Robbie Ellis


Member for
9 years 2 months

Another (mostly) one-man team effort here. Not the greatest acting in the world, really, but he did okay. The found footage genre suited the one-man team idea well. Otherwise, there's really not too much to commend it. It lacked pace, props notwithstanding it was pretty static, and although it tried to evoke drama it, well, didn't really. Still, everything else was in order so 2.5 stars.

Began with a bad American accent so I was pleasantly surprised to find it was a take-off of a dark, redneckish creeper film. Top marks for the line "37 seconds without nourishment. My body needs protein fast." - the delivery of that and many other lines was farkin' crack-up. The whole package (plot etc) was a little bare, but this team made a gross-out film with a tender ending - it was solid. 3.5 stars.

Despite beginning as what I thought was going to be a hip promo for Dunedin by the uni or the polytech or something (misdirection?), it turned into a schoolyard battle. Dance battle, that is. Tough call for a kid team to get Musical/Dance, but with the help of some broadly drawn characters they got through a pretty funny, intentionally crap dance battle. Nice use of slo-mo. Very solid effort, 3 stars by adult standards (I'm not just being nice!). Please keep entering!

This film held my attention. It was slow but thoughtful. There was a pay-it-forward type plot of spreading love and kindness throughout humanity with some lovely simple elements. The cuts between the magically coloured shirts were seamless, forgive the pun.

Despite the lack of dialogue, there was some totally annoying ambient hiss on the soundtrack. Don't know whether that was the film or the Castle St Lecture Theatre. That said, I could listen past it to hear a well put-together, simple, clear musical score. 4 stars, but the best of this heat so it got my 3 points.

Crappy location sound, open air location obvious for horror but worked with it pretty well. Some fun OTT gore in the foley and the recurring visual element of the meat cleaver was most evocative. Nice incorp of the mandatory character's name (incoming call on the iPhone), although the character itself was pretty tangential to the story, as I recall. Nothing to make the whole package stand out but a creditable 3 stars.

Damn fine solo effort from Mike Dillon! Well, pretty much entirely solo. There was a definite frisson in the room when we saw on the title card that a solo team was attempting a rom-com, but Mike thought about how to handle the genre in a very effective way. Nice pace, well constructed, and one hell of a nasty combination of foods. 4 stars for me, 2 points in the heat, and it got my yin-yang symbol for the film with that x-factor. Ka pai that man.

This team had a fun with the absurd, but it didn't sit 100% right. You guys needed to push the absurdity curve to really sell this super-hero, although in my mind I am making unfavourable comparisons with "Magnet Man" (superhero genre, Smoke or Fire, Auckland 2011, look it up). That said, when you let yourselves had fun, you knew how to do it. Creditable performance from Stephen Lawrenson as Captain Crimson.

Best element was the musical score from Tom Jensen (disclaimer: I know him). If only the rest of the film had been as bold as his imaginative reworkings of superhero, mystery and noirish soundtrack elements. Overall package: 3 stars.

Dawdling plot, no sense of pace, a big lot of nothingness in general. Lighting and location sound were pretty shoddy. Good effort trying to shoot in a car though, and the ending picked up dramatic tension in a pretty effective way. It's a shame about the 75% of the film which should have ended up on the cutting room floor. 1.5 stars, upgraded to 2 for a decent fist of the end.

A neat little crime thriller, quite first-person-shooter-like in a lot of places. Lots of corridors and targeted takings-out of henchmen. Fairly predictable plot but who cares.

Odd to see security footage with lovingly panned hand-held camerawork, but a badass music soundtrack made up for that. 3 stars.

A tight little story with a well-utilised small cast, and decent production values on the whole. It was narrated as a rhyming ode - I felt echoes of Dr Seuss - with well constructed anapaestic tetrameters. (Had to look that up.) One minor gripe: "clearing" does not rhyme with "swearing". Your New Zealand accent is the wrong one.

Let that not take away from a quick, simple, and effective short with an okay twist in the tale. Not memorable in the long term but good enough to get my 1 point in this heat. 7/10.

Err... this wasn't even on the voting form. I had to run after Team Cupcake Go's film but I'm reasonably sure this didn't play.

"Never work with children and animals." Apparently this company treats the word 'never' to mean 'only', and bloody well done they did too. Some charming stop-motion: the plot wasn't exactly iron-clad but the three children shone in front of the camera, the magic and illusions were played well and the photography looked great. Great effort, shame it was disqualified otherwise I would have given it points. Bravo!

Alright, all the narrative-is-king strict-genre-ist haters are going to come out of the woodwork and go "whine whine this wasn't a romcom because it didn't have the three strict plot points of boy meets girl boy loses girl boy wins girl back".

Well you know what? Stuff that. This team acknowledged the romance element, and it was a comedy in the Shakespearean sense with its ending... mostly. Yeah, it was unresolved, but life goes unresolved. Nobody ever has a movie-perfect romcom relationship. What you had here was two people from circumstances of varying degrees of screwed-upness finding each other... or not.

Make this into a film of between 20 and 90 minutes, extend the narrative arc to its logical conclusion (and back to its logical inception), and they've got something there. I'd watch it. I liked the teaser.

(Edit: nice job making Bobby Young a peripheral character, I liked the kid's spunky attitude.)

1 extra star for slipshod don't-give-a-fuck ADR in the car scene. That was freakin' hilarious, they should have done the whole film like that.

Great finishing line: "I want your balls Bobby! I want your balls!". Mostly nice humour, but yet another school bullied seeking revenge on the school bully. At least this time the hitchhiker had the creepiness to justify that story arc.

Pretty lo-fi production, but I laughed throughout.

Great intro, great animated logo. Very very impressed with both.

The quest was really really fun - some Inception/Truman Show-ish like crazy layers involved, but I think we mostly followed everything. Great humour. Cast of wackos. Very funny Entrapment reference... not to be a pervy old man but DAYUM she has the arse to pull it off.

Some sound balance issues, but it didn't detract. Easily the most entertaining of the night - I gave it my 3 points but only because I was jealous of Ruby Red. EXCELLENT RAIDER WOULD WATCH AGAIN+++

Good basic story, well enough acted, and the red enraged future-projection anger device was very well timed every time it came in. However, the picture was utterly ruined by audio levels all over the place. Get a soundie who knows their shit next time - good sound is not an optional extra. Lol to wireless mic pack in shot, so I suppose they were at least trying :-)

Damn near perfect. They did a serious musical - hard choice, but they pulled it off. Set in a cabaret bar, the costumes, make-up and demeanour were all fantastic. DOP deserves a medal too.

Richard Falkner's music was convincing. Nice intercutting of the couple on show to the public and couple in private in their dressing room - made that rhyme and was quite impressive. Style-wise the music complemented the visual décor but went further as well - the percussive sequence in the car I thought captured his character's emotion very well. Gemma Boyle's voice and acting were spine-chilling. Picture and audio synced perfectly, as far as I could tell.

What initially felt like disconnected plot elements resolved itself in a very very powerful way. I was going to give this a 4 for confusion until a lightbulb went off and I got it. 5 stars, no question.

Fun and lo-fi, but why all the Jew jokes at the beginning? Anyway, once they were out of the way the picture was entertaining enough. Keep making stuff but consider the relevance of any bad taste material you put in.

Looked and sounded superb (music-wise) but the bullied getting revenge on the ex-bully was not at all set up and didn't work. Some issues with dialogue levels, but they didn't detract too much.

Look, I couldn't follow this plot. However, it was intriguing the whole way. A good variety of characters too. There was revenge, but it wasn't set up well. However I don't care too much, it was watchable. Was a 3-star review but half a star off for lacking an apostrophe in one of your title cards.

Short, but that shouldn't work against it. Bobby Young made a moving and convincing speech, but when so much of the shooting was out of focus and the story was so brief, it's hard for me to feel inspired by it. And what was the fad again? I suppose attending university for the sake of it could be a fad, at a stretch.

(Disclaimer: I was on this team last year.)

Hillbilly horror movie: a creepy inbred family creeps out a romantically ruffianish travellin' man. Costumes were well sourced. Nice to see a road movie on bicycles - some of the physical comedy there was HILAARIous.

Mostly good acting, scripting was warped and over-the-top, but very entertaining nonetheless. Plenty of laughs, a good crowd favourite. I gave this my 1 point.

Bloody great visuals - this DOP has an eye for a shot, that's for sure. Strayed into arty for the sake of arty territory just a bit, but I forgive them.

Well acted (essentially one actress only). No dialogue apart from the obligatory line at the end: every so often a film makes me disappointed that one of the compulsory elements in 48 is a set of words. Chilling musical soundtrack was very well executed.

Some clothing continuity errors (how'd she go from full wetsuit to no pants in two consecutive shots? I don't think there was any paranormal justification for it...) but this got my 2 points.

Cuuuute! Stop-motion mother hen and baby chick at a modern art exhibition. Plenty of funny material within the artwork itself, some serious attention to detail. Voices were characterful and enhanced everything. Only 2-2.5 minutes in duration but it told what it needed to tell then got out of the way. I do wish they'd added another 20 seconds to show us what happened on the moment of body-switch. Regardless, they got my 3 points, well done.

Production was a bit lo-fi, but the mystery was certainly there. It held my interest, pacing was good, and it was definitely watchable. Also a noteworthy set for their shoot (a boat/ferry/ship/some waterborne vessel). They definitely acknowledged the line.

Impressive script for a young team, they did well on few resources. They touched all the bases of a revenge movie, the plot was easily followable, and the characters were good value. Gratuitous planking reference means this 3-star review gets revised down to 2.5. I'd like to see more from them in future years.

(Edit: steelpotato reminded me of the puerile homophobia. Yeah, that wasn't cool at all - whoever wrote the script, please grow up. The world has gay people in it and you shouldn't be afraid of them. Review now 2 stars.)

A brave choice to set a one-room movie in a retail dressing room, but the acting and the overall story didn't back it up. There were some interesting ideas in the script, but it didn't gel. Alas, it's another school bully who gets her/his comeuppance and this story didn't deliver, probably because we didn't get to know the off-screen characters well enough.

I can imagine some idiot teenagers in Wellington copying this film! Their fad was "cabling" - surreptitiously riding residential funiculars in hilly Wellington suburbs when their owners are away from the house. They made a convincing subculture sort of like that of urban explorers, with their own hand gestures, lingo, photographic evidence etc. The cabler characters were fantastic, although the Bobbie Young character didn't quite gel.

It missed a golden opportunity when the homeowner didn't take revenge on her cablers - or at least let us see what she had in store. Very watchable though - I'd watch again.

Good to see a team that thought long and hard about One Room and how to make it work: a cast of about a dozen who enter and exit over the course of a party.

Best opening to the film: when awkward guy busts through the door and the whole room falls silent, even the intelligent lights on the ceiling stopped moving too.

Shooting style was great: it gave a comprehensive picture of the room with a lot of people in it. Nice payoff in that the (ex-)bully had to use a broom for his demise, although the logical freeze-frame ending would have been the moment of impact with the piñata, surely?

Was a hard choice for me, but I couldn't quite give this my 1 point. 4th best of the night for me.

My notes read "Best intro yet", but I can't remember what the intro was. Oh no wait, that's right, it was the 8-bit gamey looking one. Yeah, that was awesome!

Good visuals marred by horrible sound. Some good acting from the Bobby Young magician type in particular, and the forest chase worked well (with added animation). Kind of felt like their primary focus was "omg we can do these cool VFX", not "we need have the basics of the audio in order".

And another body-switch movie that wasn't a body-switch movie.

Loveable Igor-like character, some great acting from the little girl and fucking well done on the blood and gore. More horror than quest, but they definitely acknowledged the quest element. Line of the night for "Poopies!"

Hilarious "your head asplode" moments. Ironically, in a heat where the Body-Switch team didn't make it to the finish line, we have two films (the other was Squint Eastwood's) which could have been Body-Switch. Nice. I think I gave this my 1 point.

Le plot était slow et intringuing, mais il y avait not much development. Quite français in its telling, a choice intéressant. (Je suppose que you work avec the actors you have.) C'était sorta creepy but sorta not, I felt that le factor de creepiness à la fin didn't really payer off. Il y avait mystery, mais peut-être too much mystery. Lost its way, but mostly très engaging nonetheless. I gave it "un point".

They hit all the right beats for horror, but I think it needed a musical soundtrack to tell it properly. The story was told well enough. What creepiness there was was right creepy, but maybe it needed more.

The moral of the story for me: always hit Apple-S when you've just finished a project.

My notes say "I liked the team intro", but I can't remember now what the intro was.

Four very well-drawn and well-played characters (although the ninja lost some mystique when he came back at the end). Plot was mostly in place, although maybe there wasn't enough motivation to it? The musical soundtrack was appropriately badass, it was well-shot, the sound was all there, and the slow-mo walk down the Boulcott St-Plimmers Steps tunnel was priceless. Best of all, this short incorporated probably the only planking reference in the whole competition that actually worked.

I want to give this 4 stars or even 4.5, but it completely failed to acknowledge the genre of road movie. So 3 stars max.

Liked the Scottish villain, och aye. Some great creative thinking in how to apply special effects, nicely done. Likeable characters, the delivery girl was a particularly hilarious throwaway character. Great fun from a young team, I'd watch more from them.

There was nothing. I liked the device of the taxi driver seeing different people and in the right hands it could have been something clever. However there was no continuous thread, just a string of couples going to the same place for a possibly-alluded to swingers' party. Some nice acting and some nice little moments of awkward dialogue well played, but that's all this film was: moments. No narrative whatsoever, and in Rom-Com, the most stock-standard narrative of all genres, no narrative means no film.

Possibly a contender for Best Worst Acting in this 48 Hours. Costuming and location was great (Rongotai College used as a prefab army base was a particularly good score), but otherwise I think it got a bit lost and its plot didn't pack a bunch.

And was it just me who missed the bent piece of wire?

Nice response to the genre, they certainly played it to... type.

Costume and locations came from a specific period and looked good, on that count they were... Victorious.

They let slip a few modern anachronisms in their language: some detracted but others were perfectly... timed.

The use of Bach's Prelude in C was a little cliché, and the instrumentation grated on my ears: nobody was using harpsichords in the late 19th century. That just doesn't work for me no matter how you... spinet.

Yeah sorry, some'll say I'm a musical pedant and I should give them more credit, so now I'll leave them... a-loan.

Last of all, their chosen fad was conversation, verbal dexterity, wordplay. They gave it a good... pun-t.

I missed the first three films in Heat 9, but Sammy was easily the best of the night out of the rest. They took the One Room genre/limitation/whatever, combined it with Revenge, and took both elements to perfection (or close enough). The power/relationship dynamics of avenger and avengee were definitely not your usual, I'll say that much, but they absolutely sold it. Two great acting performances as well - I really hope Mrs Dickson gets nominated for Best Actress (didn't get the actress's name!).

Great shooting, a little claustrophobic (although I was sitting in the front row, so everything looks shit there), but the camerawork told the tale well. Three-dimensional storytelling, very economical, long on allusion and jigsaw pieces, short on clunky exposition, bloody great. Would have been 3 points to them had I seen the whole heat.

Really enjoyed the snazzy-looking art deco fashion - and not just that, but the acting style and demeanour of all the characters fitted the period too. This was a silent film and they played it well. Made it hard to acknowledge the compulsory line, but they managed. Well done! Shame it had been disqualified.

Told with a lot of heart! Yeah, production values were a bit ropey, but they spent a lot of time on some tricky stop-motion, so well done to them. Amusing song. I liked it.

Didn't say much, really. I could see what they were trying to do, but it was all a bit heavy-handed and confused. And Bobby Young the big bad bully from school with the school reunion coming up? Yeah, nah. Didn't sell it for me.

Lovely music. I'm a composer therefore I'm biased to listen out for it, but the music in this film was one of the highlights of my evening. Very telling that even though the action had finished and the credits had begun, nobody applauded until the music was over. Kudos to whoever did it, I can't remember your name from the credits sorry.

There were moments in the film in which it veered into LTSA drink drive advert territory, and I felt the story wasn't really sharply enough in focus. It was well shot (nice car bonnet shot by the way), the sound was all there, but story-wise it seemed like it had more to give, it didn't fully deliver all that it could have. Still, this would have got my 2 points (I didn't vote, because I missed the first three films in the heat).

ONE STAR and you guys should be fuckin' proud of it. This is a Z-movie, shot to (look) shit, and went brilliantly over the top in its overall lack of production values, plot and acting chops. I bloody loved it (pun intended), and it got my biggest laugh of the night... probably the only mid-film applause in the whole heat.

And remember, kids, horoia ō ringaringa.

(PS: I just disliked my own review because it is 1-star. You should too.)

Well enough shot, but it didn't say particularly much. I think it tried too hard with the moa-tui-kea analogy. The ADR was a bit ropey, but good on you for giving it a go instead of putting up with shit location sound. (They shot on Wellington's South Coast.)

Shooting & acting good, Paul Stephanus as the psychiatrist did particularly well. The Superhero nature of things was played cheesily enough, nicely done. Lots of laugh-"ooh-too-far"-groans from the audience, pushed our buttons. Song was funny. Great ending. Job well done! (NB: I came late and missed the first three films, but had I voted I would have given this my 1 point.)