First heat, first film. I liked it because it definitely captured the mood of an action film, with a very simple story about someone trying to rescue a kidnapped daughter. The lead actor was reasonably convincing as a tough guy, but the main drawback of this film was the actual action itself. This is partially my prejudice, as I don't really like the "if you shake it's more real" approach to film-making, but also some questionable editing choices in the fight scenes which seemed to obscure the action and it doesn't seem like there was enough time to get the right sound effects to sell the fights.
I really liked the twist ending, though it was a bit at odds tonally with the rest of the film, and thought it was a good use of the character. It looked pretty good, though the night shoot was a touch grainy, and the editing was generally pretty well-thought-out.
This was well shot with an excellent intro on the waterfront as an old man hands a scarred hitman an important job to get back his girl. The film hums along building with a nicely composed soundtrack before our guy arrives at his destination. The development of the story was good and most of the technical solid (in fact, the establishing shots were better than solid, they were beautiful captured the sense of walking into a lion's den in 'ghetto' Wellington for a rescue perfectly) but I found the fight choreography to be a bit average for an action film.
The payoff/reveal was interesting. It worked well though as it was one of those 'can't quite put my finger on it...aha' moments that had been building the whole time the apartment was being infiltrated. With Nicky being an actions speak louder than words kind of character it gave it good closure.
Technical issues distracted me a lot and could not follow the story development that much.. the action bits were a bit cheeky too.. the child actress was great tho!
I was also disappointed on how this ended.. so much juicing up with those re-timed motion effects and hookers.. this could have been more.. the twist did add but think it was rushed thru while the fast motion approach effect kind of saved it.. it was cool and really fit to the ending..
a tripod & some focus could have added a lot.. my main negativity & angst towards this film comes from the distractions caused by this..
Slow & re-timed motion was great when the house was approached..
Fast motion to the other kid in other house @ punch line/twist moment
The kiddo at the other house was pretty convincing too!
The hookers were a great addition
Anyways - I'm sure you had fun doing this! And good to see great experimentation with re-timing motion and as you see it adds very well to movies.. it was used in right places.. next time tripod please..
Sorry this is correct star rating - my first review and the scale fooled me..
Sigh meant three stars and not 3 1/2 - will put this to compensate sorry..
Pros - Really crisp looking film here, nice use of shot composition throughout the story to bring the viewer along. I liked the idea behind, nice action movie basis with a twist ending I didn't expect but made for a really good use of character.
Cons - Sound could have been a bit more convincing in the fight scenes.
First film of the first heat! One of the more fun genres to do and the group did a pretty good job here with the genre and came up with a decent narrative. For the most part a pretty entertaining film, however the fight choreography undermined their effort a bit.
Great to see an action flick without blood, fake explosions or swearing. Hit the genre well with a kicker of a twist at the end. Exquisitely shot and cut.
These guys kicked off 48 Hours in fashion. Highly stylised, the film was simplistic in its execution. Nice sound design and score really created tension and filled in the time and pacing making it quite an enjoyable 7 minutes. The twist at the end was quite hilarious as he annihilates a house only to find it was the wrong house. Quite a shame it was not a contender this year.
Double//Check is a very fine short film. Beautiful cinematography combined with some clever editing and a stylish, consistent tone made this very visually appealing. The night scene and slow-motion sequence really did it for me. The combination of their chosen techniques with the sharp sound and subtle score really setting the atmos.
The choreography as mentioned above was a little on the rough side but it was quite well-fitting with the scrappy, brutish, characters.
The twist was excellent. It really gave the story line that kick to turn it in to something more complex than I thought it was going to be.
Entertaining film to kick off the Wellington heats with, really liked this one!
I agree with others on the excellent opening sequence (and closing twist reveal), the combination of great camerawork, sound & score really did a good job setting the scene & building the tension towards the inevitable ACTION! that the audience would be expecting.
Speaking of which, I didn't mind the "shaky cam" of the fight scenes, added to the manic feel of the situation the main dude found himself in. If anything, I was a bit disappointed the little crazy-eyes dude that he faced off with (rather than being jumped) didn't get to pull out any mean psycho-ninja moves before being easily taken down (thinking the bell tower scene in Batman), haha!
The supporting actors (particularly little girl/s & old man) were great foils for the ice-cold ruthless cockiness of the lead as well.
All round really well put together film, congrats to all involved!
@hocusfocus : Is it just me or did you reeeeeally seem to like the two hookers!? Or am I behind the play on some techno lingo?
What a great film to start off the competition! Loved the opening scene on the harbor, the gangsters behind the fence and the fast forward shot that ended up at the girl who he should have picked up! (how unlucky!) Great twist, good to see a film with beginning middle and end. The score and sound played nicely too, great fast paced action beats! Shame it cant be a contender this year.
Am not a film maker - just an audience member, so am just commenting on the entertainment aspect.
This was my favourite film of the heat, it sped along with pace and entertained me. I'm not the kind of person who likes to have to try to work out what is going on with the story line - especially when its an action film - I just want to sit down, shut up and be carried along - this film did just that!
The older gentleman and the little girl were great! I enjoyed the shots of the thugs outside and the shots around the hero going into the house.
Also enjoyed the editing, all up my favourite film for heat 1
Cinematography is superb. And that's about it. The acting looked too forced and cartoonish, especially the fighting scenes. And although the shaky camera helped make it look more realistic, the foley (or lack of) made the fight scenes look and sound like a cuddle fest. Twist at the end is surprising, but could've been executed better by making it less cheesy/sarcastic and more sad/frustrating.
Very good short!! Pity you were disqualified for being late, as you were definietely worthy of a vote :)
I liked the style and feel of your movie in particular, I felt it had alot of 'artistic flair'.
This film was pretty fantastically produced, start to finish. Great opening scene at the docks, though it was a shame the seagulls decided to barge their way into an audio cameo. Good performance by the old man. Great performance by the lead "hero". The story was clear and straight-forward, and the twist was great (especially with the letter box). You guys did an amazing job with the technical stuff, and I was really impressed with how good this looked. Color grading, focus pulling, shot framing, all excellent. The music didn't quite feel like it was good enough to match, but it was oh so close. I would have liked to hear more varied sound effects when the blows were being delivered, but it was better than the weak-as sound effects we used in ours, haha. Great title sequence and credits. I wouldn't be surprised if you guys did this stuff professionally. Very entertaining short.
Things to work on:
I felt like the action sequences went on too long with not enough action. The editing of the hits didn't really sell it for me, though it was really close. I think it would have worked better if they had been shorter, with the same style, or, at their current length, perhaps a more dynamic style with either more cuts and more angles, or... just a clearer fight.
[Viewed in the Screening Room]
An older man hires Nicky Brick, to recover his kidnapped daughter. Can Nicky fight his way through the gang house to save the little girl?
This kicks off with a cool establishing sequence that sets the tone nicely - even if the seagulls are a little distracting. Following up, is a great slow-motion sequence as Nicky makes his way into the danger zone. Then it gets rather comiical. The first fight is really just a lot of push and shove, with one of the thugs going down for no reason at all!
The hooker scene was a nice touch before the final showdown with the boss of the house - which again borders on comical.
I didn't mind the shakey style of this at all as I felt that it wasn't overdone and captured the mood you probably wanted to achieve. It all looked good and apart from the fight scenes was nicely edited together.
I struggled with your use of some of the compulsory elements. I felt Nicky was more stupid than unlucky. Surely if he was looking at the numbers of the houses there would have been a serious jump from the one next door, to the one he went into. Your use of the leaf is very subtle (blink and you'll miss it) and I didn't hear the line of dialogue at all. (It could be there though!)
Overall, a stylish effort that demonstrates that there is obvious skill within the team. Better luck next year!