technology advances, it trickles down from the
blockbusters – the morphing seen in Terminator 2
found in many a cheaper film. Bug
is thus of note, since it takes
the computer-generated insects of Starship
, and incorporates
them into a film made on a smaller scale.
I think it's fair to say much smaller scale, almost a one-man show from
director/writer/editor/effects man Timothy Hines, with, effectively,
two characters (others turn up on video monitors, etc.) – the
last survivors of the human race, who had the luck to be cryogenically
frozen shortly before the war which wiped out everyone else. As if life
wasn't hard enough, they then have to contend with an invasion of alien
insects, intent on colonising Earth.
where the computer graphics - and lots of them - kick in.
There's no denying the impressive volume, with more than 32,000 special
effects composite elements as the bugs attack, and the heroines fend
them off before taking the war to the invaders. On their own, these
aren't bad - I was particularly impressed with the computer-generated
backdrops, which are excellent. The major problem is a lack of
interaction with the human characters. They just don't appear to
inhabit the same plane of existence, and the results are pretty feeble,
with the insects looking as if they'd been stuck on to the screen.
Never mind Starship
and the Argonauts
did it better.
There's only one sequence of note where...well, let's say the prospects
of survival for humanity grow somewhat dimmer.
a shame, as it detracts from a film which isn't lacking in good
ideas, climaxing with a beautifully downbeat ending. This leaves the
viewer with a wonderful sense of doom and futility, and also helps
explain earlier inconsistencies, such as how the aliens are able to
navigate interstellar distances but, as soon as they open fire,
couldn't hit a barn if they were standing inside it. Darlene Renee
Sellers and Corree Dibble, the last people alive, are credible enough,
and Hines (with his director’s hat on!) gives a fine sense of
the loneliness and hopelessness which the situation would inevitably
I appreciate it’s hard to sell anything other than
feature-length films, but wonder if the makers would have been better
off going for a short, higher-quality film, and using that as a
show-reel to get funding for the full version. Instead, their technical
resources look somewhat over-stretched, and while there's no doubt that
points the way forward, showing how future movies will be
made, it seems like an idea whose time has perhaps not quite yet come.
http://www.prescriptionfilms.com for info. 2008
Don't expect this all the time,
but I'm just lobbing
a bonus paragraph up here. The website listed here no longer worked, so I
had to correct that anyway; I needed to extend the piece to make room
for another picture; and unlike many of the things I have covered,
Hines did not vanish into obscurity. In 2004, he suddenly came out with
version of H.G.Wells' War
of the Worlds
, which was released on DVD the same month as
both the versions by Steven Spielberg and David Michael Latt [both
Needless to say, Paramount were less than
impressed, even though the Wells' title was now public domain outside
of Europe, rumblings of legal threats followed. Ironically, Hines'
production company [now known as Pendragon Pictures] then sued Dark
Horse Comics, claiming they'd stolen composition for their
graphic-novel version from the Pendragon movie.
While I haven't seen the film, it's probably safe to say that opinion
on the quality of the final, three-hour epic was mixed, to be
is fairly typical, calling it "a real
endurance test," and says that "the
Martian war machines look like they have been crudely superimposed in
great haste." That's interestingly close to my comment above,
"the insects looking as if they'd been stuck on to the screen." Hines
has now largely dropped off the radar again: the official web-site
for Pendragon says Chrome
is now "in post-production", but since it was originally supposed
to be released in 2003, I hope no-one is holding their breath waiting
Top 10 Real Warrior Princesses
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