TARZAN | MOVIE REVIEW

TARZAN released this Thursday 11th in a few cinemas across Australia from Icon Film Distribution. It has been panned the world over and has been dropped by major exhibitors in the country. I can only find it screening at Dendy Newtown in NSW (search your local independant as they may be screening it) – for a film heavily torn to pieces by critics around the world it appears to have found a fan in Salty Kernel, Hyo-Jin Shim. You can check out her review below. I love the Tarzan story and could  honestly see Kellan Lutz in a real life version of the film, I will be seeing this one on Blu Ray when it releases. TARZAN is rated PG and runs for 94mins. Enjoy Hyo’s review…….all the best…….JK.

 

TARZAN MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
TARZAN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | FOREIGN MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY HYO-JIN SHIM

“One of the reasons why I’m so excited about animation is that it allows us to take German cinema appeal to a much wider audience. In the end it enables us to create films that aren’t restricted by genre”, quote Reinhard Klooss, 2014.

Watching the 3D animation was quite an enjoyable experience, the plot was fairly true to the original story by Burroughs, as it included more of the apes and animal life within the jungle. The hundred odd other films about Tarzan did not focus on this, but rather the Jane/ Tarzan romance. Klooss was very smart in the way he showcased this animation after three years of production, all of the latest CGI, sound and motion capturing technology had been explored.

The wonderful thing about this animation is that the audience is not quite aware how much technology goes behind a production. This one is a very good example of what to expect when creating an animation.

 

TARZAN 2014 MOVIE IMAGE
TARZAN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | TARZAN (KELLAN LUTZ) SWINGING ON HIS VINE

 

The story is as follows; the well to do Greystoke family from New York City decides to go camping in the African jungle, as you do as multi-millionaires, you hop into a helicopter and fly over some amazing scenery including a volcano, craters and canyons.

The Greystokes unfortunately crash and the son J.J. (young Tarzan) is the only survivor, soon becoming an orphan in the middle of an unforgiving jungle. Luckily, a female gorilla nurses J.J back to health and fosters him, previous to this, she had lost her own son, and the son’s father, leader of the mountain gorilla troop when in battle for the alpha-male status. JJ soon becomes Tarzan, meaning “boy without fur” and was raised as a wild-child and a strong clan member of the gorilla apes until he turns fourteen years old. The way Tarzan flew amongst the trees, he was the “Jackie Chan” or Spiderman of the jungle.

He stumbled across some humans who were lost in the middle of the jungle. Tarzan watched from a distance the movements of a young girl, Jane Porter, totally besotted that he could not resist but only to follow and observe her ways. Jane was unfortunately bitten by an animal, Tarzan swooped down to rescue her and fended off the vicious alligator in the water. All this, with Jane slowly returning to consciousness, they were able to exchange some basic words as Tarzan did not speak the human language. There was a moment between the two and it seems to stay with Tarzan for most of his teenage years.

 

TARZAN 2014 MOVIE IMAGE
TARZAN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | TARZAN (KELLAN LUTZ) HOLDING HIS SNAKE

 

Romantic Sub-Plot (with most Tarzan myths – this is the centralized plot, who is Tarzan without Jane, and Jane without him? The meeting of two crystallizes something very special).

The two meet again a few years down the track, during an expedition that  Jane Porter was asked to accompany the questionable villainous character, William Clayton. The two go for different reasons, Jane is there as eco-warrior and Clayton is there to find a way to get to the rich minerals, the meteorite crater. The five years did not hamper the distance between Jane and Tarzan, as she never forgot his kindness and the bold gestures in his dangerous but beautiful environment. They immediately reconnect and as if nothing had split them apart, not time nor space – the connection was strong. Soon enough, Clayton swoops in with his helicopter and weaponry to attempt to wipe the heir of Greystoke and Jane realises what happens. And, we then witness some very interesting CGI action and sound technology.

 

TARZAN 2014 MOVIE IMAGE
TARZAN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JANE (SPENCER LOCKE) AND TARZAN (KELLAN LUTZ) RUN AWAY FROM THE BAD GUY IN A HELICOPTER

 

Overall, this animation was impressive and the production methodology by far excels the predecessors – I know there will be some industry people looking forward to the 3D and 2D screenings. The things to note are the “mo-cap”, the facial capturing, there are some astounding facts about this director’s approach;

  • Production – CGI, shot the film four times over, 3.5 months, very difficult animation to do on the basis of Tarzan’s body and the  skeletal work under it, plus movement of action
  • Technique – Klooss directed Impy’s Island and Impy’s Wonderland and Animals United (CGI, 3D animation), Tarzan had 5000 storyboards made throughout the year.
  • Background and research  – great example of how a film or animation is made, Klooss went to Uganda, Rwanda and Congo study the ape behaviour and understand their habitat – visited the very precious land of Virunga Mountains (a documentary on the preservation of this jungle was screened earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival).
  • Tarzan was the first CGI animation to be made where the lead character is a human (unlike gaming technology)
  • The motion capturing technique was interesting, the actors, stuntmen and parkour artists had to bound and leap  around a studio with sixty cameras on them.
  • Facial capturing – was also a huge feat, the animators had to observe several expressions per day.
  • Dolby Atmos – helicopter sounds and precision technology for surround sound was first implemented in 2012, with Pixar’s BRAVE. There are only 100 cinemas in the world equipped with this technology, the biggest screen in Vegas, and 20 outfitted cinemas in Europe. We have a couple in Victoria and nothing in NSW – which of the big cinema chains is going to implement the greatest sound technology in NSW first????????

 

TARZAN 2014 MOVIE IMAGE
TARZAN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | TARZAN (KELLAN LUTZ) STARES AT HIS REFLECTION IN WATER

 

On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed the animation and am astounded by the  talents of the lead actors (Kellan Lutz/Anton Zetterholm as teenager Tarzan/ Spencer Locke, Trevor St John), animation designers and the director (Reinhard Klooss, Buffalo Soldiers, Asterix and Obelix Take on Caesar, Impy’s Island and Wonderland, Animals United), producer (Robert Kulzer, American Pie, The Sixth Sense, Resident Evil), EP (Martin Moszkowicz, from the Resident Evil, The Three Muskateers and Pompeii) and the score director (David Newman, scored over 100 films, from War of the Roses, to Matilda to Heathers, to Ice Age and Anastasia). All are notably linked to high performers in the action, science fiction and animation flicks.

 

4 and a Half Pops