«This my favorite movie that I've watched so far on this site, such a deep story, beautifully written and acted. Visually appealing as well, its obvious that you took your time with this! And the diner being called "Moore's the Merrier" was a really brilliant play on words. This movie retells something that all movie buffs already know, that in movies, paradise always come with an price, and its never worth it. This gets a thumbs up from me, wish I could give it a million!»
«Looks like I'm a bit late to the party haha
Nice work Joseph, although still maintaining your usual fantasy style, it was an interesting departure from your usual atmosphere and tone. The only real issues that stood out to me was the music, which to me felt a bit to cheesy at points and as Goof stated, would have been complimented better by some nice Jazz. Also some of the transformation shots dragged on longer than necessary as if you were forcing the visuals in our face. But aside from those I enjoyed it and found a lot of the technical aspects very well done.
«Splendid movie, Joseph. Enjoyable from start to finish. I particularly liked the various transitions of the characters (not just visually, though that was superb). Cool story and (to me) not overly heavy in the message delivery. If anything you showed both sides, allowing us to make up our own minds.
«Free love (well, 1million anyway), hamburgers and frolicking amongst the Movies campus. It is indeed Eden. Hehe.
Two things I disliked here. The animation that accompanied the "You killed my sister" speach was ill fit. Second, the transition from some saxaphone jazz to finish things off (which would have been perfect had it gone longer) to some cheesy 80s sounding song instead was a bit of a misstep. Otherwise, this was an outstanding production. Fun and entertaining. Lots of JosephK special touches. Some great voice acting and old people making out. Win Win. Great good work mr Kwong.»
«Still amazed at what you can do with this software. It has the usual high quality of work and effort that makes me want to see your work time and again. Not many folks can reach this level of production quality and I don't see anything wrong with this effort either. Great story, great cast, music and technical work. Bravo.»
«The story was brilliant! Very original, really well written, and drew me in from the get go. Editing was as slick as ever, VO's were really well done.
I did have a problem understanding Theo's motivation, but that aside it all hung together very well.
(Nice cameo by the way Joe!)»
«Wow Joseph! You keep pushing The Movies beyond it's limits and the outside editing effects you used were just fantastic. The aging and reverse aging sequences were seamless. The scenes projected on the liquid in the grail were just as impressive. Still, when you get down to it, the effects are just icing for a well constructed story with an element of mystery that captivates the viewer. The actors were all superb. I particularly liked A_N_D's performance in the lead and Dulci's supporting female role portrayal. Once again your direction and cinematography were flawless. Good luck in the competition. »
«I'd like to go into detail about all of the finer points of Han's Grail but alas, seems it's already been done. Jazz hands!
I will say this, Joseph is a consumate pro, and quality is a given with each and every production that is released.
Always a pleasure to work with you Joseph.I only know 2-3 other directors with your sense of polish and execution... your verve and your vigor.
Bravo on another strong entry and good luck!»
«This is a fantastic film. I was very impressed with the special effects. I didn't know that could be done with this medium. The references to mythology and the subtle (and some not so subtle) use of symbols really added to the depth of this piece. As I finished watching this, it actually left me with many things to ponder and I am very grateful for that. I don't know if I fully understood the message you were trying to make, but that is the beauty of this film. It gives the viewers the means to explore the film from their own perspective, and that is a difficult thing to achieve. There is so much meaning to this piece, and so many different ways for it to be interpreted. I thought the name Theo Logan was brilliant by the way... I love what this film has to say about religion, and willful ignorance. After reading the message you posted in your description, I don't know if I completely got it right... but oh well. Overall, a brilliant film. I was ecstatic to see a new release by Joseph Kwong. This did not disappoint.»
Great short. I think you do a great job using the program with all it's short commings. I can only image what you can do with a real camera. I like the fact that some characters act their true age.
Enough sunshine up the wazoo.
Here are a few things you can work on; some things may be hard to deal with using the program.
This short seems a bit slow in getting the story to the audience. Some aspects of the story are missing, like how did the main character get his affairs in order before he stayed in paradise, what excuse did he use? How can the mind bending drug mask people’s physical problems so well? Or are most people chosen who don't have major problems? How old is Walt 50, 70 years old? Also I missed the part of why Walt was digging, what made him dig in that place? There was no indication of people dying or having problems from over exerting themselves. I know that you only had a limited amount of time so it will be hard to get all the details into the story, and we must therefore take some things for granted. How does the doctor deal with his people when they get too old or handicapped to keep the illusion alive? I liked the guy that all he wanted to do was eat, but maybe he could have died of a heart attack and then you could have shown what happens to people when their bodies finally fail.
Over all great job! I really like the music and voice overs. I hope you win.
«Technically, this is a classic-era-style "The Movies" film, and rightly unapologetic about it. It is an understated masterpiece.
The writing is excellent, particularly in the opening section which introduces the protagonist, Walt Moore (Jason Leonti) and his friend (Joseph Kwong). The cynical birthday banter begins the film with some chuckles. For example:
MOORE: I told you I'd be poor company tonight.
BEST FRIEND: Oh, you're always poor company!
Set design is very good, the paradise sequences are full of lush plants and colour.
I also noticed some witty visual clues, such as the Yin-Yang symbol on one of the walls and the "Angel" (lol) T-shirt worn by the female lead (Dulci). I also like the cheerful sign for the protagonist's bar - which seems suitably sarcastic when you see the character himself. "Moore's the Merrier".
Visual effects are a real wow factor - particularly when a bunch of firm-fleshed youngsters are transformed, in camera, into the old farts that they really are!
The acting, across the board is very good. Leonti handles his role well, moving between two generations seemlessly (his character is transformed from old to young and back again). Kwong has four characters to voice and makes each distinctive. Also impressive is Marc Cholette as the mysterious, sinister, French sounding, Theo Logan.
The direction is well paced, with smooth transitions and barely a wasted moment. There's a story to tell, and it gets told with maximum efficiency.
Music is largely provided by Daniel Stang and it works very well overall. Excellent quality vocals and production.
Overall, this film rekindled my passion for "The Movies" in a way that suggested I'd drank from the cup before watching it!
Those who fondly remember the classic "The Movies" films of yesteryear (lol - quite literally ... a couple of years ago) will get goosebumps watching this. And the good thing is, it's not a delusion! This film truly exists in the here and now!
I'm giving this a world first - a post-humous "Prufrock Award for Outstanding Cinema" - the first "post-humous" award ever to be given BY the deceased instead of TO the deceased! And deservedly so. That's four now for this director. [I think - I've lost count thanks to a major hard drive crash. It's not less than four anyway.]
"... a post-humous award BY the deceased instead of TO the deceased?
An award made possible .. only in the Twilight Zone..."
This film has been entered into some competition or other about the Seven Deadly Sins [at least two must be featured] - I couldn't see much about this here, no more than in most films. All fables are bound to inadvertently feature some of the deadly sins. That's where drama comes from. Lust (for young flesh and youth) and Greed (Theo Logan charges large amounts of money) are featured here.
But - I watched Iron Man 2 last night; Favreau should enter that into this competition as it features "Pride" (Tony Stark's ego causes him to come close to disaster) and "Jealousy" (Pepper Potts is very jealous of Natasha [played expertly by Scarlett Johanssen]).
In fact, is there ANY dramatic story that wouldn't qualify for such a competition?
«A thoughtful fable, very much in the tradition of "The Twilight Zone".
I'll introduce this in the style of the guy who used to come on at the beginning of every episode:
"Meet Walt Moore; owner of his own bar, and feeling every bit as old as he is on his birthday.
What if he could turn back time? What if he could be young again?
An impossiblity ... unless you're celebrating a birthday in the Twilight Zone .."
He responds to an advertisement for "Han's Grail" - a place which turns out to be everything he hoped for, one sip from the grail and
everything is youthful and beautiful again. The only drawback? You have to stay in the "Han's Grail" compound, and all communication
with the outside world is strictly monitored (electronic devices such as SatNavs and Mobiles are banned) ...
On the promise that he may leave whenever he likes, Walt Moore decides to drink from the cup...
!!!!!!!!!!!! MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS FOLLOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a film that can be read a number of ways, but my take on it is as follows:
The mysterious owner of the "Han's Grail" compound is a man called "Theo Logan"
I see this as a play on words [not the last in this movie (and yes, I got the anagram!)] - "Theologian". What does a Theologian do?
Offers the promise of a better life (or afterlife) if you become a believer in their religion - or metaphorically drink from their
drugged cup of promises. (One minor character is investigating the cult undercover, because his sister died after taking the kool aid
instead of seeking proper medical treatment for her cancer in the real world - this has parallels with those who believe in "Christian
Science" or try to use prayer instead of getting their kid treated by a doctor).
For those that truly believe, and - as in one touching scene - refuse, even in the face of stark evidence, to leave their delusion for
that less beautiful place called reality, it is because the drug has taken such a hold that the victim would prefer to live out the
rest of their days in a comfortable lie rather than experience the, often painful, mundane, march towards the grave that the real
Our cynical protagonist experiences the joys of rejuvenation in the paradise of the "Han's Grail" compound. Not only does he feel
several decades younger, he finds young love as well, and the urge to play the saxophone again.
But - when he discovers that it's all just a drug-induced fantasy, he does what his love interest (a woman also in thrall to the drug)
can't do. He rejects paradise in order to return to reality. I see this as a rejection of the fuzzy comfort offered by the religious
(indeed, Theo Logan states "it's real if you TRULY believe" - how many religious leaders say that?!- The argument from comfort follows
closely behind),in order to face up to reality square on the nose!
But the message of the film (as I've portrayed it) is clouded somewhat by the fact that Walt's experience in this false paradise still
manages to enrich his life. The film ends with him playing the saxophone in his bar, something he would not have done without this
Or, more cynically, he takes up the saxophone again in order to remind himself of the "high" he got from the drug - then again, isn't
anything enjoyable a "high"? Arguably, youth itself is a "high" which we get addicted to. That's why he chooses to remember the
fantasy of a young beautiful Jain (the main female character) instead of the actual version of Jain which is an old, decrepit woman.
>>>>>>>>> SPOILERS OVER >>>>>>>>>>»
«An original and inventive exploration of human mortality. The audience are given just enough information about the main character to form an empathy with him - without this the movie wouldn't have worked as well. The grail its self a clever twist on the many potions, elixirs, creams and treatments that thousands of people spends millions on each and every year. But the reveal in the story throws an added dimension to this theme highlighting a common condition of a self fulfilling prophecy.
Technically the film was very tight and well polished with simple yet effective visuals, beautifully created settings and well thought out character design. The pace was perhaps a little too fast for the amount of content (i feel there is a much larger story to tell here) but as this is a competition entry with time constraints i can fully understand and appreciate your choices there. The only part i felt slightly cheat on was the way in which the lead found out the truth - just seemed a little too easy convenient. Perhaps, if the film was allowed more time, there could have been an exploration into the curious nature of man and how that can conflict with dreams that appear to have come true.
Over all a great film and i wish you the best of luck in the contest
«very cool effect in the cup (grail?) and I really liked some of the editing sequences (the pie cut edit in particular was unique and worked well). Great morphing effects too. This was just loaded with cool things. Way beyond anything I was ever able to do with The Movies. This theme was present in quite a few episodes of Star Trek ToS.
My interpretation of the film's over arching theme is acceptance.
«This film creeped up on me in ways I didn't expect. An excellent storyline as usual, you really paced the mystery and the intrigue really, really well, and the twenty minutes just flew by me. In fact, I wish the movie was longer, as there was so much I wanted to know about the purpose of this facility, but considering the time constraints of the contest, you really pull it off admirably. The performances were EXCELLENT as usual, a standing ovation for the entire cast. In terms of special effects Han's Grail probably isn't as flashy as some of your other films, but the storyline didn't really demand them and your rendering of the facility is top-notch. Strong production values and great music round out a well-crafted josephkw film, and once again I am astounded by the relative ease in which you hold me entranced and spellbound. I am most impressed by the story you craft, and the themes you imbue into your script are woven in a way that is most impressively subtle. A second (or more) viewing is definitely warranted. The only thing is that the ending left me hanging (I reaaaaally wanted to see more), and the anagram didn't go quite as far as i thought it would, but that's probably because of the constraints of the Passion Contest. Bravo!»
«'Truth, it is such a subjective concept'
The overall production. Great special effects including the multiple image screens, cloud/light effects and sound effects.
The music fit the mood and the scenes well.
The voice casting was excellent and the voiceovers were very well done.
I especially liked the crystal ball effect in the grail liquid.
The story lost it's effect once I saw the finished note and understood what the grail really was.
Although the story was good and had a moral, I felt it was not your best work. I was left wanting more than what was delivered.
A good story that makes you look inside yourself. Very good work Joseph.»
«Another excellent Josephkw movie, I really enjoyed that. Great voice acting by the whole cast and excellent effects work. On top of everything I really enjoyed the story. It had that distinctive Josephkw feel but with new elements thrown in that made it work very well. I had expected the anagram to come into it a little more, but no biggie lol. I thought the chemical formula thing was pretty clever. Excellent use of Daniel Stang's music as well, I thought it was clever how you removed the vocals for some of them, although there were slight noise removal whispers left behind unfortunately. Again though, not a big problem.
The only real problems I had were a) I wish it had gone into a little more depth, but I can understand it only just fits within the contest guidelines as it is, and b) I personally found the twist a little bit predictable, although it was cleverly done nonetheless. I also wish there had been a little more character development for the supporting cast (ie, everyone but Walt), but again I can see time constraints played a part there.
Overall I think this was another superb Josephkw movie with excellent acting, editing, music and writing. I just think the story had a lot more to give and ideally I would have preferred to have seen more of this. Don't get me wrong, this is a high cut above 95% of TMU films, but I just think there was more potential for this story to be developed. Nonetheless I really enjoyed this and eagerly anticipate your next release
***** - 5 stars»
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