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Somebody Someone Conan the Barbarian

42 Reviews

Reviews

Crime Pays

A "nice guy" who is sick of being screwed over in life experiences a change of luck and lives it up, with a lesson learned. This was the highlight of Heat 19 for me, and I was disappointed (along with most of the audience judging by the 'awwwws' at the end) to discover that it had been disqualified. My guess was the use of copyrighted music? Anyway. For what was essentially a one-man team, this was a monster effort and managed to do far more than a lot of films I have seen produced in the history of this competition, proving to the haters and doubters of the competition's integrity that top-notch equipment and large experienced crews does not a good film make. The mix of POV and objective camera shots made for an interesting disposition of the character's journey, and it worked well. The biggest problem visually was the lighting in a few of the scenes, and a bit of a hiccup at one point which may have been to do with faulty rendering somewhere along the line. The narration was used well and didn't feel lazy or forced, which can sometimes be the trap with that storytelling technique. And what made this film stand out in this heat was that I CARED ABOUT NICKY BRICK! I wanted him to succeed, I wanted him to get lucky, I wanted him to turn his life around. The writing is what made this film, and would receive a higher rating if it weren't for some minor technical deficiencies and the uninspired soundtrack (which was the only let-down). 8/10

48 Hours

Really really enjoyed this one, it had me in fits! The twist was hilarious and the references to Shallow Hal and 127 Hours were perfect! Best gross-out moment of the night - the used-condom tourniquet. Also loved the bent The Wire gag. Very good use of flashback in a conventional Mystery-movie manner, made hilarious with a riff on the binge drinking ads. Technically very smooth and appeared flawless. This got my vote for audience favourite, and would not be surprised to see it go further in the comp.

BLANKING: THE UNSEEN ART

Excellent concept and great, convincing acting. Loved the costumes. Like MistaTeas above, the jump cuts were a bit distracting - they were ok in some parts, but the ones during the more 'formal' interviews could have been covered by cutaways I think. They started to make the interviews look a bit like the Sensodyne ads, and I hate those things. Apart from that, it had the documentary look and feel down and being such an original and ridiculous idea it really stands out. Congrats!

Five O'Clock

An unassuming office worker is lead to believe that something important will happen at 5 o'clock, through some strange encounters with his colleagues. I nearly pissed myself at the end of this film. Wow. Amazing and hilarious way to end. Unfortunately I didn't really get the thriller aspect of this - the eroticism however was certainly in your face, and managed to be funny without being inappropriate. Maybe I'm confused about what an erotic thriller is supposed to be, but this film didn't seem to fit the brief. However, the story that did end up being told was well-structured and incorporated numerous characters without suffocating the film or diminishing the importance of the lead character. The lead proved an effective vehicle for moving the story along and creating the encounters with the strange colleagues, which is what made this film. The ensemble cast did a good job of making this a solid comedy. The cinematography and editing were done well, with a neatly put-together sequence of flashbacks before the end. Despite liking this film, I feel like I can't rate it any higher because I feel like it didn't stick to the genre well enough. Sorry! 5/10

John

I can't really fault this one at all - absolutely brilliant. The reveal of the room at the beginning was great! John was played immaculately by the lead actor and featured some excellent turns from various other actors as they ventured into the restroom. There was a brilliant moment when the coke-fiend and John had some strange intimacy as the former was on the buzz. The only flaw really - and I have to agree with the earlier reviewer on this one - was that the fight scene did seem a bit strange. Then again, so was the whole film, but in a good way. I never thought I'd say it about a film set entirely in a club restroom, but the cinematography was stunning. This also got my vote for audience favourite, and although I haven't seen anything outside this heat, I would be very very surprised to not see this at least get to the city finals.

The Box

Watched this in the screening room. Very very cool. I love the way this team manages to build tension in their short films, something which I find is very hard to do in 7mins max. The tension holds even during the references to the random elements from previous years - which was great! Not only are they talented filmmakers but they are talented actors too. A shame that they were DQ'd, but I hope Sir PJ watches their film this year anyway, because it absolutely deserves to be seen. RIP Macho Man

Witcher Grove

*Viewed in Screening Room* This was a very cool way to pull off a one-shot film! Makes me feel like all fairytales/nursery rhymes should be told in one-shot! Really well shot with some excellent lighting - something which could have tripped up a one shot film. All required elements used well, especially the line. The only thing wrong really were the audio levels - I'm not sure how it came across at the heat, but some of the narration was played out in stereo and not always centred, and the music was too loud to hear the narration in a lot of parts. Otherwise the narration I did hear was performed really well. Great job, sad to hear it was DQ'd. 8/10

rachel

I enjoyed the premise of this film, it was nice to see an attempt at a serious short. Unfortunately it got a few laughs at one point when the lead decided to ignore a woman getting mugged outside his house - I assume this was unintended. There were a few jump cuts in there when talking to his friend, or at least I thought they were jump cuts, they may also have been the lead using his powers to stop time. One of the best uses of the freeze-frame ending in the heat, it tied really well into the story and the main character and wasn't a cop-out at all.

What Really Happened to Bobbie Young

I thought this was a very strong effort from the youngest team on the night. It was a bit jumpy at the start but it got better from there. The ending was totally unexpected and I'd say one of the best freezeframes of the night. The head-shot effect was wicked and the boy playing the search-leader acted very naturally. For a first time entry it was pretty good (far better than my first effort in this comp anyway) and for such a young team there is plenty of time to learn more about the craft. I sincerely hope they continue making films and enter again next year, I am excited for the future.

Witcher Grove

*Viewed in Screening Room* This was a very cool way to pull off a one-shot film! Makes me feel like all fairytales/nursery rhymes should be told in one-shot! Really well shot with some excellent lighting - something which could have tripped up a one shot film. All required elements used well, especially the line. The only thing wrong really were the audio levels - I'm not sure how it came across at the heat, but some of the narration was played out in stereo and not always centred, and the music was too loud to hear the narration in a lot of parts. Otherwise the narration I did hear was performed really well. Great job, sad to hear it was DQ'd. 8/10

Dance-aholics

A group of strangers take part in an addicts meeting and recount their strange experiences. The genre that everyone dreads receiving. That being said, I think this team handled it fairly well with a unique idea. The soundtrack was well done, incorporating the mise en scene in each track. Possibly suffered due to having one too many characters, but there was just enough focus on the female lead's character to get it through. The slow-motion shot had the desired effect in an audience setting and was the right amount of 'gross-ness' to keep it funny without taking it too far. The use of prop seemed a little forced, and the ending was a bit meh. That being said, the hardest aspect of writing is having a satisfying conclusion and it did leave us in the right amount of doubt as to whether the main character had really learned anything. 5/10

A Letter To A Samurai

Saw this in the screening room, and I wish I had seen it in a room full of people, because I can imagine it would have brought the house down. Absolutely brilliantly written with some amazing dialogue from the lead - "so slutilly wise". A favourite moment for me was the confrontation near the beginning between "gatekeeper" and samurai apprentice. Absolutely gutted that this was disqualified, but they have probably heard about that enough. Really enjoyed it and I hope to see more from them soon!

Jogging Club

This was awesome. Really well edited, great what you did with the sound effects being synched to the character's actions in some parts. The soundtrack worked really well too, and awesome OTT acting by the two rivals. The cinematography was spot on and effective use of slow motion. My only gripe is that jogging wasn't so much established as a fad, but still, an awesome short!

Five O'Clock

An unassuming office worker is lead to believe that something important will happen at 5 o'clock, through some strange encounters with his colleagues. I nearly pissed myself at the end of this film. Wow. Amazing and hilarious way to end. Unfortunately I didn't really get the thriller aspect of this - the eroticism however was certainly in your face, and managed to be funny without being inappropriate. Maybe I'm confused about what an erotic thriller is supposed to be, but this film didn't seem to fit the brief. However, the story that did end up being told was well-structured and incorporated numerous characters without suffocating the film or diminishing the importance of the lead character. The lead proved an effective vehicle for moving the story along and creating the encounters with the strange colleagues, which is what made this film. The ensemble cast did a good job of making this a solid comedy. The cinematography and editing were done well, with a neatly put-together sequence of flashbacks before the end. Despite liking this film, I feel like I can't rate it any higher because I feel like it didn't stick to the genre well enough. Sorry! 5/10

Crime Pays

A "nice guy" who is sick of being screwed over in life experiences a change of luck and lives it up, with a lesson learned. This was the highlight of Heat 19 for me, and I was disappointed (along with most of the audience judging by the 'awwwws' at the end) to discover that it had been disqualified. My guess was the use of copyrighted music? Anyway. For what was essentially a one-man team, this was a monster effort and managed to do far more than a lot of films I have seen produced in the history of this competition, proving to the haters and doubters of the competition's integrity that top-notch equipment and large experienced crews does not a good film make. The mix of POV and objective camera shots made for an interesting disposition of the character's journey, and it worked well. The biggest problem visually was the lighting in a few of the scenes, and a bit of a hiccup at one point which may have been to do with faulty rendering somewhere along the line. The narration was used well and didn't feel lazy or forced, which can sometimes be the trap with that storytelling technique. And what made this film stand out in this heat was that I CARED ABOUT NICKY BRICK! I wanted him to succeed, I wanted him to get lucky, I wanted him to turn his life around. The writing is what made this film, and would receive a higher rating if it weren't for some minor technical deficiencies and the uninspired soundtrack (which was the only let-down). 8/10

The Box

Watched this in the screening room. Very very cool. I love the way this team manages to build tension in their short films, something which I find is very hard to do in 7mins max. The tension holds even during the references to the random elements from previous years - which was great! Not only are they talented filmmakers but they are talented actors too. A shame that they were DQ'd, but I hope Sir PJ watches their film this year anyway, because it absolutely deserves to be seen. RIP Macho Man

That's Love, Dawg!

A down-on-his-luck priest tries desperately to create love amongst a group of strange and incompatible people. This film suffered from having too many characters. While there was one main, being the priest, his appearances were too sporadic and I didn't feel any connection with his purpose, but he did have a goal which he set out to achieve, and the film does follow that progress right to the end, so the right elements were there. There was a mixture of good and not-so-good cinematography - a lot of the shots with the priest's reactions were done well and the cutting between the hopeful couples was good, but some shots contained far too much headroom for my liking (maybe it's just me). The plot was well structured with a beginning, middle and end, but the resolution was quite random. Nice ending, and hilariously dead-pan intro. 4/10.

Dance-aholics

A group of strangers take part in an addicts meeting and recount their strange experiences. The genre that everyone dreads receiving. That being said, I think this team handled it fairly well with a unique idea. The soundtrack was well done, incorporating the mise en scene in each track. Possibly suffered due to having one too many characters, but there was just enough focus on the female lead's character to get it through. The slow-motion shot had the desired effect in an audience setting and was the right amount of 'gross-ness' to keep it funny without taking it too far. The use of prop seemed a little forced, and the ending was a bit meh. That being said, the hardest aspect of writing is having a satisfying conclusion and it did leave us in the right amount of doubt as to whether the main character had really learned anything. 5/10

He Will Come

An aging porn star is down on his luck and possibly out of a job until he receives a bit of divine intervention. My initial reaction when seeing the title card (One Shot + Inspirational) was that this team couldn't possibly have picked a more difficult combination. What followed ended up being rather charming. The lead made an excellent turn in what would have been difficult to rehearse, and the young co-star was absolutely brilliant. There was a smart use of transition to keep the appearance of one shot. The only major downfall really was the lack of a real ending, but minor hiccups aside this was an enjoyable film. 7/10

48 Hours

Really really enjoyed this one, it had me in fits! The twist was hilarious and the references to Shallow Hal and 127 Hours were perfect! Best gross-out moment of the night - the used-condom tourniquet. Also loved the bent The Wire gag. Very good use of flashback in a conventional Mystery-movie manner, made hilarious with a riff on the binge drinking ads. Technically very smooth and appeared flawless. This got my vote for audience favourite, and would not be surprised to see it go further in the comp.

That's Love, Dawg!

A down-on-his-luck priest tries desperately to create love amongst a group of strange and incompatible people. This film suffered from having too many characters. While there was one main, being the priest, his appearances were too sporadic and I didn't feel any connection with his purpose, but he did have a goal which he set out to achieve, and the film does follow that progress right to the end, so the right elements were there. There was a mixture of good and not-so-good cinematography - a lot of the shots with the priest's reactions were done well and the cutting between the hopeful couples was good, but some shots contained far too much headroom for my liking (maybe it's just me). The plot was well structured with a beginning, middle and end, but the resolution was quite random. Nice ending, and hilariously dead-pan intro. 4/10.

The Prophet

I looked this film up because I remember it was nominated for a few awards at the Auckland final, can't remember which ones but from watching it I'm guessing it was for makeup, soundtrack and cinematography? Because all three were stunning - this film looks and sounds great, and uses the landscape really well. The premise for the genre was also good, but like the other reviewers I agree that it was let down by the story in the second half. Great use of the Bobby Young character though, who was brilliantly played too.

Bullywood

The start of the film was so very promising, the opening shot of the beach was beautiful! Whoever played the fish was brilliant. Unfortunately for me it started to drag a bit around halfway through the dance battle. Surely that scene could have been cut in half? The bollywood fish-dance at the end was inspired, but it should have ended there! Nice soundtrack though and still enjoyable overall - a difficult genre to crack.

Goodbye Gilbert

This film freaked me the f**k out - very well done. There were some lovely shots at the start and the lighting in the room where the lead kept his hostage was so spooky and perfect. The lead was so creepy! I was half expecting a "it puts the lotion on it's skin" moment, the actor channelled the creepy stalker very well. At least I hope they were acting...tightly scripted and tightly shot. Very good!

Surprise

*Viewed from Screening Room* Loved it! The soundtrack is great and reminds me of Kill Bill, solid shot selection and excellent building of suspense. Thought it was a pretty cheeky use of Bobby Young, but on second viewing it actually makes sense. Awesome use of the prop, great VFX and really convincing acting. An absolute shame to hear it was DQ'd, the only reason I take off half a star :(

iBrobot

Awesomely funny, if there was an award for best line and I was the person who decided who won that award, it would be yours - "Don't Veitch me...don't Veitch me....ohhh, I'm Veitched as"

He Will Come

An aging porn star is down on his luck and possibly out of a job until he receives a bit of divine intervention. My initial reaction when seeing the title card (One Shot + Inspirational) was that this team couldn't possibly have picked a more difficult combination. What followed ended up being rather charming. The lead made an excellent turn in what would have been difficult to rehearse, and the young co-star was absolutely brilliant. There was a smart use of transition to keep the appearance of one shot. The only major downfall really was the lack of a real ending, but minor hiccups aside this was an enjoyable film. 7/10

Nearest and Dearest

Agree with Peter Parker above. Loved this film at the finals and was stoked to see it clean up in awards and nominations on the night. On the age factor: I do agree that it's strange watching younger people play what are clearly roles for older characters, but I think the standard of both the production and the acting made it easy to overlook this issue. I always feel a bit strange trying to offer advice to films that I feel are superior to my own, but if I was to suggest anything it would be to write characters that can be convincingly portrayed by younger actors - my team is also faced with the problem of having ideas that require younger-looking people to play older adult characters so we try to write our characters as teenagers or young adults to avoid such criticism. Maybe if the husband and wife were changed to be brother and sister whose family were away? I dunno. Regardless, it was a brilliant film. Props to Pickle Thugs. Looking forward to seeing a few awards going their way at the GF coming up.

Let's Be Friends

I loved this film. Very nicely shot and acted. Stoked that they got to use real police uniforms/squad car. My only gripe is that it may have been a tad too long, the dialogue seemed to be going in circles a bit, but the cop (Bobby Young) was excellently weird and strange. The ending made it very worthwhile. I hope everyone remembered this film in voting!

The B Games

This was a funny and good take on the road movie - opting to go with the spiritual journey of the main character as well as literally involving the car. What I enjoyed most about this film was the main character, Bobby Young. The actor was very funny and talented, and I liked the incorporation of the ex-bully aspect - showing Bobby's journey to become a bully and then his decision to use those 'powers' to do good. It suffered from some colour tone issues but the shot selection was solid and I particularly enjoyed the opening titles introducing each character.