February 20, 2003
watch 'Daredevil' packs action, effects with character What's separates "Daredevil" from fellow comic book movie "Spider-Man" are the special effects. "Daredevil" provides great effects, but they don't stand out and distract from the movie and its characters. While "Spider-Man" wins out in terms of its wonderful scene-stealing effects, the effects did just that -- stole the scenes. But perhaps what makes it easier for "Daredevil" writer and director Mark Steven Johnson -- best known for bringing "Simon Birch" to the screen -- is that the character doesn't spin webs, climb walls or really do anything too out of the ordinary.
December 26, 2002
York' gets down to the nitty-gritty More sword, less sorcery in 'Towers' The first installment of "Lord of the Rings" presented the full range of sword and sorcery contained in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic novels. In "Fellowship of the Ring," the mystical powers at work were of far greater importance than the war being fought in the physical world over Middle Earth. Some of the best special effects in that film involved the wizard, Gandalf, and our hobbit hero, Frodo, moving magically back and forth between the seen and unseen worlds.
May 9, 2002
'Spider-Man' weaves a fun web "Spider-Man" the movie is a comic book come to life. Melodrama, cheesy dialogue and tons of action. Trade in the comic book mainstay of "POW!" and "BOOM!" for CGI effects and you have the latest superhero movie. The actors, with the exception of villain Willem Dafoe, were fine. That's it -- fine. They did their parts and got through the movie. Tobey Maguire was properly quiet as Peter Parker and amusing as Spider-Man. Dafoe easily steals all the force of the movie, especially in scenes where he fights to keep his alter-ego, the Green Goblin, from taking over.
March 30, 2001
Young Chang The prop crew for "The Lonesome West" at South Coast Repertory is confident they can make the stove -- an important prop in the show -- look great once. But 40 times? For that, they need special effects involving everything from air pistons to a substance called Fuller's Smoke and a little bit of luck. "Every show has a certain amount of dressing," said John Slauson, prop carpenter. "In this case, some of the props needed to do tricks."
March 2, 2001
Orange Coast College will screen three hours of the best of the best from the 25th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival at 7 p.m. March 22 at OCC's Robert B. Moore Theatre. The event will include films from Canada, the U.S., England, Scotland, Germany and Italy. Proceeds from the event will benefit the college's REACH program, which emphasizes community service. Tickets are $5, $8 or $9, and are on sale at OCC's Student Bookstore, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa.
March 25, 2000
Alex Coolman The moon was propped against a wall. The Earth was crammed beneath a table. And Greg Pyros wasn't paying much attention to either of the dusty boulders. They were more like souvenirs to him than anything else. Pyros doesn't need to bother much with clumsy wooden models of moons and planets. In the Costa Mesa office of Pyros Pictures, the digital animation and special effects company he runs, he can create computerized versions of the Earth and moon that are vastly more detailed and realistic than anything that could be created by the human hand.