Sunday, October 11, 2009

Floater chicks are totally hot

Today I watched Battle for Terra (aka Terra), an animated indie sci-fi film directed by French Canadian Aristomenis Tsirbas, and I actually really liked it! It was screened here in Israel in 3D, but only in Hebrew, so I didn't bother to go see it back then. Today I watched it in 720p and wished that film distributors here weren't so dumb. See, most of the characters in this movie may look like they came out of a TV cartoon for kids, but that was more of a budget thing. The truth is, Battle for Terra is not a kids' movie in any way, and I find it hard to understand how could any small child enjoy it for real. The film tells the story of a peaceful alien planet that faces a hostile invasion by what is left of humanity, after the destruction of all the inhabitable planets in the solar system. It's quite an odd mix of old and new ideas, of things we've seen a gazillion times before and more than a few that we have not. While the main confrontation is way too simplistic, having cute, peaceful and artistic aliens on the one hand and a bunch of mean ol' humans on the other, led by an evil military dude who looks suspiciously similar to George W., the film does bring up some interesting points about how brutal survival can be, demonstrated by the sort of scene you'd be hard pressed to find in any of the big studio animated movies of the last decade. Unlike the pop culture reference hysteria that is every lame Shrek clone out there, there's very little humor to Battle for Terra, which only works in its advantage. There's a real sense of danger, a sense of desperation, and people (both human and alien) do get killed. One character even commits suicide in a final heroic feat. Disregarding character design and character animation, the film is simply beautiful to behold. The alien planet, the natives' city, the flora and the fauna, are all beautifully designed, and the big battle scenes are just as awesome. Originally, the film was supposed to be shot in live-action with photo-real CGI, but the small budget and large scale of the story made that impossible. Too bad. It would've been very interesting to see what could have been done if more money had been put into it. I suppose that the character design sort of grew on me as the film progressed, but that still doesn't mean it's very good. The film sports a celebrity voice cast of a sort, led by the delicious Evan Rachel Wood. The voice work is OK, but there's nothing too spectacular about it, as expected from actors who aren't professional voice artists. Despite its basic flaws, I very much enjoyed Battle for Terra, and I look forward to seeing much more indie animation in the future that would go much, much further than the usual crap we get in theaters these days.

In other news: I walked by a dentist clinic today and got a strong whiff of that icky dentist clinic smell, which kinda ruined my mood. I hate dentists. If I would ever want someone's fist inside my body, I would look for a nice clean hooker and pay her to do it, not some creepy old geezer with latex gloves and a surgical mask.

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