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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Delayed

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74 Responses to “BYOB – Delayed”

  1. Aladdin Sane says:

    Quick Dent clip from TDK:

  2. bluelouboyle says:

    RIP – Stan Winston. Horrible news. He was only 62 and still productive. As far as I know it wasn’t public knowledge he had cancer. But his rep said he battled it for 7 years.
    From the tributes over at AICN one thing that stands out is his continuing childlike enthusiasm for the movies. Must have been a blast to work on one of his movies.
    Strangely, just this morning I was watching ‘Aliens’ with the commentary on. Those designs still hold up, and put a lot of the CGI bullshit to shame.

  3. leahnz says:

    oh what terribly sad news. rest in peace, stan, you’re a legend.
    his passing seems symbolic of the end of an era, as one of the last great ‘in camera’ artists working in film (‘aliens’ being, imho, the last great ‘in camera’ sci-fi flick, due in no small part to the talents of stan). movies will never be the same without him 🙁

  4. EOTW says:

    ALIENS scared the shit out of me when I was a kid. I love that film. God bless, sir.

  5. ployp says:

    Many thanks Aladdin for the link to Two-Face. Can’t wait to see it.

  6. Aladdin Sane says:

    I watched Aliens last night in honour of Winston. It’s amazing. The aliens are so much more believable than the CG creatures that permeate films these days. The designs are beautifully scary. I wish more filmmakers would take a look at something like Aliens and realize that a slick CG creation will never replace a great practical effect.
    RIP Stan. Your work will be missed.

  7. In a field that is almost entirely faceless, it’s sad to see Winston go.

  8. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Back east New York woke up to hear of a Monday Night Massacre.

  9. The Pope says:

    The puppetry in Aliens is truly amazing. The xenomorphs had real character. Their movements were real time. And perhaps that is one of the things lacking in CG. Recently, CG work has failed to achieve its objective. Indy IV: the mole was not funny… the scorpions were not scary… I can’t say for sure but maybe it is (partially at least) because they lack the third dimensionality that puppetry / models / make-up supplies. Compare the spiders in Raiders… they will always make me squirm. The puppetry in Alien and the make-up in Predator still grips.
    The AVP series (neither of which I have not seen in their entirety) is laughable.

  10. bluelouboyle says:

    Pope – you’re right. We know that the puppets in Aliens aren’t real. But they feel real because they exist in a physical sense, as opposed to in a computer.
    Having said that, Good CGI gives characters a freer range of movement and can give that 3D feel. And if the story, characters and everything else is great, like in the Lord of the Rings movies, then the CGI works.
    Winston used CGI, and if Cameron made aliens today then he probably would use both puppetry and CGI.

  11. SJRubinstein says:

    This was a big shocker to me, but part of me was wondering where he was during all the “Iron Man” promotion as he was front-and-center for a lot of the big ticket shows he and his company were a part of.
    I got to know Stan pretty well as a reporter, talking to him on the sets of “Terminator 3” and “Constantine,” at conventions for those Showtime “Creature Features” he did, for “Darkness Falls,” in his shop for stuff like “A.I.” and then – bizarrely – even did him for Italian television for the “Time Machine” remake. And for awhile – admittedly – I thought he was just one of those guys who liked the spotlight and would attend the opening of an envelope.
    But then you kind of get to know him and realize that even if it’s something like Larry Clark’s “Teenage Caveman,” he’s there because he loved the monster he built for the thing, or some new technological gizmo he invented to get the eyes to do something neat in “T3” that he couldn’t do in “T2,” or hear the story about how he saved “Predator” from going forward with that kind of half-rat-looking alien-thing they had before Winston got pulled onto the show.
    When everyone’s saying he was this pumped up, enthusiastic guy, all I have to do is look at these two photos he took with genre press on the “T3”-set – where he’s all smiles, big cigar in his mouth, thumb’s up – so proud of the return of the “Terminator” franchise, and that’s Stan Winston.

  12. Nicol D says:

    The problem is the end goal of CGI is very different then mattes, models or puppets. At their best, puppets, models etc seek to mimic reality. Because you can light them like a real object they can look like a real object.
    CGI used to have realism as it’s goal in its earlier incarnations…but somewhere along the way, (and I know animators that would agree with me) the goal of modern CGI became to look “cool”. The CGI “look” became the end game. And because you cannot light graphics in the same way as though they are real objects, a different look of “realism” or hyperrealism is achieved.
    We have internalized it and accepted it…but I recently watched an old shitty Robert Urich film called the Ice Pirates. Really low grade. But even the models in that film felt more real than much of the CGI we get today. I know there are exceptions (Lord of the Rings) but by and large, I do not think CGI has been the great boost to cinematic realism that we hoped.
    Even in Iron Man, you can clearly see when it is a CGI Iron Man vs. RD Jr. in a suit. The motion is off…the lighting is different.
    Hulk may look more like “The Hulk” than Lou Ferrigno. But Hulk does not look more real. Lou Ferrigno was real. What it really underscores is how these characters and objects just do not exist in the real world.

  13. Crow T Robot says:

    For me it was Winston’s genius for eyes.
    – The sinister eyes of The Predator after that mask came off the first time. “Ugly motherfucker” is right.
    – The pupils of the T-Rex dilating when it tilted down into shaking Lex’s spotlight.
    – The creepy eyes of the newborn raptors after they cracked through their eggs. Staring at the scientists in wonder… and hunger.
    – The Terminator gouging his eye out with a scalpel, revealing a glowing red dot.
    – Teddy in AI. A furry face that can change from a child’s innocent toy to a wise old man in a moment.
    Miracles burned into my movie mind. All of them.

  14. The Pope says:

    Absolutely agree. The eyes have it. That moment when the TRex dilates… one of the delights of the 90s.
    And Bluelouboyle,
    Thanks for pulling me back a bit on fully ranting on CG. LOTR, when Golem starts to talk to himself. I’ll never forget the first time I saw that. Packed audience… silence… the the sound of jaws collectively hitting then floor… then silence again and then people start to giggle… with delight AT THE SHEER GENIUS of it all.
    CG can work when, as Nicol D intimates, it does not go for “cool.”

  15. christian says:

    Greatest Teddy bear in film history.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    I agree, practical is almost always better than CGI.
    Also, The Ice Pirates is an awesome movie.

  17. The Big Perm says:

    Lou Ferrigno may have looked more real, but come on…that Hulk has always been considered kind of a joke.
    It’s also tough to say CGI doesn’t look real when nowadays in so many movies, you’re seeing CGI all the time, and you don’t even know it.

  18. I’m of the opinion that us older folks (like, 25 and up)are the final level of people who will notice CGI. People younger than that as well as those who don’t pay attention are immune to CGI by now.
    It’s like when Coke made that NEW Coke in order to throw everyone’s taste buds off to change the recipe from sugar to the cheaper corn syrup. Eventually no one will be able to tell…especially the younger generation.

  19. LexG says:

    I’m still pissed that they fucked up Doritos.

  20. harosa says:

    Sidenote, why the condescending tone of calling M.Night Manoj in the main MCN page, and i know it’s his name but it just seems like a crack at the man.

  21. Cadavra says:

    And now comes the news that Cyd Charisse has passed. True she was 86 and in declining health, but still, can we not get through one frickin’ day without somebody famous dying?

  22. Jeremy Smith says:

    Time to watch THE BAND WAGON again. Oh, what a chore.

  23. SJRubinstein says:

    I’m not the biggest fan of “It’s Always Fair Weather,” but Charisse’s “Baby You Knock Me Out” number in there is extraordinary, comedic and fun – all in one bit.
    And I haven’t run over to IMDB yet, but the ballet number she did in some movie to “Frankie and Johnny” (tucked in another forgettable flick) was also just aces. Can’t remember the movie, but I think it was Sammy Davis, Jr.’s version of the song.

  24. Nicol D says:

    “Also, The Ice Pirates is an awesome movie.”
    Well…I bought it at a store that was clearing out its old VHS stock for 2 dollars a video. So I do own The Ice Pirates…but awesome?
    Why? I mean of all the flicks to stick your neck out for…why?
    I mean I kinda like Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone in 3D but I wouldn’t call it awesome.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    It helps if you’re eight when you first see it.
    Never seen Spacehunter.
    But maybe that’s the wrong term. So revised: The Band Wagon is awesome.

  26. LYT says:

    If you see Spacehunter in actual 3-D it is indeed awesome.
    Less so on a TV set.

  27. LexG says:

    Recognize “Metalstorm.”
    And though it’s not in 3-D, “Stryker” while you’re at it.

  28. harosa-DP always calls him Minoj and it always smacks of condesension to me as well. What-ev.

  29. ployp says:

    totally off the topic – Ewan McGregor in Angels and Demons?? What the heck! He plays Carlo Ventresca, apparently.

  30. Martin S says:

    The two greatest sci-fi concepts ever – The Monolith ans Space Herpes.
    The Winston news was numbing. I’m used to these guys, like Hackman or Harryhausen, disappearing into a state of semi-retirement. Now, as Poland pointed out with Pollack, they are going to be leaving in big numbers.
    I find it close to poetic that Winston arrived with Heartbeeps, forged his name with Terminator, and exited on Iron Man; from robots wanting to be human, to a human wanting to be robotic. I don’t think you could ask for a more appropriate curtain call, Avatar aside.
    As for CG, I think Cameron really hit on something recently when he said, (paraphrasing), it’s not that CGI looks fake, but that reality looks muted next to CGI. He was explaining how Avatar feels authentic to human sensory because the entire world is photorealistic CGI and not a juxtaposition between CGI, real-world, and artistic license.. I don’t know how right he is, but it makes sense.

  31. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Cadavra is 1 year off — Cyd Charisse was 87.

  32. christian says:

    ICE PIRATES is clearly intended to be humorous. Way better that that bland SPACEHUNTER — which by the way was reshot extensively after the French director got the boot.
    ICE PIRATES was one of those fun Summer 80’s sci-fi movies. I mean, a robot gets kicked in the balls. Even Harlan Ellison liked it.

  33. SJRubinstein says:

    The same Harlan Ellison who, in his time as a film critic, wrote an essay praising “Return to Oz” from top to bottom?
    Don’t get me wrong, I love Ellison’s work to death, but going back and reading his Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction film reviews is sometimes as surreal an experience as reading his actual stories.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    I’m just surprised that Ellison liked any movie.

  35. David Poland says:

    Actually, Manoj is a Ray Pride-ism.

  36. Cadavra says:

    The obits are all saying 86, so I checked the IMDB, which sez she was born in 1921–so Chucky is right: she was in fact 87.

  37. yancyskancy says:

    SJR: The first thing I did when I heard Charisse had died was search youtube for “Baby, You Knock Me Out.” Happily, it’s there.
    As for “Return to Oz,” I haven’t read Ellison’s assessment, but at the time anyway, I thought it was a good, underrated film. Have to check it out again some day.

  38. LYT says:

    Return to Oz gave us Fairuza Balk.
    And even though it’s not entirely true to L. Frank Baum, it nails the overall tone of his books better than The Wizard of Oz. Which is not to dismiss the latter’s standing in cinema history — it wouldn’t have been possible to do the book 100% at that time.
    A truly faithful Baum adaptation has yet to be made. When Hollywood’s done with all their lame “reinventions” of it (Tin Man, Tim Burton’s rumored Oz project, Todd McFarlane’s Twisted Oz), it’d be nice to see someone give him the Peter Jackson/LOTR treatment.

  39. THX5334 says:

    Ice Pirates rocks hard.
    I saw that film in the theater as a wee lad, and it was my first introduction to the legend that is Angelica Huston.
    I still remember that scene where she Obi-Wan’s the guy with her sword in the bar or wherever.
    She has only gotten better since.

  40. scooterzz says:

    very long late interview with cyd charrise….
    i loved her when i was a kid……

  41. LYT, I’m thinking of PJ Hogan’s Peter Pan, which was more in the style of the original story, but turned out to be a flop.

  42. scooterzz says:

    angelica houston in ‘capt. eo’…, THAT was a legendary performance…..(i still have the keychain)….

  43. scooterzz says:

    kam — pj hogan’s ‘peter pan’ was pert-near perfect….such a shame the movie didn’t catch on…..
    meron & zedan are going to redo the musical version…maye they’ll have better luck….
    (i’m sure you already know that….i’m just typing to stay awake until the laundry’s done)…

  44. leahnz says:

    i was just going to add, hogan’s ‘pan’ was a huge hit with my son, and i myself think it’s lovely and charming…i wasn’t even aware it was a flop! shows to go ya…
    angelica h. in ‘the grifters’…hot damn! now there’s an actress

  45. leahnz says:

    oh and might i add, laundry both sux and blows

  46. leahnz says:

    yikes triple dose…
    the reason why i came to this thread in the first place was to say that a bunch of us watched carpenter’s ‘the thing’ earlier this evening in honour of ‘stan the man’…fucking brilliant. great effects, great monster, great movie. here’s to stan, may his excellence live on

  47. jeffmcm says:

    The Thing is a good example of (a) Winston’s incredible imagination, to create all the different bizarre ‘looks’ of the Thing as it mutates into and out of different forms, and (b) practical effects at their best. It wouldn’t be nearly as effective as CGI, and it would be a lot more confusing to look at.
    I also wish Carpenter’s career hadn’t gone belly-up.

  48. Nicol D says:

    “If you see Spacehunter in actual 3-D it is indeed awesome.”
    I dunno. I did see it in the theatre in 3-D and even at the time thought it was ok…but not awesome.
    I think I was spoiled by Dynasty. A 3D Taiwan/Hong Kong co-production that came to my town during the 3D boom of the early 80’s. They did everything you were not supposed to do in 3D like having swords & gongs flying at the screen at every turn. Nothing subtle.
    Best 3D experience ever and given that it is not to found anywhere in my neck of the woods on video, it is a film I fear I will never see again.

  49. TheVicuna says:

    Don’t want to seem disrespectful to the recently deceased, but Stan Winston was not the make-up effects designer on “The Thing.” He did some supplementary work on it only. The “different bizarre looks” were the work of the amazing Rob Bottin, who also did “The Howling” and “Explorers” for Joe Dante.
    Winston was a giant in his field, no doubt, but facts is facts.

  50. Martin S says:

    Thanks, Vicuna. I’ve been wondering why every obit I’ve read has been giving Winston credit for The Thing when it was Bottin, even in the credits and the DVD supplementals. Pumpkinhead was Winston’s big foray into straight horror.
    Bottin’s classic, too. The guy has done some of the most brutal FX, yet he’s known to faint at the sight of real blood.

  51. christian says:

    Winston only designed the first Dog Thing in the film, which would be praise enuff.
    I find Harlan a fantastic film critic, because he often knows the Hollywood backstory. His eviseration of GREYSTOKE is priceless.
    Hell, he even gave props to BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, with a dead on summary of why it works. His praise of RETURN OF OZ stems from his lifelong love of Baum. And there’s a lot of folk out there who like that movie, as it’s truer to the source.

  52. hcat says:

    AFI has posted their latest list 10 best of 10 genres.
    Not many suprises (though Blade Runner outdoes Alien in Sci fi)but my jaw dropped at CAT FUCKING BALOU

  53. jeffmcm says:

    Whoops, thanks Vicuna.
    Nicol, I thought throwing swords and gongs (?) at the screen in a 3-D movie was exactly what you were supposed to do.

  54. Cat Baloooou…Cat BALOOOU!
    They had to have a feminist-type western on there to be PC and there weren’t alot of choices. I like the top 10 actually.

  55. jeffmcm says:

    The worst thing about these lists is that somehow they forgot to include Musicals, Horror, and any comedy that isn’t Romantic.

  56. yancyskancy says:

    Recently, I watched Cat Ballou again for the first time in years. Wow, is it bad. Yes, Lee Marvin is a hoot, Jane is cute, Nat and Stubby sound great. But I don’t see how anyone not caught in the throes of nostalgia could consider it a good film, much less one of the top ten Westerns of all time. Mind-boggling.
    I know these lists are always silly and are usually heavy on consensus type choices. But Cat Ballou? Is Elliot Silverstein on the AFI board?

  57. leahnz says:

    wow, thanks for that fascinating link, vicuna, bottin must be miffed that many people assume ‘thing’ was stan’s baby (and i must say, in that article bottin has a magnificent head of feathered ’80’s hair! yowza) i’ve always assumed ‘thing’ was all stan’s work, i wouldn’t even have thought to check, i wonder why? i’ll have to give the guy who picked out ‘thing’ for stan’s tribute flick a bit of a slap upside the head, he at least should have known better. we are so lame…sorry stan

  58. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    THE THING caused Bottin to have a nervous breakdown and I’m pretty sure he was hospitalised for a bit. He practically lived in the SFX area for months and was under such intense pressure to meet deadlines that he simply snapped. And Carpenter went white on that film too. A tough shoot.
    Winston was always one of the nicer guys in the sfx field. You heard very few negative stories about him, which is extremely rare considering some of the egos in the sfx industry. I remember first being in awe of the decapitation in THE EXTERMINATOR which is still one of the great WTF moments in gore fx.
    And I especially loved how they all gave enormous respect to the Godfather Dick Smith who set the bar for being a gentlemen first and artist second.

  59. Wrecktum says:

    “Recently, I watched Cat Ballou again for the first time in years. Wow, is it bad. Yes, Lee Marvin is a hoot, Jane is cute, Nat and Stubby sound great. But I don’t see how anyone not caught in the throes of nostalgia could consider it a good film, much less one of the top ten Westerns of all time.”
    Agreed. Just caught it for the first time myself and was very annoyed. Marvin is brilliant, but the movie makes a mockery of the genre and reminds me of nothing less than a cheesy ’60s movie of the week. I’m shocked that it’s still thought of highly.

  60. Nicol D says:

    “Nicol, I thought throwing swords and gongs (?) at the screen in a 3-D movie was exactly what you were supposed to do.”
    Only if you want to have fun. Modern 3-D means you wax philosophical about immersive environments and talk of how you never – ever – throw things at the screen because it is juvenile.
    And yes…in Dynasty 3-D they positioned the camera in front of a gong that konked you in the head every time it was swung to signify the arrval of the head of the Dyansty. Fun stuff for a 10 year old in the early 80’s!

  61. jeffmcm says:

    What ‘modern 3-D’ titles are you talking about?

  62. Hallick says:

    “As for CG, I think Cameron really hit on something recently when he said, (paraphrasing), it’s not that CGI looks fake, but that reality looks muted next to CGI.”
    The best CGI ever done looks like it exists in reality. The CGI that gets complaints always looks like it’s coming from a level that’s independent from the forces of reality (gravity, bone structure, lighting, momentum vs. inertia, etc). Nothing looked muted next to the gummy-boned zombies in “I Am Legend”.

  63. LexG says:

    “Mariska Hargitay.”

  64. scooterzz says:

    saw ‘wall-e’ today…..i’m predicting trouble in pixar paradise……jus’ sayin’…..

  65. Nicol D says:

    Have you ever read any interviews with 3-D IMAX technicians and their philiosophy on why IMAX blow ups of 35 mm features works so well? Much of this work has been done in Toronto and I have lunch with 3-D animators/technicians on a regular basis. I know people that worked on the 3-D IMAX versions of Superman Returns, and many other 3-D IMAX features and that is completely the philosophy.
    Have you read an interview with people like James Cameron or Robert Zemeckis on the subject? When Cameron first started delving into IMAX and 3-D technology it was to Toronto he came and I know people that have had direct converstations with the man about the subject.
    You should try picking up magazines like Cinefex or even American Cinematographer and you might get a better idea of what modern DOP and technician philosophies are on this and many other subjects.

  66. hcat says:

    I understand that they couldn’t put in another John Wayne or Clint to provide balance to the other western films, just as including Jeremieh Johnson would give Redford two films on the list and Eastwood only two. But Silverado would have been a much better choice for number ten, somewhat recent, includes Costner who is promiment in the genre, and a rooting tooting good time to boot.

  67. Nicol D says:

    I caught most of the AFI lists the other day but missed some.
    The absence of Dances With Wolves on the best Western list was very glaring.
    Easily better than Cat Ballou and I would even argue Butch Cassidy which has a very dated feel.
    I get the impression this is the long payback Costner has felt for beating lil’ Marty over Goodfellas in 90.
    Similarly not including it in the Epic category also seems like a slight. Especially when Reds (a good but not top 10 film) is included.
    A Cry in the Dark in courtroom drama also seemed to be an odd inclusion for me. I mean talk about forgotten films that weren’t even considered classic at the time. Should Inherit the Wind not be here instead. Most of the lists were all right…but there were some odd ones.
    It always seems like they have to make real exceptions to get more modern stuff on the list.
    Glad to see the prominence of John Wayne and James Stewart thought.

  68. Nicol D says:

    Oh…I agree that the absence of horror in categories was also glaring.

  69. storymark says:

    I love watching some of the personal fueds manifest in unrelated conversations. Nicole mentions the way “modern 3-D” movies are made. Jeff asks which ones, and Nicole berates him for not reading Cinematography magazines to know what DOPs are saying about 3D.
    The fact that this in no way relates to the question asked, which was a reasonable one, does not seem to apply.
    I’m wondering, too, Nicole. Which films (actual films, ya know?, not talk) were you refferring to? The last ones I saw all had stuff coming at the camera. So did the trailers for upcoming ones….

  70. Nicol D says:

    “I love watching some of the personal fueds manifest in unrelated conversations.”
    Which is exactly what you just did to me, you twit.
    Virtually all of the modern 3-D…oh what’s the use.
    Do you actually pay attention when you watch movies or do you just parrot whatever opinion was in EW last week?

  71. jeffmcm says:

    Storymark, you’re right. Nicol, I asked you an incredibly simple question. I’ve purposely avoided all of the modern 3-D movies except for the Zemeckis ones because they haven’t interested me, so I’m already going in basically ignorant on the subject. Maybe it would be easier to ask someone who seems to know what they’re talking about for a simple answer than to go read technical journals about something I’m not that interested in in the first place, could that be a possibility?

  72. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and the funny thing is, after I posted that question above, I thought to myself “I wonder if this is worded in such a brief, curt manner that he’s going to think I’m challenging him? Nah, only a crazy person would do that.”

  73. yancyskancy says:

    Any number of Westerns by Anthony Mann, Budd Boetticher and Andre de Toth would be fine additions to the AFI list, but since they’re not smash hits, Oscar bait or sentimental favorites, I guess they never stood a chance. Don’t want to confuse the target audience with too many “obscure” choices.
    FWIW re the courtroom drama list: At the time I thought A Cry in the Dark was brilliant. Fred Schepisi is an underrated filmmaker. Inherit the Wind has a great story, but I can’t say it saddens me that a Stanley Kramer film got snubbed, even if it’s one of his better ones.

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