% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although 73% of the viewing audience liked it. On Box Office Mojo it did only $47 million domestically on a $160 million budget. However, it made a further $386 million over seas for a grand total of $433 million world wide. That will give the film a profit and hopefully a sequel will not be out of the question. I think the poor performance sadly demonstrates that movies like this do need to reach out beyond their fan base and find a way to appeal to a broader audience.

I think I will eliminate my pros and cons because I didn’t find much about the movie I didn’t like…except for one thing. Although I enjoyed the story and the characters greatly the story was a bit confusing at times and my unfamiliarity with the story/game made it difficult for me to always understand what was going on and who some of these characters were. I’m sure on repeated viewings I will comprehend things better.

I want to conclude this by talking about the CGI in this movie. The Orcs are done with motion capture and while there is a lot of blue screen CGI there are also practical effects woven into the movie. I have heard complaints that the CGI isn’t always that great. I did enjoy the effects and I love movies like this because they do such a great job in creating a fantasy world.

I see many people comparing this to other fantasy movies such as Lord of the Rings or Avatar. While I think the CGI is of the same quality, I think the end results are different. That difference is that Warcraft does look like the how the video game it is named after would look like had it come to life. In other words, it still rightfully maintains a look or verisimilitude that exemplifies and represents a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, but on a larger life-like scale. In my view the look of the movie is the best of both worlds, life-like fantasy elements married to video game elements and along with an engaging story are the reasons this movie is very enjoyable.

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Comic Con 2013 recap. Part I

I didn’t go to Comic-Con but this is some of the big news that was reported this past weekend in San Diego.

1. The sequel to the Man of Steel looks to be a Superman & Batman movie. The movie is set for 2015 which pushes a Justice league movie back to 2017 and in 2016 we will finally get a long waited The Flash movie!!!!!! What I know so far is that  Zack Snyder will direct, David S. Goyer will write the screenplay, Henry Cavill will return as Superman, and Christian Bale is unlikely to return as Batman. I am a bit disappointed that they are not doing another solo Superman movie before they team him up with Batman. Man of Steel just established Superman, or reestablished him, I should say, and I would like at least one more outing with him on his own. But I am open to a Superman and Batman movie, I just hope they cast someone good in the role of Batman.

2. As I type this I am a bit disappointed that the Godzilla panel was a bit of a let down. The design for the new Godzilla was not revealed and they did show a new teaser trailer. In an interview with director Garret Edwards from Friday evening we learned that Godzilla will be the tallest ever seen and he will have the atomic breath. Edwards also reported that the story is very emotional and some scenes left many in tears while it was being filmed.

Here is a description of the teaser trailer:

Godzilla trailer description!

This is from Quint at AICN:

There was the typical sizzle reel thing of having a lot of out of context images flashing at you… Bryan Cranston in some kind of radioactive suit and looking worried, Aaron Taylor-Johnson in full soldier gear pointing his rifle at something, a soldier running down a fiery street, Ken Watanabe looking on in awe of something, a quick reunion shot in a Katrina-esque stadium refugee zone with a kid and Elizabeth Olsen, people running around in a government installation… that kind of thing. Chaos.

Then it cuts to black for a bit, just to draw out the tension, then we see our first glimpse of a monster. Notice I said “a monster” not “the monster.” We get a tall Kaiju that looks a bit like the Cloverfield monster in terms of it kind of having thin appendages and flat-ish face. It’s destroying shit and we see it prominently featured at an airport. It towers over parked planes as jets and attack choppers shoot mercilessly at the beast.

One chopper gets too close and is swatted down. All that follows is shown in one shot through the large plate glass windows from inside the airport as if a POV shot of a witness… The chopper is hit and it spins as it crashes to the ground near a parked plane. Upon impact the chopper explodes which starts off a chain reaction as one plane after another gets caught up in the rolling fireball that gets bigger and bigger with each successive explosion.

The camera pans, following the destruction and as the final plane explodes, Godzilla’s massive thick tree trunk of a foot comes down right in the middle of the fireball of the last exploding plane. Cut to black again as the audience cheers like mad.

Then an image fades up of the other Kaiju aggressively moving with in the smoke and wreckage of the airport, not seeing Godzilla raise up behind it. As big as the first monster looked when destroying everything you realize that it barely comes up to Godzilla’s midriff as the King of Monsters stands straight up behind it. Godzilla roars and that’s it.

3.  Another movie by Legendary pictures was also revealed on Saturday. There is going to be a World of Warcraft movie. I do not play the game but I have seen some people play that game and others similar to it. It looks like it could be a lot of fun.

I will gather up more info and recap Comic-Con 2013 on Wed and Friday! Stay tuned!