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Overall: 5
Story: 3
Animation: 5
Cinematography: 4
Effects: 7
Sound: 6
Music: 8

Squad 42 IV - No Alternative (The Remastered Edition)

Directed By: Gareth Pugh

Genre: Action, Sci-fi
Length: 06:42
Released: December 11th, 2009

Content Advisory:  moderate violence.

Director's Comments

Probably my most visually impressive film to date.

All the stop-motion animation was done mid-2008 years ago whereas the CGI was made in late 2009, although I don't think the contrast is too bad.


Staff Review

Randy Yard:
Gareth states that the contrast between CGI and stop-motion isn't too bad... but it is pretty bad. The CGI is quite impressive, from large cityscapes and planets to the various ships featured, though the varying scales used is distracting at times. The stop-motion, on the other hand, is quite possibly the worst of any film that has received and ever will receive a "recommended" rating. I'm giving an overall animation rating of "5," but that's only because I can't give it both a 2 and an 8. And the stop-motion isn't the only aspect that will raise some eyebrows. The writing is subpar as well, never really explaining what's going on, giving us no reason to care about the main characters and tossing absolutely no resistance at them, even handing them a mildly absurd "deus ex machina device" at the end. And all four main characters are voiced by the same actor who doesn't even try to change his voice... yes, I know they're clones, but it's still quite disconcerting.

But these flaws can't hide the fact that overall, this is a surprisingly entertaining film. It's tough to figure out what exactly makes it so... there's some smart pacing and editing, an excellent score, and quality (if slightly overused) effects (I'm pretty sure even Michael Bay would be telling the director to go easy on the explosions). Gareth shows a lot of potential with this film, and while a number of problems leave it as merely an average effort, it's still entertaining in its own right and a tantalizing portent of what might be next.

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