It’s almost time for the pitch for our initial plans for our shorts. This includes the story, treatment and other key aspects of the production. Here’s my synopsis for the initial pitch…
“Project Bernardo Carpio” Synopsis:
Bernardo struggles to free himself from his chains, while he also duels with the powerful entity who led him to his demise under the mountains of Montalban. This character-driven story depicts a rivalry that unveils an account of Bernardo’s life and the story behind “The Legend of Bernardo Carpio.”
With many, many, many months of production to go, of course, it is not impossible to have certain changes as the project develops. But here’s to chronicling how those developments progress…
About the film’s title, still on the works… suggestions/recommendations/advice are welcome!!
Tuldok Recruitment Video for the Folktales Animated Project:
Yup! This trailer is talking to you!
After a successful completion and launch of our second project, “Pasintabi” and “Lines to Life” educational series, we are now opening membership to anyone who is willing and wants to help create an Original Philippine Animation Industry.
Only registered members with approved application forms will have access to the exclusive forums to exchange ideas, submit concept art, and contribute in their own special way.
See you at the Tambayan!
-Tuldok Animation Studios Team
Tuldok Animation Studios is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to bring Filipino Artists together to create an Original Filipino Animation Industry.
We are a virtual studio and our previous projects have been built up using community driven efforts inspired by our local custom of “Bayanihan”.
Now, Inception is more than just a leap of faith for filmmaker Christopher Nolan.
With its elements about powerful ideas, dreaming in a dream, and dreaming inside other people’s dreams, Inception is one entertainingly hard-core, multi-layered mindbender. This motion picture masterpiece is one of the strongest science-fiction concepts to come in a long time. Nolan and his production team construct a breathtakingly audacious blockbuster narrative while not leaving the intelligent and more demanding film lovers behind.
Inception is nothing less than astounding. It dreams big, dreams deep, and creates challenging dreams to engage the wide-eyed dreamy viewers. In doing so, the film’s own thin line separating dream space and reality innovatively creates such a well-mounted story. It carefully blends the conscious and subconscious in various levels. It balances philosophical ideas and narrative tension within a labyrinthine plot that engages in various forms, degrees and intensities.
Whether for its visceral popcorn thrills, elegantly laid out action sequences, boldness and restraint, this ambitious film knows how to manipulate its thematic fetishes and its complicated narrative structure.
Like its own theme, Inception taps into the subconscious of each viewer in its relatively comprehensible way. Orchestrated by a crafting hand of a director who knows what he wants and how to make things happen, even the most obscure details get digested as the film cinematically sells its conceptual and emotional investments. It’s bold, intense, exhilarating, engaging, and impressive. It is complex yet coherent. It’s something that can benefit repeated viewings and feed the viewer with something new or different each time. Preposterous, yet ingeniously done, it offers such an entertaining ride. It serves as a popcorn flick, too!
While it is ambiguous enough to lead to conflicting opinions, the main purpose of the film is to engage the intellect about its theme and concept, not just merely figuring out which one is real, which one is a dream. While additional viewings are needed to personally provide a more solid analysis and opinion about the film’s ending, it seems more like the filmmaker crafts this opus in a way that there is no concrete interpretation to dictate to each and everyone that something is or is not.
The various elements, symbolisms, characterizations, and dialogues are carefully planted in a way that they work together to let the audience go beyond the need to figure out a twist or find out the “truth” behind the main story. Like how actual dreams are, Inception is open to different interpretations. And it does so without making specific aspects of it bug its quality down. It works in higher levels of film viewing that it touches something beyond a film viewer’s surface thinking, quite different from how s/he would typically treat other movies. And this is what makes Inception seem quite different from the usual. It is endlessly elliptical and it works in many facets. It allows its tagline “Your mind is the scene of the crime” validate itself; while its grand provisions for a visual feast keep up with the more palpable sense of its thrilling ride.
Inception isn’t perfect. Yet, its weak points are unquestionably shadowed by its brilliant and meandering machinations. The film splurges and invests in its concept, story, script, visuals, sound, emotions, and intellect, in accordance to how the film language can intangibly bring out all its cinematic ideas and values across.
Like Leonardo diCaprio’s character Cobb, Nolan is a meticulously skilled extractor and an architect of deep and provoking thoughts. He is a sly narrative tactician who juggles at big ideas and make people think about his idea. He takes the audience to a pleasurable trip through varying mental labyrinths filled with elegant dreamscapes and genuine human drama. It has a sort of paradoxical architecture of its own as Nolan offers a clockwork-precise showmanship in every scene. By the film’s ending, he impressively allows the characters to wake up from their dreams to figure out what’s real. Yet, whether for his film’s characters or for his film audience, things doesn’t really end there…
Inception is a rare movie project that can be enjoyed on a superficial and/or progressively deeper level of viewing. It uncannily fascinates the audience as the story moves further into the challenging layers of the subconscious mind. It is a work of a visionary. For all its high production values and budget requirements, this is the kind of film that the big movie studios should support more often.
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Jackson’s King Kong proves to be an enduring part of film history and legacy all over the world. If LOTR is a magical classic in complete greatness, King Kong is a monstrous adventure flick with mainstream feel. Read More
The Top 5 Worst 3D Movies List
There are actually many movies (both animation and live action offers) that are made into 3D flicks for the heck. And not all stories or film style or cinematic treatment are best suited for the 3D medium. Read More
Sherlock Holmes takes a modern slant By Rianne Hill Soriano
“Sherlock Holmes” is a visually stylish rush of adrenaline. Irreverent and yet true to the spirit as it is, this movie is both fun and numb, enjoyable and exhausting.
With a modern slant, this Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character personified in the big screen by Robert Downey, Jr. should find favor with audiences eager for mere action and effects above everything else. While flawed, it is at least, overall, an entertaining romp. Thanks to the arresting sound and visuals, this new take on the classic story of the world-famous detective is such a popcorn flick.
This film adaptation retains the spirit and a number of significant details from the original source material; though the purists may cringe with some altered elements to keep up with director Guy Ritchie’s modern-style reimagining of the legendary sleuth’s adventures. Now, those willing to accept the clichés and predictability in exchange for the stylish and moody treatment may have some good time then.
The story is simply another in a long line of interpretations of the Detective Holmes and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) stories. This time, it is then turned into a swashbuckling romp – with the tried-and-tested pop culture flourishes meant for those looking for action and thrill on their movie picks. The obvious millions pumped into the film’s CGI effects, set design, star salaries, among other investments on production value, are very much apparent in the film.
“Sherlock Holmes” is more adrenaline than brainpower. Ritchie’s version of old London is moody and atmospheric. He brings the iconic character to a new generation of viewers and uses the modernized makeover style primarily through slow and fast motion visuals, choppy editing, and ramping explosion scenes. Sometimes they work, sometimes they just don’t. There are times that things just get too much that there is no more breathing space with what is continuously provided on screen. There are moments of action-pleasure, there are moments of frenzied and overlong smother.
Aside from its complete predictability, the mystery itself lacks intrigue and suspense that it merely depends on technical power and star wattage to make the excitement for the film palpable to the general audience. So despite being overlong and losing much of its steam halfway through, the film still engages between the cerebral character requirements and the spectacle of popular entertainment.
Downey and Law as the Holmes-and-Watson-duo are considerably good enough to make up for the weak mystery – and they seem to take much pleasure in portraying their roles. Downey’s inherent likeability is as quick-witted as the twists and opportunities that show off his character’s genius. His interpretation of the Holmes character does not completely deviate from the Doyle canon. With his uncanny skill at inventing his own unique spin to his role, he puts a brainy, brawny detective meant to be the story’s slightly crazed superhero. And he plays the brainiac detective like a steamed machine. Law transforms Holmes’ stalwart partner, Dr. Watson, from the bumbling comic relief of most interpretations, into a cool, competent sidekick character for this adaptation. He is a rare Watson who manages to be as interesting and watchable as Holmes. Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler manages to tweak Holmes’ classic adversary into a hot and feisty action heroine. Cunning star power indeed uplifts this flick as supporting and minor characters including Mark Strong as Lord Blackwood, Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade, Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson, Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan, and William Houston as Constable Clark make this movie offer a rollicking adventure inside the cunning world of Holmes.
While a diverting enough night out stint or DVD showcase, it is watchable and playable; however, it’s still forgettable. It’s actually a case of more adding up to less. Hopefully, the inevitable sequel will be better.
The Law Abiding Popcorn Flick By Rianne Hill Soriano
“Law Abiding Citizen” is increasingly preposterous, but nonetheless mindlessly entertaining for the general public. It’s a phony social commentary that has an intriguing premise with compromised execution as required by the mainstream formula. Yes, it abides by the rules of commercial filmmaking, and this becomes its major flaw.
It is pervasively absurd yet generally appealing for those who just want to consider the high body count of its blatantly nonsensical plot. The film has its action parts laced with shocks and twists that don’t necessarily follow the laws of logic and completely demands the suspension of disbelief for them to work. Its ludicrous plot has its moments; however, its fascinating undercurrents are much less than the off-putting parts of its reactionary revenge theme. And as the logic tumbles more and more until the film’s disappointing ending, it further winds up feeling overwritten and yet underexplained. In its exploration on the flaws of law, of right and wrong, it deflates the fun brought by its interesting tagline “How can you stop a man who’s already behind bars?” by making it a complicated, ragged movie that lacks credibility in the way the story is provided on screen. With such, it really seems more of a pretentious cash cow offer that tries to say something meaningful about America’s justice system.
“Law Abiding Citizen” is the kind of movie that thrills your pulse while not quite making you think. And though the implausible plot is already a given since the very beginning, the provisions for the compelling argument provided by its story thoroughly lose their edge by the end of the film. From the script being backed up by the debate about the ethical challenges of practicing and upholding the law to the poor plotting and pacing especially by the film’s end, things get really trammeled by the endless bullets, body count, explosions… until such a play safe ending. It doesn’t live up to the expectations with Gerard Butler’s words “It’s gonna be biblical!” Yes, it could have been a still powerful enough ending that might just become the preposterous film’s redemption. But what ever happened?
The movie starts out as a potboiler with a troubling character arc and some high-octane thriller moments, then ends up as a goofy, lousy pulp with its actions quickly tipping into lame campiness. This crime drama about outrage and vengeance has jerky narrative shifts with occasional splashes of gore and action courtesy of a brainiac turned psychopath character. And the thrills just keep on coming at a relentless pace that leaves little time to ponder about them. Nevertheless, it is still able to generate some considerable suspense and a sense of dread as an implausible thriller with a few horror elements in the guise as a social criticism.
As a social statement, “Law Abiding Citizen” is a flawed attempt as a high-minded brutality trying to hold the legal system accountable for its shortcomings. As a slick cat and mouse picture, it seems too afraid to tackle the issues it brings up. There are plenty of loopholes in the script that further misguides the concept.
Director F. Gary Gray attempts to provide a visual look that creates the required coldly thrilling atmosphere. And what keeps the story hanging on apart from the movie’s basic atmosphere are some strong performances. Gerard Butler as Clyde Shelton elevates the film’s ridiculous thriller appeal into something watchable with popcorn and drinks. His sharp and invigorating performance as a psycho on a killing spree while behind bars is generally entertaining. He is able to hold some interest for the film as he outwits the authorities – until he loses it by the contrived ending. Jamie Foxx as the district attorney Nick Rice looks bored at most times. There are actually some effective moments that provide the needed emotional investment for his character, but he seems to lack that needed bravura to elevate his character further. The supporting characters do well. Viola Davis as the frustrated mayor of Philadelphia is sharp. Annie Corley as Judge Laura Burch also works. Leslie Bibb as Nick’s staff Sarah Lowell provides enough intensity. And although none of the characters have much depth, most generally move through their roles with enough skill to still keep the willing audience guessing what’s next.
Frozen to Dullness in Antarctica By Rianne Hill Soriano
“Whiteout” is like the impending six months of darkness in Antarctica. Not with the chilling thrills, but with the total bore of staying inside a scientific research facility with only the endless stretches of Antarctic ice as companion. And in the most superficial sense, this movie can only be passable for the filmgoer without any other demands but seeing ice everywhere.
This cold film offers no concrete diversion or escape from the heat or cold. It ices itself as a ham-handed murder mystery set in the south pole – with a perfunctory approach to its story and its characters. The story elements struggle to survive; but unfortunately, they just melt away far from the thriller the film promises to be. The cold must have wiped out the needed skills this production requires.
While the setting is considerably interesting and mesmerizing, little else about this movie is captivating. It’s a whodunnit mystery story set on a scientific research base in Antarctica with dullness growing as thick as the ice all over the sets. For all its frozen bodies, blood, assaults with ice axes, and struggle with killer winds and weather that all pique your interest for its cold and windy setting, “Whiteout” turns out to be a pale imitation of the thriller it’s been trying to be – with a twist you see coming a continent away. The central mystery is limp. The mystical setting is wasted with a lifeless pedestrian plot that could be set anywhere.
It feels like one of those movies that has never progressed much beyond its interesting and promising concept. Like the isolated continent where it’s set, the film seems too isolated to make itself become a quality piece. Like the thick ice all around, the storytelling is so dense that the film wimps out to become such an uninspired thriller amidst the many inspirational elements around it.
There’s wonderful potential for such white vistas embodying both metaphorical emptiness and mysterious oblivion. And it could have been a great setting for an ambitious film with an already given A-list star at helm. So what went wrong? Script, direction, sound, music. And for a solid domino effect to it, performances. The characters don’t translate well. The film is filled with mere panicky zooms and badly staged action. The random forensic gross-outs are half-baked. The dialogues put unwelcome commentaries so overdone that no event occurs without a character telling you what you already see. The redundancy is even worsened by the overworked soundtrack telling you for the nth time what is supposed to happen next and even dictate to you what you should feel or think about the very scene you’re watching.
The sub-standard work is very much a missed opportunity. This generic snowbound thriller features blowing winds averaging around 100 miles per hour, but it just doesn’t really throw the audience towards genuinely thrilling moments. Its worst offense is assuming that the audience is so dumb that you will actually be shocked and entertained by characters merely wearing snowsuits and slashing out people, then finding out in the end, how lame the whole thing is – with all the utter lack of excitement and witty twist ending. Hobbled by a ruinously insufficient thrills, chills, and intrigue, it grows to become an increasingly ludicrous mess from the beginning until the ending. And even if you suspend your disbelief, the sub-standard CGI of planes among other things even pulls you down farther the thick white ice.
The cast delivers numb performances with stereotypical, one-dimensional characters that are actually devoid of utter personality. It merely settles to put some feasting eyes on Kate Beckinsale showcasing her almost naked body ready for a hot bathing scene, then showing her curves in tempting blurs from inside the shower within the first five minutes of the film. Yes, that’s the mainstream sellout at work. Beckinsale as U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko is glossed over with her skin perfectly holding up to the sub-zero temperature all the way.
What’s missing from “Whiteout” is the pervasive sense of paranoia that you’d expect, or hope for, from a thriller set in the coldest and most isolated land mass on the planet. And its intriguing setting and storyline could have been gripping if a more developed story with quality script and smart direction replace the spoon-fed lines of its dull characters, the poor camera work, the lame musical score, and the second-rate Hollywood level CGI.