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Showing posts from 2013

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Movie Review

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty bares little resemblance to it's 1947 counterpart staring Danny Kaye, and that is a good thing. I vaguely remember watching the 1947 adaptation - probably as a Saturday or Sunday afternoon television movie as a child. I probably enjoyed it too as I watched a lot of Danny Kaye's movies in my youth. They were always funny and entertaining.

Ben Stiller's new adaptation of the story, both of which are inspired by the short story by James Thurber, not only updates the story for today's world but also turns it into much more of a funny, feel-good, inspirational journey. Stiller and the movie's writer, Steve Conrad, have elevated the idea to a whole other level.

2013's Walter Mitty movie is a commentary on life, that can be taken as just an entertaining, cinematic journey or it can move you to thinking about doing more to experience and live a real life yourself. Step away from the computer, stop experiencing life through a camera phone…

TET Wishes You a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I'm writing this post on Christmas Eve, staying up late so I can see Santa deliver our presents. Thus far he's a no show but there's still plenty of time yet.
Whilst I'm waiting I thought I'd take the time to wish all my readers, followers and supporters of my work a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I know this year hasn't been particularly productive in generating new content for you. Also I still haven't gotten the Frog Van fixed entirely as promised last year (thanks again to those of you that donated money to at least get it back on the road) so I could blog more about traveling.
On the plus side my animation 4 business site has received a steady flow of work almost all year. Which means I'll be able to get the brake pads replaced on the van some time early in the new year I hope. Then I'll plan a series of travel vlogs/blogs featuring the van as my transportation.
I've also bought a whole bunch of animation software and hope to bring …

Machine Rising Update: Google Buys Skynet / NASA Unveils Not-Quite-Superhero Robot

Google Buys Skynet
Well okay, not Skynet, but the next closest thing that you know some tech-nerd-sci-fi-movie-fan future CEO is going to rename because 'Boston Dynamics' just doesn't fulfill the prophecy outlined in The Terminator series of documentaries sent to us from the future.

Google buys out Boston Dynamics the company responsible for developing some pretty sophisticated robots for the US military.  The world's biggest Search Engine/data company teamed with one of the world's most advanced experimental robot companies...

I just started watching the TV series Caprica - a prequel to the recent Battlestar Galactica series - and in that show the Cylons begin when an A.I. created from the accumulated data of big brother like search engine/database is placed in the mechanical body of what would evolve into the Cylons that become hell bent on destroying human kind...

Wait? Maybe James Cameron's Terminator movies got it wrong? Maybe we should be looking out for …

Book: TET' Art Business Advice Blog Book

Some of my regular readers may know that I used to post regularly to a blog called TET's Art Business Advice. The blog began because, when I was painting and selling art on Ebay on a weekly basis, I used to get asked a lot of questions ranging from how to price your art through to how to sell on Ebay and more.

Some questions came up again and again so, when I gave a complete answer to that person, I would then edit my response to a more general audience and post it in my Art Business Advice Blog. That way I could refer people to posts where I'd already answered their question before, and people looking for information online could access my experience as an actual artist selling online.

In July of 2012 I made my final post to that blog, explaining that I'd moved on from selling my art online and feeling that I was speaking less and less from current experience. I now earn far more from freelancing in business animation than I ever did selling my paintings.

Don't get m…

Man of Steel 2 - Justice League Origin Story?

With the recent announcement that Gal Godot will be Wonder Woman in Superman's follow up film and rumors that everyone from Dick Grayson to the Flash may also make appearances alongside the confirmed Ben Affleck Batman, I'm calling it... Man of Steel 2 will be a Justice League Origin story.

It has to be doesn't it? If you've got the three key members of the Justice League in your film and you're flat out saying Gal Gadot WILL be Wonder Woman, rather than saying she isn't for a secret reveal plot twist in the film, then, by the end of this movie we have to be seeing the beginnings of the Justice League?

That said, I don't know anything about the script other than Superman's in the movie and an older, more experienced and battle weary Batman will show up at some point. There's a football match. There may be a fight between Bats and Supes and, I'm guessing, Wonder Woman may be the peacemaker... so Batman and Superman can maintain a healthy dislike…

Thor: The Dark World - Movie Review

It's good to see that Thor's second solo film has performed not only well but even better than his first film - which I enjoyed quite a bit (more so with subsequent viewings).

Thor: The Dark World takes place after The Avengers movie and sees Thor up against a new villain who is threatening to destroy the nine realms.

I won't bog you down with details of the plot and cast lists etc. if you want all that click the link to the movie above which will take you to the Internet Movie Data Base. Instead I'll give you my impressions of the film without giving too much away in the way of spoilers.

Overall I did enjoy this movie. If you're a fan of the first Thor film then this one has everything you'd hope to see only with more detail.

In particular Asgard is a more fleshed out and believable world, looking a little less shiny and a little more lived in with actual people going about their daily lives.

We didn't see a whole lot of sci-fi tech in the first movie but …

George Clooney and Matt Damon on Ben Affleck as Batman

As reported in Empire Magazine via Hollywood Backwash George Clooney was asked to comment on Ben Affleck's casting as Batman saying...

"I am the least qualified person to comment on anyone playing the role of Batman since I so terribly destroyed the part. I tend to look at it like this — let’s just see what the movie is before everyone starts beating him up, he is a smart man, he knows what he is doing."
Anyone who own's the DVD of Batman and Robin will have seen the included documentary, with George's humorously self depreciating reflections on how he ruined the Batman franchise, however, in my opinion, of all the things wrong with the film, George really wasn't one of them.
In a 2011 interview with Total Film Clooney had this to say about his turn as the Batman...
"Batman is still the biggest break I ever had and it completely changed my career, even if it was weak and I was weak in it. It was a difficult film to be good in. I don’t know what I could …

Movie: Battle Los Angeles (2011)

Battle Los Angeles is one of those sci-fi movies I would have liked to see on a big screen when it was released but didn't really inspire me to make sure I did.

Plus it stars Aaron Eckhart, who irritates me for some reason in most movies. I don't know why? I wasn't his biggest fan in The Dark Knight. He's actually a very good actor in the right film and Battle Los Angeles definitely agrees with him. At least I wasn't irritated by him when I caught the movie on free to air TV tonight.

Being a long time sci-fi fan what caught my eye about this film is that it's an alien invasion movie. Sure you've probably seen it all before but the design of the aliens and their spacecraft seemed fairly unique to anything I'd seen before. In that department it didn't disappoint.

Although the actual aliens reminded me a lot of those from the Alien Movies their armor, space craft and other tech was all pretty impressive.

The movies plot is fairly straight forward. A un…

Griff the Invisible - an Aussie Superhero Film

Griff the Invisible (2010) is an Australian, comedic, superhero movie that follows in the tradition of Kick Ass and Super (coincidentally released in the same year as those movies) in that it features a hero with no real super powers. Griff is just an unassuming, meek, office worker by day and a fairly awesome crime fighter by night... or is he?

I discovered this movie on free to air TV a couple of nights ago and was surprised to see such a well thought out superhero movie, made in Australia on an obviously modest budget.

It's not your typical action packed superhero film with a big finale face off against the main villain at the end. This movie has a heart, showing that it's okay to be who we really are when we're in our own private head space.

It then takes that idea and brings love into the equation. Exploring the dynamic of letting someone into that world that you keep hidden from everyone else.

Griff is played superbly by Ryan Kwanten, who American audiences may know …

Batman Ben Affleck - Nervously Optimistic

As the internet hate begins to flow for the announcement that Ben Affleck has been cast to play Batman in the yet untitled Man of Steel sequel I'm just taking the announcement in (and quietly celebrating Ryan Gosling or Orlando Bloom weren't cast).

The obvious comparison for how Ben might play Batman is his run in the title role of the movie Dare Devil. I've seen that film and, whilst it wasn't the train wreck many people describe, Ben's performance doesn't really give any insight into what his Batman might be like.

I've seen Ben in many other movies too and I disagree with those who say he has limited acting range or isn't a very good actor. He definitely has enough range to play a character like Batman who, let's face it, isn't the kind of character that's going to win any actor an academy award for their portrayal - no matter how good. Especially if an actor like Christian Bale can't get a nomination for the role.

At the same time th…

Why Even Bother Stopping the Boats?

A hot issue in Australian politics right now is stopping the influx of 'boat people', refugees/asylum-seekers coming into the country via profiteering people smugglers. The pretense is an issue of safety, with several boats having recently capsized causing the loss of life, some of which were children.

Then there's the secondary concerns like whether these people are even genuine refugees and just the fact that they've 'jumped the queue' to get into this country (suggesting that refugees have access to a formal process of leaving their own country).

If these boat people do actually make it to Australia we spend thousands (millions?) of dollars putting them into detention centres on neighbouring islands, spend months processing refugee status claims and, now, ship them off to Papua New Guinea for resettlement.

What the hell, Australia?

Why not turn this problem to our advantage and put the onus back onto the countries these people are fleeing from to secure the…

Why Wonder Woman Doesn't Need an Origin Movie

In the wake of the recent announcement at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con that the sequel to Man of Steel will feature Batman I've kind of got superhero movies on the brain.

Consensus among comic film watchers is that a Superman/Batman movie is definitely another step towards the Justice League film that Warner Bros has been trying to get off the ground - since before anyone believed an Avengers film would even work, let alone make more than a billion at the box office.

Inevitably that leads to questions about the introduction of other Justice League members, particularly Wonder Woman, who is arguably the most iconic superhero on the planet to not yet have a modern make-over, kick ass film for today's generation. Not through lack of trying. Even Avengers mastermind, Joss Whedon, had a Wonder Woman script ready to go before moving to Marvel.

If you're like me, you may be getting a bit tired of superhero origin films. Especially for iconic characters like Wonder Woman (Batman,…

The Resident Attacks Crowd Funding - I Say She's Wrong.

Ever since Video Producer and Youtube Ranter Lori Harfenist, better known as The Resident, produced her video Kickstart My Fart (embeded below), a rant against crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter that basically accuses people of begging and fostering a culture of entitlement, I've found her rants increasingly harder to stomach. Which is a shame since I've been subscribed to her Youtube channel as far back as 2006, when she first started posting to the site.



My problem with this video, and Lori's general delivery of many of her videos, is that she puts up a proposition and then proceeds to ram that proposition home as if it is a fact.

In this particular video she does highlight some of the positives of Kickstarter but when she states something that supports her proposition she'll shout it louder and with more energy, giving that thought more weight and thus making it more memorable for the viewer.

I thought I'd take a page out of her book and not be a 'sheepl…

Movie Opinion: Super (2010) - Be careful what you ask for.

Having listened to a lot of commentary about Man of Steel and the fact that it didn't really give much realistic attention to the supposedly millions of civilian casualties in the climactic fight scenes I was prompted to think about a 2010 superhero flick called Super staring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page.

More about that in a moment - including a very gruesome image at the bottom of this post. Scroll slowly if you don't wish to see it.

One thing that I found odd about criticisms of Man of Steel was that the same commentators that criticize the film for its lack of realism with casualties, in the same breath, criticized the film for being too realistic with scenes reminiscent of 911. People being covered in rubble dust and fleeing plumes of dust and debris. Make up your mind people!

Back to 2010's Super which is best described as a black comedy, along the lines of Kick Ass (also released in 2010) where the film's main character, Frank Darbo (Rainn Wilson),  is inspired …

Movie Opinion: Man of Steel (2013)

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that reading reviews and listening to other people's opinions of any superhero film will detract from your enjoyment of the film, rather than enhance it.

Too often the loudest voices are those who wish to vent that a film isn't their version of the character or even the version of a character they've read about for years in the comic book source material.

As such they denounce the entire film as nothing short of an abomination. If you actually enjoyed the film, too many of these types of rants can really make you wonder if you even watched the same film as they did.

I get that, particularly with a character like Superman, everyone has their own expectations of what the character is, what he's capable of and what moral standards guide him but lighten up.

If Man of Steel isn't your Superman, that's fine. Maybe in your opinion the film makers got it wrong but one thing is certain, the film makers hoped you'd like it. T…

You're Gonna Need Electric Bug Spray in the Future

Anyone who has seen any kind of spy movie will be familiar with electronic bugs. Electronic listening and tracking devices hidden out of sight of unsuspecting victims.

Robotic scientists are taking the concept to a whole new level by creating actual robotic bugs that run around much like the average cockroach and equally as small.

As reported by Mashable, Tiny Robots Act Like Bugs, these tiny bug-like critters are being developed by Scientists at Harvard, who have spent the past five years building robot bugs that can move with the same dexterity and speed as real-life insects.

The goal, according to Harvard Microbiotics Lab, is to "create high-performance aerial and ambulatory microrobots," which can perform tasks such as "search and rescue operations, assisted agriculture, environmental monitoring, and exploration of hazardous environments."

Check out Mashable's video report embeded below to see some of the microrobots (known as HAMRs - Harvard Ambulatory Mi…

A Time Machine Called Life Powered by Routine

Currently I feel like I'm in a state of constant travel. Not physical travel as such but a general feeling of travelling through time some what quicker than most people. I feel like that time machine called life is not so much passing me by as moving me forward at a faster than normal pace.

Which would be fine if I could say my life was so much bigger on the inside, like the Doctor's Tardis, but it's not, it's actually smaller and filled with a lot of mundane crap that needs to be done. It's something called a 'routine'. Mine involves dish washing, exercising, walking our two dogs, and doing work for clients. Things that need to be done but I'd quite happily rather be doing something else.

Your routine is what propels you forward through time. The more you have in your routine the faster you travel through time. Paradoxically if parts of your routine are really mundane or just downright boring they can feel like time is dragging but it's just an il…

The Cage Skatepark - Art and Animation by TET

Continuing on from my last post featuring my early cat art here's some more of my work from ten years later, around 1990-91.

The Cage Skatepark, Perth Western Australia, was the result of a collaborative effort between The Riverton Skatepark Inc., my sister and our group of skate boarding friends.

My sister needed somewhere to put the Vert Ramp she had bought from The Edge Skatepark in Fremantle, that had closed down. Which is how we became involved with Riverton's efforts to set up a park for their local skaters.

As part of my involvement, which included constructing most of the park's smaller ramps and obstacles, I designed its logo.

Featuring a monster like character, adapted from a monkey character that I had been drawing in many different poses onto my friends skateboards, the design was used on T-Shirts, Letterhead, the park's sign and throughout the newsletter I published.

I even created a hand drawn (or more accurately 'mouse drawn') animated version w…