Azureus Rising

Test clip for a feature film by Dave Weinstein.

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  • http://beaudetteblog.blogspot.com Grant Beaudette

    Gotta have blue hair…

    It’s kinda hard to judge something on nothing but action, but depending on the story thing might be interesting,

  • Mark

    It looks great! But characters that do impossible things for cool shake and are invincible are also impossible to make people care for them…

  • akira

    that’s cool i think he included every modern action movie cliche out there

  • VinceP

    Reminds me of a video game!

    It looks really cool though, and honestly I’m surprised that there aren’t a ton of films like this already. Animation is really strong at doing awesome action shots, and other than Final Fantasy Advent Children, I can’t think of anything else done recently in this kind of style.

    I wish him luck. I’d pay to see more like this!

  • http://cargueconcuidado.blogspot.com x

    Not enough ciberninja stuff? Really? Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell(s), and the otherone with the cool ciberninja lady, and the other with the bionic dude in a distopia with giant robots, and that other one, which look sort of japanese. And Ultraviolet, was it animated or live?

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    Very nice. Loved it. But I could swear I’ve seen it before, a million times, in various anime productions…

  • Bill Stewart

    Technically that is an awesome piece but COME ON! Could it be more cliche ridden from top to bottom? Why do the bad guys NEVER shoot the hero when they have the chance? Why do they never shoot where he is going to be rather than where he was? It’s all so predictable. I was hoping against hope that it might veer off into some original areas but nope.

    Am I jealous of their computer skills? Absolutely but if the whole film is as unoriginal as this you can count me out.

  • Adam C

    Eh, looks like the opening cinematic to a videogame. I’m not sure I can find Matrix-style cuts into and out of slow-motion in and of themselves to be enough to make an action scene engaging anymore. Instead all I’m finding myself doing is asking questions about why he’s doing what he’s doing…

    if he can run so fast, why does he even bother striking a cool pose and waiting for all the soldiers to surround him? He could just leave them in his dust
    if his little flashbang thing helped him dispatch a bunch of those soldiers, why did he stop, strike a cool pose, and then notice there were more soldiers to dispatch right there? They didn’t appear to be new soldiers fresh on the scene or anything…
    if his intention was to get to the city below, (and he could seemingly land safely from any height) why did he leap onto that bridge (and wait around striking a cool pose) allowing the flying gun battery to spot and take shots at him?
    if he was tricking the rocket into hitting the giant scorpion, why did he even bother cutting off its leg as he ran past it?

    All this is doing is saying “this character is cool, look how cool he is”, which is fair enough visually but it doesn’t make me care about what’s going on. It was nice for a moment when he appeared to actually be afraid of the giant scorpion, but that only lasted for a moment. It still posed not much of a threat to him. I dunno, maybe I’m just being harsh, but it wasn’t interesting to watch. Like watching someone else playing a videogame.

  • Nipplenuts McGurk

    If only he would land w/ his fist on the concrete in a cliche comic-book held pose again…OHP, yay, he did it!

  • Stone

    too many cliche’s to count. the plot sounds a lot like star wars and the trailer did nothing to make me care… about anything…

    the animation is decent, but there was nothing new being brought to the table. and blue hair? c’mon. this isn’t a 1998 playstation game.

  • Stone

    sure it’s not technically a “trailer,” so I suppose it didn’t need to make us care about the character, or the world… or the plot. It’s a proof of concept showing off the potential for the IP, but there was literally nothing original or inspiring found within the concept that couldn’t have been found on someone’s deviantart fanfic or various amateur comic books.

  • http://merks-art.blogspot.com/ Tim Merks

    The sound design was awesome! That really sold most of the action. I also loved the jumping, falling and landing stuff. It felt meaty.

    The pauses, waiting for things to happen (yeah wtf are with those guards, he’s just standing there shoot him) and the slowmo stuff needs to be cut back.

    Overall it was quite fun

  • Gregory Bernard

    It’s a proof of concept video, and it looks great! If the content of the action and story were made to be as original as possible, this kind of look could work out really well.

    I’m not judging a POC video too harshly to say that it was measled with cliche, am I?

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    Weapon porn. Who but 15yr old boys is interested in that?

    Adam C already pointed out all impossibilities. This kind of film is always an insult in the face of everyone with just a glimpse of knowledge about physics. It is sold as set in the future, yet it even doesn’t know of recent features of actual weapons – it only works as long as the machines stay as stupid as in 1950. And I hate films which only work because the characters act stupid.

    I really, really like to see for once a film with machines acting different from the cliché gunman of the CGI corral. What about medical robots? House building machines? Harvesting, mining, transportation, – lots of ways to show their intelligence, and still lots of opportunity to let them go postal, if necessary. The most intelligent film about this topic still is “Robocop” by Paul Verhoeven.

  • zed

    I must admit to Adam C in everything except for the fact the guy must had been bothered with cuting down the leg of the robot after tricking the rockets because this was the way to get the robot between himself and the rocket. Anyways i had the same feeling of asking all those questions. All the cliches are used to push the film just a little too over the edge of what would be believeable even in this animated context. was cool anyway but if it would have last any longer i would have turned it off.

  • Baj

    Quote from director “I knew I could not get a emotional reaction with only 5 minutes of screen time… So instead of trying to half ass my story into a 5 minute short film…” he just made it look FRIGGEN SWEET. It’s all well to try and blow our minds with plumpalicious visuals but please…you don’t really believe what your saying mr. director, I hope you don’t…

    because if you do, pause and realize that you could have doubled interest and hits with a few more weeks in the story room and I’ll bet you could have halved your render times…

    I’ll stop to say it’s gorgeous and I salute all that work…but I’ve saluted beer commercials for how good they’ve looked.

    p.s You couldn’t get an emotional REACTION with 5 mins of screen time, are you freaking kidding me!

  • http://www.rocarts.com Meredith D.

    I enjoyed the clip very much! High intensity action with excellent camera direction that doesn’t want to make you throw up like most contemporary action films.

    The cliches didn’t bother me. I could look at eye candy like this all day.

  • Pete

    It certainly looks nice… Great animation and all, but I think a more appropriate title would have been “Azureus Melodramatically Landing”.

  • VGREER

    All of the animation was tight, but throughout the piece I was looking for imperfections in the main character’s movement that would make him more human-maybe a stumble or a misjudged leap. It’s strange how seeing a character that is ‘too perfect’ can remove you from the film emotionally. Of course the absence of facial expressions made it hard to make an emotional connection too.

    But still, it’s a tight piece and I have to applaud the staff on their animation skills! And also my friend Edwin who apparently did the score :)

  • Steve Gattuso

    BOR-RING. I kept wanting to hit the triangle to skip this cutscene. Yes yes, lots of things going boom very prettily. Lots of glossy bits and weird camera angles. But that crap is dead easy with the tech we have these days. There wasn’t a single organic object in the entire segment, and that includes the lazy-ass anime hairstyle of the central character.

    There’s more emotion, talent, and joy in one frame of the RIO trailer than in this entire short.

  • http://kelseighn.blogspot.com Kelseigh

    I enjoyed that, I’ll admit it. It’s fun, escapist stuff that’ll probably pull in the investors which is what this clip is all about anyway. But for me, the real star was that design stuff during the closing credits. I always eat that stuff up.

  • tgentry

    It looks nicely polished but with all due respect to the people that worked hard on it, there’s no way I could ever watch this as a feature length movie. I could barely sit through the preview. Obviously there’s not much story here, but even then the action had every cliche in the book, usually on display three or four times (hero lands in dramatic three point stance, weary but ready to kick some butt). I think focusing on what the story is actually about would have been more fruitful, but judging by the vague synopsis on the website, story is not exactly going to be a priority. Best of luck, I genuinely hope everyone involved can prove me wrong and produce a great feature.

  • Gerard de Souza

    Leaves me cold.

  • Mitch Kennedy

    I wasn’t sold until I saw the giant robot scorpion. That’s really cool! I just wish there wasn’t a slo-mo shot every two seconds.

  • Sam

    I’m surprised at such a busy looking city with all that lights, there are NOBODY on the street at all.. It’s an empty city, build especially for ninja robots to battle!! Woohoo!!

    Were there cars? I don’t think I saw them, maybe they were in it.

    There’s no soul in these characters at all, I’d think if they are going to make this into a feature film they better start learning how to write stories with characters that has great personality and characterization.

  • erlab

    I love how his entirely HUMAN face makes the audience identify with him!

    And how WARM the environment is!

    And how the creator’s name CLEARLY sounds Japanese!

  • Fr002

    @VinceP

    Maybe the video game Oni,

    http://www.bungie.net/images/games/Oni/wallpapers/oni_1600.jpg

    True there is no story and it<s kind of cliche, but it was really well done. Bravo !

  • http://www.johnsemper.com John Semper Jr.

    To the creator of this piece: Technically very well done….but….you really need a good WRITER.

  • Rodrigo

    Badass. Way too many borrowed ideas, cliche shots/staging, and the protagonist has an overdose of overlap, but otherwise badass. I’m glad to see this genre of animation executed at such a high level. Hopefully it’ll get some gears turning in Hollywood.

  • Kyle B

    I think Stone hit the nail on the head calling this a 1998 playstation game as it completely reeks of being an intro to a videogame from that era.

    That being said, it was still fairly entertaining. I’m not sure if it could work for a full feature, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

  • i am action man and i am cool

    I kept waiting for ONE sequence that wasn’t predictable and cliched. Pretty but painfully textbook. Feature? No thanks. Was there ONE original idea in the whole piece? Even as a video game intro it’s trite and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

  • Chris S

    Was that the same scorpion war-robot as Transformers movie? At least that scorpion robot was suitably in the desert.

    I like it though. I mean, yeah, those comic book hero poses are not that original, but they are done well and will work well for the audience that likes it. It’s an obvious fit for that action-animation genre and style, and I think it’s high production value makes it a nice addition to that pool. Definitely not a good movie for the bitter “so-cliche!” critic, but great for genre fans who can accept the standard comic book aspects of it. I hope it gets made; it’ll be added to my Netflix que.

  • http://www.jpdj.com JPDJ

    I liked it–escapist action doesn’t need to be terribly realistic or original, just well staged and this is clip was well staged.

    But it also made me pine for a feature-length Samurai Jack. Now THAT would be killer.

  • MadRat

    I think this clip is being judged a little too harshly. It’s a test clip, a tech demo. You wouldn’t judge a cartoon’s potential based on a walk cycle. I think it does a great job at doing what it’s supposed to do: show that the animator, director, sound tech and composer have the potential to make an exciting movie, given a good script.

  • ZAR

    The only question: When will this video game be released? Teenagers keep your pocket money ready!

    Nope, it’s not a movie, it’s (as said above) a “tech demo”. And that clip gives you exactly the kind of utterly mindless and stereotypical story you have to expect from a tech demo.

    Remember that French short movie some time ago? Now that was anime inspired with an interesting story going on.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    I think what’s falling short for a lot of people here, though they might not think it – is the influence of NOT ENOUGH anime.
    The rendering and design is very Clone Wars informed, the shot composition is pure IMAGI and the action directing is off-the-shelf Tartakovsky.
    All those influences are already second hand.

  • http:///exitplanetwhom.blogspot.com gavin

    Yeah, I really want Samurai Jack to come and scalp that annoying blue head of crepe-paper hair.

  • http://highlyrecommended.blogspot.com Satorical

    Maybe it’s the most elaborate introduction to a self-parody ever seen.

  • TheGunheart

    I agree, Tony. I find it to be less pure “generic” and more like something put together from someone with amazing technical skills, but little idea how the visual tropes they’re cribbing from go together.

    I stopped watching after the “fight” at the start, but one problem I have is how staged everything is to make sure the ninja has to do as little as possible. There are only two gun turrets that slowly, the guards just stand there and don’t put up a fight, he conveniently has a little grenade that incapacitates them before he cuts through them…

    It’s just not dynamic enough. It’s so obvious things are set up to make the ninja look good that it feels too much like the directors are doing the work for him.

  • http://www.twitter.com/colierrannd michael

    You all seem so jaded, it’s kinda sad. LOL…I liked it. I liked it ALOT and I loved the sound. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

  • Iritscen

    @ Tony Mines: Calling this Tartakovsky direction seems unfair to Tartakovsky. He has a very refined sense of timing; this has none. It was still decently entertaining, but yeah, I think the brain of anyone over 15 probably shuts off when they watch this for a few minutes. Sometimes too much of something is just too much, you know?

  • http://www.ArtofAraya.com Daniel Araya

    I don’t think this is terrible or anything, but I think that this could be much stronger. I haven’t read all the comments so excuse me if I repeat.

    I think what’s hurting this video the most is that there’s absolutely zero tension. The ninja guy doesn’t seem to get hurt and he doesn’t look like he’s trying very hard to defeat his enemies. We’re not going to empathize very much with a character who effortlessly defeats all his enemies, and we’re certainly not going to feel any tension.

    The over-posing has been mentioned, but I wanted to repeat it because it’s just carried WAY too far. Little things like stumbling after he falls, narrowly escaping getting hit, etc. could add a lot of character.

    When he jumps in the air and fires down at the soldiers, some of them start falling before they’ve been hit.

    If you’re going to have 5 minutes of fighting, then you need to think of creative ways to surprise the audience as the fight progresses. Just watching two guys attack each other back and forth will only hold the audience’s attention for so long before the audience starts waiting for the next THING to happen. You need to have SOMETHING about your approach to the fight that is unique, and you also need to progressively escalate the circumstances (going from soldiers who don’t hurt him to a big machine that doesn’t hurt him isn’t escalating anything). There needs to be something interesting in his approach to taking these guys out. Right now I think it’s just too straightforward and monotonous.

    Anyway these are just my initial opinions about it, I didn’t want to sound harsh, but I feel strongly about this. This is somewhat different to the kinds of animated features we normally see and I’d like to see this genre explored more within features, but there’s no need to go too cheesy and there’s no need to sacrifice story. I hope that doesn’t end up being the case with this movie.

  • Thinkbolt

    When the name of the project is an unpronounceable word, you KNOW it’s gonna be good!

  • zed

    i think this piece is like if we would follow a villion… maybe because this cool guy is like Vegeta form Dragon Ball suited up in a half-life robot suit. or because we dont see his eyes, so we dont see any actual emotions, but mostly because of his flawless action. it is really like watching how invincible is the bad guy who has to be broken down, and save the world from. he is an evil ronin. (thats why this piece reminds me that scene from Kung fu panda, where the bad guy escapes from the super safe prison)

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    Great lighting, modeling, animation, textures, particle effects etc. and I actually loved the scorpion bot at the end – felt like some old ED-209 Tippett personality there.

    BUT DAMMIT WHY CAN’T HENCHMEN IN ANYTHING JUST SHOOT THE GUY WHEN HE SITS THERE POSING!?!?!?! I mean, he was posing there for so long there were THREE FADES IN AND OUT OF BLACK during that Michael Bay camera move.

    Regardless of all that, its as technically impressive as Gatchaman’s trailer and at least this is an original IP wearing its anime influences on its sleeves.

  • http://tillmyhands.blogspot.com Anoniguy

    Something as simple as a bit of a limp after falling several hundred feet from above would have earned this so much good will. We see his ears, so we can suspect he’s human – so come on, director, -show us- he’s somehow different than the robots he so ably slaughtered. As it is, he just performed like a somewhat more polished machine.

    I also agree with Zed a few posts previous – this guy WOULD make a fine villain. His performance was too perfect and badass-pose-ridden to be a hero.

    Well, let’s hope this interesting but flawed piece paves the way to something great. Good luck, Mr. Weinstein.

  • Alissa

    Looks like a videogame, are you sure it’s supposed to be a movie? I could swear the trailers for Final Fantasy Versus 13 had almost the same moves/faceless goons but managed to sell the main character much better. This guy/girl/thing just looks kinda derivative (even for games).

    Oh and the scorpian thingy rising from the flames in a oh-crap-this aint level one anymore way? Saw it in almost every single Mario game I’ve ever played. And Mario is way cooler than this guy. :)

  • http://jakeart.weebly.com/ Batfan

    He’s got my support.

  • Tedzey

    Watching this video, I felt like the guy had put alot of passion into making this short film. Alone it stands as a pretty good short film! I think this has alot of potential of becoming a good film only if it isn’t a saturated version of this test footage. I say saturated because “9″ the feature film was a longer version of “9″ the short with less substance.