'Sticks and stones' by Couch Kumaras

Heat: 
05
Film name: 
Sticks and stones
Team name: 
Genre: 
Fantasy Adventure
Average rating: 
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (12 votes)
6

I loved this teams intro clip to bits. Unfortunately so strong it was, that I lost concentration on what must have been some kind of important backstory. I tried to patch it together but couldn't grasp anything other than there was a guy, who had a thing, that another guy wanted, then a mother and son got entangled then special powers had to be used to resolve it.

Lovely VFX and a talented cast though.

7

I really loved what this film set out to achieve.
Recovering from some shaky line-crosses early on, the visual style settled into pure adventure genre shooting, using it's location really well to help set the tone.
The film only got stronger with the dark and moody characters until (not often achieved in 48hr films) I literally got chills down my spine when the staffs jumped up into the hunters hands.
The CGI throughout the film was a real treat but never 'took over', it was only a little let down by the bubble at the end.
The flashback scene on the road was the only really weak point, where the film-making fell down a little as it felt a chaotic and rushed.
Otherwise a really beautiful and serious take on the genre.
A film to be proud of.
Really well done!!

9

Couch Kumaras :( Poor, poor Couch Kumaras :( Please get your film in on time next year! You would actually have been a genuine chance to defend your Wellington title (although a little birdy tells me it was the amazing effects in the final cut we saw which did cause you to be late...) had this been eligible. Also loved the big-headed NBA Jam stle intro, guys.

Swords, capes, rangers, warriors, spells, swordfights, protection spells, family vengeance, magical objects. Yep I think you had the required tropes of the genre down pretty pat with this one. Also another majestical soundtrack. Really well acted too. Sigh...

8

Well I have to say wow again... and mainly because this team is one to watch in the future. Again pretty hot right across the board and right smack on the genre! The gasp from the audience when the sticks flew into the evil mage's hands was brilliant, and again an amazing a score to boot! But I'm still not sure who's doing the music? ...it nevers seems to be credited in the teams credits?? A shame, because they could get a lot of work!

The actors were good, but the film was crying out for a bit of age differentiation - i.e. someone in their 30's/40's/50's??? it would have really helped the piece and the stories world!
Overall, it was blasting along as the best of the night until it kinda just died story wise with the flashback and random magic stone thingy... and at that point the story was lost on me... maybe a feature forced into a short film issue??

But hell, lose the vfx next year and get in on time! you don't need them! You're good storytellers and a rising bunch of film makers... we need ya in the finals next year!! ( and find some older actors to compliment your team - it'll really expand your story options and market appeal!) ;-)

3

some good SFX work couldn't make up for the fact that the story ran solely in trite cliches.

There didn't appear to be an original thought in this film.

Cool intro video though.

2

it looked good - well shot, great costumes, excellent locations and cool SFX - and was pretty well acted, but that's about it. story was hard to follow and it brought nothing to the table except the usual fantasy cliches.

5

Couch Kumaras have clearly learned a few new tricks since last year. I don't know why, but it felt like their gear wasn't as high in quality as their fantastic 2011 entry was? In any case, they're still a 'team to watch' and I hope they keep the crew together for another round in 2013.

The film itself could have benefited from more humour, or at least a character who thought this fantasy-thing was a bit of a laff. I mean, Star Wars had Han Solo, Harry Potter gets Ron Weasley, and LOTR gets a bunch of hobbits who generally try to enjoy the lighter moments between sword-fights with orcs.

Ultimately though, it felt like the team could've used another 12 hours to fix a few pacing issues and dodgy shots that crept in to mess with their generally consistent aesthetic. Looking forward to more work from Couch Kumaras.

8

I've been keen to see what this team would cook up this year and i actually enjoyed this effort more than 'Sketch'. A creative effort that showcased their good vfx skills and enthusiasm. It had all the components as one would expect of a fantasy/adventure genre but done with the team's distinctive flair, but faltered with its story at times. Overall, very good effort!

9

Very formulaic but the boys managed to make a pretty-bloody-good looking fantasy film in a single weekend. Would've given it 1st place if I'd been allowed to vote on it. :(

3

So the last years winners.. late.. shame..

Some shaky camera in there, overloaded with CGI, really nice costumes, soundtrack and good acting... but.. story didn't hold together despite all the random fantasy bits thrown at it...

Less CGI next time... and more stable camera and a bit attention to the story.. it would definitely work for your advantage..

Ask yourselves do you really really need *all* that CGI.. and rather ask yourselves how it would serve the story..

8

I've just watched this in the screening room.

I agree with the other reviewers, great effects and wobbly narrative.

I liked the LOTRish tone, which would be bloody hard to achieve in 48Hrs. The setting, the costumes, the music, screamed Sir PJ.

I loved Kumaras work last year and enjoyed the film this year equally. I would really have loved this in on time and with the narrative that tad clearer.

Nice use of the reverse motion to mimic telekinesis.

To the best of my knowledge Kumaras are a fairly new team, last year and this, but it strikes me that we have a new Wellington team that will year in year out be pushing for the podium.

4

Scene and costumes were great. I most liked the bit with the young boy hiding. Didn't really get what the story was or where it was going - it had lots of 'middle' but could have been stronger when it came to beginning and end. Was the sound out of sync in a lot of places or was that just sluggish buffering by my pc/internet?