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Crank (2006)Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian TaylorLike so many others, I was sad to hear about Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington's suicide about 10 days ago. I had done a sketch of him and shared a few earlier drawings of mine on @karthikabhiram. I thought I should do a sketch here as well. Chester had small appearances in Neveldine/Taylor's "Crank" and "Crank 2", and he appeared "Saw: The Final Chapter" as well. I did a sketch of him from the first "Crank" movie, which I saw years ago and am re watching now (you can find it uploaded on YouTube). The movie is a pretty insane ride, featuring Jason Statham as a hitman, Chev Chelios, who is injected with a 'Beijing Cocktail' at the beginning, and therefore has to keep moving and keep the adrenaline flowing in his system, else he'll die. This sketch of Chester was done with 2B 0.5mm pencil on paper and scanned. #277 / 30-Jul-17
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Dunkirk (2017)Directed by Christopher NolanChristopher Nolan's highly anticipated War film is about Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of 400,000 soldiers from Dunkirk, France in May-June 1940. War movies aren't my cup of tea and I have watched only a few of them. However I was extremely excited about this movie because it's a Nolan film, and the technical aspects (entirely shot on large format film – 75% in IMAX and the rest in 65mm film) were fascinating.I watched "Dunkirk" on Sunday morning at the Prasad's Multiplex Large Screen which while not an IMAX presentation, is the largest physical screen you can see the movie on, in Hyderabad (probably in India as well). It was quite an experience watching the movie. It follows three intercut narratives – one on land, one in the sea, and one in the air. In many war movies, you'll have a first and second act where characters are introduced, some drama is created, and the third act would typically focus on the main conflict. "Dunkirk" gets to the third act right away. There's little by way of exposition or character building and you are immediately thrust into the event. The "human" element suffers somewhat because of this. The movie is a technical marvel. The cinematography (Hoyte Van Hoytema) is breathtaking. They engineered new ways of putting cameras and lenses in places that would otherwise be impossible. The sound design and Hans Zimmer's music create such an intensity. All this and the editing and acting go together to make one brilliant film. 9/10, must watch on the largest screen possible, preferably in IMAX if available. I drew Tom Hardy as Farrier from the movie. Like many of his other appearances, his face is again covered for most of the movie. The drawing was done in pencil on paper, (while listening to the track "Supermarine") and scanned. #276 / 24-Jul-17
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Zygote a.k.a Oats Studios Volume 1: Zygote (2017)Directed by Neill Blomkamp As I've mentioned earlier, Oats Studios is a platform from filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (director of "District 9", "Elysium" and "Chappie") to produce and release experimental short films. There are so far three 20-30 min long films ("Rakka", "Firebase" and this one) that have been released, with a fourth one ("Lima") on the way, plus a number of other shorter videos posted on the YouTube channel. I enjoyed the first two shorts so was eagerly looking forward to "Zygote". After having watched it, I think it's the best one yet. It's set in the future, in an Arctic mining base. There are only two survivors out of a crew of 98 – Quinn (Jose Pablo Cantillo), a severely wounded soldier, and Barklay (Dakota Fanning), a synthetic that is part of the mining operations. And there's a terrifying monster that they have to escape from. I loved this film. As with the other two, the production value is terrific, the story is great and I loved how they managed to do world building so well, that it felt much bigger in scope than just watching two actors. The creature design is great (influenced by "The Thing", but unique in its own way). The science fiction and body horror elements are very well done too. Highly recommended. Do watch the short on YouTube and read the behind the scenes article on The Verge. I had done sketches of "Rakka" and "Firebase" earlier, which Neill Blomkamp liked (very happy about that). Here's a sketch of Barklay from "Zygote", done with pencil on paper and scanned. I'm not that happy with the sketch though as the likeness didn't come out that well. #275 / 20-Jul-17
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War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)Directed by Matt ReevesThe opening of this third entry in the rebooted "Planet of the Apes" series recaps the events of the previous two movies in the series. An experimental serum intended to cure Alzheimer's disease in humans results in most of humanity getting wiped out, and a race of super-intelligent apes being created. The apes, led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) want peace but conflict inevitably arises, sparking off a battle between the apes and humans. Caesar and his tribe of apes go into hiding – but a band of soldiers led by Colonel McCullough (Woody Harrelson) want to find and capture them. For me, this rebooted "Planet of the Apes" series has to be the prime example of movies that consistently exceeded expectations. Each of them has been better than the previous, and this third entry was the best in my opinion. I've given very few details about the storyline, but suffice to say, the movie is very engaging. It's epic and dramatic, with great characterisation (whether that character is a human or an ape). Most of the film focuses on the apes, so the performances of the actors have been motion captured and rendered as visual effects. The effects are amazing, so true to life that you'll never once think that what you're watching is actually not real. Andy Serkis I think deserves an Oscar for his incredible performance as Caesar. The movie looks gorgeous, and the music by Michael Giacchino is excellent too. The only criticism I have about the movie is that it's a bit long at 140 mins, it could have been trimmed down a bit. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that is movie is brilliant. I'd rate it a 9/10, highly recommended.This is a sketch of Caesar, from the movie. I drew this with pencil and colour pencil on paper, and this is a scan that I'm posting.This is also an entry for this weekend's @instagram Weekend Hashtag Project, #WHPISpyEmojis. #­čŽŹ #274 / 16-Jul-17
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Let the Right One In (2008) Directed by Tomas Alfredson I had been meaning to watch this movie for quite some time, and got to see it as part of the Cinephiles Film Club's Swedish Retrospective, last month. Last week, CFC also held a panel discussion on the Swedish movies watched in June, of which I was a part. I discussed this movie and gave my analysis of it. Some of those points are spoilers, but I still want to cover them here. So, I'll move them to the first comment on this post (if you are reading this elsewhere, on Facebook for example, you can come to Instagram and see the comment). The movie is an adaptation of the book by John Ajvide Lindquist (who also wrote the screenplay). It's about the relationship between the lonely 12 year old Oskar and a girl Eli, who moves in next door. The exact nature of what Eli is considered a spoiler by some, so I won't mention it here. Suffice to say she is different, and lonely in her own way, so the two find a connection. The movie was very well made. It had a relatively slow pace, and was very subtle. Nothing called attention to itself (sound, music, violence, drama), except when it needed to, which made it more effective. I loved the cinematography (Hoyte Van Hoytema, "Interstellar" and Alfredson's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"), the movie had a clean look and lovely visuals. I really liked the movie and would rate it an 8/10. I intend to watch the remake "Let Me In" as well. This is a sketch of Eli from the movie, from a particular scene that I discussed during my talk on the movie (details again, in the first comment). I believe it's one of the important scenes in the movie as it reflects many of the themes, and was very well crafted.The sketch was done with pencil and a red colour pencil, and scanned. #273 / 12-Jul-17
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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)Directed by Jon Watts [NO SPOILERS]Like all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies before it, this sixteenth entry in the series (and the second appearance of Spider-Man in the MCU after "Captain America: Civil War") was hyped quite a bit, though I didn't like that they revealed too much about it in the trailers. I got to see it on the day it opened here (6-Jul-17) along with @varunabhiram and @kashyapchandra.Thankfully, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" isn't an origin story. It picks up after the events of "Civil War", with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trying to juggle his high school and superhero lives. He isn't a full fledged member of the Avengers yet. When Peter foils a robbery being committed by thugs with high tech weaponry, that leads him to Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) who has been stealing alien tech from the Chitauri invasion and the Ultron incidents, making them into weapons and selling them. He has also built a high tech suit for himself, and commits crimes as the "Vulture". Peter may have bitten off more than he can chew though, in taking on The Vulture.This is a very entertaining movie, thanks largely to the way Peter / Spider-Man's character is written and acted. I thought Marvel Studios did a brilliant job of doing their own take on Spider-Man which was different from what came before, while still staying true to the character's spirit. I liked the way they integrated this into the bigger MCU with the appearance of Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark / Iron Man. I also liked the villain, Michael Keaton did a great job of playing him. Although this isn't one of the big MCU films, it still is important in that it sets up Spider-Man's involvement in "Avengers: Infinity War" (I think the next Infinity Stone will be revealed in "Thor: Ragnarok"). I enjoyed the movie a lot, it had nice action scenes and it went by at a fast pace. Michael Giacchino's music while effective, I thought wasn't really remarkable though. Overall, 8/10.I was thinking what to draw from this movie, and I finally decided I'd draw Spidey in his "homemade" suit. It was drawn in pencil and the colours were added in Photoshop. #272 / 8-Jul-17
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Firebase a.k.a. Oats Studios Volume 1: Firebase (2017)Directed by Neill Blomkamp Oats Studios is a platform from filmmaker Neill Blomkamp, for releasing experimental short films. Last week I'd featured the first Oats Studios film, "Rakka". A few days back, the second short, "Firebase" was released online (its actually the third video, the second being a 2 minute mock advertisement). I felt the first film, while very well made, was too similar to Blomkamp's earlier works. This one feels quite different. I liked it better than "Rakka". This film is set during the Vietnam War, when a solider Hines is brought in to one particular base, to counter an individual with strange powers. It would be a spoiler to give more details, suffice to say, the film combines science fiction elements (influenced by "Watchmen" and "The Matrix") and body horror in a jungle setting in a unique way. I enjoyed it quite a bit, also the effective blood and gore effects. This is a drawing of one of the characters (the "River God") from the short. It was done with colour pencils, markers, micron and white gel pen on Canson paper. #271 / 4-Jul-17
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[Startup Cricket League 3 Special]Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Directed by Taika WaititiFor the upcoming third season of Startup Cricket League, @im_gunda┬áhas invited artists to create art based on the theme of "3". I had done one piece of art earlier for it, scroll back in my feed to see it. This is the second submission. Unlike the earlier art, this doesn't directly feature an interpretation of "3". It's a regular #DailyMovieSketch drawing, but the relation to "3" is in the choice of movie – I wanted to pick a "Part 3" in a movie series, which is expected to be absolutely badass. While I enjoyed the first two "Thor" movies, they are the lower ranked ones in my Marvel Cinematic Universe list. This one blew everyone away with the fantastic trailer, and it looks like it will be the best "Thor" movie till date. Also, if they do it well, it might be among the best MCU movies (it will be the 17th MCU movie to be released). The inspiration for this drawing partly came from "Baby Driver" and it's choice of music. The trailer for "Thor: Ragnarok" made excellent use of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song". Since I already drew Thor from the trailer, I thought I'd draw The Hulk in his Gladiator / Planet Hulk outfit. I loved the bit in the trailer when the Hulk is revealed, and Thor says "Yes! We know each other… he's a friend from work!" (who doesn't?) The drawing was done with pencil (and a touch of colour pencil) on A5 watercolour paper, and scanned.#The3Art #SCL3 #SCL2017 #270 / 3-Jul-17
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Baby Driver (2017)Directed by Edgar WrightI'm a big fan of Edgar Wright's movies. I really like his Cornetto Trilogy ("Shaun of the Dead", "Hot Fuzz", and "The World's End") and all the other movies in which he has had a hand in ("Tintin", "Ant-Man") have been great too. "Baby Driver" was on my Awaited Movies of 2017 list. It was released in theatres here on Friday, and I saw it yesterday (along with @varunabhiram, @kashyapchandra and @hrishidiwan). The movie is an action comedy with an ensemble cast. Ansel Elgort stars as Baby, a getaway driver who has worked with crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey) for a long time, and wants to get out of the business. He has a condition called tinnitus due to which he has a constant hum in his ears – and he has to keep listening to music to drown that out. He falls in love with waitress Debora (Lily James), a romance that may be in danger because of his job. Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal and Eiza Gonz├ílez are all amazing as the various criminals who are part of Doc's crew. Edgar Wright has always had a flair for timing visuals to sound and music in his movies, and that is taken to an entirely different level here. Literally every shot is perfectly timed to the sound or music in the soundtrack. The technical excellence in the cinematography, editing, choreography and sound design is something to be seen to be believed. The movie has an excellent soundtrack and you could almost consider it a musical. The acting as I already mentioned is amazing. The action scenes are great. The only downside is that the story isn't anything extraordinary but it still keeps one's interest. I think "Baby Driver" is one of the best movies of the year so far. So entertaining and brilliantly made. I'd rate it a 9/10.This is a sketch of @ansel Elgort as Baby from the movie. It was drawn in pencil and this is a scan. #269 / 2-Jul-17
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