Sunday, July 27

Day 13

Work continues on my first model. It's difficult work but progressing smoothly. I've spent a lot of time on the face but that's by and large the hardest part. I'm aiming to complete models of my three main characters by the week 5 presentation.

My housemate bought the new Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core and a PSP simply to play it. It came with a book of concept are that is very inspiring! I think I'll base my own concept art book on it.

I wanted to buy some western games. I found Call of Juarez and Dead Eye Jim but couldn't bring myself to pay money for them (although Call of Juarez boasts an interesting quick draw system). 'Gun' is supposed to be good but it has suddenly disappeared from the shelves. I might have to just rely on my previous gaming experience and a market starved for a good western epic.

Now for today's Western film:

"Bandidas"; feminism meets The Prince & The Pauper meets the wild west. This movie was sort of a challenge to myself as I can never tell the difference between Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek (whose name sounds like some kind of diseased cough). Anyway once again the evil Railroad is coming (this time to Mexico) and it's up to a farmer's daughter (Cruz) and a mayor's daughter (Hayek) to team up and save the people by robbing banks. I'm surprised that the two reasonably big stars made this movie as late in their careers as 2005 and that it was then only released in Cinema Latino Theaters in 2006. The movie opens with a police officer who is later introduced to the story (and is the man the two women obviously fight over because we can't have a movie without that) as he achieves his detective's badge. Detectives and the rise of forensic science seem to be a common sub-theme in the west. Pinkerton Detectives... I wonder if Sleepy Hollow isn't a western in disguise? Detective, farmer's daughter, small isolated town, graveyards, churches, corrupt officials, horses, stage coach, hanging and legends. Oh, and a shack.
Best scene:
The entire special effects budget is blown on one slo-mo shootout on board a train where the camera swings wildly back and forth between four combatants as bullets buzz slowly by. But this can't really compare to two drenched girls cat-fighting in a church.
What I learnt:
There may not be more to westerns than redneck farmers robbing the banks of the evil Railroad tycoon. I do however find it overly American; the townsmen talk of the revolution that the railroad will bring, which is perceived as a bad thing by the simple farming folk who must rise up to defend their way-o-life. But I've started out easy, I'm warming up before I sink into the good westerns like Fist Full of Dollars, The Good The Bad and The Ugly (spaghetti westerns rock, maybe because they aren't made by los americanos), No Country for Old Men etc.
It wasn't a total waste of time. But seeing a movie so bland and gimmicky gives me some confidence in my own endeavor. Next time I'm doubting myself I'll watch Wild Wild West... wiki wiki.

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