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4 Entries and 53 Reviews

Entries

Ringo and the Gatekeeper

Team Spielberg

Read, are the tea leaves

Team Spielberg

From Beyond the Dog

Team Spielberg

Mr. Allen

Team Spielberg

Reviews

DopeMonkey Live

This is the second Ultra film I've seen that opted for a picture in picture approach rather than a split screen interestingly also a reaction video however where that reaction was more tacked on this was actually relevant to the story of the short. I'm always really impressed by animations in the 48 hours knowing just how much work goes into them but the pacing is always so pedestrian that the pacing starts to hold back the film. Perhaps that's a personal gripe on my part since none of the other reviewers are all that bothered. Going with the genre you've got this guy doing a live stream reaction to a music video about mensuration and the song written for it is pretty catchy though I didn't actually catch on that she was singing "Oh, Aunt flo" until I saw the title of the song. Naturally being a male of the human species he just can't take it despite his boasts that he'll get through it easily. It works well enough it just doesn't have the polish, intensity of performance, and the pacing that it needs.

Gluten Free

Well, that was interesting. Enjoyed the play on the "essential products" from shut down. A love story between a woman and some bulk flower.
I'm a little stumped writing this review, the quality was reminiscent of the old days of the 48 hours when not everyone had the best equipment and mates with the rental houses. I think that's the thing about this year, it was free and there is lots of people with phones looking for some fun over the weekend.
It was quite a fun film all in all.

Soul Sucking

Right off the bat, I'm really digging the Fonts. As for the film... solid stuff, presented the atmosphere really well and the music helped to punch everything up. I suppose I could nitpick about the pacing in the middle and say that the energy in the performances needed to be amped up a bit and I think you could've done the ghost a bit better than that but all in all, it was pretty good.

DOGZILLA

I love the aesthetic and the animation was really good too. It had vibes of that Wes Anderson movie Ilse of Dogs but more 1930s monster movie. I think you could have done the dogs and Dogzilla separately to create a sense of scale but it's not the end of the world.

Baby Bear

Love the aesthetic going on here, it's got that 16mm vibe about it and it works well for the batshit crazy tone that's going on in the film. I'm not entirely sure what was going on with the toothbrush but I guess it's not important. Some great VFX work going on making the poster talk.

Alpaca in the Closet

I enjoyed this one, of all the comedy of errors films I've seen I think this one pulls it off the best. It doesn't feel like you are making the characters fumble around just for the sake of the genre. I think the sort of live-action "inside out" element works reasonably well also. The punchline at the end is a bit iffy but it also works I think.

My Wife The Pirate

It's a little heavy on the reverb in terms of the ADR and it needed a bit more sound design to make it feel a little less empty. That said and nit picks aside I really enjoyed this quirky little film. I guess with a title like that and a shot like that you've just got to have a look and see what all this malarky is all about. The animation stick puppet sequences were just right for the mood of the piece as well.

Locked In

It's an interesting short film though it's challenging to review since another short in the heat had a very similar concept. Technically I think the film works pretty well. It doesn't drag at all and the cinematography sells the mood of it all effectively. I guess the only real issue with it is that I felt there were quite a lot of details that went unexplained. Why he's there, why he can't leave, and why did he have to shut the other guy in the room to leave? The door was wide open and there didn't seem to be anything stopping him from leaving at that point. Maybe the main character was the "monster" all along? For a lot of the film, I was speculating that maybe he was in a bunker being kept safe from the outside world. Good effort though gives you food for thought.

Manu and the Runaways

This team had a great sense of humor throughout the short film. There is some rough stuff but that's pretty typical of the 48-Hours. There were some great-looking shots as well. I got the impression that the twist of the film is they were actually after the dog all along but I couldn't be 100% sure if I got that right or not.

The Magician’s Misstep

It's an interesting 48 Hours short, technically the story plays out pretty well. Particularly in the way it sets up ideas. Mostly the payoffs needed more energy from the performances to land the way they should. The "find him" line at the end probably could have been cut for better results.

Any Portal will do on a Storm

I didn't really follow the general story very well with the portal and who was guarding it and why but I thought the voice-over was quite well written.
Then there were the visuals, really enjoyed the aesthetic going on here it reminds me of the early days of the 48 hours competition where things were a tiny bit jank but a lot of fun.

Truth Lies Beneath

This is one of those films that is technically very impressive, you generally wouldn't think to do a period piece for the 48 because of what it would involve but they pulled it off. Performances were also very solid, I just didn't feel that the story was on the same level as the rest of the short.

Surface Pressure

Surface Pressure is an incredibly polished film that incorporated some interesting editing techniques to keep everything flowing in a compelling way. I've noticed that having a character grieving over a lost partner has been a common theme for the Anniversary genre and this film seemed to pull it off in an elegant way.
Though the film has a solid emotional core I do wonder if it could have done more to hammer home the death in the short or elaborate on it a little bit further to give the second half of it a bit more weight. There is some implied stuff going on which can be good but I think a bit more detail could've helped. There is also a melancholy to the music in the first half of the short which makes me wonder if we are watching a flashback or if the film is playing out in sequence.
All in all, it's a quality short film.

A Slip In Time

The short opens on a man, floating face down in a pool presumed dead and poses the question, how did he get there? Flashed back in time we are shown this man carrying out his every day, mundane routine as he wakes at the same time, cleans, feeds the cat, prepares the coffee, and then drinks it at his window creeping out the children walking to school each day. One night there is a storm which takes his alarm out and he awakens out of schedule and begins to panic as he rushes through his routine only to slip and fall into the pool, presumably hitting his head on the bottom rendering him unconscious. One of those children however having picked up on his pattern of being at the window every morning decides that there must be something wrong and they end up saving his life. The whole film is fairly polished though the sound isn't perfect, there was a hint of noise reduction in places. The movie sells the everyday repetitiveness of his life really well but I'm not sure it really nails the emotional climax of the movie that it's trying to achieve. Perhaps if the children weren't so indifferent in their conversations about the man in their daily travels to school one of them deciding to make sure he's okay would have played better though I think the ending plays off a little rushed.

"GOD_MODE.EXE"

I think you've done a decent job with some of the production design and some of the VFX is pretty good. I think the story is a bit weak though, You've basically told the whole thing in the outline. The concept is good but I think the ending doesn't really work especially after the gag at the beginning with the black and white.

This Way Home

These solo animations are getting better and better by the year. The songs were pretty catchy keeping the flow of the film going, and the designs worked really well for the film. It's hard to think of ways this film could've been better without becoming extremely nitpicky.

Not So Insane

I think it started off pretty good, some good shots and the sound design was okay. After that, I think the music was a bit too prominent and over the top. Sort of trying to create tension that could have been created with sound effects instead. I didn't really have the sense of tension that you need in a horror film. The filmmaking side is pretty slick though.

The Fifth Wave

It's all very polished with the camera work and the music, the drone shots but it's not entirely clear what is happening or why. The opening titles set the mood and then the film is sort of carried by these phone calls to the answering machine which starts to grow more and more concerned. I think this part was done quite well and the acting for that stuff is solid. Confusing but solid, maybe the film is trying to be a little bit too abstract.

Silver Spoon

Silver Spoon is a simple straightforward morality tale about a son who takes life and its challenges for granted. The presentation is a little rough around the edges but if some of the shots were thought out better in terms of how one shot cuts to another it would have come together much better.

F*#k you Gary

Really enjoyed the animation in this one. Maybe the opening Arc shot is a bit long and it doesn't really match the rest of the film in terms of lighting but the film picks up just in time before you get sick of it. I'm not big on the writing and performance but I think the pay off from the start to the finish was pretty good.

Permanent Resident

There is some reasonably good production value going on here. The story is a bit bland I guess but I guess that's okay for a 3-minute short film. Though I can't imagine how long the ghost's solution for getting him out of the house is going to work. Maybe 15-20 minutes or a day at the most.
The music was pretty strong though.

Banana Split

Quite a charming little Ultra short which is a sort of live action/animation hybrid. I quite liked what they did with the rounded corners on the split screens as it added to the social media theme of the story. I will say this though, coming of age is a bit of a stretch here if I'm honest. Basically the story follows a Banana who is bought up by a social media food photographer and he spends his life in the food bowl hoping to become a delicious meal ignorant to his fate in the trash after he is made for the sole purpose of getting likes on social media. It's an enjoyable film though maybe it needs a little more punch pace wise and in terms of voice acting and there isn't much else to say outside of that.

The Drop

I think I will always be impressed on some level by animated films that compete in the 48 hours. There is a tendency towards a more simplistic aproach however the ammount of work that goes into them can be intimidating to think about. Especially if you are doing a split screen film after opting for ultra. This film, if you haven't already watched it in the screening room is an animated Ultra film. It's an interesting premise, you've got a secret agent doing a halo jump into an enemy base or something for his secret mission when he gets a phone call from his wife and being the diligent husband that he is, he answers the phone to have a conversation about the more mundane side of his life. I think if I were to say anything it's that the pacing was kind of slow and the performances didn't really have the energy that an animated film calls for. Perhaps this is to people's taste and reflects a laid back kiwi asthetic or something but I'm not really into that I guess. The opening shot was pretty incredible and the use of split screen seemed pretty solid to me. Good stuff.

Shed

An interesting film, well shot that keeps things simple and gives you just enough to keep you interested in what is happening. I'm not entirely sure how putting a photo in your pocket triggers a shed to transform into a mystery event that rejuvenates or turns back time on whatever enters it but you just go with that I guess as a member of the audience. I think there were parts that were rough around the edges if you want to nitpick but generally speaking I'd say the film achieves what it sets out to achieve. That said if you were to commit to the film and shaved your head I think the end reveal would've had a bigger payoff.

The Immortal

There is some really impressive visual effects going on here, the lighting and the black and white results in a really good looking film. It's somewhat reminiscent of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrowland.
If the film falls down I think that it's in the pacing which dragged a bit and delivery with the performances which could do with being amped up quite a bit as it seems to be calling for a bit more punch to it.
I think I agree with the other review by Tom as well.

SHELTER IN PLACE

Quirky little film and I thought the location used for it was perfect for the atmosphere. That said I think you introduced the Unwanted guest too late and I think you could have brought some more heartfelt elements into the script. Maybe a reveal of why he's out in this little house rather than the real house could have been hinted at. Noticed you did your own music which was pretty good too.

Safe Streets, No Crime

It can be tricky reviewing animation for the 48-Hour because just the act of doing animation for the 48-Hour film competition is impressive as is. I liked the visual style of this one. I couldn't tell if you actually filmed cut-outs but it had that look to it and it worked. I think the concept was simple enough to have a deeper meaning to it and not overwhelm the animation. It's a shame the Heat audience didn't appreciate the film enough to get it into the top 3.

Lotus Hotel

The basic concept of having someone trapped in. I guess a BNB or something until the next person comes around to replace them was a great choice for a 48-hour short film. I think the opening and closing of the film are reasonably strong, the ending more than the opening. I think it would have been stronger if you had opened with Jess opening the door. The only real issue with the film is the pacing, you skip what would be the interesting part of the film which is Jess slowly going insane as she comes to understand the "one in one-in-one-out" concept.

Hide N Seek

A compelling concept with the unexplained closet that speeds up time for whatever is inside. Or at least that's what I thought it was doing but I think the daughter went in young and came out not only old but at a different time as well. I don't really know, but I guess it makes for a compelling mystery for the audience to ponder when the film is finished. There are some fantastic shots in the film as well, the wide shots aren't as good but I guess it's hard to control that harsh backlighting from the windows when you are shooting on what I assume is a DSLR. I think you could have made the inside of the closet more visually interesting but that's sort of a nitpick detail.

flatpack

A room full of flatmates who all have a "holiday" on an anual basis (I think) are getting ready for their next adventure. Problem is they haven't packed yet and there is a bit of a rush to get everything done. It's a pretty good concept for a 48 hours short really, keeps everything in a single location and allows you to focus on character and production values. Had a bit of a refresher in the screening room before writing this and it does seem to be pretty good on the production values front. Their over head shot was really good and the editing was mostly pretty spot on though I guess the cinematography wasn't as good as the editing. Mostly if something let this down I'd have to say it's the performances, you sort of get the feeling that they are holding back a bit with the delivery and it hurts the drama of the piece. The part where the guy breaks the ice with the coffee and the toothpaste joke doesn't play at all because it's just not big enough.

The Reality of Love

The Reality of Love is an interesting and fun take on the reality TV shows that are somewhat popular. Watching this for the second time in the screening room I found I appreciated it more than when I saw it in the heats for some reason. Perhaps I felt the sentimentality of the ending wasn't quite earned. It's a very beautiful film though. It's incredible some of the locations that some teams find for their shorts.

Sexy Men: Behind the Sex

Ah, the old 48 hours mockumentary-style... Anyway, I thought this was a pretty cool take on the unwanted guest genre. It was also a good way to do a film with a big cast when no one is in the same location... presumably. It's rough around the edges as have a lot of films been in this and all 48 hours competitions but I think the guys riffing, or the script keeps moving well enough to keep you into the film. I guess I just think a movie like this needs dialogue with a real punchy sound.

Stella And Blarg At Large

It was a fun film, I enjoyed the character designs this year and the music told the story well.

Monster State

A solid down-to-earth take on the Monster Genre reminiscent of Under the Bridge in its emotional depth.

Do Mandroids Dream of Electric Beads 2: Re-Entry

Went into this one with a bit of anticipation having seen the last film "Do Mandroids Dream of Electric Beads" and it didn't disappoint. Quite a step up actually. Took all the good stuff about the last film and expanded upon it with multiple locations and an action set piece. I suspect this could be a contender for audience favourite.

Finding Your Familiar

Fun little concept here with a sort of YouTube tutorial/infomercial style. The cinematography was fantastic with a strong performance.

Missing Peace

The overall polish of this short nailed the tone of the story in this short. Perhaps a darker shooting style would have worked better but it's nothing to complain about. The story was pretty interesting though I would say a few of the details could have been better thought out. The thing about the neighbors sending threatening notes to sell the house was a bit of a red hearing and I think it could have been interesting if you could have confirmed if the notes were coming from the neighbors or if she made the notes herself to cover up the truth.

Monday, 12:03

Pretty good concept going on here, the time loop, and the unsuspecting protagonist not realizing what's going on until it's too late. The film does a pretty good job of making you care about a character that you don't really see outside of a photograph and I thought you did a good job with the interface design of the computer as well. Personally I find stuff like this frustrating to watch but I can see why others might enjoy watching them more than something with more of a "happy ending".

LIVING WITH SATAN

Digging the VHS titles on this, the whole film is really taking in that Kiwi mockumentary that has become popular amongst contestants in the 48 hours. Some good gags, others that aren't so good. But entertaining for the most part.

One For All

I started watching this for the second time to write the review and immediately remembered it from the heats. I think I actually enjoyed it more the second time around and it's quite a polished film. The idea of the guy putting himself in the "impossible situation" so to speak I think works well.
Everything is well shot and I think the biggest thing that I noticed was that there were moments where the editing could've been tighter and maybe the performances a bit bigger to really nail home the gravity of certain moments. For example, the ending could've just been a hard cut to him standing outside of the house instead of slowly walking away. I think their interactions with each other in that scene come off just a little bit too casual as well.
I guess such things are often subjective but I think stuff like that could've given the film an extra bit of polish.

Tonight On Extreme Quickfire Trivia

Pretty fun little animated film going on here. The opening jingle had some pretty solid writing going on. I don't know about the quiz part but the ending was a good pay off.

The secret life of a sloth

Awkward animations have shown themself to be a highly technically talented team with this short. Just the attention to detail with how the fur moved was particularly impressive. The animation teams seem to up their game year after year. I'm not entirely sure if the story was as effective as it could be, needs a bit more focus I guess. It dances between trying to be serious and quirky. I think it's supposed to be a mockumentary but it does come across more of a PSA at the end. To return to something more positive the voice-over worked very well.

The Mugover

Solid concept for a 48 hours short film with the broken mug and the flatmates looking to find a replacement. You also did a great job setting up the stakes, though I wonder if you gave yourself enough screentime to show the search for the new cup. The film sort of wraps up just as it's getting started. Overall it was a good short but I think it needed more energy particularly in the volume of the voices and in the cutting to take it to the next level.

Life Insurance

It was a fun little quirky film but I think you were a little too reliant on that music track for the montage and probably could have lowered it a bit and brought in some sound design. I also think you probably could have cut as much as a minute out of that film.
Outside of all that I thought it was a pretty good execution of the Unwanted guest genre.

E.T.R.

It is a technically polished short with charismatic performances. Historically teams that don't take themselves too seriously and layer in a lot of humor do well and I can see that it has worked out for you here. I'm not 100% sure about the story though. I can see what you may have been doing. Set up the characters so that you don't care when they all get chopped up in the end but I guess the killers could have been fleshed out at least a little. The splatter part of the splatter movie I thought worked well but the transition from we're buying a house to running for your lives was a bit weird.

Hand Stuff

This film is one of those concepts that seems to do very well in the 48hours. It has a quirkiness to it that makes it memorable, I immediately remembered it from the heat when I switched it on. I would think that if anything held it back it would be the energy level and overall polish of the film.

Pray, Love, Eat

Not sure what to make of that, it's a neat little film. Nice and quirky with a decent pay off at the end of it. Maybe I was just distracted thinking about how you would go about filming this. It immediately reminded me of that Snail film which won in 2018 but with its own unique spin on the idea.

Free As The Wind

Free as the wind is a film about growing up, and by growing up I mean getting a job because if you don't your girlfriend will leave your lazy ass. Declaring that he is "Free as the wind" and just wants to relax he is approached by none other than Wind himself with an offer, why don't you be the wind? The team have defiantly found a good way to use the wind element here, I thought the scene of Wind's arrival was really well done and the makeup work they did for wind was pretty good too. It's the sort of effort that makes it stand above the average 48 hours film in terms of production quality. I would say this though, after it sets up the film the rest of it story wise isn't all that interesting, they chatter for a bit and some random guy crashes his bike before Wind gives him some goop to eat in order to become Wind so faced with this dilemma he decides to finally grow up and by grow up I mean get a job... and have a baby. I think that the conflict could have been more compelling but I think a lot of 48 hours teams tend to move towards a light hearted and easy story solution instead and er on the side of gags.

Third Time's the Charm

The sound mixing is a bit rough around the edges and the acting isn't great but It's entertaining enough to keep you into what's happening etc.

Do Mandroids Dream of Electric Beads

A film full of innuendo and with some interesting effects on the side. I thought the thing could have been a little more snappy and the lighting just about makes up for the choice of location for the majority of the film but it's an enjoyable film to watch and you can find it over at the screening room so check it out.