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Overall: 5
Story: 4
Animation: 7
Cinematography: 7
Effects: 6
Sound: 6

Galactic Smugglers 5 The Duke's Ball

Directed By: thefourmonkeys

Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Comedy, Parody
Length: 11:47
Released: December 27th, 2009

Content Advisory:  mild violence, moderate language.

Director's Comments

This episode is in two parts because it was over 10 minutes.
Please watch both parts.
We were very fortunate to work with an amazing cast!!

Staff Review

Randy Yard:
Whether or not you're familiar with the prior exploits of the eponymous gang of roving space vagabonds is irrelevant, as this film is quite friendly to viewers with no previous knowledge of the series. Viewers will, however, benefit from prior knowledge of brickfilms in general, as every new voice you hear will sound familiar due to this film's mammoth cast of esteemed directors. But was the effort necessary to assemble this vocal dream team worth it? Though every actor delivers a competent performance, one can't help but notice that many voices simply don't fit their characters. The result is a feeling of discordance that the rest of the film does little to shake.

Its title and preceding films indicate a space epic, but the story takes place almost entirely in a single ballroom, centers around the heroes performing the decidedly un-grandiose task of playing courier, and unfolds with Vandegriftian leisure. While the animation is more than competent and there's some solid facial animation as well, other effects (most notably a few instances of masking) are much less polished. And while Kevin McLeod's music is as excellent as ever, here it often feels more like layered-on background noise than an inseparable part of the film itself.

But these crimes are far from making this film unwatchable, and there are plenty of things to praise here as well. The lighting is the biggest superlative, but the aforementioned animation and facial animation also deserve nods. And miscast or not, the majority of the voice actors turn in solid performances, an important point in a film that relies much more heavily on narrative than action to progress the story.

It probably wouldn't be able to hold an audience outside the brickfilming community, but for fans of the hobby, this is an enjoyable 13-minute watch, especially given the added bonus of playing "Name that Voice Actor." Little errors here and there unfortunately weigh this ambitious effort down, but there's enough quality work to offset the flaws and buoy this film above the pack. If you've got some time to kill, you could do much worse than give this one a view.

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