GREAT cinematography, I loved the shot of the blade as it tracks back and onto the characters face. Well shot and well acted, humour also in the right places. Nice work team
D.O.C Force: Death Island
An episode of the 80s TV classic, D.O.C. Force: Danger Island.
Made with typical TBALC energy, typical TBALC acting smarts and typical TBALC technical craft. What's not so typical is that the story is to be honest, bland and non-eventful. There's some crazy "When-Rabbits-Attack" action but overall there seems to be little in the way of purpose or meaning that we typically get from a TBALC 48. It's all a bit silly really. The location was cool though as was the opportunity to use a boat and no doubt that plenty of fun was had.
The highlight was the original song performed by Jeff Clark. That seemed like a story waiting to be told.
In the same way that we got something very Crab Crab Crabby - TBALC have given us something very TBALC-Y
Fantastic acting (especially the scene sitting at the fire), AWESOME location, music and editing was on point and the VHS style was really neat too.
As MistaTeas has already noted - a little lacklustre in the plot points, with it all ending a lot quicker than I thought it would. Great scenes with the rabbit - not a lot else to really grasp onto.
Those shots of the rabbit running around in the grass reminded me of the sonic the hedgehog trailer okay I'll see myself out now
Ultimately I couldn't get Monty Python's Holy Grail out of my head so it felt less original, but very enjoyable to watch with great homages to the 80s (my era!). Sharp photography and a fabulous end shot of recording the soundtrack which was so typical of the era.
Poor TBALC, I’m sure we’re all grading them on a curve. I’m going to do my best not to.
What I liked.
There’s a sense of style and tone that immediately feels like classic TBALC, but also something bold and fresh from this team.
Even though it’s designed to look like an old 80s TV show in many ways it feels like their most cinematic film to date. Something about all the location work gives this film a really fresh and fun feel
Gaaaah, I’m just comparing the film to their previous films :(
I’ll try again, What I liked, D.O.C Force: Death Island. What a great take on the genre. One of the only Nature Run Amok movies I saw this year that actually went out and got among the nature :D the whole style and tone is spot on. This feels authentic in a way that I’m sure I’m taking for granted. The logo is spot on, the opening credits are spot on, TBALC is no slouch on the technical side of things especially in the last few years, and this film does all sorts of awesome stuff to commit to the bit. Lot of hard work must have gone into this film behind the scenes. the performances and costumes are all spot on and the whole film really comes together in support of the tone and style.
It’s the script that feels like the let down here, its fine. It’s just nothing special. I know I’m grading TBALC on a curve here, I just gave a team a glowing review for simply telling a coherent story with a beginning middle and end XD this film certainly has a clear story to tell, and it tells it well. But a few days later, I can only recall snatches of it. It’s really only the shots, tone and the rabbet gags i can recall.
You know, if any other team had handed this in, I’d probably be frothing over it, its a wildly fun take on the genre. in fact, you know what I bet.. and in fact I’m just remembering something from the meme thread. That suddenly makes a whole lot more sense.
This should have been a 7minute film.
I'm stunned to see this reviewed so low. I thought this was brilliant - my favourite film of the finals. It is so, SO hard to do a genre recreation and perfectly nail the tone and style of what you're after. It's easy to unintentionally slip into modern filmmaking styles, but you all crushed it. From the 4:3 aspect ratio, to the old school tape look, to the music, to the camerawork, it was spot. on. That shot following the machete blade above his head, and down to his eyes? Genius. The hard profile shot during her monologue by the fire, her dying partner in her arms? Genius. I loved every part of this. Full of laughs and great performances. I don't know why the response has been muted. Well, it worked like crazy for me. I hope it gets plucked out of Chch and into the nationals. Great job, all.
Following this film, from inception to it taking out 2nd place has been a ride.
Is D.O.C Force: Death Island the most controversial film in Christchurch 48 Hours 2019? It scored so highly with the judges and yet the reviews have been somewhat mixed.
Well first of all, I don't think anyone is questioning the quality of the film as a city finalist. The production here is so slick, from the visual aesthetic, to the location, to the acting, to the directing, to the music and that amazing song.
The effort here is top notch, everything feels like it fits, and I think it was especially deserving of the best original song award (I re-listened to it when deliberating and was so on board, Jeff belting out those pitch perfect 80s vocals is incredible), as well as the Outstanding Female Filmmaker for Vanessa, who did so much more than just directing (capturing the style of 80s serial cop dramas so well all, I assume, comes down to her), and it's pretty cool to see TBALC finally grab that award which I know they've been chasing for so long.
I do, though, agree with Rowan, I think this film was missing a couple extra minutes from the end, and this is one of the year's prime examples of a film missing its third act. I think I'd have liked an extended and more creative final battle with the bunny. Could you have focused more on this and sacrificed Laura's monologue in the earlier scene? Would it have been worth it? It's hard to say, but I guess what I'm saying is I wasn't overly jazzed with the storyline and how it all ended up playing out. This is especially frustrating, because the story is often one of TBALC's strongest aspects, and while it'd be easy to say a film paying homage to an 80s tv show doesn't need an especially good story, I actually disagree with that and think more could have been done here.
Also, personally, and I wouldn't tell you this if I hadn't expressed my adoration for the team a hundred times before, I wasn't really all that into the central "joke" of the film. As I said, it's pulled off perfectly and I can recognise and appreciate that, but doing the whole 80s visual throwback with the cheesy caricatures is something I think was mastered with the trailer for KUNG FURY, and then subsequently overdone with the feature length version of KUNG FURY. This is totally 100% just my personal tastes, and clearly it resonated with the other judges more than me and I think maybe, as the youngest judge, this might just be a demographic thing. I wasn't alive in the 80s, baby! Do a 90s kid film next year and maybe only I will get it.
This film wasn't my personal pick for runner-up, but that's okay, and if anything speaks to the power and necessity of the judging panel. Still, for what it's worth (if my opinion is worth anything), I think I preferred THE SPARES as an overall package.
TITLE REVIEW: D.O.C FORCE: DEATH ISLAND, like ROZKOL (SCHISM) was such a pain in the ass to have to write down so many times, and that's not even taking into account the mix up with the title which is still happening, even on this website, despite being changed in the back end. But all of that aside, it's a good title and fits the film.