November 30, 2010
I was a HUGE Astroboy fan as a kid.
Then, a few years ago, they released a box set of the entire series.
I bought it, and started watching the episodes.
To my surprise... they were different. The writing was a bit different, the voices were completely different, and most of the character names were altered.
This baffled me for quite some time, until I found out that the version I had purchased was the U.S./Australian version. Translated and written from the original Japanese to the English version for American and Australian audiences.
So why was it so different from what I had recalled as a child? Once Canadian broadcaster bought the show (originally seen on ATV), they re-tranlated and re-dubbed in both Canadian English and French. Little did I know that the version us Canadians saw was drastically diffrent from what the rest of the world had seen.
Upon viewing all the DVDs of the U.S. version I noticed that the main negative part was the awful voice acting and changes to the scripts. But on the plus side, it would display the "unedited version", I imagine the Canadian television braodcasters deemed some scenes to be too dark or contentious for young Canandian audiences. So I'd witness scenes with a bit more violence than what I rememberd as a kid.
At any rate, no one on the Internets seemed to know what I was talking about when I first brought this up 5 years ago, the "Canadian Astroboy" seemed to have been a rare phenomenon that no one knew about, or remembered out, or cared about. Until now!
I told you I wasn't crazy! And here it is!.... Hahahhahahahaha...
It even has the recap at the end that was exclusive to the Canadian version as well, the whole "life-lessons" that 80s cartoons are popular for. I had forgotten how funky the music could be in this series. This particular episode was great, Astro fights off lots of Martians on planet Mars, uncovers a big conspiracy and nearly dies in the belly of an alien ship.
I sure hope more of these pop up on YouTube!
November 29, 2010
The Director of my favorite Star Wars Film, has past away.
Below is a photo of Jim Henson visiting the Empire offices to show collaborator Frank Oz a prototype of the Skesis puppet for their later film THE DARK CRYSTAL. You can see Empire director Irvin Kershner standing next to Frank Oz. You know what makes this photo amazing to me? The look on Kershner and Oz’s faces. They look like kids at Christmas… I imagine that would have been the look on my face if I were ever lucky enough to see Jim Henson bring a puppet to life. Also, look closely to the bottom of the pic to see prototype Gelfling heads!!!
Posted by Ron at 6:06 PM
Let's take a look back at the extraordinary work of cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, who shot the first three Indiana Jones films.
By the time of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," (1981), Slocombe was a veteran cinematographer, with a rich and varied filmmography in both the United States and in England, and both in black and white and color., and was nominated for three Academy Awards (including "Raiders").
His photography gave "Raiders" a classic feel, visually paying homage to the matinee thrillers of the 1930's, while also raising the level of quality and aesthetics of 1980's blockbuster filmmaking. The collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and Slocombe is the reason why "Raiders" remains, to this day, one of the best looking action movies of all time.
Here we pay a small tribute to the cinematography of "Raiders of the Lost Arc", and we'll start by observing Slocombe's use of shadows and silhouettes, the his use of framing eyes, and then his use of creating depth and overlapping elements with foreground and background.
Here are a sample of images from "Raiders" where Slocombe and Spielberg focus on characters' eyes.
Foregrounds and Backgrounds
Here is a sampling of images from "Raiders," where Spielberg and Slocombe frame objects of varying depths in the frame. In these shots, the filmmakers are telling a story from multiple depths, as well as filling the screen from left to right.
Now let's finish off with some just plain cool in-camera shots (no visual effects) from "Raiders."
If you've never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, go see it, right now!