I can't say this film was as good as its predecessor, however it does a really good job at connecting the two thematically. The film looked and sounded great. My only confusion was with how and why the two characters were at the house. Although there was certainly a lot of tension leading up to it, the bomb difusal itself felt very low stakes, unlike in the first film, where other lives were at stake, and fleeing was not an option.
Down 2 The Wire
ULTRA: This film is a sequel to Down To The Wire (https://www.48hours.co.nz/screening-room/2016/christchurch/down-to-the-wire/) from 2016. Director: Vanessa Wells. Starring: Laura Irish, Emma Cusdin, Mia Le Cocq, Jeff Clark. Cinematography/Editor: John-Jo Ritson with footage from Zac Beckett-Knight. Music: Scott Koorey Continuity: Ben Allan. Story by TBALC. Producer: David Searle
Down 2 the Wire is a sequel to the CHCH finals winning 2016 film of the same name. It follows up on the story of the two lead female characters some years after the original after they have parted ways as bomb squad partners.
This film is of very high quality in every aspect as is always the case for TBALC. Most notably the fantastic acting by Laura and Emma. The story has really nice tension, mystery and humour throughout but I did find myself somewhat confused at the end as to who exactly the real bomber/villain of the story was. The cinematography was of very high quality throughout but a few shots did let down the consistency and it therefore didn't quite have the flawless polish of its predecessor. Also a couple of the fancier shots felt a little forced for the storyline e.g., the drone shot.
Overall though I really enjoyed this film and I have no doubt that we will see it as a regional finalist again in 2017.
A few years on from the original film, our bomb squad duo are reunited in another tricky situation.
In my mind this has quite a different aesthetic from the first film. Nothing wrong with that I guess but it does lack the intimacy that had been established. Sure, our leads are estranged and so a feeling of separation might be expected but what's lost as result is any audience investment in their relationship. Coupled with this (as mentioned above) no real stakes as they could have just escaped the scene and let the house blow. Another point of interest was the casting of Jeff Clark as a bomb squad colleague? He was strapped to the explosive in the first film but most definitely wasn't the same character.
Well acted of course and another killer soundtrack.The smooth tracking shot up the stairs was also a winner. I did think the audio suffered in a few places and a drone shot used as a cutaway was perhaps a little excessive/unnecessary.
Still one of the better films in CHCH and finals bound of course!
I’m finding this one really hard to review.
I’ve actually just deleted and am now rewriting my review, as i just clicked on what the final shot means. Something that took days to put together, (and now i feel stupid for not putting it together instantly.)
That said im not sure how much this revelation improves the overall story. But it certinatly does make it all feel less random. Which was my major original gripe, why are they there, what is the point to this.
Ultra, Gah! Like almost all the Ultras, this was a Sequel to a film that really did not need a sequel.
And in a way you guys got double screwed. Make a sequel to your back catologue of films, which are primarly comedy driven films, and the genre you got was Thriller.
So I really can’t imagine just how hard it was to come up with a concept for a thriller that was also a sequel to your other films.
The characters from Down to the Wire make the most sense. But at the same time of all your films that one really strikes me as the most self contained.
Things I Liked, Cutting her hair at the start was a good Sequel bit.
Cinematography, flashy, but also fully in service of the genre. The long tracking shots through the house do a really good job at building tension.
The drone shots did stand out, but hey, they looked fantastic and again they really did serve the overall style. They probably only stand out because they are so impressive for a 48hours film. Watching the film on its own outside of 48hours and i don’t think they would stand out as jarring.
Not as tightly edited as previous TBALC films. Simple stuff though, another few hours in the editing room and those problems would be fixed. (Hey, thats 48hours for you)
I think my inital reaction to this film was too harsh, but TBALC brings that on themselves by constantly blowing us all away year after year. The combination of a sequel and a thriller might just have been their Kryptonite. (I would have loved to see them tackel either one individually) but with that said i think TBALC made a good job of rising to the occasion and turining in a film that is still strong in almost every department.
Just saw this in the Screening Room. Quality wasn't quite up there compared to the 1st film. The sound cutting prematurely when the chick went in for a hug was noticeably awkward. This sequel felt like Starship Troopers 2 as opposed to the greatness that was the first film. Maybe the lack of costumes? Perhaps a darker filter in post production might have made it a bit more....... gritty? I duno,....... Just felt off compared to the 1st film. Can't really explain it. But alas, even the great and mighty eventually fall. Love your guys work. Your throne awaits next year :) Peace!!!!
Basically Rowan covered everything I would have said about this film, but nonetheless I'll throw a couple more thoughts in.
Camera work and acting are the slickest elements of this film, and are just as up there with TBALC's other films. I think it's the story and editing which let it down, and create an air of confusion which is often prevalent in 48hour films, but almost never in TBALC's filmography.
As Rowan said, I think Ultra was a big ol' kick in the nuts for this case- as 48hour films are by definition very disposable and rarely ask for a sequel.
I do wonder if ultimately, DOWN TO THE WIRE was the best choice of film to do a sequel to, sure the characters make sense to be transposed into a Thriller, but maybe it would have been better to pull an ARMY OF DARKNESS and just jarringly bring Scary Barry or someone into a thriller.
As it goes without saying, obviously this is an awesomely made short film, and I suspect even the judges judge TBALC on a slightly different plane to other teams.