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Special Effects

January 22, 2011
You can pump up your vacation photos with special effects using this smart-phone app. Name: 100 Cameras in 1 Available for: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; Android is in the works. What it does: Turns an ordinary iPhone photo into a creative image worthy of framing. First, take a photo or use an existing one. Then choose from 10 mood types to alter the look of the photo. Next, pick another effect with a poetic title. Finally, keep adjusting your creation by using the slider to further enhance the effects.
December 31, 2010
Grant McCune Effects artist shared Oscar for 'Star Wars' Grant McCune, 67, a member of the team that won the Academy Award for visual effects in 1978 for George Lucas' "Star Wars," died Monday at his home in Hidden Hills, said his wife, Kathy. He had pancreatic cancer. McCune was the chief model maker in the miniature and optical effects unit for the first film produced in Lucas' "Star Wars" series and shared the visual effects Oscar with John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund and Robert Blalack.
October 21, 2010 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Special effects makeup artist and animatronics effects supervisor Shane Mahan has had monsters on the brain since he was a youngster growing up in Michigan. "My story is not dissimilar to most of my colleagues," says Mahan, who earned an Oscar nomination for "Iron Man. " "We grew up in the 1960s and early '70s where the only way you could see monster movies was to stay up late. Today kids can just Netflix the movies. There's no challenge of the quest anymore. It used to take real effort to stay up to 2 in the morning to watch 'Creature From the Black Lagoon.
July 14, 2010 | Michael Phillips
My son and I attended a screening of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" at a schmantzy new multiplex, and heading out to the car afterward he observed that the only thing louder than the film was the supersonic hand dryer in the restroom. He enjoyed both for what I surmise was the same reason: blasting functionality. This latest Disney live-action feature, based a tiny little bit on the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment in "Fantasia" and on Goethe's poem before that, isn't bad as these things go. It's more diverting than the "National Treasure" movies, which, like this one, were produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed with aggressive impersonality by Jon Turteltaub and starred Nicolas Cage.
February 10, 2010 | By Glenn Whipp
Time may have ever so slightly mellowed James Cameron's combative, take-no-prisoners approach to life and filmmaking, but that doesn't mean he still doesn't get a kick out of rocking the boat on the way to the bank. So, as his sci-fi epic "Avatar" sails past $2 billion in worldwide box office, breaking the record set by "Titanic," his last movie, Cameron takes no small delight in the way conservative commentators have attacked the movie. "Let me put it this way," Cameron says during a recent dinner conversation at a Hollywood cafe.
November 25, 2009 | By BY GEOFF BOUCHER
Whether you are a Muggle or a Jedi, a Twi-hard or a Trekkie, Marvel-lover or a Bat-fan, this is a golden age to be a geek. The fanboy culture is in full blossom at the box office and beyond, and this holiday season there's a mountain of gifts and gadgets that speak to the Comic-Con constituency. Here are some of the best. 'Fringe: The Complete First Season' "Fringe" may be the best sci-fi show on television right now, which is saying a lot considering the crowd of competitors.
November 13, 2009 | KENNETH TURAN, FILM CRITIC
As far as the new disaster film "2012" is concerned, the world will end with both a bang and a whimper, the bang of undeniably impressive special effects and the whimper of inept writing and characterization. You pays your money, you takes your chances. In fact, it's hard to say what leaves the more lasting impression, how realistically director Roland Emmerich has destroyed Los Angeles (it's the third try, after "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow," practice apparently making perfect)
Have you ever wanted to strangle a ghost? You may well feel the urge after seeing "A Christmas Carol," Robert Zemeckis' exasperating re-imagining of the Dickens classic as a 3-D action-thriller zooming through Victorian London and the fever dreams of that most miserly of men, Ebenezer Scrooge. The "it's better to give than receive" moral to this story is almost lost under the snowdrifts of special effects. Then there is the blizzard of Jim Carrey's theatrics to weather. The actor voices eight characters, including Scrooge at all ages as well as the three ghosts who haunt him -- you can just see him in the recording studio pingponging manically around during one of the Scrooge-ghost tête-à-têtes.
September 24, 2009 | Sam Farmer
What, you don't believe they can do it? You doubt that Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew can be buried up to his neck on a beach, then use his superhuman burst to explode out of a hole five feet deep? You wonder whether Denver quarterback Chris Simms can effortlessly throw passes into trash cans 45 yards away, then pull off the same trick as a can is zipping past on a golf cart? You scoff at the comic-book quickness of New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss, who bends backward Matrix-style to one-hand a pass screaming at his head from point-blank range?
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