First Come First Serve

First Come First Serve is a colorful vibrant dark comedy-esque film that’s definitely Quentin Tarantino inspired. The acting can be distracting, in particular one character who is really over the top. The characters aren’t the most believable in the world but the situation they get themselves into, and the fact that everything is so unpredictable makes up for it. It gets really close to crossing the line and being too silly, but it manages to hold on long enough from doing so.

 

 

4/5

Apocalypse

 

Apocalypse immediately jumps from 0 to 60 and doesn’t let off the gas until the end. It’s entertaining and works on all levels. The characters may be a bit over the top and odd, but they’re fully fleshed out and work perfectly for this story, so there’s no room for complains. While most of these shorts rely on visual shots to tell the story. The characters in Apocalypse are talking throughout the entire thing and the dialogue never drags the story down despite the fact that there’s plenty of room for it to do so.

The tone slightly changes a few times in this. Making it hard to predict if it’s gonna end up as a comedy or tragedy. Which of course is a good thing…

Shot using nothing fancy and entirely in one room, Apocalypse is the ideal kind of film for someone working with a really small budget. A small crew and small pocket doesn’t hold this film back one bit.

5/5

 

The Most Beautiful Thing

For the most part The Most Beautiful Thing is a paint by the numbers, typical “Ordinary girl meets really cool girl out of his league who somehow falls for him”. However it does manage to have an extra bit of depth to it. Though it may be a bit corny, it might still manage to emotionally draw you in by the time that it’s over. The score/soundtrack is overdone and too much out of place. The film manages to make up for it visually though. It has a lot of energy and cuts to keep things flowing along. Particularly the scene around the 3:40 mark is impressive but short film standards.

It doesn’t come without its hiccups, but worth the watch.

 

3.5/5

The Desk

 

The Desk is one of the more popular short films on Youtube, and I’d be lying if I said I knew why. There’s essentially no dialogue, the setting is normal, and the characters aren’t interesting. That means that the entire film relies on its concept, which is intriguing but at the same time nothing new or unique. In fact, nearly everything done in this film can be found in some other short that I already reviewed. And as I alluded to earlier, without interesting characters or dialogue, there’s nothing to make this stand out. From a technical standpoint, even though everything works visually. The entire film has a piano score that seems unnecessary most of the time. People say the film is “beautiful” and “cute”, but it’s hard for me to see it that way.

 

 

2.5/5

The BREAKS

 

Goodfellas, Casino, The Wolf of Wall Street. Part of what makes these Scorsese films fun to watch is the amount of energy that the beginnings have. They start with energetic scenes so short that they don’t allow you to sink in to your seat or take a deep breath. It makes you feel like you’re on a thrill ride. The BREAKS follows this same formula through out the 9 minutes of the film. A lot of time these modern zany screwball comedies are really bad. Even though it’s only a short film it’s a breath of fresh air to see one that actually works.

 

4/5

 

Blood Ties

 

Blood Ties is a impressively shot film as you can see from the very opening. It does a great job at capturing the look and feel of a film noir with the lighting, camera, and set design. Unfortunately that’s where the quality stops. The characters are forced and boring, while the narrative is weak and too long at 15 minutes.

 

2.5/5

The Quarry

 

The Quarry opens  with a nice combination that it manages to keep for the film. The camera has a lot of energy, but the music and characters are light and easy going. The story telling is very visual, but there’s just as much focus on the dialogue. The story is simple, straightforward, and something we’ve all seen before, but the directing makes it well worth the watch.

4/5

Signs

Signs is an example of a story that’s completely visual. There is no dialogue other than what you occasionally hear  in the background. The story that’s a big lacking. It’s pretty predictable, and the characters don’t seem too believable. That being said though, the concept is still pretty interesting. So much in fact that it appears Disney stole it for their Academy Award winning animated short “Paperman”. It’s ok though, the director of Signs has gone on to bigger things. He actually directed the action flick “The Expendables 3”.

3.5/5

Old West

Old West opens with a wide shot of a western(Texas?) landscape immediately followed by a close-up of a match lighting a pipe, setting the visual mood for the film. Nearly every shot in this is impressive, the wide ones, the close up of faces, the pans, and the zoom ins. There’s definitely a Sergio Leone influence here. The plot is nothing new, it’s pretty straight forward and simple, along with the characters and dialogue. That’s not what matters here, what is to be noted is the fact that there’s enough emotion(a lot of it visual) in each scene to keep your attention throughout the 18 minute run time.

3.5/5

Sure Thing

Sure Thing is one of the most unique shorts you’ll find. For starers it’s an adaptation of a short play. This means the great writing comes as an automatic, but by no means did the director  just sit back and rest on that. Everything about the cinematography of Sure Thing is excellent. The handling of the cuts, the choice of making it black and white, the timing of the closeups, the splitscreen, the lighting, even the location of the characters in the room that they’re in. To put it into perspective, I’ve seen other adaptations of this short play and none of them even come close in quality to this one. In fact it’s hard to imagine that it can be done any better.

 

5/5