[FoRK] Gabrielle

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at endeavors.com
Fri May 7 07:34:34 PDT 2004

Von Helsing. 
While the world was watching friends, I got a chance
to see an advance screening of Von Helsing.  VH starts
out with a recreation of Foley's famous "state of the art"
film effects from his 1930's Frankenstein's Monster complete
with the burning windmill and never stops from there.  This
is a great thing.  This is defnitely a "Greg" movie where I
truly enjoy a movie that refuses to take itself too seriously
combined with splashy effects to enhance a paper thin
Spoiler:  Everyone dies in the end.  Not really, but
that's what every spoiler says. 
VH is a mix of new and old.  It has traditional gothic and
horror references with Shelley's Frankenstein, Stokers' Dracula,
and Lon Chaney's Werewolf (not really his, but his interpretation).  
They combine that with no less than 20 other scenes that put
a new spin on favorites from other movies.  Some examples are:
Lord of the rings' collapsing bridges, Matrix 1's frozen mirror, 
John Cleese's 007 gadgetry briefing,  Will Smith's Men In Black
prime directive and his Wild, Wild West gallantry, Matrix 3's
army of pods, green glow, and swarming squid, Indianna
Jone's dragging road scene, Young Sherlock Holmes'
absinthe, The Hulk's overwhelming  strength, From 
Dusk til Dawn's combatting evil, Tomb Raider's Illuminati, 
and fight scenes right out of Mortal Kombat and Mortal 
Kombat Annihilation, and a litany of others.   This is a Greg
 movies as I *like* seeing all of those things. 
As an aside, every time I see swarming anything on the big
screen, I feel like an insider.  One of my co-workers at UCI
went off to study digital effects when I went off to study software. 
We spent a lot of time hacking open source including the Swarm
X10/X11 screensavers to make various special effects and
participate in various santa fe institute competitions.  
In fact, he used some of that code in
a cut scene from one of the Batman movies where the villian blew
up the bat cave by throwing swarming bat bombs.   In fact, anytime
you see swarming mechanicals or biologicals on the screen it
most likely has a little bit of heritage in that (given that he did
Starship Troopers, Lord of the Rings, Matrix 2 & 3 also among
dozens of others).   
Anyways, go see it. 

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