A fun little short film about the uses and dangers of time travel
Six to seven years ago we reported on news that Warner Bros. was in talks with J. Michael Straczynski about bringing back one of his most notable creations, Babylon 5, in the form of a “big budget” feature film. We haven’t talked about it since and even back then, we didn’t know how big the budget estimate actually was. Nothing happened and the project was seemingly dead.
Straczynski however, is reviving hope once again for a return of the franchise – or better yet, a fresh beginning. At Comic-Con last month, according to TVWise, the writer and creator of Babylon 5, Jeremiah and the upcoming Netflix series Sense8 (which Straczynski co-created with the Wachowskis), revealed that he’s working on a screenplay for a Babylon 5 feature film and aiming to have it completed in 2015 for a 2016 production start.
I have seen quite a few of these, but it has given me some more to take a look at. It did have the magnificent Safety Not Guaranteed and you should definitely see that if you never have. They also left off the equally awesome Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel.
Do you have a favorite Time Travel movie?
Petapixel has an interesting article up, What a Movie’s Scenes Look Like Straight Out of the Camera Versus In Theaters. I always find these “behind the scenes” looks at movie effects fascinating. The article goes into the detail of what is going on in the video but the TLDR version is, the raw version is as unprocessed as possible to make it as flexible as possible later.
There is an interesting review of The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 over at the Acton Institute that is worth a read. I saw the first of these films but wasn’t especially grabbed by them, they don’t really seem mu cup of tea but this review from Dylan Pahman has made me think perhaps I should rethink that earlier appraisal and give them a go.
While some would criticize the series for lack of depth, “Mockingjay, Part 1,” offers more than just a shallow cast of good guys vs. bad guys, acting as a window into the messy realities of tyranny, class, and freedom.
The Hunger Games books and films have generated some controversy, as Kenneth R. Morefield noted in Christianity Today, “Would it surprise you to learn that Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy has been one of the ten most frequently challenged or banned books in schools and libraries for three of the last four years?” But Morefield isn’t convinced such worries are warranted: “did you know my thesaurus lists sixteen synonyms for ‘innocuous’?”
He goes on, however, to add his own assessment of the franchise’s artistic merit:
You can make some legitimate artistic criticisms of The Hunger Games. But when you get right down to it, those criticisms basically boil down to the fact that it isn’t highbrow.
Well, neither was Star Wars, the franchise The Hunger Games most resembles. Both are about rebellions against a non-descript political tyranny. Both are driven by love triangles that ground the epic stakes in human emotions. Both boast better actors than we’re used to seeing in these kinds of movies. Both sparingly but effectively use villains who scare us because of just how much they terrify our heroes. Mostly, though, both are thinly plotted serials that serve as an excuse for linking together battles, escapes, rescues, and romance.
I should be clear that Morefield does not really consider this a fault, recommending the film as a conversation starter for connecting with the young adults in one’s life enthralled with Collins’ fiction. I would second that. Yet — and perhaps this is only a small quibble — I would not describe the films and books as “thinly plotted serials.” (I have my own criticisms, but they fall more on “Part 2.”)
Here is an interesting sci fi short film, R’ha, by Kaleb Chowski and was animated by himself. It is quite impressive and tells an interesting story. Worth the 6 1/2 minutes in my opinion. It is amazing what you can do with home moving making/animation equipment. The barriers to entry have never been lower.
Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson of Stargate SG-1 fame) has made a wonderful little short film called Time Trap. It is well worth the 7 1/2 minutes it runs.