Topic: Picturesque

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In the not too distant future, an invention called picture portals has revolutionized transportation. However, its potential for evil is exploited when a mysterious mercenary kidnaps the president. Captain John West races to uncover the truth and find out who was behind the kidnapping in this explosive scifi thriller unlike any other Brickfilm.

This project has been in production for more than two years, so I'm really glad I finished it this year, even if I am cutting it just a little close.

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Huzzah!  I shall now begin to download the 169 mb mp4 version...

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A visual masterpiece. Indeed, it was not at all what I would expect when I first saw the segment in The Man in the Top Hat. The concept was brilliant and well executed, the cinematography was near flawless (okay, FLAWLESS), and...there's really nothing else for me to say that won't get me repeating myself. Has it been that long since I watched a new brickfilm, let alone critique one? Great job, Nick, as always.

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Re: Picturesque

Wow. That was really cool. Great job.

theknowitalljoe01, on YouTube, wrote:

This brickfilm is so awesome. I think your gonna be the next forrestfire101!!!!

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Wow.......that I can't find anything wrong with that film, I Great job. mini/smile

And does this still qualify for the 2009 Bricks In Motion Awards? Because if so.....we have a winner. mini/lol

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Animation-- 10/10
Special Effects-- 9/10
Voices-- 9/10
Story-- 6/10
Set design-- 9/10

This film is a interesting one. The animation, special effects and voices are superb, and are what make this film almost score 10/10 in overall. Sadly, there is one thing pulling it back, and that is the general story. The story itself has been done before, where

Spoiler (click to read)

a crime has taken place and the most unexpected person to the hero is the crook.

Also, the main thing that keeps this story going are the

Spoiler (click to read)

picture portals.

It is like how the only thing keeping the story of Superman going is kriptonite (forgive me if I spelled it wrong) as it is his only weakness. However the

Spoiler (click to read)

picture portals

are quite original in concept.

There are also parts of the story that have been rushed, like the

Spoiler (click to read)

reveal of the evil mastermind at the end.

Also, about halfway through the film you could

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already know who the main villain was,

which lower's the 'surprise' content of the film. Another thing that I disliked was how you didn't really get to like some of the character's. This resulted in me not really feeling sad or angry when

Spoiler (click to read)

Roger was shot and when Mr Painter was stabbed.

However, the concept of the story is seen here, and is quite original too. This is uncommon now, with almost every good idea having been done before. Also, the animation was too good to be true. I have not seen better animation than this since American Outlawed. mini/smile  Truly amazing. Also, the effects were stunning, although I have seen better. The voices were great, they really suited each character, and should be still good to hear even on the crappiest speaker. The set designs were almost perfect, with a large amount being made digitally. However, this does not take away the LEGO element from it that we all love.

In overall, I recommend that this film should be watched by everyone, for it does a good job entertaining and is still a truly amazing film. Not one of your bests though, but truly amazing. I give it a score of 9/10. mini/smile

You can do anything, just have fun while doing it.

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youtuber wrote:

I think your gonna be the next forrestfire101!!!!

I sure hope not.

My expectations were unrealistically high, more due to my anticipation than you hyping it, which you didn't do much of.  I think the highlight for me was the large-scale CGI work, I also thought the premise was pretty creative and had a lot of potential.  I would have liked to see a little more adventurous use of the premise, though; I feel like there's this fantastic concept and it mostly just gets used for a cop action/drama kind of story; we're told that entire new worlds can be created with the technology but all we ever see of this is an inferno.  The pacing seemed a little choppy to me too, in that there were brief moments of action mixed with dialog, but, as far as I could see, no climactic "release" or culminating action sequence.

The lighting is really impressive throughout, the color scheme seems controlled and consistent so props on that.  Not many brickfilms control use of colors well so it was a definite positive.  The mouth animation was mostly pretty strong, I thought.  The moving CG shots of the city were really effective; the ones where the car remained stationary in the frame didn't work quite so well for me.  The stop motion animation was very good, as always, though I wished that the fighting could have felt a little more high-impact.

Joseph Frank's score was a nice touch for the most part, I felt like on this kind of film it could have been a little darker and relied less on bright, playful high-pitched melodies like during the credits.  It did seem to tend toward creating atmosphere and not making itself noticeable, that can be a good thing though I generally like scores with a memorable theme melody or two.

I think my biggest critique would be about the voice acting.  Film Brain had such a large role, and his lines are often slurred together to the point of being very difficult to understand (Portal > Porral, President > Prezent, amount others) and that was a major distraction for me.  I thought your own (Nick's) voice acting as the main character was decent and liked the voice of the painter, though.  I wish I'd had a better microphone when I recorded my lines two years or so ago.  The reporter at the beginning had a lot breaths between lines which felt a little unnatural; I understand availability of voice actors is a challenge and most of the cast probably didn't have much experience with this sort of thing.

This was a very impressive undertaking, congratulations on completing a 23 minute film!  I look forward to seeing what you attempt next.  (Quite possibly in the next couple days.)

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That was incredible. I disagree with some people here, the story kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. I really liked the

Spoiler (click to read)

fight scene on the train, and I was really taken back when roger was shot, I thought that was quite unpredictable.

I really enjoyed that film, well done on the mouth animation too, it looked pretty realistic. Great job mini/smile!
Click above to watch mini/bigsmile
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That was one of the most visually amazing brickfilms I have ever seen! It's right up there with 'Unrenewable' in terms of CGI and effects.

In critique and review, I have nothing to add to what Smeagol said, he pretty well covered it.

Last edited by Bricklord (January 1, 2010 (02:49pm))

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Woot! Downloading the big huge file for optimum quality.

Will be back with a review.

- Leo

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I saw the youtube one almost right when it came out, and even got the 20th view and 3rd comment, but sadly, I didn't get to see the second and third parts until this morning.

As far as the film goes: you just topped Unrenewable by my standards. The lighting created an atmosphere that really blended in with the story, the animation was great, the voice actors were (for the most part) brilliant, and the special effects were as good (or a bit better) as any other CGI person [looks at Leonardo812's post].


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Amazing brickfilm!  CGI, and animation were both excellent!  Though the plot was a little flimsy and the voice acting could use some work, those are my only complaints.

And I never would've guessed he was the villain!  (I kinda stink at finding villains in mysteries mini/wink

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That was so amazing. I haven't seen a film like this since "Unrenewable".

Spoiler (click to read)

The only thing I didn't like was the voice acting. It didn't seem believable. One thing I laughed at was when the kidnapper said "Well, I was wearing a bullet-proof vest, and you shot me in the head. Next time, shoot me in the head. HAHA"

Congrats on this amazing film. Keep up the good work.


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Re: Picturesque

First off, way to go on putting together a 23-minute film. It was a lot of fun to watch.

Of course, the high point of the film is the visuals. Your use of CGI is always a blast to see. People already mentioned lighting - very impressive work there. The bloomed/glowed visual style is cool, but maybe got a bit old in constant use for the entire film. Animation was crazy good; it definitely added a lot to the film.

Your camera work was very well-done in places, but there were times when your choice of shot sequences was pretty confusing, like cutting between closeups of two characters talking when they're both on the same side of the screen. I'll have to watch it again, though.

I actually liked the music a lot - kudos to JF on another great score. Voice acting was a mixed bag, but overall I don't think it detracted from the film for me.

The story and pacing were still weaknesses. I'll watch it again and probably make another post to better explain what I disliked. I do feel like you needed to keep the story on a smaller, more intimate scale in terms of characters, but on a larger, more creative scale in terms of the concept. I don't know why people are comparing this to Unrenewable, but that was definitely Philip's strength - a single interesting character that we follow through a creative concept.

Anyway, nice job. It was great to finally see this.

- Leo

Last edited by Leonardo812 (January 1, 2010 (10:24am))

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I am now downloading the huge file and I gotta say: it is WORTH almost crashing my computer for this film. Well, executed, Stunning CGI, Great Cinematogrofy, And an awesome plot are just some of the great things about this film.

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I downloaded the HQ-file this morning, and I agree with Sméagol and Leonardo.

First off, this film definitely sets a benchmark in puncto visual effects. The mood you created through the colors and the cinematography was really unique. Another aspect was the great CGI work along with nice and detailed sets. The animation was also extremely smooth.
What I noticed at times that the pacing was a bit slow. In some scenes, especially when the story found its climax, I missed the dynamic, and thought the film could now losen its handbrake and accelerate a bit.

I agree what was said about the voice acting. I thought some of them did their job really well, for example Mr Painter, who seemed very believable in his role, but others seemed just a bit emotionless. Sometimes the execution of the dialogues, that were at times really well written (I loved the ending line!), didn't give the characters depth, but were instead achieved plainly.

Overall, that was a pretty entertaining film with a great visual style. Hats off for doing a 23-minute film!

- JD
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This... is... AMAZING.

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Honestly, I was kind of let down. I'll start by saying that it's impressive that you made a 23-minute film, and that the CGI is good; it's really good, to the point that you barely notice it. The visuals style was interesting and consistent.

The only thing is that everything else didn't do it for me. The story has a good premise, but is ultimately predictable. Don't give your villain a name like "Glacialis" if you want there to be any suspense whatsoever as to who he is. The dialogue is honestly kind of campy in a lot of places, not to mention the flat delivery. Even if the story is somewhat interesting, that doesn't carry over to its execution. The pacing stays the same throughout, and the score (which sounds like a Hans Zimmer parody) pointlessly blares over meaningless scenes while barely having any impact at all during moments of tension and excitement where it's actually needed. The plot moves forward, but just barely, without any real excitement.

Sorry to come down on it hard, but I want to give an honest critique.

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I just watched the download version and I really enjoyed it.  The voices seemed a little too consistent though like some characters only talked in one tone.  I thought the CGI was great.  It gave me a future mysterious feel.  How you had the White House lit up was cool.  Excellent film.

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Awesome! There's really no other word for it. This and Unrenewable are about the only two CGI/stop-motion movies that I've seen that are better than a few frames poorly taken and glossed over with a junk-load of CGI to try to make the dead husk of the horrible movie look way better than it actually is. Great going!:D

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