These are my personal reviews, and I like to preface my reviews with the following important caveat:
If you made a film for this competition, you're awesome. Reviews are just the opinion of some gimp on the interwebs, and should be viewed as such. If a reviewer is polite and constructive, try not to get butthurt if they didn't like your film; take it onboard for your next one, or, if you disagree, offer a polite rebuttal.
Cat & Mouse
First up in the heat, and I'm never sure if this is a good thing or a bad one. The good is that you've got nothing to live up to (unlike following a clearly awesome film with yours that was filmed on a potato) but the bad is that you can be long forgotten by the time it comes to fill in the voting forms.
This film set the bar high in terms of production value, however, so it certainly wouldn't have had to worry about following on from anything else. I was impressed simply by the number of shots in the film, let alone anything else.
The premise was that of a night cleaner (the title of the film was 'A Messy Night' I believe) in a commercial office who finds increasing numbers of potato chips littering the just-cleaned floor, put there by persons unknown.
I really liked the concept, and I felt it was well-executed. The photography was faultless (I think it was one of the better-looking films of the evening) and perhaps the only criticisms I might have are that  it lacked warmth (there was almost no dialogue, and it's a pretty hard ask to make engaging characters if they hardly speak) and  whenever someone did speak, they were very hard to hear (seemed like an in-camera mic).
Comedy of Errors
Next up was a comedy of errors from Awesome Bananas. The premise was that Charlie Flowers was quite the party animal (the film may have been called "No party without Charlie", perhaps?) and a bunch of people were sitting around reminiscing about the night before and all the zany antics that Charlie got up to.
I have to say that I didn't really feel this film hit its genre squarely, and its reliance on the party flashbacks (plus the large number of people on screen) meant that it wasn't possible to connect with any one character. The upshot was that it just felt a bit chaotic. Is that a comedy of errors, you could argue? Hmm.
I also felt that playing almost the entire film in reverse right before the climax was a bit unnecessary (dare I say it felt like filler?) but I could see what they were aiming for.
Not a bad effort, but not one of the standouts of the evening.
Bacon vs Lollipop
Bacon vs Lollipop is one of this year's many school teams (in this case, Diocesan Girls) and I think they did very well.
The setting was the election of the school's Head Girl, and set in the school itself. I thought this was a great way to make a film for a school team, because it's so very relevant to both the filmmakers and their peers.
The requisite plot devices were present and nicely utilised (heinous crimes, many potential suspects, gruesome murder depictions and clever methods of execution) and the twist was satisfying.
Indicative of its successful delivery was the fact that the younger members of our team enjoyed it and were able to quote parts of the dialogue during our journey home.
All in all, a really good effort.
Bald Faced Cheek
This was our film, so I can't review it. Feel free to roundly insult it in your own reviews, however!
The only disqualified film of our heat was Beat Down's horror offering. I've seen a lot of horrors in 48HOURS over the years, and if nothing else, I feel that this film actually had what horror is all about at its heart. However, the execution felt muddled to me. I couldn't really tell you what happened in the story?
It started out with two policeman escorting an obnoxious criminal in a car, who convinces them he needs to relieve himself then does a bunk. The police knock on the door of a local house, and one of them seems to know the homeowner (though I don't know how). Meanwhile, the criminal meets a grisly end in a nearby barn, which contains at least one other body (possibly more).
However, the story then gets bewildering, introducing more characters (none of which were particularly endearing) and frenetically charges towards a Blair Witch style climax that, to be fair, was excellently styled in terms of the genre (including the only full frontal male nudity I've seen at a heat).
So much potential, but ultimately, incoherent.
Lovers On The Run
I got the sense that Bedstuy might be a one-person team, based on the very singular credits at the end, and if so, it's certainly one very talented individual.
After we got through what seemed like eight individual team intro screens(!) we were told the animated story of Charlie Flowers and [???] Raspberry (forgive me, I forget her first name). The characters were utterly minimal (essentially coloured boxes with emoticon-style faces) but the film was packed full of heart.
I once watched a behind-the-scenes of Monsters Inc where the animators talked about the challenge of making a character with one big eyeball visually engaging, and I was reminded of that watching this film. The little coloured boxes evoked more empathy than most of the other characters we met throughout the heat, and I think that's a very impressive feat.
A simple, effective and ultimately successful film.
Black Banner Media
I have to confess, I have a liking for lo-fi films, and whilst this Mistaken Identity film wasn't winning any production awards, it was lots of fun.
The premise was that of two pizza delivery men who turn up at the wrong house and are mistaken for strippers by the hen's party going on there. The pair are cleverly mismatched; one's a boorish oaf, keen to keep up the masquerade, and the other's the shy young apprentice with quite justified misgivings about the situation they've found themselves in.
It was rough-edged and silly, and lots of fun. I found it to be exactly what I look for in a 48HOURS film. This got my number 2 vote (after our own film, of course).
Mmm, the Mystery genre... sounds fun, but is it a poisoned chalice? It's such a nebulous genre that some teams can struggle with it, which is perhaps what happened with Blackhawk9.
It seems to me that in their hearts, they wanted to make an action film. It was certainly engaging at the beginning, where a man in a carpark takes a couple hostage before murdering one senselessly. However, when the surviving victim returns to wreak justice, it's as if someone said "Oh, hey -- this is meant to be mystery!" and the film does a massive pivot. The characters seem like they could be endearing, but the confusion of plot doesn't give us a a chance.
Nice production values, and decent acting chops, I thought, but it does feel like the Mystery genre has claimed another victim here.
MORE REVIEWS TO FOLLOW IN NEXT COMMENT
BALD FACED CHEEK
Demystifying priapism to V48HOURS audiences for eleven long years
'11: Choir in the Blood
'10: Brown Means Earth
'09: The Green Menace
'08: Deep Heat
'07: Gun Man
'06: The Salvation of Patrick Carrots
'05: Touch of Spanner
'04: King of Bongo