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Space Battle

I didn't fully understand this film until re-watching it in the heats, and it definitely improved. Probably one of the most pure and honest "made by kids" films I've seen in the competition this year, it felt less like we were watching a movie and more like watching you all hanging out and playing make-believe during lunch time, and I mean that in a good way. This is the kind of sense of humour which, in this competition, could take years to grow and develop, but when it does, and when it's backed up by higher production values, could make this team a regular finalist.. But for that to happen, you can't put licensed music in your film! Even if it is played on a recorder. TITLE REVIEW: Space Battle. Of course, what else?

A Baaaaad Habit

I wasn't sure about this film as it started, having just watched the fantastic animation from I LOVE LOOPS, I didn't think I could get into the more simplistic design of A BAAAAAD HABIT. But, the film kept me guessing and the story kept raisiing the stakes just as I thought it was nearly over, and the shock ending probably gave me the biggest laugh of the night. Great film guys!

Merci

Very well shot, definitely the film's biggest strength. The characters and story were pretty good too, though you don't really come out the other end liking either of them all that much. The mood is very tense, and I think this team definitely has the resources to go far in the competition.

A Ripple in Time

Promising stuff from this team, though the story felt a little unclear at times, they've certainly got their style down and I'd love to see what they can do in the future.

Trial #37

Some really cool ideas in this film, and the effects at the end when the character escaped were awesome, and seeing the other clones dead on the ground was a nice touch. The rest of the film leaves a little to be desired though, if we're gonna have the majority of the film set in a single indoor location, it would be nice if it were something a little more interesting than a run-of-the-mill living room. The film is technically competent though, and has a slightly predictable but effective ending. A clear grasp on story structure here, I'd just encourage you as a team to try something a bit more wild and a bit more visually intriguing next time! TITLE REVIEW: Trial #37 is great, I can't imagine anything suiting this film better!

Harpers

Damn the dialogue in this film was incredible, but a promising start to the film soon fell into the bizarre etherial underworld of shoddy editing and alienating comedic timing. The story of 3 fittingly-heavenly-creatures-esque girls trying to kill Peter Jackson is an awesome idea, if not a little too esoteric from a competition which year after year features dated social commentaries (seriously, so many ponytail tugs this year). If this film had been well edited and well shot it would have been finals level I reckon, but as it stands, a cool idea about mentally disturbed PJ killers actually ended up feeling a little TOO real, which is a bit concerning. The actors were great, and as I said I actually really liked the dialogue, especially in that opening scene where it sounds like they're talking about sex and virginity but it was actually about body mutilation. The Social Justice Warrior/Tumblr feminist elements were pretty accurate too, and I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing.

Free As The Wind

God. I love this film so much and it killed me to see it didn't make the finals. I love PlanetFoxFilms, and this is their best film yet, and the kind of wild madness left in the wake of CRAB CRAB CRAB's influence that really needed to be seen by the finals audience. Goddammit. You guys this film is great. From the get-go I love that we open at Gus screeching, begging his girlfriend not to go. It's so funny, and such an overreaction. I also loved the weird joke about throwing a knife at her. In fact, I love the lead actor's whole goddamn performance. Its played off so dry and with such wry wit, and it's so funny to me- it's like he knows he's in a film, almost. Or more specifically, he knows he's in a 48hour film. It helps flesh out a character who could have just been a serviceable straightman to the Wind, who is obviously the more wacky and eccentric character. This actor has mad Gaten Matarazzo energy. On the Wind, so good! The production design is hilarious, and the ghostly white contact lenses really bump up the production value. When he came on screen my heart sung because, while I've enjoyed your last couple of films immensely, they all lacked a certain X Factor which I think this character, and a pretty decent story arc which takes us to some fun locations, certainly provides. So many great jokes and one liners. So funny. This film is so fun AND funny. Even the ending, which is distinctly lacking of any real stakes, is just such a funny and carefree place to take the film - that being said, while Gus does learn a lesson in growing up, it would have been MAYBE, MAYBE a bit cooler to actually see him have a confrontation with the wind that's a little more action oriented and less dialogue driven. The wind's arrival at the beginning looks great with Gus's hair blowing about like wild, what if he managed to escape the wind with similar effects? With a hundred million dollars you could have done a full on grandiose final battle, but a MUCH MORE SCALED DOWN version of this would have only contributed to the film's charm. I'm so proud of you guys. This film is so fun and charming and it really feels like you've learned more and more about filmmaking over the years and that's on full display here. Keep practising! Keep getting better! When you get to stage where your technical side and storytelling sensibilities are as cracking as your sense of humour, I could easily see you guys getting into the finals and maybe even winning Christchurch, or at least being my personal favourite team. This film was everything I wanted to see from you guys and more. Keep being rock stars. Add me on facebook. TITLE REVIEW: Free as the Wind is great. Love the title drop as well. Love this film.

CornChip

I was very impressed with Cornchip and The Gentlemen's Agreement. The story was an awesome spin of the noir style, having only the lead character being part of the gritty surrealism that is inside his head. The acting and use of narration was amazing to, I really enjoyed it. I voted a 3 for it, and was probably my favourite film out of the 3 heats I saw.

Infinite Body Confidence

Great film guys, very original and well made, and well cast too. My only criticism is the ending, whilst funny, the line "I'm gonna jam my finger so far up your anus" was quite an abrupt way to conclude the film, and I felt like a happy ending would have suited the story more.

Naughty Man

"Naughty Man" was badass. Well done guys. My only real criticisms are that the bent piece of wire was extraordinarily out of place and unexplained, and that the lead characters beard detracted from his character completely... It's nothing against this individual with a beard, but his character (portrayed as your average, stereotypical suburban parent) probably shouldn't have had a brutal spartan beard. Other than that though, the acting was great, and I loved the phrase "naughty man", it made it really disturbing.

Modern Romance

This film starts out a little slow and janky, but quickly slips into a hilarious bout between two gentlemen callers. The cinematography was awesome, and the macabre dishevelled line delivery really gave this film it's own feel. I loved the match cut, though I was a little upset at who won Harper's heart at the end of the film, as I was definitely routing for the underdog.

A helping hand

There's a great sense of humour in this movie. Story was easy to follow, but I am left with a few questions about the nature of the hand farmer. Hahha. Technically the film is a bit of a mess. Had there been a bit more devotion to the craft (and you'd handed in on time), I could see something like this going further in the competition. TITLE REVIEW: Great.

CD Rom Com

Damn! There almost needs to be a separate competition for 48 hour animated films, because there are always so many good ones and they almost always get kind of overlooked with the big awards, in favour of the more "real" films. CD ROM COM was great, a solid story with a strong protagonist, and I'd love to see it in the national finals.

PC High

"PC High" is Submission Impossible's best film to date, which is insane considering it's committing the dreaded Mockumentary sin, which has been very much covered by other reviewers here, though as they've also pointed out, this does Mockumentary right, genuinely feeling like an episode of "Summer Heights High" with zombies. The best director award was given to you guys here because, while none of your performances were better than each other, the overall collective voice of the piece was consistent and effective. To put it another way, we couldn't choose just one actor to nominate for best performer because they were all so good, so the conclusion then is that whatever creative force was directing each of these wonderful actors was doing a fantastic job, and the same can be said for the overall tone of the piece, the art direction, location and how this entire thing felt complete. As Nimble said above, the "watch your fingers" gag was probably the single best gag in the whole comp this year (next to "Does anyone have a corkscrew?" from The Spares, or C'larence seeing himself deliver his own pizza in nightmare from "A Slice of You"). "Watch Your Fingers" would have been a great title too, but we'll get to that later... There are so many elements at play here, and at least two or three story arcs going at the same time, it genuinely felt like a full episode of a sitcom with classic and lovable characters going about their day, and it's absolutely insane that all of these ideas are paced so well in a 5 minute story. Great adherence to the genre too. If I was going to take any marks of this film, I'd just comment that it feels like it would have felt right at home about 8-10 years ago, more than it does now. As I said, the Mockumentary style is aced here, despite our collective grievances, but then also pairing it with a Zombie story, another element of pop culture that has slowly been phased out in recent years, it was certainly poking the outdated cliche bear a bit, though it never fully woke that bear up because this film is baller. As for your title, and I've been wanting to say this for a while now... "PC High" is... fine? I feel I'm allowed to be a little harsher on your title because I've just gushed over your film and titles are so superfluous, but I do kind of wish you'd gone with some kind of high school/zombie pun here. Is it called "PC High" just because that's the name of the high school? or is it a play on Politically Correct? If so, the PC element was kinda underplayed here outside of Kate's character. Is there something else I'm missing entirely? Do I just care about titles WAY too much? Let me know in the comments below, don't forget to like and subscribe, and hit that bell icon to be notified whenever I upload a new video.

CornChip

I was very impressed with Cornchip and The Gentlemen's Agreement. The story was an awesome spin of the noir style, having only the lead character being part of the gritty surrealism that is inside his head. The acting and use of narration was amazing to, I really enjoyed it. I voted a 3 for it, and was probably my favourite film out of the 3 heats I saw.

FU Finding Unicorns

I loved this film! Had it been a bit more technically competent, I think it would have made the shortlist for sure. The dialogue was so funny, loved the term "Corn" as Unicorn hunter jargon, and "More corn out here than on the cob" was fucking hilarious. My favourite part though, was when the toddler unicorn expert was asked if Unicorns like chocolate cake and she responds with an emphatic and bizarrely furious "NO!" I don't know why she was so offended by the concept of chocolate cake, but I actually had to pause the film when vetting it because I was laughing so hard. TITLE REVIEW: Very cheeky play on words. I like it.

Morgan Foster Presents: Mindcreep Cinema

I love love LOVE the concept for this film. Sequel or not (I haven't actually seen the original MIND CREEP), I really got into the idea of a "Twilight Zone" inspired anthology show, and having it presented by a past character is the only way to do it! HOWEVER sadly I do feel a lot was sacrificed in order to make this happen; the actual story-within-the-story was pretty unclear in places, and I sense there may be a more lucid 5+ minute original on the cutting room floor. It felt more like a fully formed and well made idea for an original short film that was sandwiched in between the Morgan Foster narrative device as for it to technically qualify as a sequel. Both story layers are great, I just feel the ultimately didn't merge as well as Chess Club probably hoped. Still, I found it very endearing and entertaining, and I'll be damned if the use of the Wilhelm scream in the opening credits for Morgan's show isn't the most natural and best use of that stupid sound effect we'll see in the rest of this year's competition.

The Greatest Gunman

This film, sadly, was probably one of the most frustrating I've seen in the whole competition.... BECAUSE I LOVED IT. The story was great, the acting and dialogue was IMPECCABLE ("Yeah! Hiss at him" or the monologue about which parts of Auckland the Gunman controlled). The last shot with the lead just shoving rotten bread into the girl's face, hahahah! It was so full of GREAT elements, elements that could win the entire competition... But that camera work and editing really left something to be desired and I fear it has cost the Brothers in Crime any placing in the competition above (third?) audience favourite. There were so many good ideas in this film, great ideas even, but all those jokes and performances seemed to be wasted in sub-par cinematography and what seemed like a first cut. I hope you guys return next year with a more effective crew, someone who knows how to set up a shot and someone who knows editing, because you're scripting is some of the funniest and cleverest I've seen in my 6 years of 48 hours. All the best!

Best Before

I feel like you could have done a lot more with this idea. I loved the concept of an expired ham sandwich teleporting it's consumer to different dimensions, but nothing much happened. The other dimensions themselves weren't other-worldly, and as such I'd argue whether this fits the genre at all. There was one dimension where someone tried to take Harper's sandwich, and I wonder if maybe you should have made that the focus of your story; Harper trying to get back from this new dimension after someone takes his sandwich and teleports to his. The line delivery for both characters was very wooden too, Harper's wife sounded like she was reading lines off a script, and being removed visually didn't help this either. Technically this film was great, the camera work and editing are awesome. I'd say y'all just need to work on fleshing out a story, because you treated the concept like a one-trick pony, and I feel you could have been far more creative with it.

One Is The Loneliest Number

Clever set-up with the USB gag that didn't really end up leading anywhere special. Art direction and locations were good, and the premise, which I'm guessing was pitched as 'last man on earth tries to create a woman a'la frankenstein' could have been a lot stronger and pushed more forward as Harper's main objective. The unlicensed music really took me out of the film too, would have really liked to hear a more ambient score.

Opposite side of the track

Really great camera work and production design, but I found the story hard to follow at times and it maybe wasn't as compelling as it wanted to be. There's a really strong directorial voice, which is nice. I'd have loved to see the characters outside of the room, maybe with actual flashbacks to illustrate what they were talking about. TITLE REVIEW: I'm not sure your title perfectly illustrates what the film is really about.

The Jacket

The heart behind this film is really really good. A great approach to the "Over ten years" genre which has proven to be the most self-defining genre of the lot this year as it's not quite as easy to ignore or sweep under the rug. Ultimately, I couldn't help feel that this film felt more like a commercial, like an extra long one you see at the previews for a movie- a Hallensteins logo appearing at the end would not have felt out of place, but hey, kudos to you for making what I would consider quite a clever and effective ad concept for a clothing store. Great motivation to go out and buy a jacket with the hope that it will become your magical lucky jacket. As others have said, I would have liked a more clear indication of the difference in time era- everyone looked more or less contemporary. I think this idea was a solid introduction to what could have been a bigger film, but then you would have fallen into the same story structure as "Cushy: A Pull Story", and the last thing I would have wanted would have been an overflow of ten year movies following inanimate objects. Really well shot, really well edited, I look forward to seeing what you guys produce in the future. As for your title, "The Jacket" makes sense, and knowing the genre means you can kind of guess where it's gonna go before you watch it.

Twenty Four Hour Rewind

A really good idea, with some great locations and super solid acting. I think, as is the problem with time travel, we did end up in the repetitive zone, and it all ended up feeling pretty futile. Still, a good story arc with a strong ending, and I look forward to seeing what this team does in the future. As for your title, "Twenty Four Hour Rewind" is a bit of a headscratcher, I get that it's kind of related to the plot, but I think you could have come up with something more creative.

Aurora

I am a sucker for a sweetly romantic short like this one. I'm such a softy. Obviously the way in which this film stands out is the clever editing technique of the shadow man interacting with the film's lead, and as others have said, I've found myself really struggling to figure out how some of it was even done. The lead character is a great casting choice to, she's got that Zooey Deschanel adorkable vibe to her, which really carried the film as she was both a photogenic actress and came across as the kind of social outcast who would find solace in dating a shadow ghost. There are a couple of 'in universe' issues here though- Sometimes the shadow drank out of glass shadows, and ate with fork shadows, and sometimes we're told he's literally holding a solid fork. Fixes for these small problems would have really elevated the effect of this film. I also wanted a definitive reason for why the lights were turning on at the end of each date, even if they were just automated I would have liked to have been told that. As much as I loved watching the couple's adventures continue, I'm unsure why the film continues past the first night, as we basically just see the same thing happen (lights turn on, shadow disappears) again. As with a lot of films this year, I would have liked a more conclusive ending/development/hook to the film which brought everything full circle. As for your title, "Aurora" feels a little cliche. I think there's a better title hidden in here somewhere.

Baking Takes Time

The frozen time scene in this film was SO WELL DONE! I'm not sure how "into" filmmaking this team is, but framing those shots with the frozen characters, and then the editing making it totally seem like there were two of each person in the room is actually super effective filmmaking! Very cool. With techniques like this, I'm looking forward to seeing what Taniwha Road produces as they get older and more experienced! My main note would be to work a little on your storytelling, acting and overall technical side, because this team shows a lot of promise and I would be stoked to see them in the finals some day. TITLE REVIEW: Great time travel/baking double meaning.

Sampson

While not the first time I've seen a 48hour film with this premise, it is still pulled off very well, and perfect for the real time genre... OR IS IT? More on this later. Lead actress's performance is excellent, and the film itself delightfully gross - especially with the literal OverHEAD shot, and overall the film is solid and compelling - very nearly making the finals but one of those situations where its not so much what's wrong with the film specifically, and more about the level of quality with the other finalists. I appreciate this can be a very frustrating thing to hear. I have 3 issues with this film, which, for me are what let it down in the end. 1. The male character is a LOT quieter than the female character, so much so that her scream which opens the film meant I had to turn the volume down, only to not be able to hear the next line coming from the guy. 2. At first I was a little lost with the petrol station scene, it seems to grind the film to a halt, and while I now see it emphasises how shit the husband is with his priorities, it does kind of feel like there's a larger point to the scene. Maybe if we'd seen this scene all play out in one take, it could have been a humorous reprieve from the action, but the way its cut feels very stilted, which is a bit of a paradoxical issue, as real time means you can't do any time jumps, HOWEVER 3. There's a goddamn time jump in this film! The characters go from in the car to running towards the hospital - which is a big no no. Perhaps you didn't notice? Or you hoped we wouldn't? I imagine it was to keep the run time going, but you were THIS CLOSE to being nominated for best use of genre, but it felt disingenuous after the time jump. Also, a phantom 4th point, which actually applies to a lot of 48hour films, I feel we don't really have an ending here. The character arcs aren't fulfilled, the baby just gets born. I'd have liked to see some comeuppance for the husband being such an asshole, or some retribution for the mother. TITLE REVIEW: Sampson is great, and a great dodgey name choice to spark a divide amongst the parents. I knew a Sampson once.

Baby On Board

"Baby on Board" might be my favourite Dragon V Mouse film to date. What's great here, is that we get to see that classic TRADEMARK DvM meta humour and sarcasm which was really cemented with last year's bitter ULTRA, but implemented with a lot more positivity and warmth, from a team who actually liked the genres, elements and ULTRA this year. "Baby on Board" pokes fun at the competition instead of flipping the table like it did (wonderfully nonetheless) with last year's "Grisly". The strongest aspect of the film is that great directorial voice, this is a deliciously simple idea executed to it's full potential, and aided by a witty sense of humour. The titular baby is a fish out of water in more ways than one here; not only is he in over his head in a car driven by a criminal, but he's also a weirdly self-aware 6 month old Scorsese gangster in a world where everyone else is taking things VERY seriously. This is so funny, and if there's something DvM have nailed with particularly their last 3 entries, it's showing our reality through a surreal comical point of view, whether that's the point of view of a New York gangster baby, a cheeky mouse, or a jilted director who REALLY didn't want to have to make a sequel. Ironically though, both years that DvM have canonballed into ULTRA, they've nailed it, with a healthy mix of adhering to ULTRA's strict guidelines as well as subverting the formats they set up, and as someone who had a hand in creating the ULTRA element this year, I loved that this film stood up to the challenge and actually used a real life baby. Sure the whole story is told in "lazy"(quote) voice over, but that's the joke, and there was still a baby on set there doing his damnedest to be a good wee actor. On that subject, while I know it was probably only a matter of filming the baby for a while and getting him to look at certain things, the way he, as a character, responds to the events unfolding is excellent, which probably comes down to editing and selecting the shots more than the baby being an amazing actor. But hey, it can be both. The attitude of this film is so good, so silly and funny, and in every way indicative of 48hours. Going forward with Dragon V Mouse, it's either a case of "never change" or "drastically change", and that's up to you guys as a team and what you want to achieve. There is a place for you in this competition as the meta wink-wink-nudge-nudge team which continues to make films that dismantle the genres and elements, as well as the entire competition. I don't think anyone will get sick of that as long as the concepts your bringing to the table are as good as this one. The other way to go would be to change up completely, and try tell stories that dismantle our expectations of your team, as opposed to the competition itself. While I love the self aware stuff, I must say I am intrigued to see what else this team of storytellers can bring to the table. As for your title, it might be the only thing about the film I'm kind of disappointed by. "Baby on Board" feels safe and obvious, and something more appropriate to the Scorsese style being parodied maybe would have landed better.

The Spares

I think the only way to properly review this film is to do it in two parts, reviewing the film as it's own thing, and then reviewing it in the context of TBALC and their legacy, because other reviewers are treating these like they're the same thing which seems a little unfair. As it's own thing, "The Spares" immediately struck with it's super clean cinematography, that gorgeous opening shot of Noah's ark on the beach, and the wonderful production design of the animal enclosures. Was this the same set from "New Fish"? Or do TBALC just secretly have access to a bunch of different prisons? I really enjoyed the acting as well, as with Submission Impossible, I don't know if there is any one stand out, but if there was ever a film that made a case to include a 'Best Ensemble Award' next year, it's this one. So after setting up a really fun and fresh premise, we get into the story which is paced well enough for it to never feel like it's dragging along despite being set in only one location. I didn't personally see the twist coming, but many others have, and perhaps this is something you expected, as the "how did the platypus get made" joke feels vaguely familiar, like something my grandfather would have told me when I was a toddler. What's the takeaway here though? Make it less obvious? Maybe. Could there have been more characters involved, and by the end the spares are all that are left? I'm getting into retooling, which is bad for a reviewer and a city manager, so these are just my thoughts. The dialogue is great as well, along with the aforementioned acting, "Does anyone have a corkscrew?" is a line so strikingly hilarious, but at the same time super subtle, that those in the audience who got it could be heard in a bubbling giggle that rose up to surface. Naughty TBALC! Dirty Joke! Please include even dirtier jokes next year :) In terms of ULTRA, I do think that this was kind of a cheat, as others have said, and maybe this is something I should be talking about more in the second part of this review, but yeah, the animals idea is cool, and obviously you couldn't have used real animals (can you imagine), but for a team as prestigious as you guys it was kind of like "Oh, okay they're doing it this way". So that brings us to TBALC then as a team. I'll continue on with ULTRA thoughts regarding this.. While I love all your actors and look forward to seeing who'll take center stage each year, I was more surprised than I was disappointed that this was the route you went down. What I guess I'm saying is I am fascinated by the idea of seeing a TBALC film about kids going on an adventure a'la "ET" or "Stranger Things", this was the heart behind ULTRA being what it was this year, and I guess it's a bit of a bummer that Christchurch's favourite sons (and daughters) didn't dive headfirst into this, and now there'd be no reason to do it again. You guys were nominated for 7 awards, which was the most out of any team, but as it all ended up playing out, you didn't take home any of them, which is a pain I know and feel (and I know you guys know that I know... that), so I thought, while the wounds (if there are any) may still be a little tender, that this puts your team and its future in an interesting kind of place, because of all the awards you were nominated for, you were probably second place for almost all of them. IS THIS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO HEAR!? WHO KNOWS LET'S KEEP GOING! This is by no means a bad thing, it just means while "The Spares" excelled in so many ways, there just ended up being at least one other that cut the mustard a little more effectively. What all of this means then, is that you guys at TBALC have settled into a comfortable place, where you make the competition look so easy, but at the same time that comfortability has become a safety net. Do you guys continue to work within your boxes and make great films year after year which, while being amazing are more of a master of none as opposed to jack of a single trade? Or do you attempt something truly striking and different and powerful and grab that Apee for a fifth time? "The Spares" is wonderfully executed film, and I absolutely loved it, and while I'm not saying the judges are harsher on you guys because you're so good, I am saying that other teams are quickly catching up to your level, and some already have, and a couple may even be surpassing. I hope this isn't too harsh or mean, I just know how much value you guys put in feedback so I'm trying to be as thorough as possible, and I'm trying to invigorate you to the point where you put me in the difficult position of having to award TBALC with city winner for a fifth fucking time. As for your title, "The Spares" is great because as soon as we land on them in the panning shot of Noah's ark, we know exactly what game we're playing.

There Was A Way

I loved your film last year, and while this year's outing isn't quite as charming, it's still really great. I think you guys remind me of myself when I was younger, but from the audience laughter its clear that it's not only me who enjoys your style. Probably one of my favourite Splatstick films from what I've seen. While the story could be improved, the sense of humour is so good, as are the various stunts like the baby falling in the river or the character's guts falling out. I encourage you guys to buckle down into story next year. I could easily see you making the finals in future years, you just gotta combine your great practical ideas with a really quality plot. As for your title, I absolutely love "There Was a Way" as a title, but I'm not sure how it relates to the film?

Tomcat Down

A serious contender for Best Bad Film, and I mean that as a compliment. I LOVED this movie. It's so brazen and silly, and I can tell the crew (of which I assume is just 2 guys) has as much fun as they could have in the competition. In a world where laughter equals success, I could see this making the finals. If not, I hope it still develops the cult following it deserves.

The Stile

Very cool. Definitely the all around best film Everything Sticks has ever produced, which is great to see a measurable increase in quality. This was very close to making the finals, and as I've pointed out in reviews for other films from the shortlist that didn't make the cut, it's not so much an indictment on your film as it is a statement about just how bloody good the top 15 are this year. The cinematography was what stuck out to me the most, some really nice work here with great wide shots and almost intrusive close ups which phase in and out of focus like some kind of dream. The concept of this film also really hit me- a very dark and heavy interpretation of the Star-Crossed Lovers genre, and not one I was expecting- though I'm not sure if unrequited love quite fits the brief, as death does not love the girl back, or at least not yet. There are a couple of story beats I didn't quite understand or follow, but I kind of don't mind this as it plays into the fever dreamy nature of it all. The acting from the lead is really good and really committed. As others have pointed out, I'm not sure how I feel about the Death character being so clearly a child, but a good decision to not actually see the character in focus. I guess this would have also been a symptom of doing Ultra, as both characters are under 18- although isn't Death technically immortal? Or is he outside of age, neither qualifying for ultra nor disqualifying this film from Ultra? On the subject of Ultra, while I like that this film shows the dynamic nature of the Ultra rule this year in that the characters are under 18 and this didn't horribly impede the film, it doesn't exactly embrace it either, as both characters could have been played by adults and it would have been more or less the same. This isn't so much a wrap on the knuckles, I just would have been interested to see what Everything Sticks could pull off by trying to tell a child's story. As for your title, I didn't actually know what a stile was, but now that I do I can see how it fits. Or how it sticks. Everything sticks. Everything's sticks.

Promotion Road

It took me a couple of watches to full understand the situation, I didn't pick up on the whole "boss invites everyone around" thing initially. Not that any of that matters, because clearly this film's strength is in how disgusting it is. As the person responsible for suggesting Gross Out as a genre this year, this film is exactly what I had in mind. I laughed so hard, and I loved how effective it was, with the whole audience in hysterics/gagging. The zenith of Gross Out is seeing someone vomit on someone else's shit. Fuck dude. So gross. So good. The story structure, while nothing revolutionary, was still really effective here, and I think this shows that Foreign Objects have a good grasp on how to tell a story, whether their production value catches up to them or not. You guys look like you have so much fun making 48hour films, please never stop. TITLE REVIEW: Promotion Road seems a little innocuous for such a visceral film, but maybe that's the point? Lull us into a false sense of security?

Self Service

The storyline of this film really went over my head, but I blame myself for this and not the film as the judges clearly loved whatever it was I was missing! Great job team.

Cheernobyl: A Holiday Meltdown

I am super bummed this film didn't make the finals! I was sure it would, and I am saddened that CRAB CRAB CRAB's chaotic energy won't be absorbed by the audience this year. What I liked: The costume design, as always, is remarkable. The performance of the cake man is pitch perfectly terrifying. I loved the horrific melting pot of all the holidays, and how some directly contradict each other - and along with the costume design, the set dressing really adds a lot here. The Spring Break Nog and being told there's a spider in the cracker (but not even seeing it) are my two favourite jokes from the film. The premise is a great way to incorporate everything under the Holiday genre umbrella, and CRAB CRAB CRAB were the perfect team to tackle such a task. Part of what bums me out about this not making the finals is that I think this is all the best parts of CRAB CRAB CRAB boiled down into one film, and my favourite from the team since the gold standard that was WHEAT, MYSELF AND RYE. What I think could be improved upon: If anything holds this film back, I'd say its story arc feels like it brushes with brilliance but doesn't quite stick the landing. I think we probably didn't need to start in media res, and could have cut the first minute or so and start us straight in the lab - the only important piece of information that isn't relayed here is that the hero picked all the holidays, but this could have been slipped into the dialogue. I think cutting the beginning down would also let you expand on the second half of the film- I loved seeing the hero try bring back Christmas, but it only whet my appetite to see him attempt to bring back every holiday. Maybe still end on the Christmas scene though, but it would have been cool to see the chaos from the first part of the film continue through into some kind of morally bankrupt montage as he tries to bring back Easter, Valentines day and Halloween too. With the judging process changing from panel to individual opinion maths this year, I think you guys at CRAB CRAB CRAB maybe should take this opportunity to step up your game. While I hold you in high regard, I feel forced to think about your team's weaknesses, and I GUESS what I would say is, you always deliver such a visual spectacle but the story lines often fall by the wayside in favour of unbridled madness. So, if reclaiming your spot in the finals is important to you as a team, maybe next year pour as much effort into the storytelling and plotting as you do into the art direction. I always like seeing teams go sentimental, or grandiose and epic (though those are only my personal preferences). I think the madness of CRAB CRAB CRAB paired with a weightier story could be something very special and very important to the landscape of Christchurch 48. TITLE REVIEW: Cheernobyl is one of those titles that just makes you excited reading. Probably my favourite title of the year after EASTER BUNNY GETS DESTROYED BY A HUGE BOWEL MOVEMENT.

Snow Country for Cold Elves

This film didn't play in our heat, but it gets full marks for its hilarious title. I wonder what it's about. EDIT: Just saw it in the city finals. Really awesome work here, from the snowy aesthetic, to the rhyming narration, to the art direction, Permanently Confused really embraced the Christmas genre, and absolutely deserves the full 7 stars I prematurely gave it.

Clone Swappers

I think I'm going to give CLONE SWAPPERS the unofficial award for Horniest film in the competition this year! This movie is good fun, and the premise is pulled off in a way that actually is somewhat surprising, with a satisfying and funny ending. TITLE REVIEW: Clone Swappers is great. Tells me all I need to know, conjures up imagery. Great stuff.

Pizza money

Action is the genre you guys were made for. I loved this film, the characters are great, the effects are great, the acting is great, and the story is as elegantly simple as it needs to be. I hope PIZZA MONEY gets recognized nationally, coz Jovial Entertainment absolutely deserve it.

Banned Practice

Lots of great ideas in this film, I'm not sure they all reached their full potential, but there was enough in there to be a real crowd pleaser for sure.

Clean Getaway

My favourite film I've seen so far out of the 4 or 5 heats I've attended. Coming into this film after a school's heat was exactly the kind of pick-me-up I needed, as soon as the beautiful letterboxed cinematography blasted onto the screen I let out a sigh of relief, and on top of that the acting was INCREDIBLE and HILARIOUS, and the story fit the black comedy genre so well. I loved the part where one of the girls nearly throws up, not because of the dead body but because she remembered the wet bread. My friends and I were quoting that back and forth to each other all night. The two actresses really owned their roles, and as characters they were both very different people so it felt like a really genuine dynamic. The make-up on the dead guy was great too. I definitely expect to see this in the city finals, and probably Nationals too. Hell, I hope it wins. Peace out.

I'm Gonna

I have a real soft spot for this film. Knowing nothing about you guys at 1:1 Creative, it really took me by surprise. Every element of this film is fantastic, the editing, the camerawork, the acting, the narrative. It's all here, and in a lot of ways it sets a great example of what a 48hour film should look and feel like when every base of filmmaking is covered. It's a shame the art direction award is absent this year too, because this film looked gorgeous with it's vibrant colours, especially in the candy scene- from the giant lollipops, to the rainbow strips, to even the choice of flavours for the soda, it all really makes the film pop and plays into the childlike glee that it's presenting. The kids do a great job as well, they're young enough for their naivety to be realistic (this is a weird thing to point out, but the old 'age inappropriate casting' problem can sometimes go the other way too). Their grown up counterparts really sell the show, with their actions and attitudes being very clearly children in adult bodies. It's funny that "I'm Gonna" and "Hero" were the two opening films of the night as well, because both are child centric non-Ultras which use voice over as their narrative and end on a twist that the people presented on screen aren't the people who've been talking the entire time (that's if I interpreted the ending to this one correctly). This film was the most wonderfully simple and clever idea which really did a great job of kicking off the finals night. Congratulations to the team as well for being the only first time finalists out of the whole 15! Let's hope we see you there next year. As for your title, "I'm Gonna" is perfect.

Best Buds

A very fun short with some great acting and a lot of laughs. I would have liked to see the story go to a few more places, up the stakes etc. But it still works as what it is. Fantastic Wilhelm Scream too.

Pain in The Neck

A really good concept, and an original take on the odd couple format. As J Frog noted, if you guys wanted to do an homage to sitcoms, I think you needed to lean into it more. The theme song needed to feel a bit more authentic, the camera angles needed to represent the four-camera set up of sitcoms, and the laugh track needed to sound like a full theatre of laughter, not just a few people in a room. Now, I get that you maybe didn't have access to more cameras, a musician or a theatre full of people ready to laugh, but if you HAD I could have easily seen this concept, executed to its full potential, be one of my favourite films of the year. The story is great, and the gags are also great. A fun way to end it, and while the Vampire hunter was a little young, the casting was pretty much on point. Looking forward to see what you guys put forward in the future. TITLE REVIEW: Pain in the Neck is perfect for the 80s/90s sitcom homage that this film is. Well done!

Circle Circuit

A lot of ideas in this film, but I'm not sure any were fully fleshed out. The concept of stoners time travelling is a great one though, but would have loved to have seen them actually travel to other eras, and seen what shenanigans they could get up to. TITLE REVIEW: Circle Circuit... Hmm because of the That 70's Show circle? and the Circuit? I mean, it works!

A Slime of Passion

CRAB CRAB CRAB are one of the most reliable and consistent teams in Christchurch, and SLIME OF PASSION fits nicely into their filmography. The acting is hilarious, and the effects are thankfully on brand for the team. I'm a touch confused by the combination of story elements- It seems to me the WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S style story and the quest to destroy a giant slug couldn't be further apart, and I'm not sure how well one informed the other, as the two concepts feel like they're from completely different stories. However maybe that's the point, and I look forward to more absurdist stuff from the Crabs in the future.

Cushy: A Pull Story

This film is GREAT. A lot of my thoughts have already been said here by other reviewers, so I'm just gonna rattle off some things I loved and a couple of things I think could have been improved. I love the devotion to the 10 years + genre, which is evident in you guys actually taking home the award. I've seen a couple teams struggle with the problem of needing to age up their characters, so for this film to just follow a couch was a great idea, and it has this kind of weird "I'd never actually thought about this" quality to it too, like yeah, I guess that couch I picked up for my flat from that random trademe user's house would have had a pretty interesting life span up until now. Great call as well, having all of Cushy's dwellings be different from each other, was a great excuse to take the audience on a journey, as well as give you guys as filmmakers a nice adventure for the Saturday shooting sessions, racing a couch across town to different locations. I love that we end up in a storage unit too, it could have been there for most of the decade plus that this story covers, but we don't need to be told this. Loved it. I think what really sold the film in the end for me, is the fact that Cushy gets a face by the end, complete with flappy mouth. The film would have felt incomplete without this, without this couch I'd grown to love over the past ten years finally being able to express his emotions. It seems like an obvious choice, to give your inanimate object a face to make them more relatable, but here in "Cushy: A Pull Story" it's just shy of being treated as a twist or a reveal. Excellent stuff. Biggest things to improve on for next year would be the technical side- particularly camera work and audio, if anything held this film back from the coveted top 3 spots, it would have been this kinda stuff. I think ten years ago, a film like "Cushy: A Pull Story" could have taken out the whole comp, but in 2018 films with a higher quality production tend to pop equally as with story, which wasn't always the way, but in my opinion filmmaking is equal parts story and the technical means with which you tell it. It would have been nice as well if in the party scene, we had a few party goers loitering just at the edge of frame, everyone in this scene looks kinda cramped into the shot as to not miss anything, but it just looks a touch staged. Also, that pregnant belly, fwoarr. When she showed up on screen with what was clearly a fake baby bump, the whole cinema giggled, which was a shame because it is a detractor from the film, and it wouldn't have been with a bit more creative effort to make her belly look genuine. A small gripe for sure, but something that I think definitely needed to be mentioned- though I'm sure you're well aware already. As for your title, is "Cushy: A Pull Story" a pun on "Upholstery"? If it is, then well done, if it isn't, then what the hell is a "pull story"? :P Fantastic job team, I cannot wait to see what SJGR bring us next year.

We'll just have to do things the long way.

I love you Mad Scientist. I feel like this whole year was a beautiful 48hours cocktail for you, from the solo/duo element, to the Ultra, to the genre. As for the film itself, it is exactly what we've come to expect from you/your team, and that is both a good thing and a bad thing. It's a good thing because the competition desperately needs films like yours, they're genuinely breaths of fresh air, and you can just see how much you love filmmaking, genre films and miniguns. It's a bad thing because I think out of the last 4 or 5 films you've made, this one is kind of squarely in the middle for me- I think "One Man Army" will always be your "Citizen Kane", and that is by no means a bad thing. The question is, how, if you choose to, should you develop? How do you keep journeying down that rabbit hole? How do you make the craziest, most insane film this competition has ever seen? I'm not sure I have the answer for this, but I can't wait to see what you come up with. Other notes: Technically this film is a mixed bag, the green screen work and clone soldiers are all really great and effective, but I found a lot of the audio hard to make out at times- also not sure what was going on with that 20 seconds of black at the start, but it adds to the charm. As for your title, I absolutely adore "We'll Just Have to do Things the Long Way", it's so meaty and fun to say. I maybe would have preferred the traditional "hard way" instead of "long way" but that might just be me.

The Trees Are Alive!

When the judges and I finalized the shortlist, this was definitely in the conversation, so feel encouraged that your film was in our top 30 overall. I really dig the acting in this film- the two leads have a very authentic and believable relationship, and so in a lot of ways I was pretty invested from the get go. The ending also hits on a bang, the monster is a little cheesy though- I do wonder if you should have hidden or blurred the actual design. The middle of the film is kind of where it falls away- I think I would have liked more focus on the build up to the monster instead of just a drastic shift in the last minute or so. As for your title, "The Trees Are Alive!" is a great pulpy title, reminds me of a novel you'd find in a second hand book store. That being said, the film itself didn't feel like this, so maybe it could have used a more grounded title.

A Slice of You

Very confused as to why I'm only the 4th person to review such an excellent film. Mark my words ya'll, rip focus are the team to watch out for in the foreseeable future of the competition, filling the hole in our hearts left by Pigs Guts' desertion, with hints of TBALC humour, and even a little Les Cousins Dangereux if I do say so myself. Perhaps this is the result of young filmmakers being influenced by 48hour films of the past and learning all the right lessons. There is so much I love about this film that it's gonna be difficult to concisely put into words. I think what stands out the most is the subtle but effective world building done in this movie. The film makes you ask so many questions that it never answers, but this isn't a detractor because by the time you've started wondering, we're already catapulted into the next scene. Things like: -Why are they slurping puddles off the coffee table at the beginning? Why/How are they scoring them? Why was C'larence not as good, apparently, at slurping? -Why the hell is his name C'larence? -What the heck is the other guy's name?! -Why do they all sleep in the same bed? All of these things and more are hysterically underdeveloped, and I mean that in a good way. This is the opposite of exposition, where we just have to accept that this is the world of the film, and the implications here are so funny and bizarre that I'm still laughing about them as I write this. Then of course there's the excellent music in this film, which 100% deserved to take home the award for "Pizza Girl", ("I don't order pizza for the pizza anymore" makes my heart sing). I also loved the "Love is a Tasty Feeling" song in there as well, with Sarena's "PEPPERONI CHEEEEESE" putting a stupidly big grin on my face whenever I see it. The film excels here on the marriage of editing and script, with those quick cuts and hilarious lines of dialogue taking us by the hand and running headfirst into wholesome absurdism. I have a couple of points of constructive criticism here; as much as I love this film, I really would love to see rip focus do even better next year. I'd say my biggest problem with the film would be that the story follows a guy trying to get his pizza girl back, so he keeps ordering pizzas, and eventually he gets the right one- not a lot of conflict here, just a devoted lover. If he'd worked out "Oh she only delivers on Fridays" or "Oh she only delivers when you order olives as a topping" or even if he'd defied odds and left the house and tracked her down himself, this would have really energized the story. Of course these plot contrivances are completely masked by the music, editing and humour, but when you watch the film as many times as me, you start to notice these things. The other way in which I think you could improve might strike a chord, and I hope we can still be friends: I'm not convinced iPhone is the best way to go here guys D: You seem really proud of this fact, but in the 2018 landscape of the competition, slick camerawork is starting to become just as important as story- and while the shot sizes are great and the focus isn't ripped, some nice juicy dynamic range or 2-4k resolution would really up the cinematic elements of your films. I'll end on a positive note for your continual journeying into 48hours: I like your comedy more than your drama. While "A Ripple in Time" was dope, "A Slice of You" is something very very special, and I think that comes down to your senses of humour, so my advice for next year would be ignore the pleas that we don't get enough dramas in 48, and instead keep digging into your comedy chops. As for your title, "A Slice of You" is perfect. I love it.

On The Beat

ON THE BEAT might be one of the best approaches to Ultra in the competition, which from what I've seen has managed to trip up almost every 'established' team who've taken it on. ON THE BEAT is the BETTER CALL SAUL to ROLLERS' BREAKING BAD, and I think the 'spin-off' method is something a lot of other teams maybe should have done as well. The songs are great, the story is gripping and it was genuinely a treat to see the best Charlie Flowers from last year back on screen, though as Richard mentioned, he didn't quite have the same charm of thoughtfulness as he did in ROLLERS, which would have been nice to see. Reminds me of how much Jeff Goldbloom's characterization changes between the first and second JURASSIC PARK films. Still, far and away one of the best 48hours films I've seen this year, will definitely make it far and could even win.

Under The Gun

A lot of cool ideas in this film, which were maybe taken a bit too seriously. Would have liked to have seen some comedy to ballance out such a thickly serious and tense situation. Good locations. Good actors.

Some Body at the Lake

Great looking film, awesome premise and awesome acting. Would have liked to have seen a little more conflict to draw the characters closer together, I could definitely see this being a longer 20-minute piece!

the last duel

I did not like this film. It's had a very high production value and all(a huge mansion and section, + 18th century costume, guns etc.) but what became increasingly obvious, was that Pressure Productions had came up with this idea completely before the contest started. Their genre is barely recognizable(fad), which was conveniently explained to the audience through the poorly delivered line "this FAD has gone on long enough". The character and line of dialogue were easily slipped in, and the bent bit of wire was probably written in the script as "object X" as the fact that it is a bent piece of wire is irrelevant. It could have been '10s broken toy or the rock or any other previous years' prop and had exactly the same effect. The acting is average, which let the 18th century feel down a bit. This film got third in it's heat, which I am disappointed in, just because a film is big budget and looks good, it does not mean it is a great film.

Perpetual Pause

There's something about the ability to freeze time that feels intrinsically linked to the high school genre- maybe it's because of shows like "Saved by the Bell" which used freezing time as a narrative device, or maybe it's because as teenagers, probably more than any other time in our lives, we fantasize about the ability to postpone, procrastinate and even control time itself so that we don't have to face up to our bogus responsibilities. Beyond the creative concept, the casting of characters was great too, and well done getting enough extras to convincingly pull off a functioning high school, albeit a frozen one. The extras all do a great job of being paused, I didn't notice any stumbles from anyone, though I wasn't really looking for them. I also LOVE the striking visual image of a school covered in screwed up notes, and I kind of wish the film had leaned into this more and just had an absurd about of these notes falling out of closets and filling up rubbish bins. Maybe Jack has been trying to write this perfect note for years? There are a couple of plot contrivances/inconsistencies however that I would like to point out, if only for constructive criticism. I don't necessarily want to know HOW our hero has the ability to freeze time, but the fact that it froze everyone except for this girl felt like it needed a bit of explaining. For someone who has been able to freeze time his whole life, he did not seem in anyway shocked that someone was immune to his powers. I also think the stakes could have been higher here- all they have to do is write a note and Jack can unfreeze time whenever he wants. Some kind of time pressure here would have helped make the film a bit more action packed. I'm also not sure if it was entirely necessary to demonize Jack's crush, she seemed like a nice girl who lets him down easy, but then the main girl explains that she's actually a cheater and a bad person- and if this is true then it would have been nice to see this for ourselves instead of being told it by someone who could just be lying. Ultimately, I would say I would have liked to have seen a little more mileage out of the pausing time concept in the film, but hey, it's still a fantastic idea and is A+ in so many other areas that it still feels like it's own little complete piece. As for your title, "Perpetual Pause" is interesting, it kind of feels like there could have been something that suited the genre more, but this is small potatoes stuff.

Wired

Hahaha, no matter how the film itself is received, the hilarious team intro you guys did this year really tickled me pink, and I hope you win the award for that just alone. WIRED works great as a real time film, watching two characters start out as oppositions and become allies by the end to defeat a greater threat. The story is great, and I'd love to see you guys up your game in terms of camera work for next year, as I think that is the only piece of the puzzle missing.

Velociraptor

The technical side of this film is clearly the team's strong point. The camerawork is really good, as is the music and the original song got a laugh out of me. I think you guys fell a little flat with your story though, relatively strong beginning and a banger of an ending but not a lot happens in the middle, which I think is a common issue with romcoms and their sub genres like this one. As for your title, I like "Velociraptor" as a relation to their star sign (though I didn't know that was a star sign). Not exactly indicative of your film, but intriguing nonetheless.

My Pet Earthling

Part of me hates this film because it played right before ours, and the energy of our film was completely usurped by the absolute weirdness of MY PET EARTHLING. You warmed everyone up for something really strange, and we failed to deliver with, what by comparison was, a very normal movie. But, I don't want to be a poor sport, and if I'm honest, I completely loved this approach to the Bechdel film, which passed the test by having no one else really even talk (if you don't count howling and moaning as talking). I love the style and atmosphere this film brings you into, and the art direction and make-up is second-to-none. I would expect to see Knawtra win some awards, while also possibly having a place in the city finals.

Hysteria

Some really good stuff here- excellently shot and a clear handle on the basics of the genre. However, the story left something to be desired, I think we saw a lot of Tech Thrillers this year which dealt with very similar ideas, and I don't feel that this one popped. You kind of know exactly where it's going after that first scene, and while Tech Thrillers do lend themselves to this kind of thing, I would encourage you guys to try figure out something more original next year. I also wasn't exactly clear on the science of the ending- how did the VR girl become a physical entity in the real world? The transitions from VR to RL was really well done, but I do wish we had some more exciting imagery than just this house to accommodate such effective cinematography. As for your title, I'm not really sure how "Hysteria" plays into the plot in any specific way.

No Bromo

Really solid work all around. Actors were great and the camera work was competent. I did think the actual characterisation was a little unclear, I was genuinely surprised that neither were gay because it felt as though we'd confirmed at least one of them was. While there's a strong sense of humour in this film, I am a little concerned at a film in 2019 basing a whole plot around gay panic, I'm not sure this flies today. We're not at critical toxic levels here, there is almost an equal amount of progressive thinking by the characters in the film, but still, it does make you wonder what the attitudes of the filmmakers were when making a film with this subject as their core conflict. As other reviewers have pointed it out, the fact that the characters stop just shy of kissing makes it all a little disingenuous, maybe all the gay panic elements would be forgiven if this was actually just a genuine coming out of the closet story. TITLE REVIEW: Again, I think No Bromo feels kinda like play on an antiquated term by today's moral standards, and it really didn't make me feel right. My favourite joke is probably just "Wokeback Fountain" as a film title, and I'd love it if you'd called the film this, or better yet, made this as a film.

Last Day for Stan

A really good performance from Stan, great opening, highlight was Stan's expression while hugging the girl from his office. This film is everything it needs to be aside from the continuity errors, but my advice for next year would be try tell a story with higher stakes- I know Stan is under threat of being executed by his galactic overlord, but it would have been nice is this tension was felt in the character's performance because he didn't seem to care too much. As for your title, "Last Day for Stan" is perfectly fine, nothing outstanding.

Repent

This was great. The use of both the prop and the line of dialogue here were the best I've seen this whole year. Characterisation was awesome, and while God entering the scene was a little left-field, I thought it was really funny nonetheless. Harper's transition from saint to sinner was a little jarring though, I would have liked to have seen her descent into debauchery a little more subtle and progressive. One of my favourite city finalists.

Falling For You

I get the feeling No Budget Ninjas were not quite ready to tackle action, and the way they pulled it off is what I love about this film. The central premise of a gravity bomb pulling everyone closer into the ground is not only a great way to get around the typical fast paced nature of action film, but it's a great concept anyway. Hilarious performances all around. Great job.

The Kids Next Door

Awesome film, was very impressed, particularly with the acting of every person involved, they all felt extremely real and true-to-life. I can't decide whether or not I liked the use of Bobby being an ex bully(a throw-away line during his revenge set up where Bobby mentions to himself that he used to be a bully in school). It was original but at the same time felt a little desperate. But it was still very enjoyable to watch, and I hope that I can make films like this one day.

Connection Issues

Really cool idea, if a little derivative of READY PLAYER ONE, but that's okay. Probably one of the best overall story arcs I've seen in a school team this year, with a nice punchline to end on. While the castle was a great location, it would have been nice if all the others were of this caliber, I know that's no easy task, but it was a bit weird that this online game had very simplistic and banal locations like paddocks and beaches. I'd work on your technical side for next year team, and your storytelling skils are nearly there too. As for your title, "Connection Issues" is a fantastic double meaning, really stands up well, and knowing the genre makes the joke clear even before you watch it.

The Dig

Great concept, and the best looking film of the heat, though the end result probably wasn't as poignant as I think Grand Cheval were expecting. The film seemed to lack a clear direction of where it was headed, but the dialogue was funny and my goodness those practical upside down effects were awesome and must have been really fun to work out. Why was there a dildo in Bradley's bag?

Fresh Blood

Lots of great gags in this film, it's unabashedly funny and unabashedly Z-Grade. Great acting too, lots of lines and facial expressions from the leads which made me laugh.

THRILDO

Pretty funny. The style was really nice, from the animated dildo title sequence to the hand SLAPPING down on the mashed potatoes. The camera work was really great, and the concept as an idea was really good too. I think the middle of the film really let it down though, I didn't like that the dildo was just magically turning up in places, I felt like it would have been more effective if the dog had actually ran off with it, and she spent the film trying to retrieve from the adventures the dildo went naturally through case and effect instead of it seemingly having a mind of its own and turning up in the fridge by itself. Dinner scene was excellent, ending scene was excellent, I can't imagine it would have been a comfortable conversation with the actress playing the mother when you told her the story idea.

Second Skin

There is a bit of bad blood between Sneaky Horses and Les Cousins, which was why my blood boiled as I watched this film for the first time and was completely at the mercy of this terrifying story and it's immersive style.

Santa's Smoko

I just watched this in the screening room and was BAFFLED that it wasn't a finalist, only to come to the reviews and find out it wasn't on time :( I guess that's better than it getting unnoticed! The locations, the acting, the characters and story are all top notch in this film, taking us to VERY surprising places, and Kevin the elf saying "Very much so!" got a huge chuckle out of me, as did the various assortment of people you'd dressed up as elves. What a great set of ideas, executed to their absolute full potential. I would say my only real gripe would be the pacing, I think I would have liked less time in the set-up (all we need to know if the elves are unhappy, and jump at the joy of being able to deliver to Hamilton- you could have shortened or cut that whole first scene all together), and more time in the grizzly meat of the story with Santa slaughtering a bunch of evil elves. Great work guys! What an awesome film.

High Note High

Good LORD the choreography and camerawork on that opening song was incredible, it was top shelf quality, it was a classroom that was actually full, and the actors all confidently delivered their lines. After that though, our story does kinda just fall flat, and we never really jump back into a musical number as strong as the beginning. I found myself picking a few holes in the plot too, mainly that it's a singing based high school (the best one around in fact) and yet it still has normal subjects? I was also let down by the main character's best friend turning on him for seemingly no reason, he's such a supportive guy in the beginning, but then he tells him he doesn't want to be seen with him anymore after that "stunt" he pulled yesterday- is he talking about singing off key? Because they were still shown as being fast friends for a couple of scenes after that initial one- felt like a plot contrivance so that character could sing the "He can't do it" song, but I think I would have rather seen the best friend stick by the main guy's side, and maybe that would have helped stick the landing as well, as even if the hero does or doesn't get the girl, he still has his friend. Haha, sorry for being so critical, I'm only doing this because I 100% know this team is capable of something incredible, and I really really would love to push you guys through to the finals next year and beyond. My main note based on this film and your film last year is that you've got to hone your story arcs- that's basically all that's missing as technically this film is super tight. Maybe find a new team member who can be a dedicated script writer, because with a little narrative direction, you guys could achieve that bubbling potential we can all sense below the surface. As for your title, there's certainly some thought gone into it, and "High Note High" is pretty funny.

In Jest

This was a really effective film which juuuuust missed out on being on the shortlist. The plot was just a little weak, and felt like more of a vehicle to get us to what is really impressive about the film- the clowns! The circus poster blowing in the wind to reveal the no camping sign was an excellent use of wind. I look forward to seeing what this team has in store in the future. TITLE REVIEW: In Jest would be a great title if we actually built up the horror of a clown eating people through out. It's a great pun.

Sidney Manson and the Twin Factor 2

Hilarious and unexpected, let down only by the fact that it seemed to rely too much on what I assume was the acclaim of the previous film.

The Marquis de Sade

To echo Nimble, I find this film very hard to review, but potentially for more personal reasons than just it's divisive nature. It's no secret that I consider you guys at Strang Entertainment to be one of the best teams Christchurch has to offer, and historically underrated with films like "True" and "Pandora's Night: Deleted Scenes" deserving far more acclaim than they got. Now, the issues with "The Marquis de Sade" have nothing to do with it not being my favourite kind of Strang film (the format destroying/DVD menu series), though it is an interesting case when comparing it to those, and understanding the style and angle this film is coming from. What I love about those Strang films, especially "Pandora's Night" is that it emphasizes the idea that story is NOT king. Strang always have way more emphasis on the other areas on filmmaking and in some cases, the absence of story IS the story. As a 'filmmaker' who basically lives and dies by whether or not their own story is good, I found myself learning a lot about all the things you can do and rules you can break with Strang films. All this stuff is here in "The Marquis de Sade", which foregoes story for atmosphere and horror. I think the problem here is there is no deliciously cheeky format subversion here to accommodate the lack of story, and so there isn't much else to grab on to. Of course this is all assuming there is no story to this film, and maybe I'm wrong in that. Maybe there is a story and it just went over my head, but if that's the case it also went over all of the other judge's heads and a lot of the fellow reviewers on here, and in a year where we had such a consistent high standard of film, it didn't make much sense to include this one in the top 15 over others which were more immediately accessible. Maybe that means we're all uncultured idiots, and if that's the case, then I can't wait for Rowan to chew my ear off for years to come with what this film actually is saying, and what it is actually about. As it stands for me, all I see with "The Marquis de Sade" is a series of events where a guy is abducted, beaten and bruised, and finally put on display as a trophy at a creepy party. There is no closure to this, there are no developments in the story, there is only a descent. To attempt to illustrate what I mean, at the beginning of the film, we see the protagonist struggling with his zipper on his shirt before he gets abducted. Later on in the film he's zipped up in a gimp suit, and watching this for the first time I was waiting for the twist or the "aha!" moment where he manages to undo the zips some how and escapes- essentially telling us a morbid personal journey of a character who eventually succeeds his goal of fixing his zipper. I'm not saying I think this is that great of an idea, I'm simply trying explain the hook that this film was missing. I feel like I can say all this as both a huge fan and a close friend of Strang Entertainment; because nothing about this film should make you think you aren't good enough to get back up to the top again next year- I mean you've made it relatively consistently over the past decade, and shit dude a film like "The Marquis de Sade" could have easily made the finals in a year without such a crazily high standard of films. So if nothing else consider that it wasn't that your film was bad, but everyone was on top of their game this year. Going forward I'd encourage you guys by all means to keep trying stuff like this- "The Intervention" is the gold standard for your team's narrative work. "The Marquis de Sade" is an experience, but not as much of a story as I was hoping. As for your title, I really like "The Marquis de Sade", I didn't really know what it meant before I looked it up, so it's got a great spooky vibe to it. May even be your best title yet.

Unbe-weeb-able

Kicking off the night with a fun and hilariously contemporary film about an all-too-real subculture in today's society. While your technical side let you down severely, the sense of humour of your story telling shows a lot of promise. So study up! Learn how to craft the technical side of a film, and you could see yourselves going far in the comp.

Decision day

I agree with Kawiti, I think there's an insane idea in this film of just repeating the same sequences over and over again ad nauseam. As it stands, I think while there are clearly a lot of creative minds at work here, we fall into repetitiveness, with some strange green screen work and dull locations. I'm not sure I quite picked up the story either, so my advice would be to work on making sure what's happening in your film is clear. As for your title, not sure how "Decision Day" factors in.

Under The Bridge

Very cool film, far and away my favourite of the heat. As others have pointed out, this feels like a full on seed funded short film, both in its design and in its story. The acting from the two leads was great, they both felt like real people who wound up hanging out. Nice subtle use of the brazen Wilhelm scream. Only think I would have maybe liked to have seen was the two buddies travel on some kind of small journey together, or achieved some mutually beneficial goal. Then again it's a slice of life, and maybe that's all it needs to be.

The Ghost Whisperer

Phrasing have a lot of potential from what I can see, but this film didn't quite do it for me. It's tough because all the elements are there, the camera work and editing is great, the acting is great, the art direction is great and the story is great too- just maybe a little ambitious. If you're reading this guys, take heart because I think in order for you guys to improve you just need to adjust how you tell your story, to ensure it will fit into the 5 minutes 48hours allows.

The Trade

Jarring technical issues be damned, the concept for the film is really strong, though it's such a tried and true formula in 'deal with the devil' stories that it feels like it's been done before. Had this film been as good technically as its story, I think it could have stood a chance against the best of them. As for your title, "The Trade" is ominous, but I think you could have thought of something darker or stranger.

Isolation

Hot damn this is a beautiful film to look at. Production value is off the chain here in every department, from the stupidly good camerawork, to the swift invisible editing, to the professional actors and their nuanced performances, to the motherfuckin' mansion this film is set in. Do you guys just set aside thousands of dollars each year to make your films as high quality as possible? A couple of other reviewers have echoed my thoughts here; this is definitely the most authentic Technological Thriller in Christchurch, adhering to both the key words in the genre with style and grace, which by the way, if I was in charge I'd just have called it "Black Mirror Spec Script", and this film absolutely leaned right into this. I would say the only thing I'm a little unclear on/let down by would be the story itself. While the techno is there with the glowing robot eyes and the software components, and the thriller is there because the film is tense, the story kind of just plods along in a way that isn't entirely unexpected or unpredictable, and this is a shame because a more unique and original concept would have bumped the film up a few notches for myself and the judges, and probably would have placed. So for next year, I'd encourage you guys to really work on that narrative concept. Get yourself a simple and unique story, and there's almost no doubt in my mind that you guys could take out the whole competition in the future. As for your title, these ominous one word titles like "Isolation" often suit thrillers, and this is definitely the case here, so good job guys.

Natalie & Gregory

While lovable stalkers are a little over-represented in 48Hours, I still found this film really charming and a really good take on the Anti-RomCom genre. The best part of this film is when Natalie says she wonders where Gregory is these days, and you see his out-of-focus head appear out of the bushes in the background. That and him hiding in the closet at the end. Overall this film's biggest strength is its comedic timing. I also thought Gregory's characterization was really strong, he seemed like a genuinely sweet guy. For what it's worth as well, even the backyard of the main location was pretty cool with all the chickens, sounds small but it added some nice production value to it all. To improve for next year, I would recommend you guys just knuckle down on your camerawork and make a story with higher stakes, as that's all this one was missing. As for your title, Natlie & Gregory is great because it makes you think they're together from the start, so it plays into that bait and switch at the start.

Divine Leaves of Awakening

Hilarious story with great performances and an excellent ending, might be my favourite smash cut of the year so far. I would love to see this film make it to city finals, though perhaps the camera quality/amateur cinematography will keep it at bay this year. Hone your craft guys and with a sense of humour as sharp as yours, you could take the Nationals by storm.

Us... But Mainly You.

Lots of really cool ideas and elements in this film result in a charming wee comedy. You guys are great, I bet you had a lot of fun doing this. I thought the characters were great, loved that Harper was a slimy Brony and the Maori Grandma made me chuckle. While your storytelling and dialogue is good, albeit the delivery from you as actors could be a little improved, I think you should work on your structure, because I didn't find myself wondering what would happen next, more just watching events unfold, and ultimately they didn't end anywhere unexpected anyway. That being said, a story about politics never ended up boring me, so you must have done something right! Love the title btw, "Us... But Mainly You" is intriguing and relevant. Drone shots probably weren't needed, but I'm sure it was fun. I could easily see you guys going pretty far in this competition in the future if you put a little more work into your technical work, especially editing. Perhaps expanding the team to three people?!

Barry's World

It's a shame that the team intro was so professionally animated, because it made the following stop-motion, which I would have otherwise found incredible, a bit of a downer. I got a BoJack Horseman vibe from more than just the protagonists' similarities. I really loved the other dimension you set up, in the world of lego there are no rules to what everyone has to look like. Story ended pretty abruptly however. Just like this review.

The Endless Burden

This film looks gorgeous, something to be expected of the NZBS. While the story is not the most original concept that has cropped up around the ideas of time travel, the acting and delivery is awesome, and I would expect to see it make the city finals.

Trap

One of the most original takes I've seen on the Cat & Mouse genre, yet somehow such an obvious and simple approach. TRAP is great from beginning to end, and doesn't outstay its welcome. I could see it getting into the city finals, though I wonder if the POV approach with the camera movement could be seen as low quality work, which this film definitely was not. It's a yes from me, but we'll have to wait for the judge's call.

Stealing Thoughts

I didn't quite understand what was happening in this film but I really liked parts of it. The opening scene was AWESOME. A really cool idea and my favourite part of the film. As we rushed from civilian to civilian (kind of) hearing their thoughts, it was really effective. I'm even glad the audio effect made it difficult to actually decipher the words they were thinking, because it made me wonder if that's what reading people's thoughts would actually sound like, kind of inaudible and hollow. The rest of the film certainly delivers on what was probably a cohesive idea in the minds of the filmmakers, but to the audience, nothing really makes sense. Why is he hearing voices? Why is he typing out that note? Why is he smothering that girl? A bit more explanation could have turned this spooky film into something better. The lead actor was pretty wooden, he didn't really seem like he wanted to be on camera, but maybe that was the intention. Loved your team intro too, it made me laugh. Maybe the rest of the film should have kept that same light heartedness?

The Intervention

Strang Entertainment once again delivers a film with a jarringly different tone to the rest of the finalists. Knowing this is a shock ending film, I was trying to figure out the whole movie what could possibly happen. Safe to say I wasn't even close to guessing. That being said I didn't entirely understand the ramifications of the twist ending, I'm guessing Harper's friends were doing some sort of temporal time travel spell? Still, the tonal shift is masterful. The one place this film really suffers is it's sound mix, with the noise of nearby traffic constantly cutting in and out, though I'm not one to talk on this subject because we had the same issue.

Tech Support: Don't Call for Help

A pretty cool story, you guys should be proud of what you made, even if you didn't get it in on time. Great comedic performances from the male technophobe too, I laughed so hard at him reacting to the door beep. Keep working away at those storytelling skills, and maybe next year try come up with an idea you think nobody else with your genre will think of, because this kind of felt like you went with the first and most obvious idea. As for your title, "Tech Support: Don't Call For Help" is pretty intriguing, I like it.

In bread, love

Hmmm. I think it's hard to tell a story where your protagonists are incestuous lovers because it's not an ideology people can route for. Unless they are also boning their brother/sister. Maybe even then. I don't know. This seems like an idea that was brainstormed and run with, and the team fell down the rabbit hole a little too far without realising that it's an uncomfortable watch. Or maybe you guys were completely aware of this and that was your intention, in which case, bravo. It felt weird. Other than that, the progression of story was good, there were clear beats, though some of your editing could have been tightened (Brother walking into house saying"Hi!", then cutting to him walking up to behind sister and surprising her... did she not just hear him say "hi"?). The characters seemed to change their minds quite a bit to fit the story too, going from supporting their forbidden love to grappling with it, to even as far as explaining why it's wrong to their THOUGHTLESS mum. This bothered me a bit because them changing their minds didn't feel as much like the internal wrestling that one would feel in this situation, just more like ham-fisted exposition, and because of this some of the acting suffered: the scene where they talk about moving to Gore/suicide pact was hilarious dialogue, but it was completely undermined by the awkward performances. You see this a lot in 48 hours, actors reading out lines that someone else clearly wrote. The film ends with the couple finding out they're not actually related, and everything seems fine after that... But... would it be? Is the desire to commit incest just as bad as committing incest? Is your adopted brother still too much like family to marry? These are the haunting questions this film left me with, and I'll be thinking about them for years to come.

Ghostfish: Catfished By A Ghost

As someone who has been playing 48 for many years now, there's always this bitter feeling us nobodies get when the 'celebrity' teams do well and take home the big awards. I guess it can kind of feel pointless, and tbh, I would say they often don't deserve it. As frustrating as it can be however, I would not say this is the case with GHOSTFISH. I hate myself a little for how much I loved this film and as soon as it finished I knew it had to win, and any other result would be a travesty. I think what I liked most about this film, aside from the glitz and glamour of the 10/10 cinematography/sound/editing/acting/make-up/special effects and celebrity star-power, was how it stuck to its genre in a way I wasn't expecting. Knowing it was a horror, I merely thought this team of comedians were gonna make a comedy about a ghost, add a bit of blood, and hope that passes the test, but the way the story ends, with Charlie's murderer returning home, actually delved us into a pretty tense story with legitimate horror power to it. Plus, the ending with both characters being ghosts was perfect. I couldn't disagree more with the reviewer above me who thought it was a dumb punchline to a long joke, it was the absolute only way to end the film. So yeah, part of me wants to roll my eyes and be like "Oh yeah the professional team of professional actors and professional filmmakers made a professional film, big whoop", but all that went away watching you guys graciously accept your award with big smiles and warm laughter, and the sincerity that came across was something I didn't expect. Famous people deserve happiness too. You guys deserve to be as stoked as you looked on the night. No doubt you'll make it into the national finals, and may even win the year.

The Big Push

THE BIG PUSH is a very cool idea for a REAL TIME film. The concept of the drive to the hospital during labour is one I could definitely see myself getting into, and the rehearsed one-take really added to the mystique. While I wouldn't be shocked to see this in the city finals, I do think it falls just short of greatness. The acting and story is awesome, but the film could have used a better camera and colour grade to really push it to the next level. I also think it kind of lacked an ending, and even with the photos appearing at the end, it would have been nice to somehow hear or see the baby on screen.

Mahnamana

Holy crap. Probably my pick for the overall competition winner for 2016. When the Puppet genre was chosen (I guess to replace musical), this is the film I bet the festival runners were hoping would be made. From the ingenious title, to the consistently inconsistent dystopian aesthetic of the puppets (I honestly loved how there was no constant species or style of puppet, they all were just random junky looking things), to the dope one-liner the Monkey puppet drops at the climax, this film is a wild ride and I'm stoked to have seen it this early in what will be a long run in the competition.

Sound Sleep

"Sound Sleep" was incredible! The post-finals time of year is bitter sweet, because you get to see some of the best films the competition has to offer but it's sad knowing their journey has probably stopped here. Slick cinematography, awesome acting, and a really haunting reveal. As it begins, the dreamlike atmosphere is a little confusing, but not in a 'stop watching' kind of way, more intriguing and wanting to see it through, wanting to see what the sound was. I loved the informercial scene as well, delightfully creepy. One of the better films I've seen this year, but this level of quality is to be expected from Traces of Nut.

Stages

A solid effort at making a Musical/Dance film. I thought the ending was really sweet, but didn't necessarily feel like the ending this story needed, with it focusing on other characters for probably too long. I think, had there been a musician on the team, we could have had something a bit more notable here. The song about the women's insecurities at the start, and the genre changing song with the couple could have really skyrocketed this film if they'd been put together a little tighter. TITLE REVIEW: Not sure why its called Stages? Stages of life? Stages for a performance? Good stuff.

Cabin Fever

This was a very well shot film, awesome cinematography, awesome lighting, awesome framing, awesome scenery. The idea for the story was good, but the execution was a bit awkward. The acting had its ups and downs, and there were some funny lines of dialogue but a few beats felt confusing. Why was the wife not speaking? Was she just not speaking to Harper? All in all, I'd say you guys have your techincal side completely down pat, focus a little more on the writing and characterization, and I think you'll fly.

Viral by Nature

A really cool idea for a Nature Run Amok movie. The way the worms were shown eating the humans was really creative. Overall if this had a better technical side and focused more on the girl being influenced by the vlogger and less of the vlogger, I think it would have been stronger. TITLE REVIEW: Viral by Nature is clever.. but only if "viral by nature" is a common turn of phrase that I've just never heard of.

#2 way

How embarrassing it was to discover another film in the city finals next to ours who used Harper as a ditsy bimbo forced to be a hero, right down to the paleo parody. Oh well! I can't really complain as this film is a slick stop-motion ride that is as hilarious as it is clever. Much better than some other similar styled films I've seen in the competition before. The story was a little out there, but I guess it's able to be with lego.

Anarchy in Year 10

A lot of good stuff in this film! The high point definitely being the ingenious title haha. I loved the grungy camera filter, it really added to the film and made it feel more 'punk', and I suspect probably covered up a lot of issues that could have existed in the colour grade. In terms of story, I would have liked to have seen Charlie overcoming more of an obstacle before realizing being a punk like her sister is the wrong path. I liked the set-up, and where the story went, but in the end, Charlie just made a good decision with ease. Keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing your future films!

Stopping World War II

This is one of the ballsiest, silliest, funniest 48hour films I've ever seen, and I've never seen anything else like it in the competition, except maybe Toot Toot's film last year. Every moment of this film is hilarious, the team intro which I very nearly veto'd the judging process to award with the winner, the off-the cuff attitudes in which the characters at the beginning talk about time travel, the struggle to reach 50kmph (because 50 is fine, dw about 88), and then of course we travel to one of the coolest utilisations of a film and an audience I've ever seen. Last year Toot Toot blew me away with their hilarious meta commentary (I will never, EVER forget that jandals-slapping-the-puddle cutaway, or the Slamming-the-Doors joke), and this year is absolutely achieving that same standard. This is the first 48hour film I've ever seen which transcends being a film and starts being an interactive experience, which is something that was as wonderful for the audience to experience as it would have been for the filmmakers to witness while watching it in a theatre. Best use of wind, for sure. Again, any misgivings or criticisms I have of this film (and none actually come to mind) are instantly invalidated by the fact that this film achieves exactly what it's trying to do and trying to be. Long live Toot Toot! TITLE REVIEW: STOPPING WORLD WAR II is such a gripping Toot Tootian title, and I love that the film has basically nothing to do with this concept after the first scene.

CUT

I'm so happy you guys made the city finals this year, especially after the absolute crime it was last year that you didn't make the CUT. The strongest part of this year is the lead character's performance. This basically carries the film, and in a competition where everyone is sick of Mockumentaries, you really need to make something that stands out, and I think Blaaaadeee Mazsspooorttt (spelling?) is an awesome and hilarious character. My favourite joke of the year is "You see that baby? ... It's not mine". The comedic timing on this is actually perfect and I crack up every time I watch this film. The split screen stuff is interesting, I enjoyed the meta joke about how hard it'll be to edit, and while I don't think this is a particularly impressive use of split screen, it's still an unobtrusive one - we aren't distracted by one screen over the other because it's basically the same information on both of them for most of the film - so nothing that really utilises Ultra in an interesting way, but something which doesn't ruin the audience's ability to follow the film. The one thing I'm not too clear on, and maybe this is just me, is the ending. I dunno if I just couldn't follow what was happening problem, but the whole final act in the darkness is a bit of a headscratcher for me. I don't understand the stakes, I don't understand the situation and I don't understand what happens to the soundy in the closing credits. This is a good thing and a bad thing, because when I recall this film, I think about all the great jokes, but I don't really think about its ending. Great job guys! TITLE REVIEW: I like CUT as a title which plays on lawn mowing and filmmaking, but I think there was maybe something a little more fitting for this film.

Banana Chick and Cat Girl

When I heard that TBALC was splitting off into multiple teams this year, I was very excited, and Team Moon was one of my most anticipated films, knowing nothing about it. Suffice to say... "Banana Chick and Cat Girl" is not what I expected. It's had an interesting response depending on the audience. Having been in 48hours for so long, and knowing the players on screen, and knowing Scared Scriptless, I found myself really enjoying the film- complete with unabashed "telling not showing" and inside jokes. My mum, who vetted a lot of the films with me, was utterly lost and confused. Had it not been for the clout of the members attached to this team, I don't think I would have given it a second glance (there was a time when this film had made it on to a longer shortlist, but it didn't seem fair to include it over other films which played the game more sincerely). The film plays to its strengths, and it is an interesting idea to see a bunch of improv artists improv their way through an entire short film- which is such a succinct idea I wouldn't be surprised if this was genuinely always the plan. It's generally accepted that the film we all got was not the intended film initially, and this would make sense- particularly with the oddly genre-specific team intro. I'm really interested to know what went wrong, and how you all landed on the decision to make what you made (which looks like it was made Saturday night). As for your title, "Banana Chick and Cat Girl" certainly delivers on what it promises.

The Run-In

Pretty solid film. Just shy of getting on the shortlist. I think it could have been tighter, maybe a bit too long in the beginning. Clear understanding of storytelling structure here, especially with the brother's catch phrase "Kia Ora" coming back to remind us who he is, probably didn't need the flashback because of this. The twist is good, and maybe one of the only films this year to involve homosexuality as a major turning point that didn't feel like it was being a bit insensitive. My other criticism would be the whole "Guy meets someone while holding condoms only to see them later when with their sexual conquest" story is a pretty well documented urban legend, so not entirely original in the storyline department. TITLE REVIEW: I think there could have been something better than The Run-In as a title, maybe something more focusing on the nervous nature of purchasing condoms.

The Art of the Deal

I know this team has a lot of talent behind it and a lot of that shines through here, especially in the acting. I think what kind of let it down was the... colour grade? There was something very intentional but very odd about the way this film looked. I also am not too crazy about the story, I guess this is one of the downfalls of Real Time- it doesn't really give you too much to work with storywise, but someone sneakily trying to recruit someone for an MLM isn't exactly riveting stuff. I liked the credits! TITLE REVIEW: The Art of the Deal! Funny. Good stuff.

Wrong Target

I really like the idea that Mad Scientists just kind of make the same movie every year. I mean, WRONG TARGET has a lot more depth and detail going for it than ONE MAN ARMY, but all films by this team are just big ludicrous shoot-em-ups, and while I would argue this to be a bad thing for any other team, I truly hope you guys never change. Keep making these delicious pieces of schlock, and you'll probably end up with more cred than the finalist regulars.

STARSEED

Very weird. Taking a risk? Art direction was great. Costume design was great. I'm not necessarily adversed to these weird surreal films, but I think they're enhanced greatly by a clear story arc, which this didn't quite have.

Cooking with Sea Men: Monsters of Rock Special- Featuring: Kitty Chow.

As soon as you guys registered and I saw your team name I was waiting with bated breath. 'Cooking with Sea Men: Monsters of Rock Special- Featuring: Kitty Chow' is exactly the kind of film I was hoping you'd make, and I appreciated it as an exercise in how loosely you can follow the 48Hours requirements and still technically coast by: It's hardly a monster movie- it wasn't until my second watch that I realized how you were justifying it It's hardly an Ultra as while the main characters are cats, that barely factors into their characterization or the story The elements tacked on at the end, and the shadow wasn't an actual shadow All of the above read like criticisms, but rest assured they are not, if you're gonna do one requirement 'wrong', you gotta do them all 'wrong'. It's a real pleasure to have films like this to break up the flow, or maybe start eating the flow from the inside out? I don't know if you guys are looking for feedback or a way to improve- I agree with the other reviews that I don't really want you guys to change... BUT with that being said, if you guys upped the technical side, and maybe constructed an actual narrative arc, but kept the costumes, nudity and crass humour, there's no reason something like this couldn't get further in the competition. As for your title, "Cooking with Sea Men: Monsters of Rock Special- Featuring: Kitty Chow" is exactly the kind of title that puts a smile on my face seeing it on screen. I love ridiculously long titles. Next year I challenge you guys to make a title that is a hundred words long.

A Series of Unlikely Events

This was a breathe of air in a sea of atrocious films I was drowning in, in this heat. After watching about 10 terrible films and only one good one (The Butterfly), A Series of Unlikely Events managed to deliver a hysterical performance. Well done Zebras.

The good child

A lot of good stuff in this film, and the comedy of the situations were a nice counter balance to the shoddy camera work. Nice use of gratuitous cameo.

Ghosted

Absolute madness and High Water Mark doing what they do best. I'd have loved for our finals to feature a film as insane as your one last year, but selecting the top 25 and top 15 was an absolute dog this time around. Comparing this to your last film, I feel this this year's one isn't quite as tonally consistent, and the story is not quite as compelling. If you want to stick with your house style I'd say you should probably head more down the rabbit hole no matter your genre, I know Anti-Romcom can be rather subdued traditionally, but it doesn't mean you have to be. I want you to take me on another kick-in-the-nuts baffling adventure again next year please. As for you title, "Ghosted" is great.

FEEDING

Hilariously dark story with some awesome acting and awesome make-up. I love the premise of this film- probably the most authentic Bad Seed film of the year. The ending is great, and the perfect send off to the film. With some higher quality cameras, and slightly better lighting, I could easily see Southern Belles winning the entire competition with a film like this.

No Pain No Train

Classic 48 hours fever dream feel, but the animation felt a little lazy and the story was non-existent. Not good enough animation to be interesting, not good enough of a story to be forgivable.

Lifeboy

This film looks and sounds great, this is real professionalism here, and very deserving of the VFX award with its elegantly simple time travel flash. The acting is also great from everyone involved, and Sarah's scream is chilling. The atmosphere is moody and mysterious and very tense. HOWEVER. I have had quite a difficult time with the story of this film. I totally understand if it's the filmmaker's intention to leave the specifics vague, but even then, I can't help but feel somewhat.... at odds with the message of this film? Because I'm not sure this is a story with a noble pursuit, and I don't think the hero does the right thing, because if you were to give me an ultimatum between letting a baby die or letting an adult die, I'd probably try save the baby. This film seems to suggest that saving the mother was the right thing to do? One interpretation I've heard of the film is that the hero is actually Jasper all grown up, returning to the place his mum drowned trying to save him when he was a baby. This is why he disappears at the end, potentially. But even then, I'm not sure this fits with my moral compass, and I think a moral compass is important in storytelling. If this interpretation is correct also, then Idk how someone would be able to actually save a baby from drowning but then also drown themselves, because they'd need to get close enough back to shore so that a baby could exit the water by himself, but far enough away that the saviour would still drown? Look, this might not even be what you were going for, so that's fine. Ignore this if so. I'm not necessarily saying I needed a happy ending, but I do think every story needs closure. The easy version of this film has the hero simply battling time travel to save the baby. But when he gets to the ocean it kind of feels like it was always his plan to save the mother. I dunno. Apologies for being so critical. I'm a writer first and foremost so these are the things I'm gonna focus on above the technical aspects of your film, which as I mentioned before, are all A+. TITLE REVIEW: I really like LIFEBOY! It's pretty interesting and fun.

Split Sibling Decision

SPLIT SIBLING DECISION is what happens when you smash together several very talented fimmakers with great synergy and teamwork. The rare 48hours drama- while not something I'm brave enough to tackle- is pulled off here with probably the highest level of success a team can hope for. The make-up for the last timeline was great, and the cinematography and editing really helped create what could be a confusing concept easily clear. If a less experienced team had tried to pull this off, I'd doubt they'd have even made the finals. So well done Free Chicken for achieving a seemingly impossible task. I'll throw in one thought here regarding MistaTeas's comment about SPLIT SIBLING DECISION being an awful name- I tend to agree, especially since the whole film is quite serious in tone, having what is essentially a pun (and not even really a clear one) as a title seems kind of a cheesy choice. But hey, you guys still took home the big prize as well as several others, so I have to fault you on something ;) A great film from a great team.

Crumbling City, Tumbling Minds

Lots of ambition on this team, and I absolutely loved the the opening scene in the dark bus stop, and some great camerawork with the puddles, lots of atmosphere here, even though I wasn't sure what was going on. This extended to the rest of the film where whatever story there was, was fairly unclear for the audience, not sure how this fit the genre. I think if you guys were to employ a really good story for next year, combined with such crisp camerawork, you could really go far. As for your title, "Crumbling City, Tumbling Minds" is a touch too dramatic for me, something MistaTeas indicated as well. I think this could be indicative of another small issue you guys have, don't be afraid to take your story a little less seriously :)

D.O.C Force: Death Island

Following this film, from inception to it taking out 2nd place has been a ride. Is D.O.C Force: Death Island the most controversial film in Christchurch 48 Hours 2019? It scored so highly with the judges and yet the reviews have been somewhat mixed. Well first of all, I don't think anyone is questioning the quality of the film as a city finalist. The production here is so slick, from the visual aesthetic, to the location, to the acting, to the directing, to the music and that amazing song. The effort here is top notch, everything feels like it fits, and I think it was especially deserving of the best original song award (I re-listened to it when deliberating and was so on board, Jeff belting out those pitch perfect 80s vocals is incredible), as well as the Outstanding Female Filmmaker for Vanessa, who did so much more than just directing (capturing the style of 80s serial cop dramas so well all, I assume, comes down to her), and it's pretty cool to see TBALC finally grab that award which I know they've been chasing for so long. I do, though, agree with Rowan, I think this film was missing a couple extra minutes from the end, and this is one of the year's prime examples of a film missing its third act. I think I'd have liked an extended and more creative final battle with the bunny. Could you have focused more on this and sacrificed Laura's monologue in the earlier scene? Would it have been worth it? It's hard to say, but I guess what I'm saying is I wasn't overly jazzed with the storyline and how it all ended up playing out. This is especially frustrating, because the story is often one of TBALC's strongest aspects, and while it'd be easy to say a film paying homage to an 80s tv show doesn't need an especially good story, I actually disagree with that and think more could have been done here. Also, personally, and I wouldn't tell you this if I hadn't expressed my adoration for the team a hundred times before, I wasn't really all that into the central "joke" of the film. As I said, it's pulled off perfectly and I can recognise and appreciate that, but doing the whole 80s visual throwback with the cheesy caricatures is something I think was mastered with the trailer for KUNG FURY, and then subsequently overdone with the feature length version of KUNG FURY. This is totally 100% just my personal tastes, and clearly it resonated with the other judges more than me and I think maybe, as the youngest judge, this might just be a demographic thing. I wasn't alive in the 80s, baby! Do a 90s kid film next year and maybe only I will get it. This film wasn't my personal pick for runner-up, but that's okay, and if anything speaks to the power and necessity of the judging panel. Still, for what it's worth (if my opinion is worth anything), I think I preferred THE SPARES as an overall package. TITLE REVIEW: D.O.C FORCE: DEATH ISLAND, like ROZKOL (SCHISM) was such a pain in the ass to have to write down so many times, and that's not even taking into account the mix up with the title which is still happening, even on this website, despite being changed in the back end. But all of that aside, it's a good title and fits the film.

Tag, You're It

One of my favourites of the night. Beautifully filmed with a fun little story to boot. I'd love to see this one make the finals.

Thirsty

I absolutely loved your film last year, "AvacaDon't" was a welcome addition to the Chch finals, and I was looking forward to seeing what you had up your sleeves this year, and while it didn't quite cut the top 15, I still really liked it. I really respect the message behind the film, the critique of the 'nice guy' attitude is one that I really enjoy seeing depicted in media. I did feel though, that this message was a little on the nose, with the main character being a bit of a strawman- I've known a few friendzoners before, and most of them are more apathetic losers who complain about their situations than venomous assholes who are so concisely constructed to be clearly in the wrong. But hey, maybe you've met different people to me. The cast in this film are all really good, some great performances, though once again some of the lines of dialogue which relate directly to this films thesis were a bit too much. I also really appreciated the different locations we go to in this film- however the school dance at the end, while strategically shot, did seem a little absent. One of the judges mentioned to me that they felt the film followed the wrong character, and to extrapolate MistaTeas's comment, I think there is something to this idea- maybe a film which followed the 'nice guy''s latest crush would have been more effective. We watch as she follows along with his toxic behaviour, believing he's the monster from the genre, only to reveal at the end that she's a monster and she eats him? As for your title, "Thirsty" is great, especially when we know it's a monster movie.

Pandora's Night: Deleted Scenes

My legitimate pick for Ant's Risk award. What I love about Strang Entertainment is that they always seem to be trying to eat the competition from the inside out by creating short films that maybe aren't actually short films at all- and this is the most ambitious attempt yet. In previous years 'Story is King' has prevailed over the competition, and with it being thrown out this year and teams given an emphasis to try something different, Strang really devoted themselves to this ideal to make a film where the intense lack of narrative IS the narrative itself. It might take a couple of rewatches to fully understand the nuances and implications of the scenes that were deleted, but even if you don't follow it, the ingenious ending is enough to push this film into the grand finals alone.

ESCAPE

What a roller coaster! From the team intro, I was expecting a humble, charming made-by-kids-for-kids film that would leave the audience smiling. Instead we got a shockingly morbid and depressing account from inside the 'prison' or school, and I loved every minute of it. This whole film really tickled me pink, very much my sense of humour, would love to see it travel further in the comp.

Roller

Absolutely incredible film, great characters, tight script and hilarious twists. PickleThugs could have not have wound up with a better genre than Comedy of Eras, and this feels like the film they were born to make. I absolutely loved Charlie Flowers in this film, Jared Tito played a very fun and very charming character and absolutely deserved the best actor award on the night. My favourite piece of storytelling in the film was the nice little full circle moment of the Thief getting hit by a car (driven by his buddy) and crippled after escaping his whole debacle. All your chekhov's guns were set up and fired wonderfully in the movie, which gives it this nice rounded complete feeling that too many 48 hour films lack. I'd love to say it was robbed of more awards on the night but the competition was truly fierce! That being said, I would expect it to make the National finals. Fingers crossed!

A friend for life

Great stuff here. Probably my favourite use of the Christmas genre that I've seen- using it as a backdrop and not having it as the driving force of the story. Beautifully shot, awesome acting, heavy ending.

Punkinson's Payback

This looks like it would have been a lot of fun to make. The production quality was too low for it to find a place in the finals IMO, but that's also kind of what was so cool about it.

Survival... in the corporate jungle

A great film to end the night on. While technically this film commits many sins, that's also its charm, the inclusion of cutaway shots to Janine was my highlight. Janine4lyf. I also really enjoyed watching the actors legitimately start laughing and breaking character, I would love for a lot more 48Hour films to utilize bloopers into their actual story.

MeatLoaf

From the team intro to the terrifying boogeyman emerging from the darkness, this film was an absolute pleasure to watch. I loved it. The animation style changes every time the protagonist walks through a door, and while a couple of times it was reduced to still frame storyboards, other times we were treated to beautiful cell shading and extremely smooth cartoon work. The necessary elements of Harper Harrison's thoughtlessness and the "oh really" felt a little shoehorned into what could have otherwise been a completely dialogue-less film. But I guess that's 48 hours. This was my favourite of the heat by far, and it's a shame it didn't even rank third with the audience, though I feel it probably had something to do with the size of the other groups on the night voting for themselves. I would love to see this make it all the way to Nationals, what a joy to watch. I hope you guys return next year.

Knight Vlogs

Had this film been as good as its first 30 seconds or so, I think it would have definitely made the shortlist and probably the finalists too. The BLAIR WITCH vibes were obvious, but I don't know if I've seen it combined with the youtube vlogger format before. There's a really compelling idea in watching a Logan Paul character and his douchey friends get eaten by a monster during their vlogs, and if you'd gone this direction I think this might have been one of my favourites of the year. Unfortunately though, after the set up, I feel like you kinda dropped the ball in any kind of pay off. We sort of just watch the characters scramble around the forest for a bit and then there's a monster, and then they leave. I think the monster maybe got a little too much exposure and I could clearly see it was just someone with facepaint on, and if you can't go big, don't show the monster at all. You could have done a lot with the darkness, noises, the flashlights and silhouettes in the forest. Also the characters should have all died. I apologize for doing a point by point breakdown of your film hahah, I'm only doing it coz I felt it was so close to greatness and I'd love to see you improve and make some dope ass shit next year. As for your title, I'm not 100% sure on what "Knight Vlogs" means, I would have called this film something really clickbaity like "THERE'S A GHOST IN THE FOREST?! (Not Clickbait)"

Finest Creation

I really liked the idea that this film brought to the table. An Alzheimer's patient who only communicates through puppets is a great concept, and it could have gone in a lot of ways. In the end though, I feel as though FINEST CREATION kind of stays put in the middle line, and doesn't venture to either the extreme silliness of the wacky puppet genre, nor the soul crushing tragedy of the subject matter. I would have liked to have seen Sarah enter a more goofy phase to try and communicate with her father, forcing herself to let go of her inhibitions and completely absorb herself in her puppet character, with a silly voice and everything, which is something I thought was being hinted at by the carer's initial puppet performance. Also, seeing as hugs don't actually cure Alzheimer's, it may have been a more appropriate moment of closure for Sarah to decide to come see her Father again now that she has a way to talk to him, instead of the melancholy reveal the film does end us on. Sorry! I know it's lame to have someone rewrite your story for you when you didn't even ask, but I just thought I'd send in my two cents. In the end, you guys made the Auckland final so you're already doing better than me, and I probably don't even know what I'm talking about.

Altar

There's some really awesome stuff here. A really well thought out story which is just as much Anti-Romantic as it is Anti-Comedic, and really improves upon a second viewing where you know what and how and why everything is happening. It's a really cool journey to take the audience on to have them initially dislike a character only to discover we've misunderstood the situations and he's actually a nice guy. I think what let's this film down the most, would be the performances from the actors fall into a few pitfalls, it's hard to show a character talking to themselves, which our bride does throughout. People don't usually talk in clear exposition filled sentences when they talk to themselves. I also felt that while the two leads do a good job, some of the background performers could have stood to go for slightly more natural performances (the friends in the bar in particular had some pretty exaggerated facial expressions when listening to the lead's stories). I also found myself wondering small nit-picky things like, why would someone deliver flowers to their sister (I think?) or run any sort of errand on the day of their wedding? Why did the bride stay at the wedding when no one else did? All in all though, a solid short with some great ideas. As for your title, "Altar", while minimalist is also perfect.

The Snapper

Like many, I'm not really sure what was going on in this film, but I still loved it. From the moment we see the fish 'come out', I was hooked... Though the lack of coherency with the rest of the story did leave me feeling kind of unsatisfied- I would love to know what this film 'means', if it does mean anything.

Rookies

Hot damn! The camera work in ROOKIES is insane! Probably some of the best I've seen in the competition, though with those sweeping drone shots of cars driving away, I did get the feeling like I was watching a commercial. My only notes for you guys would be to improve your writing/storytelling, and improve your time management skills so you can hand the damn thing in on time! :)

Bookcase: The Seaquel

Next to Pickle Thugs opting for a spin-off approach to Ultra, Prime Rib going for a heartfelt nostalgic feel might be the best use of Ultra I've seen so far. I haven't seen the original BOOKCASE, but all I needed to know was that ten or so years ago, Prime Rib had a lot of fun during a weekend where they shot a 240p film with baby faced actors. From "I love books", we smash cut to a glorious 4k "I still do" all these years later, and we follow on into an amazing location with beautiful shots and hilarious characters. The story was good for the most part, though in comparing it to last year's GHOSTFISH (one of my all time favs), I don't think the concept or script was as airtight, and while I wouldn't say it ever lost me, I certainly didn't find it as gripping. Still, a sure fire for the city/National finals, with a good chance of taking out the ultimate award, and one of my top picks for the Ultra award as well.

Bread Winner

This film was great! City finalist for sure. Maybe even Nationals. In the same vein as last year's overall winner "Pants on Fire". The songs were hilarious, as was the acting, and the camera work and editing were spot on. I loved the Les Mis vibe, especially when both actors started singing their own parts back-to-back. I bet you guys had a lot of fun doing this. I think the only thing that let this great Musical down was its story, but everything else compensated so hard for this that I don't think it even matters.

a nipple in time

Hmmmmmmmm. I'm very nervous as to what to write here, what will be used against me in next year's team intro? I was pretty excited for this film, the title is hilarious and intriguing, and A Slice of You was one of last year's highlights, which I gave such a glowing review, and as such I feel it permits me to be ever-so-slightly harsher on you this year. The premise is totally 48Hoursian, and the idea of time traveling via nipple play is dangerously close to an idea I've had in my back pocket for a sequel to Not Again, which I'll never make. I guess I couldn't now anyway, but this is all to say I was onboard within the first couple of minutes. Okay so we time travel by twisting nipples, sweet, where are we gonna go team? ... Not really... anywhere? Look, props to you guys for making a time travel film which actually takes us on a journey, it's far more than I ever did when I got this fuckin genre, but by the end of the adventure I was just kind of... confused as to why we were going to the places we were going to? The caveman era, the old timey cottage and the dawn of time with Adam were all great ideas, but everything else left me scratching my head, ESPECIALLY the "era" where people talk via playing instruments? What time era is this supposed to be? Or the one where the instruments talk about their prostate? Or the dark police state where they're chased for having nipples? At a guess, I'd say these are supposed to places FAR OFF in the future, right? Like humans develop into... uhh... instruments? I kind of wondered if time and space itself had broken, but you save that for the end when the nipples get twisted opposite ways. My point being, I think we needed to see the guys travel to more distinct time periods, because the places where it gets wild are just kind of vague and confusing, and to be honest, in terms of art direction, aren't wild enough. A stage or a school hall don't feel very wild at all, almost boring, to be honest. The most intriguing part of your film is at the end, when one of the main characters bump into their older self, and I just feel so conflicted for you guys, because it kinda feels like you brushed greatness with this scene - I'd have loved for you to utilise the fact that Marcus and Cameron look *identical*, and straight up made a completely different film about a character and their older/younger self. Maybe the older version travels back to fix something he regrets? Maybe its a cute love story? Maybe its a dark tragic crime film? This was what your film should have been guys. I'm sorry. I love you. I hope we can still be friends. My autopsy of this film, is that you guys were maybe a bit deflated getting time travel for the second time in 3 years, and I'm sure it can't have helped that your composer was once my team's composer and also made a time travel film where their mission statement was almost exactly the same as it sounds like it was in this film. Anyway, it feels like you landed on A Nipple in Time because it was a funny title that parodied your other time travel film, and built it around that. When I saw your title, I kind of hoped this wouldn't be the case, but alas, it looks like it was. ALRIGHTY! I still love yas, and I wouldn't have been so harcore on you if I didn't know you were capable of something better, so please take this as an encouragement! TITLE REVIEW: What more is there to say? It's great. But I'd have preferred a better film, even if it had to have a different title.

Avoca-don't

While I'm a little sick of everyone talking about Millenials and avacados, Cruel World Productions establish within seconds that they're the perfect mouthpiece for this societal issue. AVACA-DON'T is an awesome musical, with great catchy songs and a real grasp on storytelling. There's a lot of great stuff in this film, and I fully expect to see Cruel World in the city finals a few more times in the future!

The Impotence of Hard Times

The Eh Team once again give us astonishingly breathtaking cinematography and performances from two of the most hilarious 48ers. I look forward to The Eh Team every year to see what new ways Dan and Hamish will make me laugh. The make-up on Hamish is hilarious in this film, as is Dan's lowly protagonist. That being said, I do feel like the story was somewhat lacking this year, which was a similar complaint to last year's Eh Team entry. I only call this out because I've seen past Eh Team films wow me away with the storyline (Day 6 is awesome). I think the basic plot of The Impotence of Hard Times is great, a story about erectile disfunction can go anywhere, but the execution leaves something to be desired. Editing felt a little shoddy this year too, as the transitions between certain scenes were a bit awkward or out of place. But at the end of the day, The Eh Team are still one of the only teams to consistently deliver entertaining pieces year after year, and I can't wait to see what's next. Well done!

Yes Mother

Pretty wild film. Did I understand it? Not entirely. Was the production value high? Not exactly. But that make-up was dope! I would love to see this level of dedication to make-up be implemented on a film that takes place in a location a bit more interesting than an empty room :) TITLE REVIEW: Yes Mother is great. The kind of simple turn-of-phrase title that I really dig.

The Punisher

I loved almost everything about this film. The characters were great, the black-and-white style really added to the overall tone, and the story is a really good interpretation of the cat and mouse genre. My only thought is that I would have liked the ending to have a bit more finality to it. The main characters just kind of lose and concede to putting up with Rodney's shit, which they'd been doing the whole film anyway, so it didn't really feel like much of a conclusion. Maybe the three friends should have teamed up and tried to kill him or something? Two Cat-and-mouse stories in one movie? Great work guys!

Wizards Escape

Really cool effects, attention to detail in the art direction and world building, and a really cool idea for a story, I'm just not sure I fully comprehended what was going on.

THE DREADED CURSE

A lot of cool stuff in this film, and the first z-grade I've had the pleasure of seeing. I love all the small moments of faux-bad filmmaking, like the out of focus shots, the boom creeping its way in, the hammy acting and the bizarre story with an enigmatic ending, I hope the judges and audience will be able to recognize these elements as intentional and not as genuine mistakes!

Wonko

There are a lot of ideas going on in this film, and just when I thought I worked out what the premise was, it changed completely. Is it about a sad clown? Is it about a clown who whenever he touches someone they start dancing? Oh no its both of those things and also he can't masturbate. Was the fact he couldn't masturbate supposed to be clear from the beginning? Because I didn't catch it if so. The balloon animal gag was great. The song was pretty well done too. A lot of potential in this team, I think the storytelling just needs to be a bit more focused. TITLE REVIEW: Wonko is a great title!

the last duel

I did not like this film. It's had a very high production value and all(a huge mansion and section, + 18th century costume, guns etc.) but what became increasingly obvious, was that Pressure Productions had came up with this idea completely before the contest started. Their genre is barely recognizable(fad), which was conveniently explained to the audience through the poorly delivered line "this FAD has gone on long enough". The character and line of dialogue were easily slipped in, and the bent bit of wire was probably written in the script as "object X" as the fact that it is a bent piece of wire is irrelevant. It could have been '10s broken toy or the rock or any other previous years' prop and had exactly the same effect. The acting is average, which let the 18th century feel down a bit. This film got third in it's heat, which I am disappointed in, just because a film is big budget and looks good, it does not mean it is a great film.

A Familiar Feeling

Has there ever been a better marriage of team and genre than Snack to the Future and Cringe Comedy? This is a real "stars aligned" situation, with Christchurch prodigal son Hamish Parkinson BORN to play a main character in a cringe comedy. I loved this film, and it was so great to see it after being so excited to see you guys at the hand-in! This film is pretty much firing on all cylinders, and it is INSANE that the team is so small. You don't get sound design this good, usually, with teams this small. And the sound design is of course complimented by the *perfect* cinematography, the *hilarious* performances and a story which adheres just as well to the genre as the actors. I think you guys 100% deserved all the awards you won. I cringe every time I watch it at Hamish's stuttering apology at the start, and it only gets more embarassing as he and Phoebe whisper sweet nothings in each others ears. The film gets a lot of mileage out of some very simple scenes. The script is so good. "You only drink Negronis if you're from a Negroni family" is such a great little omen for things to come. One thing I really like with how the story is told as well, is that it almost feels like you knew the audience would work out the 'twist' ahead of time, and so it's actually quite a slow reveal. If you haven't realised what's going on by the time Hamish is practising his speech, the story basically lulls you into putting the pieces together as opposed to a hard and fast reveal. It's a complete film, BUUUUUT if I were to point out one *tiny* little thing that wasn't necessarily missing, but I would have loved to have seen, is the speech the characters are asked to do at the funeral. I understand the decision to end at the apex of awkwardness, but all the same part of me wants to see them stutter through that speech together. What happens next? Does the speech make it even worse or lead their love to grow even stronger, incest be damned? Who knows. Maybe we'll find out in the future. TITLE REVIEW: A FAMILIAR FEELING is perfect. A mild spoiler, but only when you watch it for a second time.

Wheat, Myself and Rye

I had you guys pegged for the top 2, but sadly the judges felt differently. That being said, the audience loved you guys, and I did too. The Mr. Bread costume is one thing, but on top of that the world you set up and the soul-crushing atmosphere that absolutely swamps the world of the film are impeccable. It takes a lot of skill to achieve this kind of stuff in a film and you guys did awesome.

K9 Catastrophe

Ughhh. Guys. SO close to the shortlist. I don't know if that's something you do or do not want to hear, but this film was definitely in the conversation, and all the judges including myself really loved the film. I'll get the bad out of the way: A couple of visual glitches in the beginning, which thankfully faded out as the film went on. The story starts really strongly, and as much as I loved the various sketches, they didn't develop or build as we go towards the end. I think the ending with burying the lamp was really good, but I would have still loved some closure. Had this film been as technically and narratively strong as the lead character's performance, I think it would have cleaned up at the finals. On that subject, the performance in this film is incredible, the lead girl clearly dove straight into playing the dog, and she does a great job, as does the dog which amazingly responded to so many of the story's cues like not wanting to go on a walk or typing on the keyboard. When we were vetting the films, I watched this one with my mum and she loved it and said it was her favourite, so you get the unofficial "AJ's Mum's Favourite Film" award. Also once again, well done for doing a voluntary Ultra. Mad. As for your title, I'm not sure about "K9 Catastrophe", 'canine' has no reason to be spelled like that and even then it's a pretty simple, easy to think of title. I'd have loved a pun or a double meaning or a portmanteau for the title, or something like that.

Windows

Not your typical TBALC fare, taking a more dramatic approach for what could be the first time in this team's long and illustrious history. Ignoring the fact that doing two films in one weekend is pure insanity, WINDOWS is a great stand-alone piece, with some really simple but creative camera work. I'd say DOWN TO THE WIRE is the stronger of the two entries, but I would be very surprised if both films didn't make it into the city finals.

The Radical Adventures of Captain Flowers and his Sidekick Barnaby against the Legions of Evil. Episode 1: Fleeced

I love I LOVE LOOPS. The gratuitously long title alone had me laughing out loud. Each year you crank out great (yet for some reason overlooked) little animations, and this year is your best yet. I hope to see it make the finals. My only note would be that CAPTAIN FLOWERS followed a similar trajectory in terms of journey as your film last year (both being stories about a protagonist escaping some kind of facility). I'd love to see you guys be more adventurous with your narrative while still keeping the slick sense of humour and impeccable animation.

Dumb Cult

This film's biggest strength is it's characters and acting. Both Mrs. Baggins and her typical kiwi wife mannerisms and Mr. Baggins and his beautifully subtle understated performance in the background of the shots, or quietly mocking his wife's end of the world beliefs. Both performances had the audience rolling, as well as some excellent gags and one liners, which basically tie the film together- my favourite being leaving the dog outside the bunker, so brutal but so funny. The judge's really loved this one. Mockumentary gets a lot of flack these days, but both "Dumb Cult" and "PC High" get an insane amount of mileage out of this format that I begrudgingly giggle at all those classic Mockumentary tropes like glancing at the camera anyway. This is slick for a 48hours film, Mockumetary or not, and it's great to see the culmination of a bunch of people who are creative for a living let loose and make something as crazy as this. In a way I think it represents a classic but tried-and-true formula for 48hours successes, and it's good to see No Budget Ninjas continuing to make the finals. If I were to pick any gripes with the film, I'd say there were a couple plot holes which I found it hard to ignore- mainly around the mechanics of the actual end of the world- I'm not sure why you'd need a bunker if the rapture was your apocalypse of choice, though I guess it was a 'prepare for everything' situation. Overall I'd say the story is the film's weakest link, I'd have liked something a little more original, but as I said, the performances are what makes this film so good, so that's all it needed. Perhaps, going forward, this could be something No Budget Ninjas focus on for next year. As for your title, I'm not sure if "Dumb Cunt" is ubiquitous enough of an insult for it to be obvious that "Dumb Cult" is playing off of it- I didn't think of it at all until it's bleeped in the film. I'm also not sure if the archetype character of Mrs Baggins is the type of person who'd use this phrase (it always felt like a Lad culture kind of thing to me). I think "LDOPE" would have probably fit your film better as a title, but this is all pretty superfluous stuff in the end isn't it? Great job anyway team!

Pop goes the Weasel

A lot of really really quality stuff in this film. Great way to technically be a musical without really any music. As others have pointed out, the chainsaw clearly not actually going in most of the shots was glaringly obvious. If you were worried about safety, I would have filmed around it because having the sound was a great atmospheric addition but it was completely undermined. Camera work is very nice too, the close up of the 'monster' with his bloodied mouth was very cinematic. The story I think is where this film is let down, we start off in an intriguing place, but I wish the story had gone to more gripping places. I guess because we start with the bad guy already captured, that would have been difficult. As for your title, "Pop Goes the Weasel" is effective and creepy.

Time Terminal

I'm of two minds about this film. On the one hand, the attention to detail in continuity is spectacular, the costumes, the lighting, the make up, all make it truly feel like this sequel takes place only moments after the original, and the way the story continues, it almost seems like Chillybox always intended to make both films, as they compliment each other quite nicely. However, I can't help shake the feeling that I would have liked to have seen Chillybox do a completely new movie, and while TIME TERMINAL carries on seamlessly from TIME TRAVEL CENTER, it isn't necessarily a story I wanted to see carried on. To me, this is perhaps one of the first big victims of Ultra, as it seemed like the writing process was funneled into making the sequel as opposed to exploring new stories. I love Chillybox, CLEAN GETAWAY is one of my favs of all time, but for me, this is a very well made, though ultimately unnecessary sequel.

Saving Christmas

A hilarious Christmas film being exactly what it needed to be. The effects, the acting and the story may have fit better when combined with Z-Grade, but there's no rule against combining genres off your own volition! Looking forward to seeing more Toot Toot in the future.

Re-maid

A really cool idea, and some really cool costumes. I think my main gripe with the film is that I don't find a call center location particularly interesting, I think it would have been interesting if this temp agency sent these mismatched revived characters off site into crazier work forces. The ending is a little expected, but it's a good ironic twist. As for your title, "Re-Maid" is great, though the main character was more of a Robin Hood analogy that a maid.

(Time) Travel Centre

Chillybox turned in one of my favourite films last year, and so I was excited to see what they had to offer this time around! A very slick and professional looking/sounding short, and the acting is great, and reminiscent of the writing style they've established before. I think the most impressive thing about the movie is how accurate and convincing both the writing and delivery of the callers lines were. Like it felt like I was listening to 40-something New Zealanders ringing in about their time holiday, it added a layer of authenticity which I really appreciated. The film kind of ends in an odd place, it kind of felt as though we were owed a more clarifying ending, as my mind couldn't really make the leap over what horrible tragedy was about to befall Auckland, and what it even had to do with the time travel story.

Down to the Wire

Top marks all around. This is the type of short film I love; a window into the lives of people doing something out of the ordinary and having an in-depth discussion. The acting and the humour in DOWN TO THE WIRE is great, as is the acting and the questions it asks about life, existence, and netflix. I also loved the way you guys acknowledged the Bechdel test, and your use of the line gives my team a run for its money. You guys will probably win best use of line, which is a small award, but a strangely sought after one as well. Without a doubt a city finalist, and I'd love to see it in the grand finals too. Maybe you guys will one day win the grand national prize, like you probably should have done three or four times already by now :)

Closure

I feel like this movie is two very different ideas stitched together. A redemption story about a guy making up for the crimes of his past is one thing, and a schlocky long game revenge story is something completely different. As a result I think the ending undermines the rest of the film and leaves the audience with a somewhat disturbing message about morality and revenge. To be clear, if the film had started out a little more stylistic and a little more clear with its intentions, I think the ending could have worked, but as it stands it kinda feels like someone came up with the first half of the story, and couldn't think of an ending and then someone with a very different storytelling agenda came up with the ending. Both parts are effective, but I don't know if they work together. Still, good work with the technical side, and the actors give decent performances. TITLE REVIEW: Closure could be a double meaning for both characters? But again, I feel like it's more suited to the first part of the film.

Last Christmas

Some great stuff here. Maybe it should get the risk award for having the balls to do a Mockumentary in 48hours 2017? :P I kid I kid. I loved the all-too-relatable BTS drama from the film crew and the Soundy with his phone not on silent. The main Santa was great too, very nuanced performance and very deserving of the best actor award.

END

A nice use of the real time genre, it doesn't rely on it necessarily, but the story fits perfectly into it. I think the strongest element of the film is the performance from the lead actress. She felt very genuine. I'm not necessarily crazy about the plot itself, it was cute to begin with, but exploring the darker parts of their relationship felt a little weird considering one of them had to write these triggering moments on a Jenga block in the first place. I understand the impulse to go a bit creative and stylistic, but maybe a smaller and simpler set up, just of a couple lying together and working through their issues, would have had a touch more intimacy to it, and would have made the ending more impactful. This is of course, subjective creative opinion though, from a guy who has written multiple 48hour films of characters just sittin' around chatting, and not all of them were particularly gripping. Happy to be wrong on this one. On the ending though, I feel mixed. It feels like maybe the inception of the idea was "the end of the world", but I guess your specific choice of apocalypse (firey explosion) didn't feel right for the tone of the piece. Shaky VFX aside, I think something a little smaller would have sufficed. My pulpy genre brain goes straight to zombies - maybe one of them has been bitten and transforms by the end of the film? Maybe they both do? Something a little smaller and a little easier to pull off would have really elevated this film. It's awesome to see Everything Sticks up their game each year, and I think this is your best film yet! TITLE REVIEW: I really like END. It's intriguing, and has a nice double meaning.

Cabin Fever

I think there is a nugget of a good idea in this film. The character dynamic worked and the twist at the end was funny. But I feel like the rest of the film is quite stilted, and goes on for probably too long. It kind of toys with absurdity without leaning into it enough. I think maybe if there had been a few more locations and wasn't entirely tent bound, we'd have something a bit more interesting here. Technical elements were competent, though whatever camera was used kind of makes the film look like it was recorded on a VHS camera. TITLE REVIEW: Cabin Fever stands strong, an obvious title for the film.

News BITE

A funny concept and a great twist ending, but definitely overstayed its welcome. This film could have been a slick 90 minute sketch and have hit the same beats. I'd have also liked to see News Graphics that looked a little more genuine and a little less cookie cutter iMovie template. TITLE REVIEW: News Bite! Very clever.

Pass Card

AWESOME match dissolve in the beginning. I liked the concept and parts of it worked really well. Actors were all great, and the lead was hilarious. The reveal at the end that he wasn't how he thought he looked was an awesome joke. The trope in Mistaken Identity genre of the lead being mistaken for a celebrity is probably something I've seen a few too many times, but that's the danger that comes with such a niche genre. A few of the beats felt a little unclear to me, I didn't really work out what he was doing in the bathroom. I get he was pulling gum out of his pubes, but I thought initially that he'd peed into his condom (and that was what he'd pulled up after he peed), having forgotten to remove it before he'd peed. I think what doesn't work here is that the gum scene felt like a completely different story to the rest of it all, there was no organic flow from this beat to the next. We hadn't seen his lover chewing gum beforehand or anything like that. Perhaps that's why I assumed it was a condom because it felt like a more logical step. A lot of technical work on this film was wicked, as I said before the match cut was great, and the camera work was pretty awesome too. I think if you guys worked a little more on defining your story, you could be stronger in the future.

Duck Off!

Absolutely hysterical. Very cathartic for this to be one of the last films we got to watch for the entire Christchurch competition. I love how much you guys don't care. A film like this is a touch too low fi to make the finals, but at the same time there's not much I would change about it. Loved how you straight up smashed a car, love the 'throwing' effects, loved the text messages and the near-kiss, and most of all I loved the quick "My namea jeff" you snuck in there. Fantastic stuff team, I eagerly await your film next year. You guys and "Aaron's Anal Lube Vacation" are ruling the "we don't give a shit and that's why our films are good" category. As for your title, "Duck Off!"... sure, it's great.

Gym Buddy

Some really nice acting and a really cool story arc, a lot to like here. The editing got a little silly though during the climax- it had seemed very grounded up until the (sadly obligatory) wilhelm scream, and then changed to a (sadly obligatory) Edgar Wright style. The stiletto through the hand seemed a little needlessly gory too.

An Appointment with a Poo

Clearly a lot of hard work and passion went into this film, and if our shortlist was 30 films long, rest assured this would have been on it. Like I've said for a select few other films, we actually rewatched this film on the judging night, and when we got such a high caliber of films this year, deciding what went on the list and what didn't actually came down to really looking at each film and comparing them on a micro scale. So with this all being said, it might be helpful for me to explain what went down. First of all let me say, that there are some amazing ideas in this film, and a lot of ambition with a clear handle on story telling and especially dialogue, as well as some great green screen work. I would have liked to have seen a little more action in the story, and driven a little less by just two fly toys chatting. Rowan mentioned he thinks this film could have been half as long, and I think this is definitely part of it, but to build on this, I would say that if you had done away with the ultra long opening sequence and started it with the flies talking, I would have loved to have seen the surviving fly actually try and enact his dead buddy's plan to achieve immortality. It really felt like that was what you were building up to, and so for it to just end with the lead going to enjoy his meal of poop, I was actually a bit let down. To forego the appointment with a poo to honour his friend by finding a puddle and unlocking eternal life (and maybe he could have even tried to bring his friend back from the dead), that would have hit a lot harder. I understand how frustrating it is to have someone just come in and try rewrite your story, and especially someone in my position, so if I can put it another way, it all came down to the whole "show don't tell" rule of filmmaking. You painted a wonderful picture with the dialogue here, I would have just really liked to have seen this picture take place. I hope this helps guys, and if this has all left you more upset, then also just consider that the quality of films this year was actually so high and so consistent, that I think this could have absolutely made the finals in a previous year- so it's not that this wasn't worth it or quality on it's own terms. It's a great little piece and you should all be very proud. As for your title, "An Appointment With a Poo" is a great little attention grabber and really suits the film.

The Wish (hopefully nobody else picked that title)

With this film, I defy anyone who thinks Toot Toot won't make it into the finals every year, because rounding out the night with an infectious inside-joke ridden series of sketches which wouldn't make much sense outside of 48hours is something I want to see done every year. It's the equivalent of those comedic openings to The Oscars where Billy Crystal/a Billy Crystal type meets with a bunch of that year's nominated actors from their nominated films and jokes about sexy fish monsters etc. I mentioned in my "PC High" review what some of my favourite gags of the year were, and completely forgot to mention the sandals slapping the puddle which might actually be my favourite, sold entirely by the sandal slapper eyeing the camera with kind of a "How did it come to this?" expression. The sandal slapping might only be second to the Slamming The Doors joke which is so insane and so clever that there was never any question over whether or not it would win the award. Absolutely hysterical. What a joke. What a film. I feel there's not much else I can really review here, I guess I could suggest ways to improve, and talk about how with a less formulaic story the film would have felt fresher, but I kind of don't want to say any of that because the film kind of falls into being exactly what it needs to be and while I'm all for you guys as a team experimenting and trying out new genres and stories, at the same time I selfishly just want you guys to make something similar to this next year. This is your call, I'm sure I'll love it either way. As for your title "The Wish (hopefully nobody else picked that title)" is so perfect for a film which unashamedly wants to be a self aware and contextualized to the competition as it is.

Rough Trade

A great palet cleanser and a great film. Fantastically cheesy performance from the lead actress. I'd love to see High Water Mark be regular finalists with this kind of thing every year.

Hero

Truly incredible film, deeply moving and tragic. Super powerful themes coupled with very high quality camera work, editing and of course acting. Rico's performance here is so genuine and real- he fit so perfectly into all of these scenes that a lot of the time it's so natural it's almost invisible. I would love to see Rico again in future films, potentially expanding his abilities and trying on different kinds of roles, because I think this kid is gonna soar. I love how this film is kind of a one-two punch. At first, there's that slow burning realization that our main character's father isn't the man he's building him up to be to his buddy, and then the absolute kick to the guts as we realize it's not even him talking. This is the art of filmmaking at it's very finest, combining visual imagery with implication and revelation- we slowly begin to understand just how truly miserable this situation is without any obvious sign post explaining it to us. This is SO good guys. Every time this has screened with an audience there has been an audible wave of gasps across the room. Very much a revered HARD drama, which is pretty rare in 48hours, but whenever there is one that truly hits, it's pretty amazing. I'd recommend checking out the film "Glow" by team Del Sur from a few years back for a similarly gripping drama. A couple of commenters have said the film kind of feels a bit too much like a PSA or a commercial- with it's short duration and quick visual storytelling, and while I personally prefer more standard approaches to short films, this definitely isn't detractor necessarily- I would encourage you guys at Blood and Bone to actually submit this to as many short film contests as you can- or even see if you can air it as a commercial or a PSA. A few statistics at the end about family violence and you have yourself a pretty effective awareness piece. If I did have any real gripe with this film, I would say that while it's firing on all cylinders to say what it's saying and get its message across, this isn't exactly a story I haven't heard/seen before, and is actually surprisingly common subject matter across a lot of NZ film. But, with that being said, I've never seen it done with such an effective bait and switch that you guys pulled off. Really cool to see as well that the top 2 films this year were both "Wish" films executed VERY differently. As for your title, "Hero" is pretty good and pretty effective. It doesn't quite pop, but it doesn't necessarily have to.

Confused

Remember guys, the out-of-sync nature of the film is part of the charm of 48Hours, and when people laugh, it's out of comradery and catharsis, there's no venom behind it. A lot of potential for this team nonetheless, you really achieved quite a spooky tone so I'll be interested to see what you throw us next year. As for your title, well "Confused" really hits home.

Shank'd

Absolutely hilarious, really effective comedy, which while a little predictable and lacks a satisfying conclusion, was still a very good time. If you're asking yourselves why you didn't graduate beyond the shortlist, it's simply because the top 15 were so good and so top notch- I could absolutely see a film like "Shank'd" making the city finals in previous years, and I'm sure team Cactus? will crack it in the future. If you are looking for ways to beat the competition though, I'd say it all really just came down to camerawork. The cinematography in this film is serviceable, but if those opening shots before the reveal had been more slick, we would have had a pretty powerful piece. A lot of the shows you based "Shank'd" and "Plow'd" off have some pretty wacky and trippy camera angles as well, and so to fully achieve the maximum effect, it would have been cool to really drill home this style, and to have it be distinctly separate from the "real world" scenes. I think as well, your storytelling could be a great area to work on, while I definitely don't want you to change up your sense of humour, a funny-but-repetitive formula, or a parody TV show, or a film which is probably 50% just opening sequences (hilarious ones), probably wouldn't cut it above some more traditionally told short films with powerful or engrossing stories- and this is probably more a testament to the difference between a short film and a comedy sketch, the latter of which "Shank'd" more fits into. All of these rules can be made to be broken, and I absolutely encourage spitting in the face of the formula (see Strang Entertainment's 2012 entry "True" or their 2017 entry "Pandora's Night" to see this at premium capacity), but you still have to produce something that is ultimately a very satisfying watch if you want to find yourself a spot in the finals and beyond. Even if you do stick with something like a "Punk'd" prank show, a great way to up the stakes would have been to take it beyond "Jury'd". Maybe an overseas country bombs New Zealand "NUKE'D" or God turns up and destroys the whole world "APOCALYPSE'D". Just a thought, haha. I hope this review doesn't seem harsh- as I said at the beginning I loved "Shank'd" on it's own terms and you should all be stoked with your effort. As for your title, "Shank'd" is obviously the only thing you could have called this film :)

Monday

While actually being an example of the opposite of its genre, this film was a lot of fun. It's a little light on story, but with a better technical side, I could see a film like this being in the finals. I'd say work on camera work and editing, and if the stunts in the film looked a bit more genuine, I think this would have been kickass. TITLE REVIEW: Monday is perfect.

Positive

I can't believe that score was original! So good! And the rest of the film is spectacular also, I loved that you based it all around the one "Oh really" line, and the action scenes were really well choreographed too. The coolest thing about this film is that it is fully true to it's genre (mystery) as it kept me guessing and slowly piecing together what could be happening, why these people were fighting, what Harper had seen in the trash. Well done guys!

Timeslingers

Wow, what an awesome interpretation of the Time Travel genre, utilising the fact you're a team of 12-year-olds by making age-regression a glitch in the time travelling mechanism is actually genius. The costumes and special effects are all awesome. The story was maybe a little undercooked and I'm not sure where it ended up in the middle but ending it with them turning into babies was hilarious. I'd watch a weekly TV show about two time travellers who constantly change age whenever they sling. TITLE REVIEW: Timeslingers is great, a nice pulpy scifi feel.

The Pickup

Haha I love you guys. This film has a such a strong personality, that the sheer fun and enjoyment I know you would have felt making this film really pops off the screen. My favourite part was the little kid half-heartedly skipping. You guys have evert aspect of filmmaking down, from your camera work, to your writing, to your editing and especially your acting, every character in this film is so enjoyable to watch. All I would say is keep honing those skills and creating even better films in the future.

Catman and Robyn

This is a really sweet and simple film with a nice story and some really good performances. It's a very on-brand follow-up to CUSHY: A PULL STORY, it's even shot pretty similarly, and the concepts feel like they'd come from the same storytelling mind. This is an easy film to like, it isn't groundbreaking or anything but there's a quirky wholesomeness which you don't see very often in 48Hours anymore. It's almost a throwback to the type of films that would crop up often in ~2010. My favourite bit is the stern look Robyn gives Catman as he's about to know the vase off the table. I've been given that look before. Congratulations on winning the Overhead shot too! When it came down to deliberation, we all felt this shot was a really beautiful snapshot/symbol for the film. If I were to give you any advice going ahead, I'd say I'd like to see something with higher stakes next time. But maybe you're just a low key kinda team, and there is absolutely a place for that in the competition. TITLE REVIEW: A great pun, and a great twist on it as the credits roll.

Potem Immortales

Once again, this film came very close to the short list. The songs were great, the choreography of the dancing really added to the film and its heightened reality where even when you're held hostage you can still dance to the music. Over all, I feel the story of the film is a little undercooked, and maybe it can be when you get musical, but it would have been nice to see more developments happening, and the reveal that the guard is wearing the mask at the end would have been aided by seeing him survive his attack and apprehending the original mask wearer as well. Also, surely they can still all defeat him again? Technically a lot works in this film too, it would have been cool to see a bit more framing and care in the cinematography to honour the wonderful location. As for your title, "Potem Immortales" is the perfect thing to call this, I can't imagine what else you could have called it.

Utka

What can I say? Well, a lot apparently. I absolutely LOVE this film. Every time I watch it, I get more and more out of it. I appreciate the animation, the voice acting, the script, the music, and I still get mad shivers at some of those line deliveries. Let me just say as well, to anyone reading this review that isn't from Poutine Wolf, I almost wish (lol) this film wasn't as incredible as it was, because as my first year as city manager I felt like a total ass kisser giving the big award to my immediate predecessor. There are a lot of whispers about biases in 48hours (mostly unfounded but still) and here I am, wanting to make my mark as a grassroots man in charge, contributing fully to that bias. But the thing is, if anything, I was biased against it. You really have no idea how good a film made by someone in Andrew's position is going to be, coaches don't play after all, and before watching it for the first time I did think to myself "Lol this could potentially be really bad, wouldn't that be embarrassing", but... well... NOPE! Instead Andrew has proven how much he has truly learnt about 48hour films by creating what genuinely might be my favourite one of all time. Man oh man do I love this film, and man oh man do I feel like a brown noser. Of course, it wasn't just Andrew doing all the work here. Both he and Johnny wrote a script SO tight that there was almost no deliberation from the judges on this one. Some of these lines are absolute word porn guys, they're simple when they need to be, they're sad when they need to be, they're epic when they need to be and they're terrifying when they need to be. Every single element of this story is there, working at full capacity. A lesser film would have featured Utka's brothers and sisters dying at the hand of some other animal or of exposure, but here we see it was that damn evil cat who granted the wish in the first place. This is all to say it's very satisfying to see a film fold in on itself and fire a chekhov's gun you didn't know still needed to be fired. This is a film made by a team who knows what they're doing when it comes to narrative. I also love Johnny's voice over here. The choice to go Russian was inspired and wonderful (and combined with the Spanish lover from summer co's "in the woods" this year, I'm starting to think that giving your film a foreign flair might be a growing trend we see in the future of 48Hours). The line delivery here is so damn good. In particular, the line that always gets me is "My wish came true. Did yours?"-- the way the evil and despicable reality comes to light with Johnny's pitch shifting for the "did yours?" is fucking terrifying, and demonstrates super effective vocal control on Johnny's part. Theatrical, terrifying, effective. While you didn't take the award home, I loved the adherence to genre for "Utka". While other nominees like "An Appointment with a Poo" and "The Stile" both got nominated for subverting what we expected for their genres, "Utka" and the film that actually won the genre award "Cushy: A Pull Story" are both excellent examples of the old nail your genre game. "Utka" truly nails the Wish genre, with a "be careful what you wish for message" wonderfully suiting the simple nature of this Russian crayon storybook. I think it's really interesting to view "Utka" in the context of the top 3 Christchurch films as well- while "PC High" is a rich comedy, and "Hero" is a hard hitting drama, "Utka" comes out on top as being the best of both worlds here as kind of a mix of the two. A complete package: It's humorous in that it's a story about a duck becoming a dictator, but it's also a sorrowful tragedy that leaves you feeling as alone as the character himself. And he is alone. As for your title, "Utka". Of course. What else would you call it? It's a fun word to say.

Inflamed

I really love this film! It's so charming and quirky in a way that not a lot of other films in the competition are. A couple of people have pointed out to me that the film kind of feels like an Improv scene with heavy production value, and I caught on to this too (which isn't surprising considering the background of the team). It's pretty clear when you think about it, and it almost feels like a lot of what makes the film would be suggestions called out by audience members; "Can I get an occupation from the audience?" A Doctor! "What procedure am I performing?" An appendectomy! There's also the out-of-the-blue Scottish accen and the wacky ending with the silly, yet earnest, song, and while some may see this as a detractor, I actually have no issue with this being Team Moon's style, it's a cool exercise to see what Scared Scriptless would look like if the audience didn't have to use their imagination for the production design (which incidentally, you won the award for!). Your film last year was almost certainly an improvised scene anyway, so it's actually really satisfying to see a fully realised version of that this year, and I look forward to what Team Moon can give us in the future. One aspect I think really shines in this film is the cinematography - the slightly saturated lighting and almost fish eye lens close-ups are super effective at making this film stand out, it kind of feels like we're watching a cartoon or, and this is slightly more of a deep-cut, one of those wacky Saturday morning Educational kids shows from the 90s like Bill Nye the Sciece Guy, or Beakman's World? Those show's always went so wild with their close ups, and I really felt that in this film. The performances from everyone are great (for some reason my favourite line is when Emma says "Okay, cool, thank you nurse", it's said with such conviction and self-seriousness, I dunno I just find it really funny), and that story has got clear structure with a super hilarious resolve. My only real issue with the film is that the Doctor and the Appendix seem to go from enemies to friends very quickly, it almost feels like there was a couple of minutes missing from the middle of the film to make their budding friendship feel a little more organic, but hey, that's the 5-minute duration for ya. I think this is a solid short film, and one that could stand outside the competition easily. I would subscribe to a youtube channel of high quality short films which focuses on polished versions of improv style storytelling. TITLE REVIEW: INFLAMED is perfect. See you guys next year.

Make Time

This was the THIRD time traveling puddle movie we got this year, and like the other 2, the actual time travel element is only clear because of the genre (although this one was probably the most clear). A lot of the story in this film was kind of unclear, and as other have said, I know from the credits that there's a future mother character though I'm still unsure on how the timelines work here. My biggest note would be I'd like to see this team challenge themselves a bit more next year- this film is well edited but not a lot of locations and I would have liked a more exciting adventure. As for your title, "Make Time" is great- relates to both the time travel genre and the distant mother. Nice.

I am ball 2

Hilarious, even better than the first I AM BALL. I voted this for my audience favourite, loved the use of cut-out style animation mixed in with live action moments, and possibly the best smash cut I've seen this year yet.

P.S.

I absolutely loved this film, and fought pretty hard to have it included in the finals. Ultimately I was outvoted, so this review will be comprised of what I loved and what I think could have been done better to allow for it to truly soar. The strongest aspect of this film is indeed the writing. The construction of story here was a surprising delight. It really creeps up on you and the ending is so effective it gave me shivers. When we were vetting these films, my mum saw this one and we both absolutely loved it, so props to you, YIKES for making my mum nearly cry :) Great performance from the lead, great implementation of one of the trickier genres this year, and absolutely oustanding work from a team which is jumping through at least 3 specific 48hours award hoops (Female Filmmaker, Solo/Duo team, and School team among others). I haven't been able to work out if the older person at the end was her lover from when they were the same age, or her father reminiscing, or someone else, but to be honest I kind of like this. We know he's a loved one, and that's enough. A couple of other people are pointing out that drawing attention to the date at the end was kind of hamfisted, but having watched this a couple of times now, I have noticed that we do in fact see a calendar at the start indicating it is modern day, so the dates at the end aren't entirely out of place, though maybe they would have suited being in the background instead of the camera floating and focusing on them. It would have been nice to see this film focus a little more on camerawork and art direction- and maybe this was a symptom of the solo/duo team format, but most of the video entries looked like they had been filmed on the same day. A hair cut, a bit of makeup, or shooting at clearly different times of the day could have really added a touch more weight to the idea that these videos were progressing along. A couple of the judges mentioned that they would have liked the performances/monologues from the lead to be slightly more understated- more naturalistic I guess, which is something I think will come with time as we see Yikes develop and grow as a filmmaker- which is something you could say for all of the aspects of this film. On that subject, I am very much looking forward to Yikes's film next year, and any work that may be produced in between. So much promise in this writing. As for your title, "P.S." is a beautifully tragic double meaning. Perfect title for the film.

Night Shift

Ah shit here we go. I'll be honest and upfront, city manager impartialness be damned: This was my favourite film of 2019, I ranked it as a winner, and was legitimately mortified to discover it hadn't placed, I actually felt sick for a couple of hours after seeing the result because to me it was such an injustice. Not necessarily saying the top 3 didn't deserve their awards, but more that this film absolutely blew me away. The animation is slick, the songs are fun, the ultra elements are masterful, the story is great, and I think it has the best ending of any 48hour film I've seen this year. The shot of the explosion from outside the window coupled with the security screen breaking was such a FANTASTIC climax on its own, but the integration of Ultra along with it makes it that much tastier. While we're on the topic of tasty ultra, the 4th wall break is also, by far, the most well integrated 4th wall break I've seen out of all the Ultras in the country, and I'm pretty sure I've seen all the Ultras in the country. What's great about it, is that it totally fits in the language of the film, it's a throwaway joke, sure, but one that doesn't make an uninformed audience member go "Hmmm that was a weird joke". Another super effective part of this film which I love, is after Joe attacks the 'ghoul' and the "Gremlins" song starts, the shot of the screens closing in on him with "we are coming to find you" playing, is such a triumphant moment of the film, it's scary, its funny and it signifies we're now moving into the third act, and if there's one thing more 48hour films need to have, it's a third act. If I had to point out any weaknesses in the film, and I only feel I have to as some sort of explanation as to why it didn't quite make the cut of the top 3, I'd say the dialogue/sound mixing maybe wasn't 100% clear at times? A couple of people have mentioned to me that the character's lines are lost under the music, that sort of thing. But I dunno. Everything else about this film is firing on all cylinders, so I don't even really care about that. I love this film, and I'm very invested to see what Bork delivers next, inside the comp or out. TITLE REVIEW: Night Shift is an appropriate and very satisfying title.

Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

When I found out you guys at CRAB CRAB CRAB were doing ULTRA this year, AND you got the Musical + genre, I was so excited to see what you'd deliver, and boy oh boy, did you deliver. As a team, you've slowly bubbled to the surface of my most anticipated films each year, with "Wheat, Myself and Rye" being the gold standard for how to truly master bizarre in 48hours, and while "Close Encounters of the Bird Kind" is a little lighter in the story department from previous films, it sets a new precedent for being... weird? shocking? terrifying? All of these things and more? This film is carried by it's amazing songs with gut busting lyrics (I love that you worked the word "Cloaca" in there) and an inspiring and devoted performance from Tim Driver AKA Mr. Penguin. Every year I marvel at the production quality of the costuming and art design in your films, and while I wasn't as dumbfounded by Mr. Penguin's get up as I was by your bread man or the slug lady, it is definitely the most terrifying character to be inducted into the CRAB CRAB CRAB rogue gallery. Maybe they could all team up next year? That would be a nightmare. As I said up top, the only way in which this film is lacking is that the actual story feels a little undercooked. I would have liked a little more connective tissue between the songs Mr. Penguin is singing and the little girl watching him- both characters go on arcs, but neither seem to truly affect each other beyond the girl ultimately choosing the penguin life. Maybe if he'd taken the girl by the hand and they actually flew to Antarctica together to witness all the events detailed in the songs (like a fucked up version of that animated Snowman short film from like 40 years ago), the film would feel more like a complete journey as opposed to just a girl listening to a penguin singing. But, alas, penguins can't fly. Still, it feels a little pointless to critique a film which is already as amazing as this, but there you go. I love this film, I love this team, and I cannot wait to see what the crabs offer up next year. As for your title, "Close Encounters of the Bird Kind" is classic, I'm sure there are other more penguin based movie titles you could have spoofed here, but this one speaks to the alien nature of your film, and your team.

For Evelynn

I Love Loops are a team I look forward to every year, and I often lament their frequent exclusion from the finals. I admired their ambition this year by taking on a different subject matter than their usual space opera aesthetic, but I don't know if this is their strongest work. FOR EVELYNN suffers mostly from a story concept which takes a little long for the audience to understand and become fully on board with. I think a little dialogue may have helped here, but I understand if that's against the team's rules. Other than that, I still really enjoyed what was brought to the table, and the format of their films continues to inspire me.

Polaroid 2

POLAROID 2 is Submission Impossible's BEST film to date, and managed to do what no other Ultra sequels did; close a loop left open by the original. The subject matter of the story is crazy emotional, but it's handled with class thanks to the tremendous acting. My only confusion lies in something that has eluded both films in this series now- Are we assuming that at some point in the future, time travel becomes possible? As both films have had messages sent and intercepted from the future- within the characters lifetimes- yet both present day stories are pretty grounded in reality. Perhaps a Polaroid 3 will clear things up? ;) As a whole, one of the best Ultras I've seen in terms of continuing the story (and surpassing it imo), though if the original isn't fresh in your mind, I can imagine this one being a little difficult to grasp.

Blackheath Station

Pretty top notch camera work, pretty effective performances.... but what was the story? It kind of feels like this story was a loose excuse to use the locations, costumes, music and have a big old dance with friends. It's a lot of fun, but I'm not sure its a short film. TITLE REVIEW: I quite like the sound of Blackheath Station, it has that "emotionally tied to a location" vibe of something like Brokeback Mountain.

Now You See Me, Now You Don't

There's a lot of charm in this film. The lack of dialogue and quirky music create a really well-paces and intriguing atmosphere. This feels like a more stylistic departure to what SubImp have done before, as usually their films are quite dialogue driven, or based around a central mystery. This one instead feels more like a mystery, and the peacefulness and fun of the film has really grown on me with each rewatch. Well done directing a kid - She does a great job and would have made a pretty baller 2018 Ultra (which probably would have 'counted' more than the loophole you guys exploited last year :P) Also, the locations are really fun, you went all over town and did a good job working with a rainy day! While there feels like a strong hand on direction here, I do have some questions - some logic gaps which have kept me from completely getting on board with this film: The film seems to present the situation as the girl has an invisible friend, but at the end its revealed her friend died... But This doesn't feel like the rest of the logic of the film adds up to this? I could maybe understand the disappearing act as being a metaphor for her disappearance, but if the girl died, then who is eating the other ice cream or riding the other scooter? It feels a little like you were writing a story about an imaginary friend, and then decided to give it a tragic twist, as opposed to landing on that ending and working clues back in through the first part of the script. While we're on the tragic twist as well, I'm actually not a big fan of it - I think it kind of betrays the tone of the film, and not in a "what a surprise ending" way, but in a way where the whimsy and delight doesn't seem to even slow down for the reveal - Sorry to be such a fusspot gang! I love you more than words can say. TITLE REVIEW: I think this title is maybe a little to easy or simple for a story about magic, maybe something more aligned with imaginary friends would have been cool.

Munchies

Wooooooo! This film was AWESOME. My favourite of the heat, and I'd love to see it make the city finals, and maybe even the grand finals beyond that. What I loved about it was it was so unapologetically bizarre, and it completely works in spite of itself. I can't imagine the script made a lot of sense, and the fact that you guys produced an A+ film out of that is something I admire and greatly envy. Your casting was great, your direction was great, your sets were great. A total package.

You Ready For Space?

If Planet Fox Films don't make it into the city finals at least once in the next year or so, I will eat my hat. I watched this film after seeing two hilarious exerpts in the nominations during the city finals, and "No I don't want to go space Malcolm!" was such an intensely funny line, I knew I had to check it out. Great performances in this little movie, with the self aware young actors on the edge of cracking up at their own absurdity absolutely adding to the charm of the film. Keep it up guys, I'll definitely be keeping my eye on you for future films.

Tane Huata: Puppet Hunter

This film really impressed me a lot more than I thought it would! The initial Mockumentary style kind of put me off, but your story is awesome and the ending nearly had my rolling on the floor of the cinema.

Thirteen

I can't decide whether or not I like the way you guys manipulated Coming-of-Age as a genre. I do love a good sentimental coming-of-age dramedy, so I was personally a little disappointed to the see this more sci-fi kind of approach. I also think the performances didn't quite sell the film's reality. The imagery is all very cool, but I don't think the script was compelling enough to accommodate the location or cinematography. The great thing about Coming-of-Age is that it can very easily be a low-fi low-budget kind of film. I think it can be important to write a story within the box of your own life experience, and as it stands I found the writing in this film somewhat unconvincing. TITLE REVIEW: Thirteen is a tried and true Coming-of-Age buzzy title. good job.

A Series of Unlikely Events

This was a breathe of air in a sea of atrocious films I was drowning in, in this heat. After watching about 10 terrible films and only one good one (The Butterfly), A Series of Unlikely Events managed to deliver a hysterical performance. Well done Zebras.

The Clock Is Ticking

This film felt like it had a lot of jokes which were probably hilarious for the cast and crew, but I don't know if they translated to film. While I'm left with a lot of questions about the plot, I'm sure that was the intention- I don't need to go digging into why there was a bomb there anyway. I think there was a lack of focus with this story, and I would have liked to have seen it go to more interesting places than "Here comes another wacky character!" TITLE REVIEW: Your title is a little rudimentary no? I'm sure there's something more creative.

Stanley & Mildred

This film slayed me guys. It was already funny enough with just how bizarre everything was; the old person make up, the adopted daughter, the casual mention of the fountain of youth as if it were just a new cafe that opened up. So funny, and for a while I wasn't sure if you guys were in on the joke, but then that ending, oh boy. I've seen the whole "character watches and laments over their own 48hour film" plot twist in this competition before, but this was the first time I've seen it actually still stay true to the genre, great stuff. As for your title, "Stanley & Mildred" is simple and obvious, but perfect. Come say hi to me at the finals/whenever you see me next coz I wanna shake your hand(s).

West Side Nativity

The all-too familiar BAD TASTE style of gross out filmmaking in its full glory. I really liked this film, great story idea, amazing practical effects and hilarious acting, could have used a bit more polish in the edit, but it is what it is, and what it is is awesome.

Duck Season

The more I think about this film, the more I love it. It starts out kind of slow, but then this concept is completely ditched and replaced with some of the funniest banter I've ever heard between two hillbillies. The one guy telling the other to 'shush' constantly nearly had me in tears, It had the same energy as an improvised scene, but the dialogue was so informative while also being hilarious that it had to have been scripted. This could be my favourite Chch city finalist, just because of it's bizarre progression and almost downright upheaval of storytelling structure. It's simply good for a laugh.

The First Date

A clear understanding the basic storytelling foundations in this team, with a really solid character arc and relatable motivations for the characters. That being said, I do wonder if there was a more interesting way you could have utilized time travel to tell the story- maybe he could have actually traveled back somehow instead of inexplicably being stuck in a time loop? I did feel the lead was a touch too naive at times, it seems weird that on his second or third redo of the date that he'd make such bonehead decisions. A bit too much of a strawman. As for your title, I actually hadn't thought about it until now, but "The First Date" is actually a great title for this film, as it really isn't what you'd expect from the outset, and we'd all love the chance to redo a first date that went bad- so in that area the title, and the film as well, actually deals with a great little relatable fantasy.

Blue

Fantastic atmospheric piece with some really nice special effects and a super satisfying and wholesome twist at the end.

Postgraduate Massacre

Technically, this film is a masterpiece. The cinematography, the editing, the sound design etc. are all top knotch and really powerful. I do feel the acting and delivery of dialogue let the film down though, and once again I have to point out how lost I felt having no knowledge of the original film that this one was a sequel to.

Versace Flows

You guys at Dolphin have been somewhat of an illusive urban legend for my personal experience with 48Hours. I remember hearing great things about your 2014 film, but I've never been able to track it down, and now, after looking at the review database history of your films, I actually think "Versace Flows" might be the first actual film I've seen of yours. The sense of humour is definitely the strongest part, you guys look like you constantly make each other laugh, and you made the audience laugh. Great take down of mumble rappers, with a few on the nose references to the culture ("You ain't got the answers!"). However, as others have said the story leaves a little to be desired, and with the plethora of mockumentaries we got this year, this one doesn't quite pop as much as it would need to for it to justify going the mockumentary route. Also, I gotta tell you guys, I'm a little disappointed that you managed to do Ultra as a high school team, and then practically ignored it since you qualified as underage anyway. Had I been on your team, I'd have insisted we either go with animals or younger kids so that we're still playing the game, so to speak. On that subject, you should know that a more brutal city manager could disqualify you, as the Ultra mandate this year said only your CHARACTERS had to be children or animals, but the actors could be adult humans, and inexplicably, despite jumping through the Ultra hoops that are 1. Doing Ultra as a school team and 2. Already being 'children', you then featured characters who probably should have been played by adults! You get by on the technicality that, I GUESS a 17-year-old could be a rapper's manager, but you cut it pretty fine. If you do Ultra next year, I encourage you to actually lean into it and stand up to the challenge instead of ignoring it. Also, work on your storytelling and character arcs, and I think you'll really shine. As for your title, "Versace Flows" has a really slick ring to it. I like it, though I don't get the reference. P.S. please put this review in your team intro next year

My Boo

Oh boy, what a great film, and what a genuine tragedy that this was disqualified, I feel for you guys- I've been there too. A fantastic idea for a story- and executed to such a high degree. The lead is great, so charismatic, and he'd need to be for having such a morally grey motivation. But what a motivation it is! Dave was also a fantastic guide to purgatory, very good call making him a comedic character. I would have liked to have seen more of him, though I'm not sure how that could have worked with the story already as tight as it is. The leading girl, as well as the medium are both fantastic in their roles too, and I loved the medium's outfit- immediately told me everything I needed to know about her personality. Really good ending too, great closure/full circle stuff here that a LOT of films seemed to be lacking this year. This would have 100% made the shortlist and probably the final 15 as well. Totally my kind of film. This leaves me with trying to access what went wrong? What made you late? You mentioned to me at Hand-in that you spent a lot of time on the special effects to give the ghost characters an aura. My advice would be, you didn't need to do this, and you could have kept it really simple, and above all, practical. How about make-up or costume? If you set up a rule in your universe that all ghosts wear flowing white robes or something like that, I'd have never questioned it, and it would have saved you hours in the edit. This also leads me to my next point..... YOUR TITLE! "My Boo" is a great title, I totally get it, my only comment would be that if the ghost characters had looked more like traditional halloween spooky ghosts (hence my flowing white robe suggestion) this would have been a ever-so-slightly better title. Still, hindsight is 20/20. Please hand in on time next year guys, you could probably win this thing.

Persecution Complex

This team obviously have a really good handle on tone and atmosphere, and while I didn't quite follow the story as much as I wanted to, there is clearly a lot of thought and care put into whatever the story being told is. As for your title, I'm not really sure how "Persecution Complex" works into the story.

A Duck Secret

Did you guys have a duck in your film last year? Clearly the duck is what makes this film so memorable, and its a great costume and a pretty good premise for a murder mystery I do think ending it with narration saying you don't know what the moral to the story is, is a little bit of a cheat. If you work out the message of your story, you'll have an easier job giving it a more definitive of an ending. TITLE REVIEW: A Duck Secret is hilarious.

The Silent Man

This was awesome. Such a great concept, taken to it's full potential. Everything was kept close to this central idea of outer-inner-monologues too, as the villain is revealed and defeated due to her thoughtlessness. Well done guys, absolutely deserving of your city win, hopefully you win Nationals!

That Time of The Month

I really love this film. It's very sweet, and awesome to see a topic which has been needlessly taboo for a while covered in such a quirky way. I think the actors are all great, Briana in particular gives a really nice understated performance, she's not one of those actors who you can see is just waiting for her next line, she felt like a living breathing person in the world of the film. Kieran is hilarious and fulfils his role as the uncomfortable male perfectly, it's more of a satire of male characters than anything offensive. The joke is on him, not on the women. Maddi also plays her character with wonderful genuineness, pulling off an introverted awkward teenager perfectly. It's a small mousey performance (dragon v mousey?) which is perfect for her character's place in the film. The script, I think, is probably the best part of this film, while it's maybe just a series of wacky plays on the central concept, the underlining message is super sincere and plays throughout it. The stakes are low, but that's okay because the funny concept does more of the grunt work in terms of entertainment. My storytelling sensibilities are somewhat at odds with this film though, on the one hand, I feel like the concept is somewhat underutilised, as it would have been cool to see more extreme time travel, and while I respect the creative choice to make it a more grounded world where you only travel a few months at most, I guess my desire to see Grace and Liv travel to the 1920s, or the 1800s, or the future, or wherever (or WHENever ;)), is mainly because the single house location is a little dull, personally I prefer 48hour films which take us on a road trip to different locations. Personal preference but there you go. Also with the single location, the time travel itself feels more akin to teleportation than time travel, because you never see what time they go to. And when you start thinking about that, you start thinking about all the ways in which the implications of time travel as a concept aren't explored at all, and you start falling down the rabbit hole that every time travel film inevitably falls into. Ultimately though, what I think is really the main thing holding this film and potentially this team back, is just their low-fi set up. Some better cinematography and more consistent sound would have really made this film pop, and I think that acquiring these elements is the logical next step for Dragon V Mouse. I loved the sincere take this year, and it was awesome to see you all try something a bit different from your usual satirical films. I think this is your best film so far and a promising step forward for you as a team. TITLE REVIEW: That Time of the Month is great, as I'm sure were any of the other period/time travel titles which would have come to mind. In a way though, Time Travel as a genre feels like it produces the easiest films to title, as everyone eats up a good time based pun.

Down 2 The Wire

Basically Rowan covered everything I would have said about this film, but nonetheless I'll throw a couple more thoughts in. Camera work and acting are the slickest elements of this film, and are just as up there with TBALC's other films. I think it's the story and editing which let it down, and create an air of confusion which is often prevalent in 48hour films, but almost never in TBALC's filmography. As Rowan said, I think Ultra was a big ol' kick in the nuts for this case- as 48hour films are by definition very disposable and rarely ask for a sequel. I do wonder if ultimately, DOWN TO THE WIRE was the best choice of film to do a sequel to, sure the characters make sense to be transposed into a Thriller, but maybe it would have been better to pull an ARMY OF DARKNESS and just jarringly bring Scary Barry or someone into a thriller. As it goes without saying, obviously this is an awesomely made short film, and I suspect even the judges judge TBALC on a slightly different plane to other teams.

"ouch"

Absolutely hilarious stuff, and the idea on paper is a sure bet for the finalists, so all you need to work on is your picture, sound and editing, because your sense of humour and story are VERY solid. As for your title, "ouch" is great. Simple, indicative of the film's style, and immediately puts a smile on your face when you see "Splatstick" as the genre.

HOME

Beautiful music and beautiful scenery accompany a great short with a cool concept. I think your initial idea, the last person on earth listening to the recordings of her lost family, is a great concept that maybe wasn't delivered in the best way, and by the time the twist is revealed, we all sort of guess what is going on. The final shot, as other reviewers have said, really took me out of the experience, and maybe Harper simply diving off the cliff to meet her family in the afterlife would have been a bit more impactful. Once again you guys deliver a great drama though, destroying my theory that only comedies make it in this competition.

Boogie Buddies

Hahaha, uhmmmm Yeah so if there was still a BEST BAD FILM AWARD, this would probably get it. And I mean this as a compliment. You get AJ's unofficial fever dream award this year. It was neck and neck with you guys and Foreign Objects, but at least I understood their film well enough. It wasn't until AFTER I'd seen this film a second time that I clicked that the characters are boogers inside a nose. Maybe the problem is because Shen plays both a booger and the owner of the nose? Anyway, put yourself in my shoes and imagine my reaction to this film, not understanding the story. So many questions. Why is everyone singing? What happened to the characters at the start? Why'd he sneeze out a person? This film is pure madness and leans so intensely into all the ways in which to make a bad movie that it almost comes back round again and becomes great. TITLE REVIEW: Boogie Buddies. Ahh. Of course. It was right in front of me the whole time.

The Rock and a Hard Place

While not Submission Impossible's finest Submission, it would be impossible for anyone to not submit to this film's charm. I loved a lot of what you guys did with the idea of a real time film. The tea kettle going off was a nice touch, and the ending was great too, though I think it would have been made stronger had the protagonist not already been asked to leave the house in the first place.

Text Back

I really liked the concept of this film. Super original and have never seen it done before. Another solid entry from Chess Club, and though I doubt it will reach the same heights as last year's monolith, it still reached the audience on a much more personal and touching level this year. Fight Club ftw.

Knife Jogger: The Final Cut

Really charming young team pulling off a great little story which, as others have said, I would have liked to have seen a little more of. Despite the team name being "Big Boys", KNIFE JOGGER has some really good female characters, which is nice to see with the competition's emphasis on that this year.

Losing My Edge

Had this film not been let down by an amateur technical side, I think it could have very well been one of my favourites of the year. As a bit of a horror movie nerd, I absolutely love the concept of a Jason Voorhees type not knowing how to relate to the kids of today. All the jokes were super solid, especially the "I'm Dead" bitmoji on snapchat, but overall a better technical team could have really elevated this film. If you guys enter next year, I encourage you to hone in on the film side of filmmaking because your storytelling and comedic sensibilities are awesome. TITLE REVIEW: Losing My Edge is great, but is there a way to incorporate something a little more 80s horror genre into it?

Two Steps Forward

I had to watch this a couple of times to fully understand what was going on- though that might be my fault. Still, I prefer confusing story to no story at all, and you guys clearly have the fundamentals of storytelling down, and good on you for tackling a heavy subject. As with most time travel films this year, I feel the time travel aspect was a little underplayed. As for your title, "Two Steps Forward" is intriguing, so it works really well I think, plays into the time travel genre well.

Scarfface

Very cool ideas in this film, accompanied by some very convincing and authentic acting from the 3 main actresses in the piece. The way they interacted with each other before and after they got in the car felt very real and casual, which is something which is very hard to pull off in amateur filmmaking. The terrified acting later on in the film was also very authentic, and the twist was one I truly didn't see coming and I really appreciated it. I did wonder why the girl who escapes the house would go back in alone to save her friend instead of calling the police, or even just for help? Technically this film was let down a little in its sound and camera department, but I think you guys are definitely on your way to creating something very polished. Here's hoping you impress even more in the future!

A Brush With Commitment

There's a lot of really funny ideas here, and one of the better takes on Wrong Place/Wrong Time from Christchurch this year. I think parts of the story are somewhat unclear, I didn't fully understand what was going on until I rewatched it. I think with a more focused story, and a bit more cohesive visual storytelling, this film could have been one to mess with. TITLE REVIEW: It's a great title, very funny.

Grisly

Probably my favourite script from the Chch finals. The meta approach (and somewhat middle finger) to not only 48Hours, but the trials and tribulations of ULTRA itself, creates one of the cheekiest 48hour films I've ever seen. Maybe this should win Ant's risk award purely because of it's gaul and smartassery. I really like GRISLY's approach to Ultra and it may be one of my favourites that I've seen. Out of all the sequels I've watched this year that required intimate knowledge I don't have of the original, GRISLY does the right thing by assuming you have no recollection whatsoever of Mr Bearly's previous adventures, and pulls no punches is making fun of itself, making fun of you, and making fun of the competition.

H2O

Cool ideas. Really creative set and props but the story could have probably used a bit of a self-aware sense of humour to forgive the shoestring budget cardboard feel. The story is okay, clearly borrowing from a few modern sci-fi films like Interstellar, but the visual look is far more the winner of the day as opposed to any sort of clever plot. I can tell you guys had a lot of fun making this film, and with such a small crew, all power to Ya. As I said, my only note would to be to incorporate a bit of comedy should you attempt something as ambitious as this in the future. Well done!

Hide and Seek

Giles sort of touched on my main feeling about this film: The easygoing thoughtless Harper being shockingly cavalier about her abducted child could have actually been played off as really funny, and a whole movie based around a mother trying to save her child without being really bothered one way or the other would have been something original that I would have liked to watch, but with the 'serious' acting thrown in, it's clear that this film only gets half-way there, and I don't think it was intentional either. I didn't quite understand parts of the story, why she couldn't call the cops, what her business was, how she got the money, who had kidnapped the child and what the last scene was meant to imply. If the mother of a kidnapped child simply has the money lying around, and the bulk of the film is her easily collecting it and then just paying the ransom, then there's not a lot of tension in that story, and it's kind of a bummer too, that the kidnappers just win and get the money. I feel like i would have liked to have seen Harper outsmart her enemies, though I get the feeling the ending I didn't understand is meant to imply something to that effect? I thought the characterisation of Harper was really good, and as the film started out I was actually quite hopeful as she leaves the branch to thwak her son's face as he follows behind her. That whole first scene with the kids was really well shot and the kids did a pretty good job of acting too, though as a whole it was a bit long and seemed to just stall the rest of the movie. I actually thought the game of Hide and Seek they were playing was gonna be the meat of the story, which was a good idea and... wait what's this film called again? "Hide and Seek". Oh man. Did I totally miss the point? I need to sleep.