Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Fitz and Flubblewalf" Brickfilm - Review

With the recent THAC results out and ready to be disagreed with I felt like giving my opinions on a film that placed rather well, receiving 4th place in a contest with almost 80 entrants. Understandably so as well, seeing the impressive and outright commendable running time for THAC and charming setting, however that’s not to say I don’t have my problems with it.

  "Fitz and Flubblewalf" by Walter Benson is about a man called Fitz, dressed in red and going on a quest to find a specific item. Along the way, he stops at different towns notable for their colour scheme and is often mistaken for being from Flubblewalf. And that’s about it. My main problem with FaF is that it takes an alright premise, and stretches it over the usual length of a brickfilm, with very little else to it.

  The running joke throughout the whole film is that people mistake Fitz for being someone else, while he tries to argue otherwise, and except for the very end, this formula rarely evolves. Having an already typical joke about an awkward situation like this over the entire course of a 5 minute short gets somewhat tiring. Seeing the same basic town structure reused but with different colours is cute at first, but coupled with the repetitive nature of the jokes it can drag quite a lot. The final big event isn't even that related to the whole build-up it was given, and thus in the end the endless jokes feel a bit pointless.
  A minor complaint, though one that still relates to this aspect is the editing. Now I recognise that Walter stated he would have cut down the editing had the time requirements not been so restrictive, but it still works to the detriment of the film. Lines are often met with a long pause after they’re said, despite Fitz’s clear frustration at the fact that he can’t get his point across properly, he never speeds up the pace of the dialogue and simply waits for the familiar jokes to be said.

  All of this culminates in a pacing issue rife throughout the whole film. Until the end, not much except for the bare minimum changes, which made the whole thing feel very slow. Contrast is key in any aspect to any form of storytelling, and that’s the thing I feel ‘FaF’ lacked. You can have very low-key moments in stories, but unless they’re contrasted with some variety, they’re not exactly going to stick out. I recognise that this was a THAC entry and commend Walter for even making a film this long in the first place, but I just expected a little more out of this premise, maybe Fitz’s identity could be mistaken so badly that he has to go on some sort of detour that deviates from his desire to get the fl... flubbe... flubbergafllewiron that he so badly wanted, rather than his easy-to-mistake appearance just ending up as an excuse for more awkward humour.

  Not to say there aren't merits to the film, the somewhat charming premise and the relate-able main character certainly propped the film up in my books. The animation is a bit simple at times, but given the impressive length I’m most definitely not going to hold that against Walter. The voice acting for Fitz was quite nice, and did a good job at seeming genuinely annoyed, yet I still feel as if the voice acting area as a whole had a bit to be desired. The premise of having a bunch of different locations by mostly just changing up the colour scheme of the last one seems like a cute idea, but as I've said I feel as if it works to the detriment of the film.

  On the whole, I feel the very basic idea had some potential, yet this was not helped by the repetitive nature of the whole film. It has its charm, but that wasn't enough to really captivate me. It’s only a THAC, so I can respect the effort put in here, and feel that with better time Walter can certainly make something a lot better. However, judged on its own merits, I think that ‘FaF’ just needed to spice things up to keep this somewhat lengthy brickfilm from getting stale.

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