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Overall Rating
4.12

Awesome47.06%
Worth A Look: 17.65%
Average: 35.29%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 11 user ratings


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This Way To You (short)
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by Chris Parry

"Partly stunning. Partly student film."
3 stars

We review anything we're sent, here at Hollywood Bitchslap.com, and generally that means we review a weird mix of great stuff, odd stuff and awful stuff. The awful stuff is really hard to deal with on a personal level, because it usually means some well-meaning filmmaker has pissed away their life savings and they're looking to us for a few kind words to help them avoid opening a vein in frustration at the chore 'finishing a film' can be. This Way To You is a short film, created as a gradutation thesis by a couple of dudes from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and it would be safe to say that these guys deserve a nice big graduation present, because they've clearly put WAY too much time into this short film, with some admittedly beautiful results being brought down a peg or two by some average ones.

The best way to review this film, being as most people will never get a chance to see it, is to tell you what you're missing. Take Richard Linklater's Waking Life, from a few years ago. That weird, wiggly animation that was used in that film is called Rotoscope, and it's a form of animated art that goes way back to early 20th century time.

In the old days, an animator might show a frame of film on a drawing board, then draw around the image to make his animation appear very lifelike. You can guarantee this method or something close to it was used in a lot of Disney films, such as Cinderella and Snow White - any time they needed a 'human' in there amongst the cartoons.

Linklater's film used a piece of computer software that automates the rotoscope process, digitally turning film footage into cartoon footage quickly and easily. Broussard and Millet, not having access to such luxuries, have taken things in a different direction. They filmed digital video footage, then edited in Final Cut Pro, then removed every second frame, then drew over 1200 frames of digital footage using Macromedia's Flash software. In other words, these guys didn't get laid for five months.

Now, the animated aspect of This Way To You is strong, and some of the dialogue is very witty, in that all-too_familiar Kevin Smith kinda way. The end result is animation that matches Linklater's stuff, adding a hand drawn roughness to Linklater's rather more clinical output.

But what lets these guys down is the base they've used upon which to place their animation. Using themselves as actors (always a bad choice), and spending far too long on themselves (also a bad choice), while talking about things that are interesting only to a point (the desired effect, but still hard to take), you almost find yourself wishing the nice drawings would start up again.

And thankfully they do.

The story is not so much a story as a starting point. Millet wanders into Broussard's home, and they sit on the couch, drink coffee and chit chat. Millet talks about how his life sucks because he spends all day listening to people with nothing to say talk about nothing, then Broussard proceeds to talk about nothing. But then he keeps talking about nothing. And when he does so, he's not delivering punchlines rapidfire, rather he's making observations that will never elicit more of a "ah, clever" from an audience.

My guess is that Broussard and Millet learned a lot while making this film, and I'm guessing even stronger that as they drew every frame of the animated quotient of this flick, they wished they'd spent a little more time on the footage that began it all. the animation is beautiful, and when the film leaves the couch, it becomes far more interesting, but that couch scene that the film keep shooting back to is really rough stuff, and it didn't have to be.

When you're making a short film, especially for no money, and especially for school, you cut corners and take chances and just make it happen as best you can, and that's the feeling I get from This Way To You. It certainly shows promise, and if the team behind it can find their way more towards the existentialist side of their brains and less towards the pop culture references, their next flick could be something grand.

As for This Way To You, it needs to be taken for what it is - a mostly great experiment with a couple of downsides, a couple of snickers, and some moments of greatness. To paraphrase Mr T, who appears in bobblehead form, "I pity the fool who doesn't think there's something good to come from Broussard and Millet." (For more information on This Way To You, including examples of rotoscope animation, take a look at http://www.twty.com)

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8059&reviewer=1
originally posted: 07/26/03 15:37:23
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User Comments

11/04/04 spencer dorsey great movie about making the decision to change, to not do the same crap every day 5 stars
7/04/04 mimi french I think the bald guy is sexy 5 stars
4/21/04 douglas domingue superb 5 stars
8/03/03 sarah and kyle interesting concept, and very funny 5 stars
7/29/03 Justin Channell Very ambitious effort... interesting film as well 4 stars
7/28/03 Corey Landry Kicked ass 5 stars
7/28/03 Tony T Pretty cool, occasionally seemed a little slow though 4 stars
7/27/03 Rob Guillory Very well done. Loved the animation. I appreciate the time put into it and the effort. 4 stars
7/27/03 Pam Broussard Great animation, and funny dialouge. 5 stars
7/27/03 Jaime Never seen anything like it. I know they put a lot of work into it and it shows. 5 stars
7/27/03 Patsy Very Creative! These guys have talent. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Feb-2003 (NR)

UK
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