The Continuum

Zero Sight

Why Watch? With its tongue firmly planted in cheek, this short film from Liz Rizzo and The Continuum (which begs to be the start of a series) follows an avid gamer who finds herself with the power to have anyone she wants assassinated. Sort of Death Note meets “100 Bullets” with a quirky drunk-dial twist. None too serious in its concept, it follows through with a handful of clever gags, an A.D.D. pace and a winking tone that satisfies.

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Why Watch? A pitch-perfect spoof of 80s action films (that only falters slightly when it says the phrase “80s action movies”), this excellent short is a great example of how taking something that’s silly seriously can result in a lot of laughs. Facing their toughest challenge yet, a group of warriors has to infiltrate a terrorist cell that has one of their own’s brother held hostage. It’s going to be dangerous, but not that dangerous, because they’re all on a paintball course. The camera work and the too-gruff acting are both excellent, but the ridiculous score is the real standout, punctuating most scenes with a towering faux-poignancy. Plus, I have no idea what kind of accent the bad guy is going for, and that’s a good thing. All in all, a very fun little action flick. What will it cost? Around 6 minutes. Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.  

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Table 7 Short Film

Why Watch? The Continuum has proven itself as a great production company, promoting fresh talent and fresh ideas. In this short from writer/director Marko Slavnic, a couple fights while out at a Chinese restaurant. As they teeter toward the edge of breaking up, a spy is listening to everything they say, but like all good spy dramas, things are not what they seem. Be it the sweat on the spy’s brow or the relatable (yet never dull) dialogue that makes up the meat of the lover’s spat, this movie is charged with tension. The drama of the fight is an easy hook, but the question of why someone would be listening in while taking notes magnetizes it all. Plus, the acting is all on point, and the camera work and score only help raise the blood pressure that’s just about to boil over when all is revealed. What will it cost? Around 4 minutes. Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.

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Lisa Short

Why Watch? Anders (Dominic Bogart) works an unfulfilling job making something the mainstream public will probably love (which makes him gag), but at night, he gets to labor away at his passion project. It’s almost everyone’s life story with one small difference: Anders makes robots. It’s really attention to detail (both the design and the story) that makes this all-too-common sci-fi trope sing with richer tones. Bogart gives a keen performance as a younger Doc Brown on OCD medication. He displays an incredible power that’s locked away in a man who has no choice but to be subdued — from the way he lightly brushes his prototypes hair to how he sees red when an ounce of mustard is spilled by his lovely Lisa. Of course, while most good science fiction uses the extra breathing room of technology to explore a difficult human theme, the thing that’s kind of brilliant about Lisa is how pedestrian it makes the concept of building robots seem. Anders could be doing anything else for employment and the core elements of the story could still be there, but Drew Mylrea‘s short film transforms 2033 into something beautifully quotidian. It’s an everyman with a job a million times cooler than all of ours, and he’s still irritated. Maybe there’s something depressing in it: that even when we’re making mind-blowing robots, we’ll still eventually make that the status quo and ho-hum our way through the cubicle work of quality testing Lisa for delivery. Kind of like how we sit […]

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Most of what happens in this little look back at history might not have gone down exactly the way that director Matt MacDonald portrays here, but that doesn’t mean this short isn’t worth checking out. And, who knows, maybe “Space Invaders” really was born because one man wanted to train the world to have the hand-eye coordination to take on an alien menace. Can we ever really know for sure? Regardless of the factual looseness, this movie succeeds with a sleek look that blends camp, 8-bit icons and clean camera work. Plus, it wears its extra life heart on its sleeve with a whimsical sense of humor (that includes evil robots stomping across the Great Wall of China). It’s a great five minutes of fun. What will it cost you? Only 5 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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Why Watch? A young woman sleepwalks onto a midnight subway train rattling its way through a quiet city and curls up with “Twilight” for her third read of it. She’s a big fan, but a young man begins challenging the idea of changing the lore. What does it really mean to be cursed? Is being a vampire supposed to be so glamorous? If you were a vampire hunting on the midnight train, which passenger would you feed on? Al Loughner‘s short isn’t just a flash in the pan trying to snake away some of the Twilight sparkle. It’s a smartly set up, gracefully executed conversation with a brutal reality at its core. It makes the argument against the de-fanging with flair while building an atmosphere of dread. Even though the climax is an obvious one, the reveal is done cleverly, and the production doesn’t shy away from showing the red stuff and a little bit of (ironically pretty) make-up work. What will it cost you? Only 8 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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