John Sidewaysface

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6 years 3 months

Memorable visuals and confident performances make this film stand-out. Unneededly erratic editing and a slightly foggy story-telling lose this film points. Unique though and it should really be commended for that.

The slick, professional visuals and a serviceable performance from the lead don't sufficiently compensate for the woe-fully predictable story (you know exactly what's going to happen about 30 seconds in) and teeth-grinding performances from everyone else - this film clearly had some talent behind the camera, why not in front of it too?

The final twist was telegraphed from the beginning and the tension is drawn out far too long quickly becoming annoying and grating. The one long scene with a couple of inserts at the top and bottom structure means that this feels like one long incomplete beat and not like a whole film to itself.

Sheer flair, puns, and confidence almost carry off this absurd action spectacle (with a PLANE!) but it just goes on too long. What should have been a bishbashbosh action extreme becomes uncomfortable and unneedly drawn out.

Technically polished and there is an interesting beginning of an idea in here but the fact that they don't develop it at all means this ends up as more a list of, admittedly amusing, gags rather than any kind of a story. Production value tail wagging the narrative dog here.

You can see what they're trying to do but that doesn't change the fact that they don't come close to achieving it. Several blatant internal logical inconsistencies (as steel potato discusses above) make the plot hard to both follow and care about. Clearly influenced by Children of Men to the point of occasional unintended parody (I think that ear-ringing after a loud noise sound effect should be deleted from sound designers computers). Performances were good for a clearly young and inexperienced team.

Lots of really good ideas here - though one did get the sense that they were going to do a body swap film no matter what genre they got assigned - and some really nice beats are let down by technological limitations making large parts totally illegible. Which is sad because there was a lot to like in here if you could make it out. Also, what is with the inexplicable and drawn out fight scene?

'Interesting but unself-consciously cliche' kinda describes the whole thing. The story of a couple going back over their happier days is very well-worn and this adds little flair or invention to its already well tilled soil. The confidant, if uninspired, execution makes up for a lot and the performances are solid.

Trying to do far too much so ended up seeming confused and muddled. The moments of interesting interaction between realities and a few cracker lines - the delivery of 'She'll need a new FACE' was a definite highlight - don't survive the gear-stripping crunch of changes in genre. Also, sound balance issues made the ostensible "songs" almost illegible.

Earns a lot of points by taking this years prop and running with it. All over Wellington it seems as the final chase between the conjoined twin protagonists and the leaf creature showed in its inexorable and somewhat wearying length. It's good for a film to leave you thinking and I still cannot help but wonder why this wasn't called 'Leaf Me Alone'?

Funny moments and some strong performances were really undermined by a tangible absence of real structure or pace. Everything just went on a bit too long.