Wednesday, December 28, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW - STAR TREK BEYOND

This movie is DOGSHIT!

...And this blog entry is going to be a good reason that I will never be promoted in media as a film critic "who has good taste and delivery."

I am completely convinced that Hollywood is trying to damage Gene Roddenberry's dream and universe, by unleashing a myriad of bad writers...yeah YOU, Simon Pegg, and bad directors to produce and sell a bad idea with bad plots, no character development, shoddy presentation, and no chemistry performances that level out a new genre of CGI crap B-Films that have no foundation of creative genius and will die out as a "bad conception" as time passes on. 

What is MOST absurd, was the transparent plotline where the crew of the U.S.S. FRANKLIN was responsible for being the bad guy in the film! If Roddenberry wasn't tossing and throwing up in his coffin, I was surely tossing and turning in my bed last night...."Gravitational Slipstream???"....seriously, my trekkie folks!?!?!?...you were happy with this shit pile?????



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

CHINA IS HERE!

It's just not an everyday thing to see an Independent film project get headlines in the Chinese oriented news paper in Houston, Texas, but the news about the studio project entitled SAPPHIRE SOUL, starring Nanae Volle, has already extended news coverage on the web, across seas, and gaining a strong following of Chinese fans across the nation; who are even now spreading the news about the project throughout other communities in their homeland. This new Indie film has even garnered favor from localized Texas fans who have followed the studios progress over the last seven years watching studio web series from Star Trek Beyond to The Secret of Angelika5; which have all presented a unique flair in storytelling and production formats that fans love to see over and over again.

Quintana is a well diversified film director with hundreds of hours of film work behind the camera. Many know him as an expert filmmaker and professional photographer who has done more than his fair share of helping actors/actress grow in the local Independent film community. He is often sought to produce top quality actors head shots and most of the time doesn't charge actors for the use of his talents.

"From directing to producing to promoting my Independent films to my web series, I've taken what I believe are the best courses in college to help me stay above all of the amateur filmmakers who constantly guess how to film" said Quintana. "It takes more than using a fancy camera or creating a makeshift studio with a bunch of amateurs to impress the larger audiences you want to target for your film project. If you want to film [only to stay in contact] with the local crowd and safely staying in your inner circle...then, you're never going to get noticed. Dare to aspire. Aim high and target a crowd of people you've never dared to impress; that's where the challenge is."

So, whether your a fan of Independent web series or not, you will be exposed to the tremendous effort being presented to promote SAPPHIRE SOUL as one of the first foreign films being produced in Texas and being aimed at a world market that is second to none. Leading the assault in the press is Nanae Volle, local actress and Chinese citizen, who has brought her marvelous talents to the film project and has done more than her share of promoting the film to the local Chinese news networks to get the word out about the films progress and it's message about the dangers of cell phone applications in the near future.

"She's working on several projects outside of Soul" said David Quintana, the films director and senior producer. "She has quite a dynamic range in her presence and acting. She plays both good and evil characters very well, and she is very excited about all of the projects she participates in." David also added that the leading actress is surrounded by a talented supporting cast, who have namesakes of their own and who each have personal careers outside of acting.

Young actors are also a heavy presence in the film project, the leading teen actress is Sara Mao of Katy, Texas and this is her first appearance in film. She makes up one of two actresses who play an important part of the film to establish the stories main plot. For her part in the Chinese production, Mao is coached on her use of Chinese [Mandarin] dialog throughout her scenes in the production. 

"Sara follows direction well and I am very lucky to have a talented teen like her in this production" says Quintana. "On our first meeting she was very shy and seemed nervous. But over a small amount of time she's blossomed and presented some top quality performances which have helped the film stay dark and mysterious."

As you read this blog update, the cast and crew have wrapped several important outside scenes to SOUL with very little effort. Quintana says that the production will now move to the City of Houston, where several office buildings will be used to produce the heaviest part of the script.

"We were hoping to make this a film for 2016, but with the week speeding by and most of the locations not locked down until after the New Year" added Quintana. "The film is planned to be completed in mid-January with an early February release. We have quite a ways to go to get the next phase of production down, but once we're done I am quite sure that the Chinese community will be impressed with the final results."
A release date has still not been made available.

KnA
(Contributing Writer)

Friday, December 23, 2016

BIG YEAR FOR OUR PHOTOGRAPHY

The creative minds-eye of three professional freelance photographers caught the attention of our blog followers this past year. The studio blog and award winning, full color E-Magazine [Emag] have captured some of the best photographs, at some extraordinary locations, during film productions and with some sexy Texas models, all primarily on a volunteer basis, just to impress you!

Of course, the studios blogs and Emag wouldn't have prospered without the top notch writing team and investigative reporters who have also stepped out in the vast Texas landscape to cover both model and actor venues, plus some of the best Independent entertainment news for local eyes. Even our E-mag team has impressed followers with an impressive array for producing artistic page formats that have dazzled subscribers with the professional presentation that is unmatched by any other Emag in the country. As we step into 2017, the studio will be producing a video news blog for it's followers! The video blog will present local and nation news which is not being covered by the nations network media.
But the benchmark has been the studios creative touch which have been viewed by eyes from out of state, across the ocean to five different continents, 17 countries, and various heavily populated cities throughout the world, all with an impressive, interactive blog and Emag that has kept followers informed and entertained throughout it's run. The teams seamless commitment to grow and achieve bigger and better success has been the cornerstone of our recent success. We have reached up to 800,000 monthly readers and our subscribers to follow our blog as grown extensively over the past three years.

And the large part of our huge success is all due to the professional photography captured and presented for all to see. Our professional prowess at taking the best pictures for less, has had an impact by our competitors and Internet trollers who have no idea how we have been able to build our professional looking blog database of photos at little to no cost; where we have maintained a strict relationship with our models who are constantly sought out for work by other competitors and information seekers. It is no secret that many of our photos are copied and posted on other blogs and private web pages; but that does not detour our success in creating memorable works with our cameras - as the old saying goes, copying is the sincerest form of flattery.

So, with 2016 closing out, and the studio E-mag entering a new format of covering local Texas news and investigative reports for 2017, we are sure to make a convincing impression on our readers and also being identified as one of the most informative and comprehensive blogs in the United States.

We thank you for all of your continued support. God Bless all of you and have an FANTASTIC New Year!

D. R. Quintana, E-Mag Editor

Sunday, December 11, 2016

REVIEW OF STAR TREK: DARK ARMADA

I spent the weekend following this web series, STAR TREK DARK ARMADA, which was primarily directed and produced by Robin Hiert, who is also the leading actor of the show. The show has some potential and the gradual development of heavy CGI effects was astonishing, to say the least. But with all of the positive attributes and my admiration for the creators ingenuity, its time to give the web series a real review. I know that this review may pick on some petty things, but it's all about being petty when it comes to the little details.

To begin with, I have an issue with any SciFi project or film that lacks the luster of proper military etiquette or the hint of casual familiarization with how a ship is run [in the real military]. All Star Trek canon films are run with baseline requirements for "taking a ship to sea," and with STDA I lost interest right away in it's ship's captain and crew. Where the actors may have a pretty good idea of how to use the standard Trek techno-babble from the script, their delivery is often slow and delayed; mostly due to bad editing. The camera work is often shot from right to left, which is due to using green screen throughout  80% of the episodes. Hiert tries his best to use a "moving effect" with the CGI, but as in any heavily produced special effects film, the actors are lost in their roles, looking down at their terminals or looking over at the ship's Captain to deliver their lines at weird angles; more common  for not being on a real set. Actors seem to have no real definition of the depth of the bridge or engineroom; they've got comfortable about starring at one constant direction which reflects the flat angles in which the green screen mat provides in their actual view.


Sparks and explosions are another problem with heavy uses of flat screen CGI. The actors never shake when there's an explosion, nor are there on-screen flashes that might blind them when a minor arc of energy or explosion occurs; and you never see anyone hanging on for dear life when the ship is attacked or jolted by a direct hit. For working on this web series as long as he has, I am a little perturbed that Hiert has refused to fix those issues in the acting department, especially for the season ending episode which apparently closes out the series and starts another one.

But the largest problem with this last episode was the story. Mixing a bad screenplay with bad dialog, then adding some bad acting and a very non-essential speech to the crew before jumping into a Quantum time vortex without explaining why the ship arrived heavily damaged at the other end, just really brought the whole thing down for me. There was at least another two to three minutes that could have been added to the episode to explain why the ship was damaged, and more specifically, why everyone was wounded. The worst part is, the crew proved not to be successful in their mission and the whole attempt at time travel was just to introduce another ship, but with the same crew [?]...man, I need to find a pub!


A good point was the crisp ships CGI work and short, to the point battle scenes. There were a lot of Trek class star ships in the episode, but again I have to persist that the actual sizing of the ships, leaning largely to the known class of each and their canon related scaling, just wasn't respected by Hiert. The Nova Class science vessel was as long as an Intrepid Class Cruiser; and that is not canon at all. It might be safe to assume that Heirt did this on purpose at some point and the show's local fans receive it was canon for the STDA web series. I will not argue with anyone that the show's attempt to launch a well produced finale to the web series wasn't successful, because the Facebook promotions did get me to see it, so that is a bonus kudo for the director and his production team.


In the end, it was a fun series to watch. There were little jokes between the crew that fell flat for me, but then again the character development was not an essential part of the overall production. And like with most fan films and productions out on the web, STDA tried it's best to be clinical with the uniforms and overall look of typical STNG or ST-VOYAGER sets through the use of green screen CGI. 

I honestly hope that Heirt's next series will clean up the visual effects; the shaking of the crew [and such] while sustaining hits in battle, plus demand that his actors lay a better foundation for breathing life into their characters, instead of just reading the lines off camera. But it all starts with better storytelling!



[3 of 5 Stars]



BE SURE TO ALSO CHECK OUT
THE MINOTAUR - BIONICA -
 MMA CrossFire 
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FIRST LOOK INTO PRODUCTION...

The studio released the first production stills to the film project which is the first in a set of planned Chinese films in production, all set in Texas. The film stars relatively unknown Independent actors, Nanae Volle and Eddie Enriquez, but plans to hold pure luster within the heavy sections of Chinese oriented audiences throughout the state.

Soul stars Nanae Volle as " An Na," a Director of Marketing for cell phone applications in Shanghai, China, who is attempting to purchase a new application from a foreign competitor that allows the user the ability to travel to different locations on the earth within a realistic and peaceful virtual world with the aide of a special blue tooth device, at little cost.

However, during the applications testing phase, Volle's character learns that there's a minor glitch with the application [or] that there might be a more sinister side to the application by it's developer, played by Enriquez. The film project will present the vast Texas landscape as the virtual world, apparently "recorded from the memory engrams" of several 'test users' that helps give a realistic preview of the users destination; presenting fresh cool air, fresh smells, and vast farm landscapes, factors that are not readily available in the heafty city landscapes of China's busy city environments.

Volle's character stumbles into a plethora of clues that lead her to the insight that the application knows a dark secret about her past. The knowledge of possibly "robbing the user of their memories" becomes a potential threat to it's developer; who has programmed safeguards within the blue tooth device to advise him of the potential threat. The rest of the story is a cat and mouse game of who can outsmart the other in this semi-SciFi/dramatic film.

"We were hampered by rainy weather issues during the first weekend of shooting" said David Quintana, director. "This past weekend a cold front moved in, but the overcast sky was perfect for what we needed in the film. The actors were excited to get started and finally getting to perform in front of the cameras."

David says that the film presents a large city landscape throughout most of it's run. This past weekends filming concerned the Texas terrain, filmed primarily in Montgomery, Texas. He claims that the film will have very little production efforts outside of Houston's city landscape.

"I know that a lot of Independent films are produced in wooded areas, leading many to expect a slasher movie-type presentation, but Soul is far from that type of film." Quintana added.

Sapphire Soul has a short shooting schedule, but is planned to be a feature film. The movie rating is expected to earn a comfortable PG13 rating for violence and sexual situations. A release date has not been confirmed.


BE SURE TO ALSO CHECK OUT
THE MINOTAUR - BIONICA -
 MMA CrossFire 
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Friday, December 9, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW - STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE - [PG13] is definitely one of the BEST SciFi movies I've seen in quite a while! I was given a special preview about a week ago and I was COMPLETELY blown away by the original story, visual effects, and take on making a prequel to the original trilogy, parts 4, 5, and 6. 

This was NOT a J.J. Abrams disaster tale, filled full of useless nostalgia and recycled old actors; this film has class, style and best of all, a strong story arc which will lead to a sequel and possibly a better angled trilogy (???). Targeted with brilliant new actors and very little swiping from one scene to another, SWRO surely brings eloquently detailed filmmaking back to the big screen...well, I saw it on the screen I have at home. There is something NOT Star Wars about it though, don't expect to see anything far too familiar with the storytelling, save the ships and technology which have become the staple of the franchise. There are certainly darker plotlines and a hopeless trail of intrigue that damages the certain eventual fate of the characters that are developed in the film.

D
arth Vader is as menacing with his words as he is in stature in this film, a poignant delight for older SW fans. There is nothing "empty to see" about him, save the movie reinforces the diabolical side of the empire and what Vader does to seduce a more promising future for the Empire.

On a final note, there was something more "punching in the gut" about this film than "Force Awakens"; with likeable developed characters and a mission I really cared about, seeing them through to the end...kind of. A much-much better film with a convincing story adaptation ELEMENTS that should have been adhered to with SW VII. 

☆☆☆☆ [4 of 5 Stars]