The Rotten TMU'ers Reviews - Week 3

Welcome Brothers and Sisters to the third secret meeting of the Secret Society of Rotten TMUers. It has come to my attention that one level of secrecy and confusion is not enough. This week we are passing out the secret identities for which you shall from henceforth be known (because an internet avatar name is never enough).

Getting in touch with the sisterhood, Brother BiggsTrek is hereby christened Brother Loretta.

Citing a love of pollination, Brother Daninsky is hereby named Brother Orchid.

Sister Dulcinia is hereby designated Sister Adara Melosa (or is that Laura Ingles?).

Brother EthanRunt is hereby humorously assigned Brother Hermano (it took me a sec).

With an penchant for the dramatic, Brother IceAxe is hereby labeled Brother Mortimer Fandango.

With brutal eloquence, Brother Killian is hereby anointed as Brother Belcher.

Brother Edward G. "Money" Mumsley II abstains from the ceremony feeling secret enough already

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

The movie this week is:

by LewisQ

Brother Loretta hails...
"This was an interesting departure from the typical movies you get on TMU. Not my type of film, I admit, but I always appreciate something a little different. The story is told in an interesting way, switching from the past to the present (and back again) in rather effective moments and transitions, the past being highlighted by the use of black and white.

One weird moment I want to highlight: I got a little chuckle when Frank pocketed the 200 pounds without being asked... (he gets to keep it in the end, but I didn't know that at the time).

Some technical notes: I'd like to hear some more sound effects. Sound design is important, and the effects were sparse here. The music was good, but again, I would have liked some more of it.

The Movies has one of the best facial sculptor programs in any machinima platform (IMO), and I would suggest you spend a bit more time with it. Many of the actors in the film looked like twins. Not that I had any trouble distinguishing them, as the costumes were quite different, but it would be nice to have each actor look unique.

And my last gripe (sorry): the VOs. Clearly all done by the same person, I DID have trouble telling who was speaking at times as the voices sounded too similar to my (foreign) ears. And the woman's voice... well, I think only women should do women's voices. Enough said on that, I think.

Overall this was a pretty good film. As I said at the beginning, it was different to what I usually see here, and I appreciate that. If I rated films, I'd give this 3 out of 5."

Brother Hermano discute...
"So, I sit through many films, it's dangers of the job really, but I always sit through them, full screen, in the corner of the computer, however, I do it, and this is no exception.

Unfortunately more often than not films just don't pump you up and excite you, the last 2 3/5 reviews were solid but flawed, this week's film, A Taste Of Cinnamon, doesn't get such a high number. The voices were dull, the dialogue boring, some interesting camerawork, but ultimately for a 13 minute film I stopped caring before the first minute was up, a waste of time.


Brother Belcher expouses...
Considering the director's first uploaded foray into exposing his work to the world was a film made in tycoon mode (and remarkably good it was, too), I was wondering if he could sustain his touch with his first sandbox movie.

He did... and how!

Nice period character piece, interspersed with some cleverly pulled-off "flashbacks" did a very good job in this piece. Technically, very good. The camera work was very nice (including some well-executed pans and moves). No overt modding to drop the jaw, but this kind of movie doesn't need it; it stands or falls purely on the depictions it displays; and I think it stands pretty damned high, too.

Pretty good VO work for someone doing all their own voices (although, it has to be said, the female voice sounded a little... butch ). Nothing spectacular with the visuals, but that wasn't the point here.

All in all, a very good start on the road to film directing and I for one will be keeping a beady little eye on this chap!"

Sister Adara Melosa ellucidates...
"Male friendships is a subject that is not explored often enough in machinima, and it is nice to get a fresh perspective on this topic. A solid script and an interesting use of black & white vs color. A varying soundtrack could have also highlighted the era hopping. The director took the time to do set dressing and that effort gives a fresh feel to some of the scenes.

I am looking forward to more work from this director - I think he has a unique style and it will be interesting to watch his evolution as a filmmaker.

One suggestion - a little bit of effort in Audacity to adjust the male voices to make them more distinct characters and not sound exactly alike would have made a big difference. Ideally, getting other actors involved in his future work will really bring some richer flavor to his movies."

Brother Orchid proclaims...
"Ah, what to say about this movie? I really wanted to like it, but alas I couldnt get into it.The title and description sounded intriguing, most of all the title. A taste of cinnamon, that sweet taste of better days.

Why didnt the movie work for me? Different things: For one the dialogue is difficult to follow, its not always possible to tell who s talking to who; sound FX was another problem, I thought the movie lacked a proper balancing between music, dialogue and FX loudness so that in some scenes one is competing with the other and in the case of FX they are even simply missing completely at times, we have for example cars aproach in complete silence which then is broken by the slamming of a door, I found that highly distracting!

And what's up with that Karen? The poor girl sounded like a Smurf with a cold!

In the end I must admit that the movie felt too long and lost me half-way through, I m not even quite sure what the point of the story was.

There are highlights, too, like some of the transitions were well done and I liked the score pieces but it was just not enough to keep me interested. It certainly shows promise, but this just wasn t it yet.

Overall only a two star movie for me."

Brother Mortimer Fandango supposes...
"This is an interesting movie with a carefully planned story line which uses flashbacks to gradually fill in the history of the characters. But, I did have a real problem keeping track of it all. To help the audience, the onscreen action flips into black and white for the flashbacks, but at times it seemed that the black and white scenes were actually present day, and colour was flashback. Possibly, the confusion stems from the fact there is only one voice actor used (apart from Karen's part) which means that all the voices sound the same - some of the dialogue was beautifully scripted, but I had to work quite hard to understand who was saying what.

The sets were used well, particularly the train. In terms of overall technique, not bad at all - I'd perhaps think of using a bit more background music.

This was a thoughtful piece and certainly piques the desire to see more from LewisQ.

3 stars."

Brother Edward G. "Money" Mumsley states...
"A bit of a mess but not all is lost. I enjoyed some of the scene transitions, the overall plot (though the story rambled a bit) and the effort that went with all the custom things one doesnt find in a 1 day affair (custom backdrops and music were very nice plusses). Sound design was more a detriment though. Explore some cleaning techniques for the vos and try to integrate the sound effects a bit more to avoid the silence broken by abrasive little sounds (a squeaking door or knife and fork sounds that was a loud car!). It could have been a lot tighter but its obvious that you are headed in the right direction. $$"

Once again my fellow brothers and Sisters have performed admirably in their task. Thank you for your secret insights and mysterious ideas. Next week we might introduce some secret detritus so be sure to attend. The third meeting of the Secret Society of Rotten TMUers is adjourned.

Now, please join me for drinks in the bar car.


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