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Somebody Someone Robbie Ellis

75 Reviews

Reviews

Ruby Red

Damn near perfect. They did a serious musical - hard choice, but they pulled it off. Set in a cabaret bar, the costumes, make-up and demeanour were all fantastic. DOP deserves a medal too. Richard Falkner's music was convincing. Nice intercutting of the couple on show to the public and couple in private in their dressing room - made that rhyme and was quite impressive. Style-wise the music complemented the visual décor but went further as well - the percussive sequence in the car I thought captured his character's emotion very well. Gemma Boyle's voice and acting were spine-chilling. Picture and audio synced perfectly, as far as I could tell. What initially felt like disconnected plot elements resolved itself in a very very powerful way. I was going to give this a 4 for confusion until a lightbulb went off and I got it. 5 stars, no question.

Barrowed Love

Began with a bad American accent so I was pleasantly surprised to find it was a take-off of a dark, redneckish creeper film. Top marks for the line "37 seconds without nourishment. My body needs protein fast." - the delivery of that and many other lines was farkin' crack-up. The whole package (plot etc) was a little bare, but this team made a gross-out film with a tender ending - it was solid. 3.5 stars.

The Deliveryer

Great intro, great animated logo. Very very impressed with both. The quest was really really fun - some Inception/Truman Show-ish like crazy layers involved, but I think we mostly followed everything. Great humour. Cast of wackos. Very funny Entrapment reference... not to be a pervy old man but DAYUM she has the arse to pull it off. Some sound balance issues, but it didn't detract. Easily the most entertaining of the night - I gave it my 3 points but only because I was jealous of Ruby Red. EXCELLENT RAIDER WOULD WATCH AGAIN+++

limb

Bloody great visuals - this DOP has an eye for a shot, that's for sure. Strayed into arty for the sake of arty territory just a bit, but I forgive them. Well acted (essentially one actress only). No dialogue apart from the obligatory line at the end: every so often a film makes me disappointed that one of the compulsory elements in 48 is a set of words. Chilling musical soundtrack was very well executed. Some clothing continuity errors (how'd she go from full wetsuit to no pants in two consecutive shots? I don't think there was any paranormal justification for it...) but this got my 2 points.

Beard I be without you

Told with a lot of heart! Yeah, production values were a bit ropey, but they spent a lot of time on some tricky stop-motion, so well done to them. Amusing song. I liked it.

Third Wheel

1 extra star for slipshod don't-give-a-fuck ADR in the car scene. That was freakin' hilarious, they should have done the whole film like that. Great finishing line: "I want your balls Bobby! I want your balls!". Mostly nice humour, but yet another school bullied seeking revenge on the school bully. At least this time the hitchhiker had the creepiness to justify that story arc. Pretty lo-fi production, but I laughed throughout.

Edge of the Circle

Look, I couldn't follow this plot. However, it was intriguing the whole way. A good variety of characters too. There was revenge, but it wasn't set up well. However I don't care too much, it was watchable. Was a 3-star review but half a star off for lacking an apostrophe in one of your title cards.

Sammy

I missed the first three films in Heat 9, but Sammy was easily the best of the night out of the rest. They took the One Room genre/limitation/whatever, combined it with Revenge, and took both elements to perfection (or close enough). The power/relationship dynamics of avenger and avengee were definitely not your usual, I'll say that much, but they absolutely sold it. Two great acting performances as well - I really hope Mrs Dickson gets nominated for Best Actress (didn't get the actress's name!). Great shooting, a little claustrophobic (although I was sitting in the front row, so everything looks shit there), but the camerawork told the tale well. Three-dimensional storytelling, very economical, long on allusion and jigsaw pieces, short on clunky exposition, bloody great. Would have been 3 points to them had I seen the whole heat.

Cadavre Exquis

Le plot était slow et intringuing, mais il y avait not much development. Quite français in its telling, a choice intéressant. (Je suppose que you work avec the actors you have.) C'était sorta creepy but sorta not, I felt that le factor de creepiness à la fin didn't really payer off. Il y avait mystery, mais peut-être too much mystery. Lost its way, but mostly très engaging nonetheless. I gave it "un point".

Third Wheel

1 extra star for slipshod don't-give-a-fuck ADR in the car scene. That was freakin' hilarious, they should have done the whole film like that. Great finishing line: "I want your balls Bobby! I want your balls!". Mostly nice humour, but yet another school bullied seeking revenge on the school bully. At least this time the hitchhiker had the creepiness to justify that story arc. Pretty lo-fi production, but I laughed throughout.

Harvest

Crappy location sound, open air location obvious for horror but worked with it pretty well. Some fun OTT gore in the foley and the recurring visual element of the meat cleaver was most evocative. Nice incorp of the mandatory character's name (incoming call on the iPhone), although the character itself was pretty tangential to the story, as I recall. Nothing to make the whole package stand out but a creditable 3 stars.

Girl, Disembodied

Loveable Igor-like character, some great acting from the little girl and fucking well done on the blood and gore. More horror than quest, but they definitely acknowledged the quest element. Line of the night for "Poopies!" Hilarious "your head asplode" moments. Ironically, in a heat where the Body-Switch team didn't make it to the finish line, we have two films (the other was Squint Eastwood's) which could have been Body-Switch. Nice. I think I gave this my 1 point.

Instaman: The Untold Story

Liked the Scottish villain, och aye. Some great creative thinking in how to apply special effects, nicely done. Likeable characters, the delivery girl was a particularly hilarious throwaway character. Great fun from a young team, I'd watch more from them.

The Deliveryer

Great intro, great animated logo. Very very impressed with both. The quest was really really fun - some Inception/Truman Show-ish like crazy layers involved, but I think we mostly followed everything. Great humour. Cast of wackos. Very funny Entrapment reference... not to be a pervy old man but DAYUM she has the arse to pull it off. Some sound balance issues, but it didn't detract. Easily the most entertaining of the night - I gave it my 3 points but only because I was jealous of Ruby Red. EXCELLENT RAIDER WOULD WATCH AGAIN+++

Barrowed Love

Began with a bad American accent so I was pleasantly surprised to find it was a take-off of a dark, redneckish creeper film. Top marks for the line "37 seconds without nourishment. My body needs protein fast." - the delivery of that and many other lines was farkin' crack-up. The whole package (plot etc) was a little bare, but this team made a gross-out film with a tender ending - it was solid. 3.5 stars.

People Get Lucky and Bad Things Happen

My notes say "I liked the team intro", but I can't remember now what the intro was. Four very well-drawn and well-played characters (although the ninja lost some mystique when he came back at the end). Plot was mostly in place, although maybe there wasn't enough motivation to it? The musical soundtrack was appropriately badass, it was well-shot, the sound was all there, and the slow-mo walk down the Boulcott St-Plimmers Steps tunnel was priceless. Best of all, this short incorporated probably the only planking reference in the whole competition that actually worked. I want to give this 4 stars or even 4.5, but it completely failed to acknowledge the genre of road movie. So 3 stars max.

Super Self Me

Shooting & acting good, Paul Stephanus as the psychiatrist did particularly well. The Superhero nature of things was played cheesily enough, nicely done. Lots of laugh-"ooh-too-far"-groans from the audience, pushed our buttons. Song was funny. Great ending. Job well done! (NB: I came late and missed the first three films, but had I voted I would have given this my 1 point.)

One Brick, Two Brick

A tight little story with a well-utilised small cast, and decent production values on the whole. It was narrated as a rhyming ode - I felt echoes of Dr Seuss - with well constructed anapaestic tetrameters. (Had to look that up.) One minor gripe: "clearing" does not rhyme with "swearing". Your New Zealand accent is the wrong one. Let that not take away from a quick, simple, and effective short with an okay twist in the tale. Not memorable in the long term but good enough to get my 1 point in this heat. 7/10.

Edge of the Circle

Look, I couldn't follow this plot. However, it was intriguing the whole way. A good variety of characters too. There was revenge, but it wasn't set up well. However I don't care too much, it was watchable. Was a 3-star review but half a star off for lacking an apostrophe in one of your title cards.

;

Good to see a team that thought long and hard about One Room and how to make it work: a cast of about a dozen who enter and exit over the course of a party. Best opening to the film: when awkward guy busts through the door and the whole room falls silent, even the intelligent lights on the ceiling stopped moving too. Shooting style was great: it gave a comprehensive picture of the room with a lot of people in it. Nice payoff in that the (ex-)bully had to use a broom for his demise, although the logical freeze-frame ending would have been the moment of impact with the piñata, surely? Was a hard choice for me, but I couldn't quite give this my 1 point. 4th best of the night for me.

Breadcrumbs

Lovely music. I'm a composer therefore I'm biased to listen out for it, but the music in this film was one of the highlights of my evening. Very telling that even though the action had finished and the credits had begun, nobody applauded until the music was over. Kudos to whoever did it, I can't remember your name from the credits sorry. There were moments in the film in which it veered into LTSA drink drive advert territory, and I felt the story wasn't really sharply enough in focus. It was well shot (nice car bonnet shot by the way), the sound was all there, but story-wise it seemed like it had more to give, it didn't fully deliver all that it could have. Still, this would have got my 2 points (I didn't vote, because I missed the first three films in the heat).

Super Self Me

Shooting & acting good, Paul Stephanus as the psychiatrist did particularly well. The Superhero nature of things was played cheesily enough, nicely done. Lots of laugh-"ooh-too-far"-groans from the audience, pushed our buttons. Song was funny. Great ending. Job well done! (NB: I came late and missed the first three films, but had I voted I would have given this my 1 point.)

limb

Bloody great visuals - this DOP has an eye for a shot, that's for sure. Strayed into arty for the sake of arty territory just a bit, but I forgive them. Well acted (essentially one actress only). No dialogue apart from the obligatory line at the end: every so often a film makes me disappointed that one of the compulsory elements in 48 is a set of words. Chilling musical soundtrack was very well executed. Some clothing continuity errors (how'd she go from full wetsuit to no pants in two consecutive shots? I don't think there was any paranormal justification for it...) but this got my 2 points.

People Get Lucky and Bad Things Happen

My notes say "I liked the team intro", but I can't remember now what the intro was. Four very well-drawn and well-played characters (although the ninja lost some mystique when he came back at the end). Plot was mostly in place, although maybe there wasn't enough motivation to it? The musical soundtrack was appropriately badass, it was well-shot, the sound was all there, and the slow-mo walk down the Boulcott St-Plimmers Steps tunnel was priceless. Best of all, this short incorporated probably the only planking reference in the whole competition that actually worked. I want to give this 4 stars or even 4.5, but it completely failed to acknowledge the genre of road movie. So 3 stars max.

Jack & Jill

Alright, all the narrative-is-king strict-genre-ist haters are going to come out of the woodwork and go "whine whine this wasn't a romcom because it didn't have the three strict plot points of boy meets girl boy loses girl boy wins girl back". Well you know what? Stuff that. This team acknowledged the romance element, and it was a comedy in the Shakespearean sense with its ending... mostly. Yeah, it was unresolved, but life goes unresolved. Nobody ever has a movie-perfect romcom relationship. What you had here was two people from circumstances of varying degrees of screwed-upness finding each other... or not. Make this into a film of between 20 and 90 minutes, extend the narrative arc to its logical conclusion (and back to its logical inception), and they've got something there. I'd watch it. I liked the teaser. (Edit: nice job making Bobby Young a peripheral character, I liked the kid's spunky attitude.)

Perfect

A neat little crime thriller, quite first-person-shooter-like in a lot of places. Lots of corridors and targeted takings-out of henchmen. Fairly predictable plot but who cares. Odd to see security footage with lovingly panned hand-held camerawork, but a badass music soundtrack made up for that. 3 stars.

Brush By Life

This film held my attention. It was slow but thoughtful. There was a pay-it-forward type plot of spreading love and kindness throughout humanity with some lovely simple elements. The cuts between the magically coloured shirts were seamless, forgive the pun. Despite the lack of dialogue, there was some totally annoying ambient hiss on the soundtrack. Don't know whether that was the film or the Castle St Lecture Theatre. That said, I could listen past it to hear a well put-together, simple, clear musical score. 4 stars, but the best of this heat so it got my 3 points.

Breadcrumbs

Lovely music. I'm a composer therefore I'm biased to listen out for it, but the music in this film was one of the highlights of my evening. Very telling that even though the action had finished and the credits had begun, nobody applauded until the music was over. Kudos to whoever did it, I can't remember your name from the credits sorry. There were moments in the film in which it veered into LTSA drink drive advert territory, and I felt the story wasn't really sharply enough in focus. It was well shot (nice car bonnet shot by the way), the sound was all there, but story-wise it seemed like it had more to give, it didn't fully deliver all that it could have. Still, this would have got my 2 points (I didn't vote, because I missed the first three films in the heat).

;

Good to see a team that thought long and hard about One Room and how to make it work: a cast of about a dozen who enter and exit over the course of a party. Best opening to the film: when awkward guy busts through the door and the whole room falls silent, even the intelligent lights on the ceiling stopped moving too. Shooting style was great: it gave a comprehensive picture of the room with a lot of people in it. Nice payoff in that the (ex-)bully had to use a broom for his demise, although the logical freeze-frame ending would have been the moment of impact with the piñata, surely? Was a hard choice for me, but I couldn't quite give this my 1 point. 4th best of the night for me.

Jack & Jill

Alright, all the narrative-is-king strict-genre-ist haters are going to come out of the woodwork and go "whine whine this wasn't a romcom because it didn't have the three strict plot points of boy meets girl boy loses girl boy wins girl back". Well you know what? Stuff that. This team acknowledged the romance element, and it was a comedy in the Shakespearean sense with its ending... mostly. Yeah, it was unresolved, but life goes unresolved. Nobody ever has a movie-perfect romcom relationship. What you had here was two people from circumstances of varying degrees of screwed-upness finding each other... or not. Make this into a film of between 20 and 90 minutes, extend the narrative arc to its logical conclusion (and back to its logical inception), and they've got something there. I'd watch it. I liked the teaser. (Edit: nice job making Bobby Young a peripheral character, I liked the kid's spunky attitude.)

Ruby Red

Damn near perfect. They did a serious musical - hard choice, but they pulled it off. Set in a cabaret bar, the costumes, make-up and demeanour were all fantastic. DOP deserves a medal too. Richard Falkner's music was convincing. Nice intercutting of the couple on show to the public and couple in private in their dressing room - made that rhyme and was quite impressive. Style-wise the music complemented the visual décor but went further as well - the percussive sequence in the car I thought captured his character's emotion very well. Gemma Boyle's voice and acting were spine-chilling. Picture and audio synced perfectly, as far as I could tell. What initially felt like disconnected plot elements resolved itself in a very very powerful way. I was going to give this a 4 for confusion until a lightbulb went off and I got it. 5 stars, no question.

Brush By Life

This film held my attention. It was slow but thoughtful. There was a pay-it-forward type plot of spreading love and kindness throughout humanity with some lovely simple elements. The cuts between the magically coloured shirts were seamless, forgive the pun. Despite the lack of dialogue, there was some totally annoying ambient hiss on the soundtrack. Don't know whether that was the film or the Castle St Lecture Theatre. That said, I could listen past it to hear a well put-together, simple, clear musical score. 4 stars, but the best of this heat so it got my 3 points.

Perfect

A neat little crime thriller, quite first-person-shooter-like in a lot of places. Lots of corridors and targeted takings-out of henchmen. Fairly predictable plot but who cares. Odd to see security footage with lovingly panned hand-held camerawork, but a badass music soundtrack made up for that. 3 stars.

Harvest

Crappy location sound, open air location obvious for horror but worked with it pretty well. Some fun OTT gore in the foley and the recurring visual element of the meat cleaver was most evocative. Nice incorp of the mandatory character's name (incoming call on the iPhone), although the character itself was pretty tangential to the story, as I recall. Nothing to make the whole package stand out but a creditable 3 stars.

Myopia

They hit all the right beats for horror, but I think it needed a musical soundtrack to tell it properly. The story was told well enough. What creepiness there was was right creepy, but maybe it needed more. The moral of the story for me: always hit Apple-S when you've just finished a project.

Bloody Mary

ONE STAR and you guys should be fuckin' proud of it. This is a Z-movie, shot to (look) shit, and went brilliantly over the top in its overall lack of production values, plot and acting chops. I bloody loved it (pun intended), and it got my biggest laugh of the night... probably the only mid-film applause in the whole heat. And remember, kids, horoia ō ringaringa. (PS: I just disliked my own review because it is 1-star. You should too.)

Girl, Disembodied

Loveable Igor-like character, some great acting from the little girl and fucking well done on the blood and gore. More horror than quest, but they definitely acknowledged the quest element. Line of the night for "Poopies!" Hilarious "your head asplode" moments. Ironically, in a heat where the Body-Switch team didn't make it to the finish line, we have two films (the other was Squint Eastwood's) which could have been Body-Switch. Nice. I think I gave this my 1 point.

One Brick, Two Brick

A tight little story with a well-utilised small cast, and decent production values on the whole. It was narrated as a rhyming ode - I felt echoes of Dr Seuss - with well constructed anapaestic tetrameters. (Had to look that up.) One minor gripe: "clearing" does not rhyme with "swearing". Your New Zealand accent is the wrong one. Let that not take away from a quick, simple, and effective short with an okay twist in the tale. Not memorable in the long term but good enough to get my 1 point in this heat. 7/10.

Sammy

I missed the first three films in Heat 9, but Sammy was easily the best of the night out of the rest. They took the One Room genre/limitation/whatever, combined it with Revenge, and took both elements to perfection (or close enough). The power/relationship dynamics of avenger and avengee were definitely not your usual, I'll say that much, but they absolutely sold it. Two great acting performances as well - I really hope Mrs Dickson gets nominated for Best Actress (didn't get the actress's name!). Great shooting, a little claustrophobic (although I was sitting in the front row, so everything looks shit there), but the camerawork told the tale well. Three-dimensional storytelling, very economical, long on allusion and jigsaw pieces, short on clunky exposition, bloody great. Would have been 3 points to them had I seen the whole heat.

Bloody Mary

ONE STAR and you guys should be fuckin' proud of it. This is a Z-movie, shot to (look) shit, and went brilliantly over the top in its overall lack of production values, plot and acting chops. I bloody loved it (pun intended), and it got my biggest laugh of the night... probably the only mid-film applause in the whole heat. And remember, kids, horoia ō ringaringa. (PS: I just disliked my own review because it is 1-star. You should too.)