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‘Beowulf’ (2007) Film Review: Motion-capture statement

"Beowulf" ambitiously blends CGI, motion-capture, and 3D technologies to bring a new level of hyperreality for the viewers to enjoy. Everybody knows, or at least, has already heard about the epic poem "Beowulf" in school, or perhaps, with the prior 2005 live-action offering "Beowulf and Grendel" starring Gerard Butler as Beowulf. This time, the Robert Zemeckis-helmed "Beowulf" utilizes the latest motion-control technology available to tell a tale approximately 1,400 years old in an astonishingly new way -- a sensory animation experience

‘Rio 2’ Film Review: Perfectly fine, perfectly forgettable

"Rio 2" is a delightfully bright and breezy bit of computer-generated entertainment. As an acceptable family fare, this sequel maintains that blockbuster flavor that is expected of such an animated flick. It mostly hits the sweet spot when it comes to eye-popping visuals and feisty song-and-dance sequences. However, its predictable narrative plays too safe that it simply crafts nothing more than a fine commercial blend of heart-warming and toe-tapping moments for its target demographic. For this second installment in the "Rio"

‘Corpse Bride’ Film Review: A charming grave fairy tale

This Tim Burton offering presents a morbid and romantic trip between the cold dwelling of the living and the colorful underground world of the dead. Behind its eerie theme, Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" presents a morbid and romantic trip between the cold dwelling place of the living and the colorful underground realm of the dead. Fun, genial, expressive, and charming, this semi-musical stop-motion piece is set at death's door, saluting the liberating power of true love and sacrifice. The story revolves around

‘Shrek the Third’ Film Review: The slapstick third

While it offers nothing new on the table, this third movie of the "Shrek" franchise compensates with its laid-back familiarity and comedy. The Shrek Franchise The best thing about the "Shrek" movies is that you are offered a patented comic blend of fairy tale tradition and pop-culture references. These recreate a comic flavor and moral implications for its wide commercial range of movie viewers. The franchise's main charm is its organic ability to mix fairy tale sweetness and pop-culture tradition with a

‘Shrek Forever After’ Film Review: Happily ogre after?

While it occasionally provides good laughs, this fourth "Shrek," like its main ogre, is confused and way beyond its prime. For its long-time followers, "Shrek Forever After" is passable entertainment. It is for those who grew up with the franchise and not the type that could easily add new toddler fans. In any case, the "Shrek" brand still works for the DVD and Blu-ray market with a potentially good spot for top home video sales charts. "Shrek Forever After" begins so mediocre.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rio’

The "Rio" Blu-ray release features a two-disc set consisting of a Blu-ray disc and DVD, along with some digital download materials. Aptly set in Rio de Janeiro, this 96-minute 3D animation is helmed by Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha, also the man behind "Robots" and the "Ice Age" films. The filmmaker shows love for his hometown with this movie project that showcases the fun and festive culture of the Brazilian city. Filled with dazzling imagery and contagiously fun music, "Rio" tells the

Filmmaking Guide: Visualizing your shots for an amateur 2D animation project

The Internet offers a number of accessible tutorials teaching you the technical side of computer animation. But even though online guides discussing the creative component of making an animation is not as plentiful as the technical tutorials available around cyberspace, this doesn't mean that you should overlook this crucial part of the production. Your storytelling should combine both the technical and creative aspects of filmmaking. If you're making a 2D animated movie, it is important to understand both the format's benefits

‘Inside Out’ Film Review: Happy + Sad

“Inside Out” is a powerfully moving animated piece exploring the importance of emotions in people's lives. Daring to explore the existential crises of the human mind and the feelings affecting one’s life, this formidably ingenious film works similar to a thesis or research project. With a material that strikes as a reflection on the power of emotions, it targets the family audience, particularly those with ages ranging from pre-teen to adult. Packaged as a motion picture set inside someone's head and how

Filmmaking Guide: How to get an animated movie made

An animated movie requires frames drawn and played in sequence. Unlike a live-action movie, an animated movie uses a specific kind of animation process or a combination of processes to produce moving images. The animation can be fully drawn, painted or photographed frame by frame. Computer technology also paved way to the creation of animated films using computer programs such as Flash, Adobe After Effects, 3D Studio Max, and Maya. Many animation projects combine the use of hand-drawn and computer-based production of

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rise of the Guardians’

"Rise of the Guardians" arrives on a two-disc set containing this 2012 animated film's Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copies. This package brings together some of the world's most famous childhood heroes and mythical creatures in an inventive story about the power of belief, faith, and the values of the universe. These legendary characters collectively known as the Guardians have powers that come from the children believing in them. A muscular and tattooed Santa leads the team that also includes the Easter

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