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Short Film Selection - #1

A few short films worth your time.

Recently, one of the best reviewers on IMDb, 'Bob the Moo,' contacted me and gave me a list of excellent short films he recommended I watch, because he knows that I adore shorts. The second one on the list, titled Malaria, is attached to this article so please watch. Here are a few of his suggestions and my comments about them:

Big Bang Big Boom (2010)—A

This is a practically impossible film to describe, but I'll try to do so briefly. How it was done could have been through painting or perhaps CGI- -I cannot tell. But the film consists of large painted objects and animals coming off a wall and moving about the environment. There is a theme of dinosaurs but so many other themes and shapes are involved that the title is almost irrelevant. Big Bang, Big Boomm is a thoroughly original short film that will make you wonder how the heck they were able to do this. It's the sort of thing you just need to see for yourself, as my description really doesn't do the film justice. A truly exciting film to watch and a making of short would also be greatly appreciated!  This is a must-see film for anyone who likes art films and shorts.

Malaria (2013)—A-

This film is Brazilian and involves two cowboys (one of which is the Grim Reaper)--but it is far from being familiar! Its novelty is the big reason why I really liked this film and it's a must-see for lovers of animation and short films.

There are no live actors in this film--other than the hands of the man placing the drawings on the screen (which you can see). The film is a dialog between a mercenary who has been paid to kill Death--not the sort of thing you see every day!

The plot really isn't THE star of the film--the star is the style. It consists of tons and tons of drawings--well done drawings. But how they create a sense of animation to the drawings--THAT is creative and exciting.

I could try to say more about the film but frankly it's really one you just see for yourself...

The Duel at Blood Creek (2010)—A

Aside from some expletives which would prevent me from showing this to my mother-in-law as well as small children, this is a film I highly recommend you see. It's creative and funny...and especially funny.

The film appears to be set at around the beginning of the 19th century in Britain. A man and his servant arrive in a pastoral setting for a duel and they are waiting for the other man. Soon, someone arrives--but it's NOT the guy they intend. Instead, it's another man coming to have a duel with someone else. And, soon another and another and another arrive! Apparently this is an extremely popular place for duels! I could say more about the film, but frankly it would spoil it. Suffice to say that it is wildly creative, has nice acting and costumes and has a wonderful punchline at the end. Well worth seeing and darned clever. I hope to see more from these folks!

Pockets (2011)—A

Pockets is an almost cartoon-like short film--one that is really funny, well made and the special effects are amazing!

It begins with some poor guy planning on robbing someone in order to buy a nice meal for his woman. However, he ends up picking the wrong guy, as this guy seems to have magic pockets! You really, really have to see what I mean by this--and I don't want to say more, as it might spoil the picture.

In many ways, this film is a descendant of cartoons by Tex Avery and other wild and wacky cartoon makers of long ago. But it manages to take one gag that you might see in a cartoon and make an entire cartoon around it--and yet it never becomes dull! It’s very funny and very surreal.

Meltdown (2009)—A-

Meltdown is a wonderfully silly and original short film from David Green. It's about the adventures of your food in your refrigerator when you close the door! Yes, they have adventures...and the food is anthropomorphic! It talks and even moves—that’s how alive it all seems. The reason the food starts talking is because the refrigerator is getting too cold--so cold that the food is starting to freeze. So, it's up to our brave heroes, the wise celery and the valiant plate of spaghetti to save the day--as each try to turn the dial down to warm up the fridge!

The stop-motion animation is very nice and the voices work well. But, most importantly, the weirdness is the star--and the weirdness make it quite endearing. Worth seeing. And, if you do, watch through the credits or you'll miss something.

All You Can Eat (2012)—B+

Randy Stormberg (Matthew Warzel) is the host of a TV show that travels about the US looking to show off the food of various restaurants. However, it's obvious that Randy is a phony--he hates the job, he hates the food and his enthusiasm is all an act. He can't wait to get another job and the film follows him during the last days of his TV series.

Unless you have seen the actual show that All You Can Eat is obviously parodying, you probably won't enjoy this short very much. However, I HAVE seen the actual show (It rhymes with Whiners, Wine-Ins and Wives but I don’t want to be any more specific than that) and tried a couple dives they recommended--and they were TERRIBLE! So, for me, seeing All You Can Eat was a real treat, as you get to see just how phony some food shows and food show hosts can be! Not a particularly deep or sensational short film--but one I really, really appreciate.

Thank you, Mr. Moo, ...and keep ‘em coming!

Article by Lead Entertainment Writer and Film Critic, Martin Hafer

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