MR MKB

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3.01

Aquaman plays out as a mockumentary (the third one of the heat!) following the lead character and his strange condition: sleep bathing.

Aquaman is one of those WTF films that you feel a bit strange reviewing, and it's definitely of a personal opinion kind of thing. I think the use of the mockumentary style to uncover the medical mystery was used effectively. Acting was pretty solid, with Dr. Schwamp being a stand-out in particular. Only thing that held back some other performances were age, as I really couldn't buy into the actress being the lead's mother. It did work on a humorous level though! Some really nice visual gags with the lead waking up in various locations due to his condition, and a lot of legitimate laughs throughout. Also liked the use of 3D titles to introduce each character. I feel like the film ran a little long though, and that it could've done with some pacing in both the scripting and editing processes.

Overall it really wasn't my thing but I'll always applaud a team for committing 100% to an idea, especially with that ending. Glad that you committed to it and played it straight! Will also give you my unofficial "Best Use of Line" for the heat, delivered perfectly by the lead.

3.01

Haper (sorry, Harper) and Seb set up a bread stall outside their home, selling their delicious home-made breads to anyone who passes by!

Shock ending is a tough genre, and I don't envy anyone who gets it! The acting was solid form both actors, with the male lead in particular really committing to his role. Competently shot, with great use of long wide shots mixed with interesting angles. Audio was a problem, especially in the wider shots, with the dialogue being so quiet at times I couldn't make out what was being said. I felt like the story was nice and intriguing, as you could tell that something was amiss as the film played out. I do feel like the film it dragged a bit though, and it would've benefitted from a bit more editing down.

Good effort guys, you did get me with the shock ending!

6.02

A man suffering from erectile dysfunction seeks out a medical fix after hearing a radio ad at work. Things seem a bit strange, even from the first phone call to order the product, but he has no clue what lies ahead...

Multiple time CHCH finalists and one-time winner, The Eh Team's films are hotly anticipated by all. This film is as polished as you would ever imagine it to be, with some really nice lighting and smoke effects especially around the first briefcase scene. The shots of Hamish Parkinson in the goop are particularly creative, well imagined and expertly executed. The acting of everyone involved is pro-level, and the script felt natural yet humorous. Hamish's acting was as goofy as Dan Bain's was naturalistic.

Only gripes I had with this film was the fact that there wasn't much compassion created for the lead character, which caused me to not invest in the story as strongly as I wanted too. In saying that, I imagine it is a tricky task to round out a character like that without making him look pathetic, especially in 7 minutes or less. The other gripe I have is that Hard-X's character wasn't very well-defined, and I never understood the reason he existed. I mean there were a lot of implications and questions there! What was he? Where did he come from? And why is he in the potion?! I thought it could've existed in the lead character's imagination, but clearly he is real judging by the end shots, so I dunno!

An extremely polished short, with a solid story that nails the genre head-on. The Eh Team never fails to entertain.

2.03

A pig on a farm is haunted by dreams of the farmer cornering him with his big, shiny stick. He voices his fears with his best friend, Mr. Goat. As it turns out, Pig's dreams aren't too far from reality, as a protest group appears to protest animal cruelty.

That was the most concise that I could make this story. It was pretty much a pig wandering around with a goat. I really enjoyed it for it's WTF factor, and I think it deserves a place amongst one of the Incredibly Strange categories (and I mean that completely in the nicest sense!). It really didn't have much of a storyline per se, but the final line delivered over a black screen completely blind-sided the audience and had us all in stitches. I don't think anyone saw that coming!

Keep on doing what you do, Team Fireworks 2!

4.06

Harper Harrison takes his thoughtlessness one step too far one day, and is taught a lesson in humility whilst in a bread-induced alternate dimension.

I thought Foreign Objects put a really nice human spin on this genre and story. I was pleasantly surprised by the character arc they created, as Harper grows and realises the happiness he gains by making others around him happy too. A satisfying ending as well. The acting could've been a bit better across the board, and tended to lean more towards the melodramatic, but there were a few good laughs to be had along the way with the actors.

Technically, the audio wasn't as clear as it could've been and a few tripod shots wouldn't have gone amiss, but the simple inverse effect used to portray the other dimension was effective.

All in all, a solid short with a nice human take on a tricky genre.

3.01

No.2 is a secret agent, out to track down his nemesis who keeps evading him at every turn. This time he isn't going to get away, and the documentary film crew following No.2 is going to capture it all.

I thought the documentary-style that this film was shot in was a different way to shoot the very well-trodden Spy vs. Villain story. The lead actor was good in the bumbling roll he played, and he worked the character to the fullest extent he could. I also liked the character of the villain, I thought it was quite funny how he clearly didn't care at all about No.2 in the slightest, making it a very one-sided rivalry.

Technically, the sound was a bit quiet/drowned out at times and the camera work was a bit too rough, even for a documentary crew. This film would've benefitted from a bit more work in the scripting process to get a bit more clarity in the story, and the film could've been edited significantly as the story dragged a lot in the middle.

Altogether, this film was a nice take on the vague "Cat and Mouse" genre with some creative elements, and I look forward to what your team puts together next year.

5.04

Harper Harrison wakes up in bed next to a girl after a long night. He gets up quietly and heads for the bathroom, where he realises that the girl he slept with thinks he is someone else.

I honestly loved how short and simple this film was. It formed a solid premise that we could get on board with, and built up to a very humorous punchline. The match cut of Harper Harrison towards the end was gold! Kudos for having the confidence to pull off such a simple, solid story. Technically it was nicely filmed, with a very impressive and effective shot of Harper at the climax of the film. The opening montage was as well edited as it was disturbing. Nice use of a French stick...

Not much else I can say on such a short film, but good job guys!

3.01

A guy is asked to take the rubbish out by his girlfriend, but as he is going out the door the bag splits and something falls out. The guy looks down at the item, and we match-cut forward in time. The film then plays backwards for the majority of it's runtime, as we work our way back to uncover the mystery of what the item is, uncovering information along the way.

From what I could tell in the reverse motion, there was some nice acting from all in this film. The cinematography was nice, with some unique shot choices scattered throughout. The music chosen for the short also fitted the mood perfectly.

As nice as all that was though, I just couldn't get on board with this film. I'm sure the scenes and shots played out completely fine at normal speed, but the flaw with playing them backwards is that as soon as the audience gets the gist of what's going on, it's just a waiting game to get back to the rubbish bag as not a lot of vital information was gained along the way. The other downside of reverse-motion is that the more subtle shots felt super long. I felt like all of this could've been fixed simply by sharpening up the edit a lot more though.

What also let this down was the fact the story was incredibly thin. Very quickly the audience knew what was going on, even if we didn't know what the object in the rubbish was. When we finally found out what the item was, it wasn't so much a big reveal as it was an "Oh, okay".

A nice attempt to spin a tricky genre, but sadly style completely won out over substance in this one.

4.06

A man works to impress the girl of his dreams, along with the tutoring and encouragement of his imaginary friend.

This film had a lot of interesting elements, and it didn't push the whole concept of the imaginary friend too much. I thought the sugar-pouring shot was a nice, subtle way of introducing the idea to the audience, without beating them over the head with it. I also thought the whole boomerang/frisbee element was a very thoughtful touch, and I liked how you introduced it subtly in the beginning as well. Without giving anything away, I thought the ending was a nice, unique touch which I didn't see coming.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the real killer for me though was the audio. In most of the scenes I could barely make out what any of the actors were saying, which really detracted from the whole film.

Overall a great take on the genre, with enough original ideas to keep it fresh. I enjoyed your film last year guys, and I look forward to seeming more from what is clearly a creative team.

3.01

A literal rock-umentary! This short film follows the very swift rise and fall of the "rock" band Obsidian, and the people surrounding the band's swift rise to fame.

A very quirky short that was clearly an audience hit. The shots of the lead singer going "downhill" and the interview with J-Lo in particular had me laughing hard. This team really went to town with their puns, and the audience definitely appreciated it. I do feel like this film could've benefitted from more music though (the band songs you did have were quite funny) and the interview locations/camera work could've been a bit more thought out. Combined with the constant fading to black, it gave the film a bit of a repetitive vibe.

I understand that with this genre you are caught between a *cough* rock and a hard place *cough*, so I think this was a solid effort for a genre that has some less-than-desirable genre options for some teams.

5.04

Harper Harrison talks directly to camera in this vlog-style short film. The end of the world has come, and she is the only person that God has deemed righteous enough to inherit the earth!

Although this style of shooting has been done many times before, the single camera style the team has chosen really lends well to the genre. The lead actress addresses the audience directly, in a performance that is consistently interesting and charismatic enough to support the entire run time. A big job for one person to take on! I really liked the costuming, which worked well for both her faithful moments and her not-so-faithfull ones. The latter scenes in particular were very funny and well acted. This actress really knows her comedic timing.

The audio throughout was pretty good, although there were some points when I couldn't clearly hear the dialogue. I thought the ending was nice, but I almost wish it had ended slightly differently as I thought it was a bit too obvious and perhaps a bit out of style with the rest of the film.

A nice short, and a good take on a new genre to this competition.

5.04

A young man disturbs the old woman next door with his rowdy music. After asking him to turn it down, she gives him a basket of gingerbread men as a peace offering. But as person after person helps themselves to the little baked men, things start to take a turn for the bloody...

This film was a nice, solid way to start Heat 3. I thought the acting from the lead actor did a good job, as was the man playing the electrician. Some good, legitimate laughs along the way from this horror-comedy. The film was nicely shot overall, with a nicely revealed surprise in the kitchen mid-film. The scenes in the attic in particular made for a very interesting location, and added some nice variety from the rest of the house shots. The puppetry of the gingerbread men was well done, and the use of frantic camera work really sold the whole piece for me. Clever thinking! Some very nice music and sound design choices along the way as well (particularly liked the whispering cookies!).

I do feel though that this film dragged quite a bit, and took longer than it should've to get to the horror elements. The set up was nicely executed and clearly indicated an idea of what was to come, but it left the audience just waiting through more establishing scenes with the electrician. I understand this was a horror-comedy, I just really wish the horror elements were introduced earlier and a bit more prominent, and that they pushed their idea a bit more to a satisfying conclusion.

All in all though, a great start to Heat 3!

5

Axiom was nicely shot and well acted. I was especially impressed by the girl playing Morgan Foster and her boyfriend, who both delivered believable and genuine performances. The girl in particular really shined in the final scene with her and her Mum, well done guys!

Story-wise, it was nice to see a more serious take on the mystery/puzzle genre. I also thought the use of "flashbacks" was very effective. The plot could've been slightly clearer though, as I was a bit confused as to why Morgan was telling such slanderous lies in the first place. I'm sure given the circumstances they were legitimate, but I can't remember hearing a reason.

Overall it was a solid short by Gangsta Pirates, and an interesting, serious take on the genre.

6

Morgan Foster tells a kid the story about the day he was born, and Morgan's involvement in the events of that day.

I felt terrible for this team after finding out they were disqualified, especially for such a small slip-up :(
I really enjoyed this short by Team Fireworks 2, the montage of gags was particularly funny. The shot of the goat in the car was hilarious, I was almost crying!

This film had a real sense that you all had a lot of fun working on it, which is really great to see. I agree with Dan Bain; this film is the spirit of 48 Hours, and I genuinely love seeing Team Fireworks name on the heats list every year!

5

A man having an affair in a sleazy motel room tries to get home to his wife, before she suspects something.

An animated entry from Everything Sticks this year illustrated in a simple but effective pencil drawing style. This internal-narrative film noir was enjoyable to watch, and it's noir-style structure and writing were very effective. The script was well-written, with repetition used to good comedic effect. The narration seemed to fit the character very well, and the whole short was enjoyable to watch as a whole. The twist was also unexpected, and the final monologue got a good laugh from the audience.

I felt that the script may have been little too repetitive though for my taste, but this short film was definitely a crowd pleaser, and had the theatre laughing throughout.

7

A man waiting at a restaurant for his date to arrive is mistaken for the guest chef cooking that night, and is dragged off to give a cooking demonstration.

Last year's CHCH winner's The Eh Team short film has been hotly anticipated, as evidenced by the packed cinema last night (I counted 4 spare seats!). As you would expect, Le Restaurant D'erreurs is beautifully shot, with a cinematic quality that was head and shoulders above all else in the heat. Acting was really great across the board, with all actors really going to town with the subtle ticks and quirks of their characters (was great to see a bit of Zebra Crossing in there too). The premise reminded me of older comedies like Some Like It Hot.

In saying all of that though, I really felt like the plot wasn't nearly as strong as it needed to be. The initial concept, a man mistaken for being a famous chef plays along, was too far-fetched for me, and I didn't find the idea believable that someone would just go along with it. I also felt the ending was very weak and unsatisfying. The film excitingly escalated towards a big climax, but just when I was expecting things to explode/resolve, the main character literally just ran away from the problem.

Overall, it's another very polished, well-acted, short from The Eh Team, but one that ended in a bit of a fizzle.

6

After a simple mistake, Morgan Foster is left cornered in a public lavatory cubicle, the toilet door being the only thing protecting his identity from people on the other side.

I really enjoyed this short film by Dublin Street Studios. The acting was really good, in particular the male and female leads. The film had a really nice, light-hearted feel to it (as a rom-com more or less should!), and the concept really pulled you into the story. I did think the establishing shots dragged on a little bit too long, but overall it was a lovely, light-hearted short.

7

Morgan Foster is happy spending a night in working on a puzzle with her teddybear, that is until one piece goes missing...

I really enjoyed this one, I voted for it as one of my top 3 in Audience Choice. I really liked how this quirky little film was played out, and I felt the film escalated smoothly and naturally. The gradual meltdown between Morgan and her teddy was really enjoyable to watch, and the actress playing Morgan hit the performance spot on. The lighting shift mid film was really great, and the audio design in the final scenes made the whole situation bizarrely uncomfortable to watch. Dragon V Mouse really managed to create compassion for an inanimate object.

Overall, this film was an original take on the Revenge genre, and it was a pleasure to watch.

7

One morning, a stoner wakes up to find a ticking package on his doorstep, addressed to his shady car salesman flatmate Morgan Foster.

This one was a really nicely produced short! Both actors in this film were really great in their roles, playing to the skittish stoner/shady salesmen roles very well. In particular the lighting and sound design were great, and I really loved the subtle score throughout (I believe it was original?). I thought it was clever of them to include a ticking noise throughout certain parts of the score, it really took the short to the next level. The only thing about this short that I thought could've been better was the editing and pacing. The editing wasn't quite sharp or urgent enough for the situation, and I felt the pace began to lag a little in the middle. Considering the genre was "Race Against the Clock", it might have helped to have some sort of deadline as to when time was going to run out.

All in all though, an impressive short that really nailed the genre, with a satisfying ending.

4

In Continuum, a man having financial troubles is hired by Morgan Foster over a poker match to complete certain tasks and jobs for him for payment.

While the lead acting in this film were solid, the editing and rough audio are what let this short film down for me. The first half of the film was a bit hard to follow, and seemed a bit repetitive. It got to the point where I actually started thinking that each scene was an alternate reality, or a jump backwards/forwards in time! The last half of the film, from when Morgan Foster joins the poker match, was much stronger though. I feel The Dark Circle should have started the story off at this point, and maybe found a more economical way of portraying the lead character's financial struggles.

Some good use of varying locations here, and the characters in the final scene were very entertaining.

6

In Once A Babysitter, a baby sitter tells two young boys a tale about a house down the street, and sends them on a quest to explore the property, completing challenges along the way. Years later, the two now grown boys reattempt the adventure they chickened out of as kids.

This was an original and unique take on the adventure genre, and I really liked the idea of the adults returning to their childhood adventures. The acting was impressive, especially by the two young boys at the start. The cinematography (especially at the beginning with the tale) was particularly nice.

I did feel that the story required an element of suspense or danger though, as it didn't feel like there were any hurdles or challenges for them to overcome to accomplish their goals, and the edit could've been tightened a little too. In saying that though, the twist was well delivered and added some extra charm to this enjoyable short.

5

A man faces some reproductive challenges after an unfortunate accident during a Bachelor's party.

This short by CTV Canterbury Television was a good start to the night. One In A Million was competently shot, with decent audio and really good acting overall. Also enjoyed the musical training montage with the man and his friend. Plot-wise, there were good jokes throughout, but the ending was quite weak and felt like they copped out of the situation they had lead up to.

Overall a solid, funny start to heat 3.

4

After a toxic chemical leak, a citywide restriction has beenput in place, preventing anyone from venturing outside. In an office building, one female worker convinces Nicky Brick to get her cellphone from her car, playing on the crush he has on her.

The one shot for this film was nice and steady, and there were never any issues with focus either.

I was really surprised with the quality of acting, especially the female worker at the table, and the love interest. The dialogue was believable and natural.

I do feel the use of slow motion for the second half of the film could've been done without, and a subtler score simmering in the back ground would've been more effective than the epic, Inception-esque track that was chosen. Pacing could've been improved a bit too and I felt the overall story to be very thin. Some added plot points or obstacles may have helped perhaps.

Altogether, a solid effort with impressive acting.

5

Two single parents' fall for each other after meeting briefly when one picks up his son from the other's house. They then both try to meet again, using their sons' friendship as an excuse to visit.

A nice simple story with some good creative ideas. I liked the reoccurring concept of the split-screen showing both parents doing the same activity to convey how alike and perfect for each other the pair are. Really gets you rooting for their success.

It's a shame about the technical errors this team faced; looks like something cropped up during export. About half-way through the file started glitching, freezing and skipping. It was still watchable, but I did feel bummed for the team.

Thought this was a light-hearted, wholesome, feel-good film. Really liked you guys, put you in my top 3 for the heat.

5

The Father of a missing girl kidnaps their simple postman to gain a confession, believing he is the one to blame for her disappearance.

A nice concept. I liked the fact that this film felt like it was almost a segment from a feature film, as though someone had just screened the final act.

I liked how the wife and husband played off each other, one being pro-active and agressive, the other being nurturing but hurt. The acting was solid; the wife being most notable with her tenderness after the husband's agression.

To me it seemed the wife was the focus of the film, as she was presented with two questions. Should she exact revenge simply on a hunch? Or is it better to forgive? I felt this idea was a little cut short though, and could've been explored just a bit more.

Film's technical side could've been improved on a little (predominantly lighting and composition), but the wound effects were impressively realistic.

Nice concept though guys! This one definitely had some thought behind it.

4

Set in the wild west. After losing a musical duel in the local saloon, a guitarist cowboy goes on a quest to conquer three tasks, and hone his guitar playing skills. Oh, and it's entirely green screen.

A hard ask to complete in a 48 hour timespan. Really nice particle/atmospheric/element effects throughout, epic matte paintings and the overall look was nicely stylised. Good costuming choices too (casting of the bar tender was spot on, had the perfect look).

Technically this was a musical, but I couldn't help but think this team had some pre-decided elements they wanted to include and weren't willing to budge on, perhaps even being their downfall.

The character of Nicky Brick was my biggest hanging point. Completely thrown in as an afterthought. The character walks in, someone makes a joke about how unlucky she is, and she leaves. Bothered me a lot.

You guys set yourself a big task, and the audience definitely appreciated that fact. Keep up the good post-production work.

3

This film follows the aftermath of a serial killer who's calling card is a leaf placed in his victim's mouths.

This was one bizarre short! Storyline was a bit vague/unpolished, but the film's WTF factor and humor definitely pushed story to the back of my mind.

Liked the title sequence, had a very Se7en-esque feel and look to them. Also liked the opening sequence with the green ambulance, quite nicely shot and exposed.

A weird little film, the result of a curve-ball genre.

3

A couple and their stoner friend find themselves on a romantic getaway at a vineyard with a dark past...

Film was disqualified as it was handed in with no audio. A member of this team gave a narrative as it screened.

Loved the location and costumes for this film. Thought the idea of jumping from 19th(?) century to present day throughout made the film interesting and less linear.

Shame about the audio; would've liked to have heard what the actress had to say. Her acting, in particular, seemed quite solid.

Technical side of things (cinematography, lighting etc...) could've be a bit better, but all-in-all the shots clearly told the story and it was easy to follow.

Better luck next year though guys. And I do have to say, the guy who did the commentary did a good job, found it quite funny!

6

A clueless female news reporter follows around the rough, foul-mouthed Nicky Brick and his mate on a hunt, documenting what unfolds.

I quite liked this film. Thought this film had the best use of the character Nicky Brick, and the actor who played him was great! Truly hilarious, some really funny lines in there ("T-N-f**kin'-T!"). The reporter was good as well; a nice, delicate juxtaposition to Nicky.

The only criticisms I have are audio sync and levels. Sync was off by about 12 frames in some shots, but it wasn't too distracting. Story-wise (without giving anything away), I would've liked perhaps one line towards the end that gave a reason for their hunting decisions. Thought that would've nailed your concept down completely.

Great twist (...double-twist?) at the end, overall I really liked it. Would put it in my top 3 of the night.

3

Nice idea/take on a romantic comedy for an all-girl team.

This short follows a young lady and her friends on her hen's night, documenting the highs and lows, and the various emotions and twists that unfold.

Thought the music track at the very beginning was great, really set up expectations for a Sex-and-the-City-style romantic comedy for the girls. Found the montage of various phallic objects quite funny!

To me, though, the pacing of this film is what let it down; it quite quickly lost energy and steam. There was also a significant mood shift in the film (from light-hearted to more dramatic), and it came as a bit of a surprise.

I felt that this film could've done with a bit more cutting down (maybe even to half the length?). I had guessed what twist/ending was coming early on in the strip club scenes, and by the time it finally came around I wasn't surprised.

Good concept though, and it appeared the girls had a lot of fun on the shoot.

7

Mammoth effort from this team. Would describe this best as a one-shot, sock puppet espionage action film.

The thought, planning and prop/set creation that would've gone into this is impressive. Film overall is simple, but garnered quite a few laughs.

Would agree with Cinematic_Chch, I also thought the rewind was unnecessary/an ending cop-out. To me (along with the closing line) it seemed to dismiss all the hard work this team put into it.

Impressive film nonetheless, a good laugh!

3

A passed-out-drunk Nicky Brick wakes up to find a digital camera. He searches for his wife, using the images captured. A loose interpretation of a loosely-defined genre.

I liked the direction this film was heading and it's sense of building dread, like an ugly, forgotten truth was to be revealed to this damaged character. I was caught off-guard when the film ended; it was a bit of a "Was that it?" moment. I was expecting more of a revelation, twist or pay-off.

This film had an original score, though, which I loved. I thought it suited the mood of the film perfectly.

5

A small group of survivors take shelter inside a bunker, slowly running out of supplies in a post-apocalyptic world. Complications arise when the group is divided by questions of morality.

This film's cinematography was really nice, and had a nice grade to it too. Thought the moody and industrial-type locations suited the film well also.

For me, this film suffered from pacing issues, despite some nicely edited sequences. The film's setup seemed rushed, and a lot of (perhaps unnecessary?) information was conveyed through a voice over and flash back sequences. Story is king, though, and I felt it could've done with trimming in some areas, and further exploration in others.

Audio was another biggie for me. As a disclaimer, it was mixed well, was of quality and clear. They also had a nice intro narration. With that said, I thought the constant music track in the back ground dominated too much, and lost it's effect. Less is more.

I also had an issue with the ADR. Again it was clear, but acting-wise lacked some of the emotion necessary (especially for the ending sequence). It didn't quite match the atmosphere or urgency of the setting.

I did love the film's special effects and graphics, they were very polished. You can tell this team definitely knows what they are doing technically, and you can't fault them on that at all.

9

Definitely my favourite film from heat 3.

A horror film featuring two men, struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Complications arise, with decisions on morality vs. practicality risking the pair's safety.

I loved how simple and subtle this film was; the team didn't spell anything out literally to the audience, instead they showed. This gave the film's setting a sense of depth, history and scale to the mostly interior-based film. Some great acting and realistic dialogue too.

Score was essentially non-existant, a fact which I loved, and only ever kicked in to support the amazing visuals in the most vital scenes. This film's audio and cinematography were, in my opinion, flawless.

I also loved the subtle moral issue that was raised, thought it gave a nice extra layer of depth to the film.

Can't fault this one, I'd bet my money on this appearing in the regional finals.