Greenland I

September 3rd, 2016



Greenland I

Here we have an experiment I did a long time ago. 2011 to be exact. I guess I never really was happy with it. The goal was to create a nature scene. And some parts in here I do really enjoy. But the overall picture is too cluttered and lacks composition. However, I decided to dig it out and play around with the atmosphere and colors a little. In the end I decided to go for a more vivid color scheme to give it some fantasy character. It’s ‘presentable’ now I guess. =D Still no masterpiece though.

Created and rendered with Vue and a load of detail fixing in Photoshop. I also re-rendered a couple of elements to bring in some additional detail here and there. So ultimately it may not be the result I wanted but still, I invested some extra work for it nonetheless. I don’t know exactly why but the water area took forever to render. =D

Vue – Photoshop – Lightroom – 6000×3100

Had my fun with this one and hope you enjoy the view. :)

Wireframe
Plate

wallpapers available

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationDrawcrowdCGSociety

Regards

signed

Star Trek: Beyond – Movie Review

August 20th, 2016

movie reviewIn 2013 I was quite disappointed by ‘Into Darkness’ and the lack of ideas in there. Time flies and now we already have the third installment in the ‘Kelvin’ timeline. I really liked how they rebooted the movies in 2009 and thought they were quite clever in how they did it. All that cleverness was missing in ‘Into Darkness’. So my hopes for new ideas were quite high with Star Trek: Beyond.

The movie starts rather slow and introspective. We learn the Enterprise is on a long term mission and listen to Kirk, while he explains what difficulties the crew is faceing, when going on a mission like that. It’s not always action and most of the time quite a drag. We get a glimpse into how the daily life of the crew and the relationships between them looks like. I really liked that rather personal part. It’s rare we get that in the Star Trek movies. We get a very nice scene between Bones (Karl Urban) and Kirk (Chris Pine) sharing a drink. It’s Kirk’s birthday and he is thinking about his father and the fact that he is the same age now like his father when he died. We haven’t seen Kirk like that in quite a while and I think it makes him much more human than what we know of him from the last two movies. He’s reflecting back on the decisions he made so far.

The ship is on its way to Yorktown starbase for a well deserved shore leave. Yorktown is eye candy deluxe. I’m rarely blown away by VFX anymore but what they did there is fantastic. I didn’t expect that since I avoided spoilers for this film. We get to see quite a bit of that starbase throughout the film and it’s always eyecatching. The crew splits up and we get some personal moments for all our main guys. Again something missing in the previous two films and very welcome in this one.

While the crew is having fun or deals with personal matters Kirk gets an offer for a promotion. Chris Pine does a nice job there with his character, showing how troubled Kirk is at this point in his life. In the meantime Spock (Zachary Quinto) learns that Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) died. Which makes him think about things too. Some heady stuff in the first 30 minutes of this film. I liked that! And suddenly the station receives a SOS.

Shore leave is history and the crew on its way to investigate what’s going on with the SOS. The Enterprise captures an escape pod drifting out of a nearby uncharted nebula. The rescued alien tells them that their ship is stranded on Altamid, a planet sitting in the middle of said uncharted nebula. Of course our heroes investigate further and find that planet. Only to be attacked by a swarm of ships. Hundreds of ships that, out of nowhere, attack the Enterprise. Quite the battle breaks out but ultimately the Enterprise is going down. At the same time the crew is evacuating but each pod is captured by the swarm and brought to the surface. This is also the time when we meet Krall (Idris Elba), the villain of this film. After this heavy (and maybe a little long) action part I felt a little shellshocked since there was not too much build up to that scene.

The Enterprise is pretty much destroyed but our heroes made it safely to the surface of Altamid. All of them are scattered and trying to get everyone back together. Some nice writing in that part since we get some more personal moments. Especially the part where Bones and Spock are together. Spock is injured and Bones is taking care of him. Urban and Quinto make these scenes really enjoyable. That’s when you know how much you missed these more quiet moments in the past two films. And that’s all I want to go into the story at this point. Let’s just say that Krall is after something and that there are a couple of twists throughout the film. A clash of ideologies that’s a main theme of this film.

Of the ‘Kelvin’ movies this one definitely felt the most like Star Trek. Simon Pegg and Doug Jung did a great job capturing that old flair while still keeping some heavy action setpieces in there. The dialogue and banter between the characters sounded true to the original material and never felt forced. When the crew is scattered on the planet surface the story splits up too of course. Some of the story strings naturally felt more interesting than others and when the movie cut away from the Bones/Spock part it felt a little draggy here and there. It could be because Krall surely wasn’t the most creative villain. There could have been done a little more to give him a more fleshed out character. I mean, you got Idris Elba… this guy is magic… use that magic! Unfortunately we only get glimpses of his skillset.

Much like in the first two films we have a great balance between the heroes here. Everybody gets something to do and no one is left out. So we do get our Sulu (John Cho), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) moments too. Especially Chekov gets some more time and I enjoyed watching him do stuff. And that’s the heart breaker in this film. Anton Yelchin is no longer with us and he does such a fantastic job here breathing life into this character. At the end of the film Kirk gives a toast to everyone lost and at exactly the right second they cut to Checkov. Damn man that hit hard. At the same time they manage to pay a very worthy tribute to the original crew/cast. Again without it feeling forced and that’s another testament to some good and solid writing. We also get a new character, Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), Scotty (Simon Pegg) gets to meet when lost on the planet. I really enjoyed her and she gets some great kickass moments as well. She has some great chemistry with all the main characters.

Let’s talk about some of the themes in this film. The most visible one is teamwork. We have this villain that is all about the ‘one man show’ path to get things done. On the other side we have the crew of the Enterprise and their teamwork approach. Overall the film is about how working together gets things done much more efficiently. Our heroes try to work together in every way possible while our villain is pretty much trying to accomplish his goal alone. I’m tempted to say that he’s not doing too badly. Still, the movie promotes teamwork and does it well enough. All the interaction between the various Enterprise crew members plays out fantastically. Beside the teamwork thing we also he a layer of old versus new in here. There are a couple of nice scenes that suggest that we are finally leaving old Star Trek behind and plan to go an own way with future stories. All that is handled respectfully and I applaud the movie for that. Still, from a personal point of view, teamwork is fine and good but often enough too many cooks ruin the show. Every now and then the lone wolf approach is totally justified.

Things that do not work so well are easy to find though. Why does everyone land in the same area of the planet?! They manage to meet up pretty easy. Another thing is the habbit of destroying the Enterprise. Or let’s just say that they are on their way of making it a habbit. They should avoid that in the next film. The Enterprise is the flagship of the Federation and everybody wants to serve on that ship. The way it looks now I would be surprised if anyone would feel happy to get assigned to the Enterprise. It’s like a death sentence! Almost comical. Last but not least the villain isn’t very well written. With all the character things that work so well in this film… the villain was flat. The core of hHis motivation is different enough enough to keep him somewhat interesting. Still, with Idris Elba they had something there and missed to use it. The action, for the most part, was fun and well done. The VFX and design work… top notch. Only the face to face fight scenes had too quick cuts and for most of the time I had problems following what’s going on. On a funny comparison Star Trek: Beyond felt more like a worthy ‘Wrath Of Khan’ clone than ‘Into Darkness’ did.

A thing I wish for the next movie would be… bring Jaylah back! Sofia Boutella did a great job with this character and since we unfortunately lost Anton Yelchin/Chekov, why not use that newly introduced character? Instead of trying to replace Chekov (which is impossible from my pov) try out that new character! Play around and make the ‘Kelvin Timeline’ its own thing! But that’s my two cents.

So ultimately I would say this film is on par with Star Trek 2009. Except this one has more heart and felt less ‘technical’ if that makes any sense. I enjoyed the character moments and the acting was very well through the bench. They paid a nice tribute to the original actors and the whole thing felt like it was written by someone who understands what Star Trek is about. And all that without missing the mark on the action! For some reason this film did not do so amazingly well with the box office. What’s wrong with you people? Go see it as long as it’s on the big screen!

PS: They managed to bring in Sabotage by the Beastie Boys again. And that in the most awesome way possible! Loved it! And I would have never believed that I would be able to like a Rihanna song but that end credit piece is pretty nice. Even though it feels so random having her name attached to a Star Trek movie. To round this PS up, I feel really angry that so many VFX artists that worked on this film did not get their credit at the end of the film. Shame on you Hollywood. You don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, check here.

7.8/10

Star Trek: Beyond on IMDb

Independence Day 2 – Movie Review

August 11th, 2016

movie reviewIn 1996 I was a fanatic for that movie called ‘Independence Day’ (ID4). Even read the book! Which is almost insane for my standards. Granted I was 14 years old at the time. I saw the movie a day before it opened in an early screening together with my mom. A nice memory. This movie was an inspiration on many levels. And it also taught me a valuable lesson. There is rarely a movie (or anything) that can live up to the hype that may come with it. So ultimately the movie was a little bit of a let down back then. I don’t know what I expected. I guess something that wasn’t as campy as the movie ended up being. Something with a more serious tone. Now we are in 2016 and get a sequel to a movie that went on to be one of the most successful blockbusters of all time. This new film… probably 16 years too late I suppose. So in hindsight, what did I take away from ID4 in 1996? Hype rarely matters, I fell in love with R.E.M. and that computers will be the future in movie making.

The new movie starts and it feels like the alien attack from 1996 created a new timeline where Earth developed into a new direction. Mankind made use of the alien technology and we are using it to our own advantage. Throughout the movie there are hints at what happened directly after the alien ships dropped out of the sky and how there were ground fights between humans and surviving aliens. Now wouldn’t that have been a neat little movie? How we fight the remaining alien forces? Instead we jumped straight into the movie’s 2016. It starts with former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) having a vision/nightmare of the aliens. He wakes up bathed in sweat and in a not so good condition. Pullman does a great job here showing that his character did not have the best time after the events of 1996. At that point (5 minutes into the film) I thought it would be cool to go deeper into that PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) kind of angle our heroes of 96 have to deal with. Unfortunately that’s pretty much dopped and washed away within minutes. Just to come up once in a while when it doesn’t matter anymore. Too bad. That would have been a very interesting angle to the movie as a whole. Now we get to know some new characters. Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) is a hotshot pilot stuck doing useless missions on a moon base, mankind established for defense purposes. Back on Earth he did a risky move when on a training mission with Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher), that led to Dylan’s jet crashing into a rock wall. Dylan barely makes it out of the plane alive. Both were friends and here we have our character conflict construct. ‘Hiller’ sounds familiar? Sure… Dylan is the son of Will Smith’s character from 1996. Will Smith’s character died a not so heroic death, in the time between the movies, flying a test jet. Which brings me to a point where I had to shake my head hard. Early on in the movie we are in the White House and his son Dylan meets president Lanford (Sela Ward). While he walks into the room we can see a painting on the wall with his father. And I swear to god that it looked like they ran the cheapest filter in Photoshop over it and composited it into the picture frame on the wall. This looked sooooo cheap. Ridiculous! To top it off they used a promo shot that was constantly used back in 1996 for all kinds of press releases. My god, really? Last but not least the last important new character is Whitmore’s daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe). Presidential speech writer and fighter jet pilot (now that’s a combination). Sounds cool and ridiculous at the same time. An achievement in my eyes!

Next we get to the man himself, Jeff Goldblum, giving his all Goldblum! He seems to really know and understand in what kind of movie he’s in here and plays his mannerisms literally to 11 with his David Levinson character. He was fun and always a presence when on screen. Beside Bill Pullman I enjoyed Jeff Goldblum the most. Especially when we follow him to Africa where he wants to get access to a ship that in 1996 landed to drill into the earth. Yes, they contradict a lot of stuff that happened in the first film. I had no problem with that part though. There we learn that the aliens sent an SOS in 1996 and that something big is coming now. Oh and we meet Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who seems to be an old flame of David. Not a single word about David’s ex wife in this movie though. There in Africa we learn that these earlier mentioned visions are a common thing with people who came into closer contact with the aliens.

Soon the aliens arrive and it’s the overkill version of the “make it bigger!” cliche. The alien ship is so big that it has its own gravitational field! What follows after the arrival of that 5000km big ship is hard to watch. See, to have fun with the stuff that’s going on at that point, you would have to ignore everything you learned about physics ever. The movie didn’t manage it to make the audience switch on that ‘I don’t care’ mode though. And so this whole destruction porn sequence feels so idiotic and overkill that it hurts. But hey, don’t get me wrong. What the VFX guys did there is amazing stuff and it looks cool. But it’s so far off in ‘I can’t believe this’ territory that it just doesn’t work for the movie. As a VFX demo reel though, sure! Just the appearance of that gigantic alien would have been an extinction level event. Throwing the moon out of orbit and do whatever to the Earth’s rotation. Mankind would have been done within a matter of hours I guess. But again the movie goes to 11 and makes that alien ship land over the atlantic ocean. Just NO!

Eventually all the different characters meet up in Area 51 (of course). Can you spot the lazy writing? And from there we launch our attack against that 5000km ship. A ship that got its own ecosystem inside it. We even get a 10 minute scene in there. That part was rather interesting! Far too short! And how do our heroes get out of there? By redoing the escape scene from the ID4 finale. Can you spot the lazy writing? From a writing standpoint its fair to compare this movie to Jurassic World. The same formula of “take whatever was awesome in the old movie and translate it into the new one”. I already found that cheap in Jurassic World and it’s the same with this film. However, there are some new things in here as well. I don’t want to spoil it but it’s not many and all of them implemented in the most lazy way possible.

Other actors worth to mention are William Fichtner, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner. The cast list doesn’t read bad to be honest but what they’re given to work with is just so plain stupid. And that Roland Emmerich typical humor, that is so typical for his movies, doesn’t work either. It never does. A rather decent cast that is pretty much wasted. A lot of scenes that feel so evil like green screen that it constantly takes you out of the movie. The VFX, otherwise technically well done, feel so badly directed with so many quick cuts and content cluttered/busy images that there rarely was a point to focus on. When the camera work was quiet I enjoyed it. But the action was too erratic for my taste. And I thought we left that kind of direction behind us now.

For the first 30 minutes or so I was on board and wondered why the reviews were so bad. But as soon as the aliens arrive the complete film falls apart and into levels of stupidity that I couldn’t just have fun with it anymore. You know what? I wonder how a Christopher Nolan version of that movie would have looked like. Or better Steven Soderbergh. With a more grounded storytelling and realistic presentation. We all can dream, right?

In the end this movie feels like lazy fan-fiction. Fan-fiction can be cool if executed well enough but that is not the case here. I have to admit though that, from the outside, it’s the sequel movie I hoped for when walking out of the screening in 1996. I definitely wanted makind to use the crashed alien ships for our own advantage and make a technological leap. That’s the case in this movie but it is not really explored. Oh man, there are so many missed opportunities in this film. It constantly reminds you that there would have been better movies possible with all the ideas they had for this movie. I would love to see the battles with the stranded aliens after we defeated their ships in 1996. A dark gritty us vs them war movie? Sign me up! But no. Maybe an anthology movie would have been cool. Tell different stories by different characters that show the situation right after the events in 1996 from different perspectives. Missed opportunities all over this movie.

As a final verdict I can only say that, if you want to see this film, do it on the big screen in a cinema. There are some neat (but chaotic at times) visuals in this film that might get lost when watching the film on a tv. But that’s all. I saw it in 2D and cannot imagine any advantage with the 3D version other than you walk out of this film with a headache.

5.9/10

Independence Day: Resurgence on IMDb

Gillian’s Place

July 27th, 2016



Gillian’s Place

I started this one a while ago, after I finished ready “Stranger In A Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein. Early in the story we are in an apartment where the floor is covered with a carpet of grass. I already had the idea before I read this book but the book helped me to flesh out the idea. So the inspiration for this scene came, in parts, from the book. There we also have this lady character Gillian who loved the grass carpet in the apartment of a friend and I wanted to give her her own apartment. =)

I used this project to dig a little deeper into 3d modeling and how I can use it for my ideas. I also tried myself on basic cloth simulation for the sheets. So ultimately there went quite some time into this scene because a lot of it went into experimenting. For the sculpture I also experimented with subsurface scattering to give it a quasi translucent look that captures the light. The modeling part happened in C4D and the scene setup in Vue. Photoshop brought it all together and I refined and fixed a lot of things I wasn’t too happy with in the renders.

6000×3000 – C4D – Vue – The Plant Factory – Photoshop – Lightroom

Had my fun with this one and hope you enjoy the view. :)

Wireframe 1
Plate 1
Plate 2
Plate 3
Print Detail

wallpapers available

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationDrawcrowdCGSociety

Regards

signed

Beasts Shall Rise – Webinar

July 24th, 2016

Beasts Shall Rise Webinar Walkthrough

Here a couple of infos to the upcoming Digital Art Live webinar where I explain the creative process to my Beasts Shall Rise project. If you are interested and you want to participate go here and register for the event. Enter the promocode “vue10″ for a $10 discount! The webinar will take place in a Fuze meeting and you will get all info via email. You need to install the client software but you don’t require an account to attend the webinar!

Find the registration page: here
Start Time: 20:00 BST (London)/21:00 GMT (Berlin)/12:00 PDT (Los Angeles)/15:00 EDT (New York) – The duration is estimated to 1.5 to 2hrs.

If you decide to take part in the upcoming webinar you will also receive an HD recording of the ‘From Here I Can Almost See The Stars’ webinar for free. It’s a scifi cityscape project where I already covered a lot topics in regards to post work for example. So in the ‘Beasts Shall Rise’ webinar I plan to go into more Vue/3d related material. There is a lot of ground to cover and time flies when talking about these projects. It’s insane. :D So below you find a list with topics I plan to go into. Or better ‘hope’ to go into before the time runs out. I want to make clear though that it’s a project walkthrough and not a tutorial. Even though I plan to go into some practical stuff here and there.

Introduction:

Inspiration, Composition, Used Elements

Exploring The Scene:

Setup within Vue, Terrain, City, Dragons

Terrain Manipulation:

The Photoshop File and 16bit

The City:

Closer look at the setup

The Dragons:

Working with DAZStudio & Vue

Photoshop:

Last but not least we'll take a quick look into Photoshop and how the post work brought everything together.

See you there!

Regards
signed

3D World Magazine Feature

July 10th, 2016

3d World Magazine Feature

I’m very proud that one of my personal favs, “From Here I Can Almost See The Stars“, got a feature in the 3d World Magazine. As usual it’s a fantastic thing to see your work in print next to work by so many other great artists. Good stuff!

Find the magazine here!

Regards
signed

Rocky 5 – Movie Review

July 6th, 2016

movie reviewI guess this is more a re-evaluation than a review. Over the past two weeks I rewatched Rocky 1, 2, 3 and 5. Part 4 I have seen often enough and it’s a fun flick for its own crazy reasons. Part 5 though, I think I have seen only once in the early 90s. I could barely remember anything except a rough plot outline. Now part 5 is universally seen as the rotten tomato of the series. After rewatching it I cannot exactly understand why that is. Is it a good movie? Maybe. Is it as bad as people generally say it is? I think it’s not.

The fifth movie in the Rocky series continues telling the story of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and his family. I don’t think it’s necessary to explain all the background details of the series since Rocky pretty much is a pop culture icon and everyone knows this character. The movie starts with a flashback to what happened in the fourth film. We see how hard the fight between Rocky and Ivan Drago was and what price Rocky had to pay for winning that fight. So the 5th movie continues right after the fight and connects the 4th with the 5th movie rather well in my opinion. We learn that eveb though Rocky won the fight he did get injured and decides to stop boxing and retire. He wants to take care of his family and I guess we can all agree that he deserves some rest at this point. Out of nowhere shady boxing promoter George Washington Duke (Richard Grant) appears and wants to force Rocky into a new fight. Rocky declines. Rocky’s wife Adrian (Talia Shire) finally got his husband where she wants him and hopes for a peaceful time now with him and their son. Destiny strikes when Paulie (Burt Young) confesses that the family accountant basically wrecked their whole money on a shady real estate deal. Rocky immediately tries to turn Adrian around and wants her to allow him to box again. They need money very bad. Adrian refuses and Rocky respects her decision. Plus the fact that his health status isn’t the best. So the family sells the big house and pretty much all of its contents and moves back into their old neighborhood in Philadelphia. It’s not a good neighborhood and we can see how ashamed Rocky is about that. Even if the people there love and respect him. He managed to get out of the slums and now he’s right back where he startet. I think there is some good acting by Stallone here. He hates it to be there again. But he deals with the situation and decides to reopen Mickey’s old boxing gym. The place where he grew to be the champion he became. In the meanwhile that shady boxing promoter is still on his heels trying to get Rocky to do another fight. Suddenly Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison) shows up and wants to train with Rocky and learn from him. Rocky sees the potential in the young man and agrees to train him. They soon have success and Tommy is corrupted by the fame and changes sides to that promoter guy. Last but not least it finals in a confrontation between Rocky and Tommy.

The movie deals with a couple of things that make it much more a drama than the action movies we had in part 3 and 4. It takes a far more personal route and reflects on Rocky’s career. Something that the movie ‘Rocky Balboa’, many years later, continues and does a little better. The character of Tommy Gunn is the son Rocky always wanted and he focusses a lot on him. He sees a lot of himself in him and wants to shape him into a successful fighter. In the meanwhile Rocky misses it to take care of his son when he needs his father the most. And it’s not like Rocky isn’t proud of his son and doesn’t like him. On the contrary, he loves his son and we get moments that prove it. But Rocky is disctracted by his work with Tommy. Rocky always was a rather simple minded character, without having a perspective on the broader spectrum too much. That’s why his wife Adrian and to a certain degree even his brother-in-law Paulie are there to guide him. They see what’s happening and try to bring Rocky back into focus. But his focus is entirely directed at getting his family out of the slums again. And his only chance is making it big and having success with Tommy.

I guess the quality of the film depends on how you watch the film. If you see it as the standalone product that is Rocky 5 then I can agree that it’s not a particularly good movie. A lot of elements feel forced and a little ham-fisted. Especially some of the youth rebellion parts of Rocky’s son (played actually not too bad by Sage Stallone). But I think the movie can (maybe should) also be seen as part of a larger story that brings the character of Rocky to a full circle and kind of closes his arc. When watching all the movies back to back I think this fifth movie works much better. We have seen the character grow and develop. Seen him win and lose. And in the fifth film we get an aftermath of his life. And it has some strong drama moments. Especially one scene where Rocky and Adrian talk something out outside on the open street. That’s a great scene where we again see how much Adrian admires Rocky and wants to help him while he is struggling with his self-doubts. A strong scene played very well by Stallone and Talia Shire.

The focus in this movie is clearly more personal and I guess after Rocky 3 and 4, that were kinda sorta pure showy movies, people wanted or expected more spectacle. But we have a movie that is more like the very first one. Clearly not as good but in the same category of it being more drama than action. It is a good thing that it shows something different instead of repeating the same stuff over and over again. It has good intentions and I also think it has heart. So looking at it with the whole series backing it… it does work for me. Much better than this ridiculous fourth film (even if it’s a lot of fun!).

7.0/10

Rocky 5 on IMDb

MOSF – Escape Velocity

June 22nd, 2016

MOSF - Escape Velocity

I’m very proud to have the opportunity to announce that my work will displayed at the Museum Of Science Fiction’s “Escape Velocity” event, July 1st to 3rd, in Washington DC. It will be displayed via LCD screen wall in extra large size. I personally will not have the chance to be there but I’m sure it looks pretty awesome in a size like this. =D However… they managed to have a neat event with many (more famous than me) guests there. So if you’re in the area and you happen to be a scifi fan… it may be worth checking out!

MOSF – Escape Velocity – July 1st to 3rd – Check Here For Info

Regards
signed

Captain America: Civil War – Movie Review

May 30th, 2016

movie reviewAfter seeing the second Captain America movie “The Winter Soldier” not too long ago, I was rather stoked for “Civil War”. The second movie was quite an interesting mix and almost an espionage thriller to a certain degree. Really enjoyed it. So I was excited to see where “Cap” will go in his third movie. Now I’m very tempted to call “Civil War” a version 2.5 “Avengers” movie. And I think most of you who have seen it will likely agree. It even does a lot of things better then Avengers 2. This review might contain mild spoilers.

After the fall of Shield, at the end of the second movie, our group of heroes decided to take things in their own hands and formed the “Avengers Initiative”. Which is basically a club where all these super heroes hang out and fight crime together. Since the third Iron Man movie we see how all these adventures take their toll on certain members and especially Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). He’s having problems with the responsibility that comes with the power and struggles with all of it. This peaks in the second Avengers movie where his plan to make the world more safe backfires and ruins a complete city, along with a lot of collateral damage and lost lives. So he is backing a plan to bind the Avengers Initiative to the United Nations. Cap (Chris Evans) on the other hand wants the Avengers to be independent. Both of them have their own motivations and it is very hard to choose sides. Since it’s a Captain America movie they want to make us lean towards Cap of course. Then we also have the Bucky Barnes plotline continue. Plus a revenge plotline that connects to the destroyed city from Avangers 2 with this third Captain America movie.

Marvel movies often seem to fall into the trap wanting to explore too many things in one single film. And this trap strikes here now too. The reason why the The Winter Soldier was so good was because it was a straight forward story without straying away into other topics too much. In this third installment you have a political plot, a revenge plot and a personal plotline for Cap and Tony Stark. Plus the fact that they have tons of characters that demand room and space for introduction. So yes, there is a lot going on and it not always works so well. Not a lot of room to explore all the topics that, for themselfes, are rather interesting. But ultimately feel a little rushed in this film. We still talk about a 2 1/2h movie again.

Another trap this movie falls into is the superhero action scenes. Again very repetetive and too long. Granted, the airport standoff and main fight sequence was quite fun. They still manage to include surprises but how long will that work for them? Well, it did here. While the fight sequences do get boring after a while, I still have to admit that they are well executed and follow a certain choreography. It’s not just senseless facepunching. It follows a plan and I can appreciate that. It is cool to really see teamwork play a big part in these fights. All of the characters work hand in hand. Still, after a while you become numb and want it to be over. The quiet scenes are much more interesting character moments. But they often feel more like transition scenes to more action setpieces. Why not turn that method around? Why not condense the action a little bit and not flood the audience with it. That would make the action scenes much more awesome and impactful.

What can be said about the cast that isn’t already said or well documented. Most of the characters we meet here are already known from the previous movies. And all of the returning cast does a fine enough job. We also get new characters for this movie. And all of them are introduced really well. No one falls short and everyone gets their time. Especially the introduction of Peter Parker (Tom Holland) worked nicely. They completely skipped the origin story for Spiderman and thank god for that. Then we also get introduced to ‘Black Panther’ (Chadwick Boseman). Another new character that will soon get his own movie. Civil War definitely benefits from the fact that there were so many more movies before it. It doesn’t have to bother about laying ground work and can jump right into its own story. Something the recent BatmanVSuperman movie did not have and ultimately fell flat on its nose.

When it comes to the locations of the film and me living in Germany it was of course rather cool to see that large parts of the movie play in Germany. But there are a couple of edits that make not much sense when it comes to locations. Bucky Barnes has a hideout/appartment in Bucharest where he is confronted by Cap. Soon they’re ambushed by a police force that has clearly written the german word Polizei on their gear. So it was confusing. Where are we now? Still in Bucharest or in Germany? Which again makes no sense since the confrontation scene pretty much immediately happened after the movie told us we’re in Bucharest. However… maybe it’s a little nitpicky. Literally no one will notice this detail except for a couple of german folks. We also have Daniel Brühl in this movie! Which is amazing since I really enjoy his work and find it fantastic that he gets his shot at bigger productions as well. Fantastic actor and luckily has a part in this film where he can show his skills. He elevated this film for sure. Since he is playing a bad guy that is, for once, not another superherokindofbeing and just a guy out for revenge. I liked that.

Civil War might actually be the better ‘Avengers’ movie when compared to Avengers 2. The cast and the interaction between the characters kind of fell rather flat in Avengers 2. Except in that one party scene and later at Hawkeye’s home. In Civil War we have some more serious undertones and topics that demand our characters to be more focussed (for lack of a better word). It’s not just “let’s have some fun and beat up some bad guys”. This time it’s not really clear who the bad guys are and they may be your best friends. Even though I think that they could have played with that more by reducing these unnecessarily long fight sequences.

would that movie work without the groundwork that’s been done in all these previous movies? Absolutely not. Do you need to see the previous movies? Unfortunately yes. You can skip the Thor, Hulk and Guardians Of The Galaxy movies but the rest… you should have seen to understand what is at stake in Civil War. Is Civil War better than Winter Soldies? In my opinion no. But it’s very solid in its ways moving the story ahead.

7.7/10

Captain America: Civil War on IMDb

Artwork Walkthrough

May 28th, 2016

3dtotal.com Walkthrough

For everyone who cannot get enough about how to create a scifi cityscape, I wrote a little something for 3dtotal.com. It’s not a precise tutorial but I’m going through the creative process behind my ‘From Here I Can Almost See The Stars‘ artwork. A cool thing to be featured on that site. Check it out for the walkthrough and maybe their gallery for some world class inspiration!

Find the article here:Making of a Sci-Fi cityscape

Regards
signed