Call me old fashioned, but I think a high school movie needs to have a high school in it.
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I liked the concept, and the performances were fun. Its weird to say this in a five minute film, but I thought you could have cut about 30% of the chaff and made the film much tighter and, thus, more impactful.
My second-favourite of the heat - a well executed homage to the Black Mirror style which, while familiar, allows you to utilise audience familiarity with the genre to get to your story.
A lot of reviewers wondering if the 'silent film' style was on purpose or forced - and I say, who cares? It was funny, and incorporated the best use of the door-slamming element from the entire heat. The bigger problem for me was that it didn't fit the genre. A good attempt, but needs to embrace the genre more closely to really hit it out of the park.
The criticism here is a little unfounded. Yes, the idea of two men taking revenge on a women who rejected them is socially problematic, but in the context of a splatstick movie - which tend to tackle socially-problematic themes head on and subvert viewer desires, while being needlessly gory - it made perfect sense. This was a funny film and I'm glad the writers made the choices they did.
An interesting idea, but writing and performance let it down somewhat.
In my experience, this looked and felt like a heist movie - and the camerawork was fantastic, especially during the pool table scene. As others have said though, it definitely felt as if it lacked those visual effects, and the narration could have been more constant and cut through a little more. Plus, the dead guy blinking repeatedly during the final shot kind of took the gloss off the ending.
One of my favourites of the heat - I thought it was well shot, the leads were well matched and performed well, and the concept and execution was solid. And I got a laugh at the end to boot.
I agree with spurdburt - there was no passage of time visible in the performances: the behaviour of the leads would be quite different after a decade together, and you didn't really get a sense of the closeness that would have formed between them over that time. Plus, I think its a tough out for this film in this heat; its hard for a serious film when all the other films are tackling their genre with tongue firmly in cheek. Performances and concept were really good, and the film itself was well put together (and shot beautifully) but it definitely needed more emphasis on showing that passage of time.
Honestly, when the title card said "Musical + The Back From The Dead Movie", I got excited.
Timing out your action to some music does not a musical make. Plus, the non-existent rapport between the cast members made it feel like they didn't really want to be doing this.
I once sat next to Joseph Coughlan on a work bus trip; I'm glad I saw this film AFTER that happened.
Seriously, loved the concept, thought the execution was fantastic and the story unexpected, and I enjoyed the use of paper cutouts to fill in gaps in the story - an excellent way to fit more than five minutes of narrative into a five minute film. Well done team!
The best film of the heat, and I am certain a front-runner for placement in the regional and national finals. Dallas and Hweiling were perfectly cast, and framing the story in a retelling of The Night Before Christmas was completely, one-hundred-percent the right choice. Best of luck in the competition, team; I'll be cheering for you.
I'll be honest - this film was good when the subject was an allegory for something else (like a zero-budget Flashdance about screaming). But that final title card that explained the screaming law was real totally ruined that illusion, and took the gloss off the entire film.
Best team intro of the heat, period - I loved it! The film itself ... solid idea, well executed. I thought it was pretty fun and the notion of Santa sending a reindeer to do his dirty work is a funny one. Good stuff.
Like others have mentioned, it wasn't entirely clear what was going on - and part of that is due to bad sound. And the opening scene was so un-steampunk that it might as well have taken places in a McDonalds. Plus, reusing the same props and costumes mean that it almost blurs into last years film; I thought it might have been a sequel, to be honest.
Judging from the other reviews, I think I liked this film more than most! I thought it was a pretty good story with a strong lead performance, and the various reveals were rolled out well (and without a lack of clarity). My main criticism would be that the various iterations of "Rhoda" looked almost TOO different from each other. Well done, though.
I really enjoyed this film - an example of overcoming technical limitations with a strong story that has been well-executed through performance and dialogue. And I'm glad you didn't reveal what she said; it makes the audience complicit in whatever the act was, as we're all forced to imagine it for ourselves.
I think it's all been said already: good performances, solid (albeit derivative) story idea and some interesting visuals - but the "next sacrifice" voiceover was annoying to the point of distraction, and there was a disconnect between some of the scenes. Like, it was interesting to me that the overlord or master was willing to accept one person sacrificing his addiction, giving him an almost altruistic motive, but that didn't line up with accepting a sacrifice of a voice or a bunch of fingers. Some consistency there would have made this a six-star film, even with the annoying voiceover.
A very well made film - the visuals and style were strong, and placed it in the top half of the heat for me. I just thought the story was lacking here, and the blatant Blair Witch homage totally took me out of an otherwise engrossing short.
I can forgive most elements of a film, but a bad sound mix is something I find super-distracting. And sadly that is what happened to me here - the bad mix contributed to not being into the story, which meant I was starting to pick apart everything. I won't go into detail because, as I say, the root cause was the sound. Better luck next time.
As a relative newcomer to your work, I enjoyed the minimalism and the slice-of-life style - I actually thought it was one of the better films in the heat. And the use of the Wilhelm Scream as a ringtone was good with me; it was the only example of using the sound element that way that I've seen. If anything, I thought maybe the music could have been a bit more direct and in-your-face; a bit more gusto in the singing and music would have gone a long way toward selling the film overall. But otherwise, good stuff.
A really strong idea with a good cast that was let down by a lack of coherence (it felt like we jumped from one scene to the next without being clear what was happening; maybe more time would have helped) and some visual issues (the picture wasn't too clear at some points, and the framing of some shots - especially the customer service centre shots - seemed a little off. And for me, naming the neighbour character Esmerelda was distracting; I think that particular name connotes fairy tale and myth, so I formed that connection in my head and it didn't pay off.
I enjoyed the opening scene, playing with the multiple meanings of "revolting", but I just think there was more story than time here - trim back a couple of characters and streamline some of the plot points, and you'd be on to a winner. From a technical standpoint, this was one of the stronger films I saw. (And unrelated, but I was delighted to see Olivia Mahood on screen; Olivia will likely cringe, as I do, remembering the film I produced in Whangarei that she starred in back in 2009.)
I like a bit of absurdism every now and then, but this one was bewildering.
One of my favourites in the heat and I would think a good shot to get through to at least the regional finals! I thought this had a great concept (it was almost like a take-down of gentrification and/or the rise of Etsy) and a real sense of style, and the performances were strong across the board. If I were nitpicking, I'd say the idea of subverting expectations of the type of person who would sell drugs isn't necessarily a unique one (see: Weeds, Breaking Bad) - but hell, that isn't a crowded space and there is plenty of ground still uncovered there. Like other reviews here, I think this is a strong idea for an ongoing comedy series. Best of luck in the comp!
I think the team write-up goes some way to explaining some of the problems with this one.
Better luck next year, team.
Okay, yes, the costumes and props looked fantastic. Probably the best of this heat, even.
But, to be honest, it felt a little like they were the starting point for the film. Like, the planning started with "we have these great costumes and props" and you kind of worked it from there - which is how we ended up with an unnecessary time travel subplot in a bechdel movie.
Time travel movies are confusing enough - you definitely needed to straighten out your timeline on this one!
I was a little surprised it was DQ'd - I'm guessing because of the genre (which, to be fair, is probably a good reason).
But I thought the idea was funny, the execution solid, and there were plenty of great moments stuffed into the few minutes you had to play with.
If the genre was the problem, I would say to just make sure you've satisfied that in your planning before moving on to writing the script.
Serious movies - those that take their genre head on and don't try to have a laugh at it or themselves - are a hard task at 48Hours.
In the case of The Inheritance, I think the idea just wasn't as solid as it needed to be for a film of this type and style. The framing and visual style was pretty good. It just didn't have a strong story behind it.
Another of my favourite films in this heat: a really funny idea for a mystery, and executed really well - and some of the cutaways (the cup full of sugar, the piano player) were fantasticly funny.
I think VFS and DuncanPacey have said all that needs to be said: film didn't fit the genre, and was badly executed to boot.
The good news is that those are two things you can pretty easily fix on your next project.
Quite possibly my favourite film of this heat - I thought the idea was really funny, the execution near perfect, and the ending inspired. Great work, team!
I had a good laugh at the ending, and I thought the film was pretty well put together. The somewhat tired story device of having the camera man involved in the action (thanks for nothing, found footage films) is used well here - and the visual flourishes (primarily lighting changes) were effective when used. But it did feel like putting a square peg in a round hole: it wasn't really a horror idea, and felt more like fitting a good idea into a genre it didn't fit well. A pretty good effort though!
The story was solidly thought out and funny (the idea of hiding a dead body on a kids playground is some good dark comedy), but the technical side let it down somewhat. But if you guys stick at it, keep improving the technical side of your craft, you could definitely be a team to watch in future.
The sound mix - even before it dropped out entirely - was bad, to the point of distraction.
But I think the reaction to the film, even when the sound was gone, shows that there is some great talent in this team. And if the technical aspect (sound, especially, but also edit timing to a degree) of the film can rise to meet the clever and funny visual style (shot choices, what to show/not show, framing), then you could be on to something pretty special with future films.
I think most of what could be said has been said already - the sound mix wasn't good, and the story was hard to follow.
I also agree with some of the sentiment about working in more of your unique cultural perspective in your future projects.