On a rainy Sunday afternoon

JJ Abrams is credited with reviving the Star Trek franchise with his reboot and has been given the reins of the new Star Wars movies.

As much as I enjoyed the action in his depiction of Star Trek, it lacked the finness of the Shatner epics. No longer are we boldly going where no one has gone before, we were retracing steps in an alternate universe. The roller-coaster is more important than the narrative.

When it comes to a Star Wars reboot or Star Wars extension or whatever it turns out to be, I hope Abrams captures the awe and essence of the original, the local boy who makes good, triumph over evil kinda story. Light sabres and space battles are not enough.

Anyway, the wind is howling, the rain is falling and I’m on my second cup of hot chocolate, so it’s time for some short science fiction movies to enjoy on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

You can find hundreds of these movies on the net. Most of them are fan fics, essentially paint-ball fantasies with no real merit beyond nice special effects. Others, though, have some finness that even the likes of JJ Abrams could learn from.

There’s some astonishing talent in the composition and production of these movies. Character tends to take a back seat, but, hey, they’re working with a very strict, compact medium so that’s no surprise.

The Gate is a little Resident Evil, but fun nonetheless. It’s a bit of a luddite, fear-the-future movie, but hey, as 1984 has taught us, that’s a good way to ensure such a future never unfolds.

The Device is awesome… be careful what you wish for.

The Hunt for Gollum is a prequel to Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and explores the backstory behind how Aragon came to be waiting for the hobbits at the Prancing Pony Inn. There’s a couple of canonical inconsistencies, and it’s tough gig filling in for Viggo Mortensen and Ian McKellen, but the acting and cinematography in this fan tribute are simply brilliant.

And here’s a few more, recommended by other bloggers in the comments…

Ruin is spectacular and has astonishing visuals. Character and story need to be developed more, but what potential.

Archetype is in the works for a full-length movie. I’d like to see where the story leads. It seems pretty straight forward, so I hope there’s some twists and turns in there as well. 

And finally, Alive in Joburg is essentially the pilot-reel for the movie District 9.

9 thoughts on “On a rainy Sunday afternoon

    • Ah… so much for a lazy, rainy, Sunday afternoon… no sooner had I posted this than we had a flood downstairs and it was all hands on deck. Not too much damage, but lots of clean up.

  1. you should check one out called “archetype” it’s going to supposedly be made into a full film. And there is also “Alive in Joburg” which was later changed into the film District 9.

  2. I think I enjoyed The Device more since it does hold as full story as much as an idea. It’s something I can imagine would have made it into either The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. Things like The Sentient tend to get frustrating because it’s more a showcase than an actual story there. Much like Batman: Dead End – it’s cool, but even with the ending hanging in the wind, there’s not much else going on.
    Then again, some showcase bits can be cool like Ruin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doteMqP6eSc)
    Or the original short for Mama (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRqS6pBC42w) which lead to the full movie.
    If you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to check out H+ (http://www.youtube.com/user/HplusDigitalSeries) for your weekend viewing pleasure.
    now, to check out those other shorts featured on the right bar…

    • H+ looks like something that is going to take some time to work through, but Ruin was fantastic. As you say, it’s another showcase rather than an actual story, with just hints thrown into the action, but the quality of the production is astonishing. As for Mama… certainly made me jump

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