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Team Spielberg

Reviews

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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.