Movies Reviews from The Secret Society of Rotten TMU'ers - Week 4

Hola brothers and sisters to the fourth meeting of the Secret Society of Rotten TMUers.

This week we introduce our own secret detritus. Yes, some folks have the skull of a native american while other folks have urns or strange and elaborate symbolic sculptures. But as for our crew, we have a giant drink stirrer. Yes, the drink stirrer sums up just what we are all about. No sissy straws for little sipping here. We stir our drinks like real men (and women and men who want to act like women). Hold the wedges of fruit and we will stir it up ourselves. Behold!

And now lets move on to the primary order of business.

The movie this week is:

by GizmoVideo

Brother Edward G. "Money" Mumsley stammers...
"From fiary tale gore fest to running man buddy flick without a buddy. Sets and costumes look great but story fails to make me care. A little exposition might have gone a long way here. And while I like a good stiff drink, I like a bit more fluidity in my performances. $$$"

Brother Belcher bemoans...
"I wasn't too sure at the outset of this film; the first 20 seconds or so gave me a severe case of motion sickness with the camera whipping back and forth so boldly...and it didn't really seem to be appropriate to the start of the movie, but I persevered...

Sound quality really wasn't too good throughout; crackling and distortion, looping in spots, sudden cut-offs and quite loud in places (though, to be fair, how much of this was caused by the encoding process, I can't say). Modulated voices from one person also didn't do it any favours, but you have to work with what you have, I suppose.

Some nice eye-candy "setpieces" scattered throughout it which looked, on the whole, really nice (especially the canoe sequences) that geared up to what was shaping up into a decent enough pursuit movie, but ultimately I felt really let down by the actual "meat and potatoes". In that... there wasn't any.

I know it's only 6 1/2 minutes long, but it just had the feel of an extended tech demo to me, I'm afraid. Who was the prisoner? Why was he imprisoned? Why didn't the raptor eat him? What was going on? I'm afraid I lost the plot somewhere along the way.

Technically, nice movie (even though I'm not a fan of some of the jerkiness inherent in some of the animations); lighting was done well; those water scenes looked really nice... but, ultimately, it just left me disappointed.

Extended, and with some more plot to bolster it, this could have been really good. Maybe I came into it looking for more than the director was looking to deliver with this, and therefore maybe my expectations were just a little too high, but I really couldn't give it much more than a 3 out of 5, unfortunately."

Sister Adara Melosa ponders...
"The ambiance created right at the start of the movie drew me in immediately. Particle & weather effects were well-executed. I love the way the cage hanging from the tree sways and the crate smashing scene was very well-done. I was also impressed by the smooth transitions in the animations during the fighting scenes.

The voiceovers were a little difficult to understand and the music was a little too overwhelming in some segments, but the overall attention to detail in this movie makes it a pleasure to watch."

Brother Orchid orrates...
"I like how iClone seems to shape up, although I think they have to work on reducing that plastic look of the renders and I would wish for it to offer more expressiveness for the actors faces, there seems to be still a huge lack in that department.
For the story itself I was positively surprised that it shows itself as less influenced by the currently so dominant shadow of Tolkien's writings and instead draws on a old time Golden Age adventure style.

The sound tapestry was mostly great with a nice driving rhythm to aid the action, but the voices are troublesome. I didn't mind in the beginning that you don t understand much of what these Orcs say because you can follow the action easy enough without knowing what is said (and indeed what is said by that winged thing?), but this being just understandable enough to make out what s going on becomes heavily annoying towards the end, my advice would be to either have them speak clear English or to use subtitles here.

Also the opening scene after the escape showed a odd pacing that made me wonder, why are they just standing there looking, do they expect him to eventually change his mind and return?

It's hard to make a fair judgement on the technical merits of the movie because I don t know what is possible with iClone or not, but I found myself wishing throughout for a more animated scenery and for a less puppet like appearance; rowboats that float self propelled through undisturbed waters and extras that show less emotion than Keanu Reeves on a bad acting day do mar a otherwise entertaining adventure movie.

Still, despite technical shortcomings it's engaging enough to warrant a fair three star rating."

Brother Mortimer Fandango determines...
"I’m glad I watched this movie, there’s some real visual treats in store for the viewer, but I nearly didn’t get past the first few seconds. The title says “Revenge of the Orc’s”. The orc’s what? I thought. Then I realised that it should be “Revenge of the Orcs”. I don’t mean to be unkind, but that sort of mistake is very distracting. Still, we’ll forgive you this once.

Then we learn that this is Part One. Oh dear, I hope you didn’t get bored or run out of ideas, because if you tell the audience that this is part one, you are by implication assuring them that more will be coming – so please make sure you deliver on the promise!

OK, climbing down from my high horse what do we have here? Well we have some well constructed and atmospheric sets, some beautiful textures, and some interesting camera angles. The story seems a little muddled, but once we see Part Two I’m hoping we’ll learn a bit more about the respective characters.

I liked the chase scene – both in terms of the set design, and the way the camera tracks the action. Plus, it has a satisfying conlusion (you’ll need to watch it to see!) But my favourite scene, which I thought was really very imaginitive was when the escapee uses the boat to conceal his escape. Again, this movie is worth watching for that scene alone.

I do think you need to do something with your dialogue though. The effects on the vocals were appropriate, but made it really hard to understand what was being said. So, I’d suggest either adding subtitles, or making the vocal effects a little less aggressive.

I think this is the first iClone movie that the Rotten TMU’ers have reviewed, and it has left me hoping that we’ll see more iClone material, and especially more from Gizmovideos (e.g. Part Two!)

4 stars."

Thank you Brothers and Sisters for your always interesting remarks and reviews. Now, given the hot summer months, it appears the siren call of vacation has lured away many a fair tmuer (and will probably be that way through the month). Best of times in your own secret spots.
Now, for those in attendance, drinks are on me...


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