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160 Reviews

Reviews

Wool You Be Mine

A really great effort at what is one of the hardest genres to get right - you guys nailed it. A little yarn (ha) about the lengths Charlie Flowers'd go for love. Very funny gags, both visual and verbal (crochet needles and puns come to mind) and a hilarious GHOST moment. Diverse locations give it a nice bit of visual variety too. My one complaint is that while Mr Flowers was very thoughtful in getting the girl of his dreams, he broke the shearer's strike and so is nothing more than a scab and class traitor who cared not a jot about the demands of the agrarian proletariat who will quite rightly have him up against the wall one day.

Stiff

a sweary Weekend at Bernie's here. great performances from the 3 leads with lots of comedy. at points it did feel a bit too-montagey, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Mixtapeworm

an oblique-sort of musical that takes place in some nightmarish parallel-universe where people put actual worms in their ears. oblique because the 'musical' part comes in through the setting/jobs of the characters and the film being structured around parts of a symphony (or something idk anything about music i just watch movies, man) rather than, y'know, actual songs. the earworm anatomy at the start was cool and i really liked the main man's principled anti-coldplay stance.

Safe Again

This one was well put-together. The editing in particular was a highlight: punchy and fast-paced with an excellent smash cut: from the sinister reveal of the pipe in the assailant's hand to the aftermath of its use on the two victims. The colour-grading on the flashback scenes was a little off - I understand what you were going for but it didn't quite work for me. An unnecessary Americanism also rankled me: it's called a boot, ya jerk! Coming full-circle back to the church was a nice touch at the end that tied it all together nicely.

Cotton Tail

'be careful what you wish for' is the message here when our man steals easter by running over the eponymous bunny. pretty funny - the father/son phone conversation particularly stands out. some nice gore and a touch of blasphemy for good measure. the pacing was fairly sluggish which unfortunately holds the film back.

Road Tripping

Stoner comedy as some choofers get locked in their car. Chemistry between the two leads was undeniable and there were some impressive, surreal setpieces (particularly looking under the seat). Unfortunately the stoned banter gets dull after a while and there wasn't enough of anything else to sustain the piece. The smoke in the car was impressive and the realistic bong sound was appreciated.

Ride

While this DRIVE spoof is essentially one joke, it's saved by the fact that it's hilarious. Flash cars and sock puppets. The opening was spot-on with the night-time driving montage, synth music and day-glo cursive font. Lil bro was very funny too.

Dive Dive Dance!!!

pretty inspired 'musical' set on a submarine. the sets were great and so were the performances. let-down by the poor integration of the song and dance numbers, and i got some bad vibes from the team - seemed like they were being arseholes cos they got musical. still, their overt reluctance has its own dickish charm

When one door closes

this is the film for you if you've ever thought that the 48hours is lacking movies about doorknobs. a door-to-door doorknob salesman gets some swag that helps him prey on housewives but in the process forgets where he came from. an odd film with an odd ending. alphonse is a suitably outlandish name for the main man's brother.

Fall

was it green screen gone wrong in those scenes? totally bizarre! loved the 2nd detective and the ludicrous leaf-blowing sequence - pretty fun movie

Killer Nazi Zombies from Outer Space

I had pretty high expectations after reading this one's title and it did not disappoint: total trash from start to finish. The plot's as thin as you'd expect but the team really relish the opportunities the Z-grade genre affords them: sick combat rolls, concealed clipboards, buxom badasses, UFO SFX courtesy of the warehouse stationery, an appropriately-moustachioed villain and the absolute BEST zoom in the Hamilton heats milked to perfection. Great romp, probably the only film that was close to getting a standing ovation before the title card had finished.

I'll Tell You How It's Gonna Be

Guy rescues the girl from the baddies. The boss bad guy and henchman were a good duo - suited their roles. I liked the smash cut but then immediately showing it to be a hypothetical lessened the impact a bit (even when it is shown to have actually happened). Bad guy 2 knocking himself out by running into a tree really cracked me up, and I liked how the title was incorporated into the structure of the film. I also liked putting the victim into the boot of the car when the boot's not a separate compartment.

Follow

a very well-presented horror that kept the suspense building throughout. excellent music and jumpy frights. my favourite of the heat despite the unedited final scene!

Horrific True Crime Stories

Hilarious take on those "Police 10/7" type things, this time tackling the heinous crime of movie piracy. I love the title and the narration is so over the top but fits perfectly ("TOYOTA CORROLER" had me in stitches). And for such a silly short it has probably the most high-brow film reference I've ever seen in the 48hour.

Lost in Cyberspace

'don't judge a book by its cover' story set around somebody getting in the wrong uber. strong Kath & Kim vibes from the driver- nice touch. best use of green screen for all the driving scenes, imparted this charming jenkiness to the proceedings. Lots of people were climbing trees to get that overhead shot but did you guys climb a lamp post? seemed pretty high up whatever it was!

Shazzo

an homage to AMERICAN BEAUTY (yeah you know the shot) opens this one as Hamilton's Mena Suvari sings her love for a plastic bag. This was a slick production, everything looked really nice and some super-smooth camerawork throughout. Really loved the thick as New Zealand accent in the singing and also the thorough use of the best dump shop in the country. When the 'best use of non-english dialogue' was announced i thought there'd be heaps of shoehorning in of foreign dialogue- turned out that hasn't really been the case but man i cracked up at your random portuguese-sepaking (or spanish? lo siento) dude at the end there. and a fantastic post-credit shot too.

Triggered

Really well-produced short that was visually slick and told a good story to boot. Well-composed and interesting shots from the get-go are a sign that this is a team that knows what they're doing. Maybe over-ambitious to break such a short film into chapters, but it still managed to work. I especially enjoyed chapter 2 - very spooky vibes. Not much more to be said apart from a shout-out to the editor (particularly in the club scene) and nice company car.

Cindy Inc

has that crucial element of horror where it basically tells you what is going to happen right at the start: dude buys some doodacky that alters his brain chemicals that specifically tells him not to use all 5 settings at once at it will cause neurological damage (SPOILER: he gets neurological damage). really enjoyed the interaction with the flatmate "fuck you bro, this is gonna be awesome" - classic line. love that shot over Resolution Drive and I really believe that some cyber-zombie could wonder around Rototuna without anyone batting an eye, so it's somewhat realistic i guess. the shot of the insinkerator was really well done, everyone knew what was coming next. And of course the silhouette shot..... extremely tasteless, crass etc. but someone had to do it! if the judges weren't cowards (you heard me) this would definitely win that category.

The Spies Who Knew Nothing

really simple set-up here, a spy vs spy thing with heaps of swearing and a really good back-and-forth between the leads. silly fun.

Alienation

Short and sweet - the bulk of the film is a rather one-sided dialogue between an interplanetary immigration official and an illegal alien. A great, manic performance from the bureaucrat complemented very nicely by the straight-faced Jovian of few words. Beyond that there's not too much else going on here which is a bit of a shame as it's a good concept that had the potential to be fleshed out a little more. That said, the original music was very nice and there are some great special effects (both CGI and practical) so the film still satisfies.

Cut Loose

A relationship is hampered by a menacing third-wheel. This is a slick, well-produced short - the crew know what they're doing and it shows. The scene in the cupboard stands out in my mind as probably the best-lit shot of the night and the drone-shot of the endless suburbs was a nice touch. It was the performance of the 'bad seed' that was the highlight for me - a brooding, stark figure who contrasted very well with the other characters (costuming was good in this regard). What lets it down is the writing. Some clunky pillow-talk opens the film and there were a few gaps in the narrative (understandable when you've only got 5 minutes and need to push along). After the 'reveal', what we've just seen unravels a bit too: the female character was acting like there were two other people... it's hard to explain but the flashbacks and the rest of the film don't quite read right in my head after we learn who the bad seed really is (I might just need another viewing though).

The Birthday Card

A very well-done take on your Harold Lloyd-type film. Charlie "Chaplin" Flowers goes through a series of trials and tribulations in trying to deliver a birthday card to his mother. Some brilliant visual comedy (I'd list examples but basically every set-up is great). But was that bald guy really that bald guy who's running for mayor? if yes, 1 star - don't encourage the bastards!

Buddy's Budget Hitman Service

starts with an ad for the eponymous contract killer and then we follow someone who's just started working for Buddy. Buddy's character was played very well because almost immediately I was hoping he'd get killed off for being such a dick. The lighting was flash, particularly in the interior 'stakeout' scene. Some jokes, a good action-movie one-liner and effective use of comic sans font.

Hamiltoff

so the schtick here is that any Hamilton team that drew 'dystopia' already had the set dressed for them. Great montage at the start - gave the film some local colour which led onto a sort of poetry jam in Garden Place with some great calls and plenty of opportunities to drop microphones. Very funny performances all round in this clever take on the genre. It should probably be used as an advertisement for Hamilton in the same way that they called Greenland Greenland and Iceland Iceland.

Broken Passage

Frankton train station takes on metaphorical qualities as someone tries to break a cycle of events that brought them to death. Thought that the prop action wasn't going to get better than the olde pocket watch but then there was an actual coffin? woah. the lighting for the interior scene was so moody- really fit the vibe there. the song (which I'm gonna assume is an original composed for the comp) was a real stand-out too. the story probably went over my head (hard to catch all the subtleties first go-round) but somebody said to me it's pretty similar to some television serial they've got on that internet television they've got these days.

Melvin's Missing Flame

Really lush stick-puppet film. The colours of the characters and backdrops were really nice - fantastic art direction from this team. Once we're into the story it starts off well but sags a bit - largely because there's not much conflict or resistance to the characters achieving their goal: they go on a walk and aside from one little backtrack they arrive. However the endings of both the fairytale and the framing story are great. I loved the budget Wizard of Oz "you had what you wanted all along" resolution and as someone else said the scream was very well-integrated.

Cabin in the Wool

Opened with a brilliant little gag which nicely lets us know who's the comic relief. Kind old man turns out to not be so kind in a little story-within-the-story told beside a roaring fire. The young and old Charlie were well-cast, they looked just like each other! A good-looking short but it meanders and does not stick to one location.

Lasting Impressions

gutted you fellas missed out on cringe/gross-out comedy but still managed to deliver plenty of gags here. draws from lots of fin de siecle films, most clearly MEET THE PARENTS but also demonstrates a familiarity with the oeuvre of the Farrelly brothers (surely missed out on a THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY-style semen joke with the shaving foam!) competently-executed and was a big hit with the crowd. I really liked how it was male nudity that brought the characters together in the end- lovely

I Heart NZ?

one man rap with colourful effects. if it wasn't for the rotoscope thing it would just be a guy saying some populist, nationalist mince into a camera. romantic comedy is a bit of a stretch. still gotta give credit for doing it alone though

Playback

it was cool not having a 100% found footage film. looked really nice too. i didn't like the plot though, it was too hard to follow so I couldn't tell you what it was about - i'd like to see it again though

A Bloody Bad Goodbye

Picking up immediately after the events in the first film, the corpse gets a meatier role in this sequel. The continuity was impressive as everyone had the same costumes and it kicked off at the same location. The gore looked great and I thought the Wilhelm scream was very nicely utilised. Didn't quite follow or understand the reasons for the zombie's change of heart - that 5 minute limit is a killer. Good on ya for being the only Ultra team in Hamilton. TRIVIA: my mother texted me on shoot weekend and said someone was on Ann Street making a film with Mormon characters in it.

Subject 102

An intriguing opening film for the Hamilton heats. A guy is pursued by a variety of villains and drugged by mysterious captors. The car graveyard was a great location and the 'reveal' was well-handled, coming towards the end and answering the main question of "what the heck is going on?". Solid story and few technical hitches.

Dude, that's your sister!

Gleefully tasteless puppet incest musical. The puppets looked really good and the film was well-produced overall. You can get away with a lot when you don't have actual actors on screen - pretty gratuitous sex scene in this one that really adds to the ribaldry. A few other gross-out gags (the kitchen-aid shot in particular). The musical component was pulled off really well - a shame it was the only one in Hamilton this year!

Don't Cry Over Spilt Slushies

A girl is remarkably unperturbed after finding an alien in the bush and begins to teach it how things are done down on Earth. The bulk of the film's a montage of the alien learning human ways, but by the end it's learnt enough German-accented English to freak out at an incompetent waiter. It ended quite abruptly but the brevity and simplicity of this one was appreciated.

Ride 2

Lucky draw with the genres presented this opportunity to SnowForge to make a sequel to their 2016 hit. Different enough to the original in that it's now a more straight narrative film rather than a documentary-style thing, but still lots of the same jokes are brought out. The story is developed quite well and the difference between the two brothers is nicely shown. The stunt driving sequences were great and the costuming (idk what else to call it) for the big brother was really good. A pretty slick production that's set itself up for a threequel.

Playback

it was cool not having a 100% found footage film. looked really nice too. i didn't like the plot though, it was too hard to follow so I couldn't tell you what it was about - i'd like to see it again though

The Thread

An absolutely fantastic horror here. Everything was perfect: the sound, the POV perspective, the colour, the location, the vibe, the editing. Extremely visceral opening when the protagonist falls off the slab and just never lets up. A masterpiece of minimal storytelling - few details but very evocative, everything necessary to scare the pants off any audience (I'm sure I heard some "oh no"s from the crowd tonight). This one is going to be very hard to beat. Excellent work.

Wool n Time

The most out there version of Charlie Flowers we've seen yet - as some sort of hyper-intelligent monolith-esque ball of wool nudging humanity (I guess) along, helping us not only evolve but rock the party too. Very impressive effort all-round: nice music and excellent animation.

Love Arktually

a sustained assault on good taste and decency - ban this sick filth!

Special K

Essentially an extended chase scene following some shady exchange in a car park (classic). Some of the sound was a little quiet, including dialogue and muffled punches but thankfully most of what you need to know in this film takes place before your eyes. Really liked the ineffectual attempts to slow down the pursuer. And of course the reveal... well done - you earned that awful pun. One part did almost make me suspend my disbelief... who the heck unwraps a kebab like that?

Who Are You?

Loved the intro - pitch-perfect perfume piss-take (pour homme). Weird little Fight Club-thing at the train station (nice spot). The mistaken identity didn't quite come through for me, but the film looked slick as and the fights were really crunchy: excellent sound design and choreography. (you get an extra star for the intro)

Love is a Crime

First of all: sweet ride. Good effort for what could be a tough genre. 3 guys break into an ex's house on a recovery mission. Good bustle and energy in the raiding scene: lots of action going on and excellent use of space. Some great visual gags (with a nicely incorporated rack focus) and a few funny lines - including a gross-out last line that had me a little embarrassed at how much I laughed at it. that can only be a good thing

Sticks and Stones

it looked good - well shot, great costumes, excellent locations and cool SFX - and was pretty well acted, but that's about it. story was hard to follow and it brought nothing to the table except the usual fantasy cliches.

Pick a crown

A video dating service for those with a taste for princesses. Lots of piece-to-camera interviews mixed with some behind-the-scenes/outtakes. Took a while for me to warm to this one cos of the kinda mockumentary-vibe but I got swept up with the manic, anarchic energy that takes over. Really lewd gags delivered thick & fast and lots of humour milked from the princess' inflated views of themselves crashing against the narrator's dry attitude. Effective editing but a few sound issues (the dialogue was sometimes a bit quiet). The "natural wind" was funny and all the performers really committed to the silliness of their roles.

Knock, Knock...

This one is so good. Really swish editing in the opening montage, as well as extremely impressive props and costuming (i hope nobody gets fired for borrowing work stuff!) But what's really outstanding is the sheer malevolence of the antagonist. The film has a really evil, heavy vibe that could be drawn from many sources and is open to interpretation (I was picking-up a strong anti-euthanasia message).. I'm having a hard time expressing how much this one got to me- it's just a stone-cold real good, grimy horror.

Fall

was it green screen gone wrong in those scenes? totally bizarre! loved the 2nd detective and the ludicrous leaf-blowing sequence - pretty fun movie

Glow

unique take on the monster genre - an allegory on accepting others' differences. this is a really slick production, pretty much as good as it gets in 48 hours. REALLY loved the puddle shot - great example of integrating the required elements with storytelling. the monster costume is really cool too - has a homemade vibe but fits in with the polished nature of everything else. sorry to say it though, too saccharine for my taste!

Blood from a Stone

the weird thing about this one is that it's borrowing from heaps of movies (eg. sesevenen... mostly just that actually) but none of them are splatstick so it doesn't have that classic splatstick vibe. but there's plenty of gore and it's funny enough so in my professional opinion it qualifies! (plus it has the obligatory visible blood-hose at one point) plays out as a cop procedural spoof that has heaps of great puns and a fantastic visual gag in the finale. there's a lot that i liked here: it's got probably the most effectively signposted flashback i've ever seen in the comp (slap a school uniform on the actor and apply a b&w filter... boom) and has the SICKEST zooms (of heats 1 and 2 anyway, but they're pretty hard to beat so i'm gonna prematurely call them the SICKEST zooms in hamilton 2018)

Starlight

like, literally, star-crossed lovers. nice and simple story that does everything it needs to, can't fault it there - kind of allegorical too? could be, it leaves enough room for you to read into it a bit. good to get some more use out of the church's nativity backdrop too! and of course the incredible SFX make up! wow