5 Jul 2013

Steve The Christmas Freak ★★☆☆☆



Review of 'Steve The Christmas Freak' which can be found here on Vimeo.  

Length: 03:58
Written & directed by Nick Poole
Genre: Comedy
Date: 2011
Rating: ★★☆☆

Logline: A Christmas obsessed nutter keeps trying to celebrate the festivities much to the annoyance of his flatmate. 

Writer/Director Poole takes on the lead role here but instead of demonstrating his acting abilities, he possibly just be comes across as deranged. Submitted to the CIFA Xmas Shorts Competition, this is a festive story with a twist. Comedy is purely objective of course, but this verges more on the side of being disturbing than funny. (At the same time, it is very laugh out loud) 

Bad lighting makes a lot of the visuals difficult to see so this doesn't get off to a very good start. That's eventually resolved when the annoyed flatmate, Tom McCarthy, turns the light on in the living room. The plot is bizarre and surreal making me think this was probably just thought up during a heavy night of drinking. Poole's character is creepy enough but with plot holes a plenty, it's unclear what this character is actually trying to do. It's all about the punchline here but the daft ending doesn't satisfy. 

Best Bit: McCarthy's contempt for irritating Poole.  

Worst Bit: The wagging tongue. Make it stop!

Final thought: I can only hope no one ever paid good money to watch this. REFUND!

Read a condensed review of this film on Twitter here.

4 Jul 2013

Diary Of A Pregnant Dad ★★★☆☆



Review of 'Diary Of A Pregnant Dad' which can be found here on YouTube

Length: 03:57
Written & directed by Joseph Monahan & Callum Smith
Genre: Music Video
Date: 2012
Rating: ★★★

Logline: Music video for 4-Eyez (feat. Callum Smith)

This is a fun little ditty, which is playful and humorous. Whether this is an amateur musician trying to make it pro or someone just mucking about, is another question. The level of audio equipment being used tells us that this guy means business but the easy listening style and tone of the music means it's hard to take this very seriously. 4-Eyes does however come off as a multi-skilled artist as we see him take the helm and pretty much do all of the instruments, singing and probably everything else too. 

Good quality video equipment gives us a clean and crisp look on screen with nice bright colouring and good lighting. But mimicking the in house music arrangement, which sounds close to a one hit wonder charity single, there's also a homemade feel to the video as well with the photo stills swiping across the screen like it's been created by any bog-standard iPhoto or iMovie app. (added to by the home video style sequence of course) Editing does well to keep our eyes busy with a decent selection of shots being used along side including a nice opening sequence although it looks like they may have been running out of ideas by the time they start filming the pet dog. 

There's an attempt to follow the narrative of the lyrics in a visual manner but this errs on the side of being just a bit too long (guitar solo for example) and runs into a bit of unnecessary repetition to fill in the time. 

Best Bit: Highlighting 4-Eyez's varying skills.

Worst Bit: Naff tune with cringeworthy lyrics.

Final thought: Wonder if that tiny square of egg boxes on the wall is really doing anything or is just another homemade attempt to make the room look like a professional studio?

Read a condensed review of this film on Twitter here.

3 Jul 2013

Another Film In The Woods ★★★☆☆




Review of 'Another Film In The Woods' which can be found here on Vimeo.  

Length: 09:07
Written & directed by Danny Naylor.
Genre: Horror
Date: 2012
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Logline: A woman is transported into the woods where an evil demon preys on those who have sinned. 

Amber Brookes takes the lead, (trailing off to the shops in her bloomin' pyjamas of all things) and although she delivers what feels like is a naturalistic performance, lacks confidence on screen. Although having characters talking to themselves isn't always the best way to convey information, it kind of suits the protagonists character here so doesn't stand out too much in the grand scheme of things. Dialogue varies between being realistic to being bizarre as exposition on what the heck is actually going on gets delivered through lines which sometimes feel out of place. There's some sound recording problems which leaves some dialogue annoyingly inaudible but the overall sound design works well with the genre with layered sfx's and atmospheric drones, and nice changes in tempo. 

A change to a colder colour scheme marks the arrival of Brookes into the surreal wood landscape and the pacing of the edit is also modified to signify this transition. The running scenes, which are visually dramatic and distorted are good at showing urgency but could also quickly becomes tiresome for the audience as the camera gets frantically jolted around all over the place. Lighting isn't the best and there's a lot of washed out looking shots to be had along with hard to make out blacks. 

The plot is left with a few holes as it's not clear what Brookes has done to deserve her transportation to a reality where demons hunt those who have sinned or how she magically gets out of there and back home. This could do with more clarity in terms of story and character arc to prevent baffling audiences any more than they probably are. Overall, this low to no budget horror lacks scares if it's a horror and laughs if it's a comedy-horror, while the technical difficulties and story flaws distract from a potentially decent short. 


Best Bit: Last scene and Brookes reaction to her ordeal. 

Worst Bit: Werewolf soundbite taken straight from the 'Drive' soundtrack. 

Final thought: No one in real life would throw their precious mobile away after one tiny failure of it to work properly. 

Read a condensed review of this film on Twitter here.

1 Jul 2013

Short of the month - June 2013

Another short month on account of the EIFF interrupting it but the clear winner this month has to be...

'Coward'

Excellent in every way, this superb short really shows us how it should be done. Not only does it look and sound brilliant, there's an emotionally resonant story to boot. An absolute must see. Find it 
here on Vimeo



Logline: Two Irish cousins brave WWI trench warfare at its worst.   

Length: 28:27
Genre: War
Date: 2012
Rating: ★★★★★

Read the original review here or read a condensed review on Twitter here and an interview by the film's cinematographer Stephen Murphy here

30 Jun 2013

EIFF Reviews 2013

Here's the round up of this years submissions to EIFF 2013 which was a much improved programme than the year before. Good selection. Really enjoyed it. 

Stay tuned and when these films are available online (The UK ones) I'll let you know. 


Title
Writer/Director
Country
Year
Genre
Rating
Switzerland
2012
Doc
★★★☆☆
All Souls’ Day
Poland
2012
Drama
★★★★★
Wri/Dir: Gabriel Folgado
Spain
2012
Doc
★★★☆☆
USA
2013
Experimental
★★★☆☆
Wri/Dir: Aneil Karia
UK
2013
Drama
★★★★☆
Wri/Dir: Frances Bodomo
USA
2013
Drama
★★★☆☆
UK
2013
Doc
★★★★☆
Cherries
Wri/Dir: Noa Osheroff
Israel
2013
Teen Drama
★★★★☆
Wri/Dir: Emily Greenwood
UK
2012
Drama
★★★★★
( BEST DRAMA AWARD)
Dir: Pia Borg
UK
2013
Experimental
★★☆☆☆
Denmark
2012
Drama
★★★★☆
UK
2013
Sci-Fi

★★★★★
(BEST SCI-FI AWARD)
Singapore
2013
Anim
★★★★☆
Germany
2012
Experimental
★★★☆☆
UK
2013
Anim
★★★★☆
UK
2012
Drama
★★★☆☆
Ireland
2012
Anim
★★★★★
Mexico
2012
Experimental
★★★☆☆
Wri: Liam Stewart
Ewan Stewart (Dir)
UK
2012
Fiction
★★★★☆
Wri/Dir: Lotte Schrieber
Austria
2013
Experimental
★★★☆☆
Happily Ever After
Israel
2012
Anim
★★★★☆
UK
2013
Anim
★★★★☆
I Love You So Hard (Chocolate Covered Almond)
UK
2013
Anim
★★★☆☆
Wri/Dir: Felix Massie
UK
2013
Anim
★★★☆☆
UK
2013
Doc
★★★★★
Wri/Dir: Eva Riley
UK
2013
Drama
★★★☆☆
USA
2012
Experimental
★★☆☆☆
Wri/Dir: Jared Frank
USA
2013
Drama
★★★★☆
UK
2013
Anim
★★★☆☆
Wri/Dir: Ying Ping Mak
UK
2012
Anim
★★★★★
Brazil
2012
Anim
★★★☆☆
Wri: Martin Kreuch 
UK
2012
Drama
★★★★☆
Little Revolutions
USA/France
2013
Drama
★★★☆☆
USA
2012
Drama
★★★★☆
USA
2012
Anim
★★★★☆
Lebanon
2012
Doc
★★★☆☆
USA/Russia
2012
Drama
★★★☆☆
UK
2013
Doc
★★★★★
(BEST DOC AWARD)
USA
2013
Doc
★★★☆☆
Wri/Dir: Kire Paputts
Canada
2012
Drama
★★★☆☆
Dir: Tom Chick
UK
2013
Doc
★★★☆☆
Wri/Dir: Joseph Mann
UK
2013
Anim
★★★★☆
Wri/Dir: Claire Lamond
UK
2012
Anim
★★★☆☆
USA
2013
Doc
★★★★★
Wri/Dir: Thomas G Murphy
Hilene (Dir)
UK
2012
Anim
★★★★★
Austria
2013
Post Apocalyptic
★★★★☆
UK
2013
Doc
★★★☆☆
UK
2012
Anim
★★☆☆☆
Wri/Dir: Will Anderson
UK
2012
Anim
★★★★★
(JOINT BEST ANIM AWARD)
Spain
2012
Drama
★★★★☆
Wri/Dir: Oana Nechifor
UK
2013
Anim
★★☆☆☆
UK
2012
Anim
★★★★★
(JOINT BEST ANIM AWARD)
Dir: Anete Melece
Switzerland
2013
Anim
★★★☆☆
UK
2013
Anim
★★★★☆
The Loaves and Fish
Spain/Serbia
2013
Doc
★★★★☆
Wri/Dir: Ross Hogg
UK
2013
Anim
★★☆☆☆
Dir: Maria Lee
UK
2012
Anim
★★★★☆
UK
2012
Doc
★★★☆☆
UK
2012
Anim
★★★★☆
Wri/Dir: Igor Simic
Serbia
2012
Fiction
★★★☆☆
Norway
2012
Post Apocalyptic
★★★☆☆
Wri/Dirs: Kaspar Jancis
Estonia/Latvia
2012
Anim
★★★☆☆
USA/Canada
2013
Doc
★★★★☆
We Were Wolves
Netherlands
2012
Drama
★★★★☆
Germany
2012
Anim
★★★☆☆
X
Wri/Dir: Max Hatter
UK
2012
Anim
★★★☆☆
Canada
2013
Anim
★★★★☆