Friday, 28 November 2014

Prototype: Whipping Boy

Whipping Boy. Setup is: A man who works as a human punching bag to relieve others of their stress gets caught up in a noirish mystery pertaining to a strange device that everyone's after.


This is good world building. While Shut-Eye is still winning as a short movie over all, this one looks to have a lot of promise to be a full fledged movie. We get given a lot of culture in a few short space of time, and we get the sense that there is a full world set up and working in which we are having a peek. As a short, this doesn't quite work because the setting needs more understanding, but the promise is definitely there.

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Prototype: Memory 2.0

Memory 2.0. Setup is: A tale of love lost in the distant future where people relive their fondest memories with virtual reality. Everything spins out of control for our Hero as the lines between reality and the virtual memories begin to blur..


Nope. From the start, you can see where this is going, and it doesn't do anything new to get there. Just pop in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The only reason I would want to see a longer version of this is to get a better explanation of what's going on. It's rushed, and does itself no favours in doing so.

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Prototype: Shut-Eye

Shut-Eye. Setup is: Next Corp nears the launch of its greatest product ever: a mind app that removes our need for sleep. But when the son of the CEO discovers horrifying side effects, he must choose whether or not to bring down the giant corporation that his father built.


Okay, now this is more like it. These shorts are supposed to be more on the sci-fi edge, and while POLIS is, Drakken was standard dystopia. This movie asks the question "what happens if we remove our need to sleep", and it goes dark. This is nicely self-contained, and all you need to get the full story. The effects are well used, and aid the story, and the acting is great. The ending could be a little more ambiguous, but this is my favourite so far.

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

An American in Paris

Okay, I haven't been to as many movies at the Wellington Film Society as I should have, and this is the last one for this year, but An American in Paris is a good one to go out on.

In Paris, a struggling artist is struggling, but gets a hit when a visiting lady likes two of his paintings. While dining out with her, he spies the girl who would take his heart... who is also seeing a friend of a friend of his. Oh, the laughs! Who will she end up with? And does it matter when there's so much dancing?

For this is a dancing movie. Gene Kelly is the artist (with someone else providing the painting), and quite a few times in the movie he breaks out into song and dance, as was the style at the time. (And he wasn't the only one.) And then there's the 17 minute dance sequence at the end, which... while nice, isn't really needed (and was largely included when one of the actresses was unavailable).

This is the first Gene Kelly film I've seen, and it's good... although the girl he is chasing is half his age, so there's a "creepy uncle" vibe about which man she will end with. But then she, Leslie Caron, was mainly hired for her ballet ability, which we get to see a few times, and is pretty damn good.

So, yeah, a good way to end, and here's to next year!

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Prototype: Drakken

Drakken. Setup is: A wandering warrior protects a small town from marauders in a post-apocalyptic, dark fantasy setting.


This is better. A fairly classic story about a bad man who has his own morals and is better than other bad people. And yet, still going dark there. I like it. This could be part of a larger story, but enough is told here we don't need to. A basic setting, common people types, it gets on with it, and done. And it doesn't even need a lot of effects to do the job.

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Prototype: POLIS

Prototype is a competition that puts together new film makers with studios with resources, and they are down to eight finalists, and you know what that means... easy series of posts time!

First up is POLIS. Setup is: Set in the distant future, POLIS is a sci-fi thriller about David Porter, a young telepath whose search for his mother threatens to uncover a utopian society's horrifying secrets.


Um... okay, this is supposed to be a short film, sure. But with just over eight minutes of run time, we get barely five minutes of story. And this... it's a scene. There's little context to it, nothing is really resolved. This is part of a chapter in a longer story. Yes, you can tell short stories, but they should be complete in and of themselves. This isn't.

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Tablytop

Did you watch Wil Wheaton play board games with his friends before? Did you watch Season 1 and Season 2? Well, did you know there's a Season 3? Well, there is, and here is the first episode.


And you can thank me for that. I helped to fund it. I helped make it IndieGoGo. (Okay, me and over 22,000 other people, but I did my bit.) And because I'm a special backer, I've seen an episode you never will! (Unless you were also a backer at that tier or higher...)

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