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1-02-2008 @ 1:30PM
That review was pretty piss-poor if you ask me, skipping over the blatant, deep-running flaws in the movie and glossing it up to be something more than it really is, while showing a fundamental lack of knowledge of the WoW Machinima scene as a whole. Full time machinima creator and critic indeed, the WoW Machinima scene is a completely different animal to Second Life, or anything else for that matter. Allow me to offer an alternative view, as a follower and commentator on the WoW Machinima scene specifically, having produced a couple of moderately successful movies of my own, and self-confessed ex-Myndflame zealot.I'm going to take flak with this, but I honestly don't care. I've had it up to here with what used to be a top-class machinima studio, one of my personal favourites, being lauded as more than it is, and the marked plummet in story-telling from Zinwrath to Super Snacks, and then Super Snacks to EFO. I posted this on Warcraftmovies, sadly their comment space is limited."As a huge Myndflame fan since Zinwrath, I was looking forward to this movie, and like others, have been waiting for a long time. During that time however, my attention has been grabbed by other productions, not least those of Baron Soosdon, Nhym, Beckman and the producers of The Grind and Snacky's Journal. In the time it took to produce this movie, many budding stars have risen to the fore, and blown past Myndflame, in both AV quality and writing. I am reminded of the often-named-dropped Tales of the Past 3, for an example of just how far machinima can go towards being taken seriously as a true method of film-creation. This movie takes that principle, and takes it 3 steps back. An utterly incoherent journey through a series of almost unrelated scenes, answering very few questions and creating far more, leaving the door wide open for a sequel that may never arrive.A thorough disappointment in both writing and creativity, with Gobbler's music and his obvious genius in the aforementioned area being the clear highlight."To me, this movie cements Myndflame's irrelevance in the current WoW machinima scene. They were great, there's no two ways about that. Few would dispute the comic mastery of Zinwrath (and I think that's particularly important, who's missing from the other two movies? You guessed it..). It's editing was innovative, not perfect, but DIFFERENT, and that was important at the time. Adobe After-Effects was used, for perhaps one of the first times in WoW Machinima, and it was awesome. The movie never failed to surprise, and I remember watching it 50+ times, and being thrilled to meet Myndflame at Blizzcon '05 and interview them (with Zinwrath himself being the clear dominant personality in the group).Then we got Illegal Danish, released under questionable circumstances just in time to win pretty much everything in the X-fire contest. A movie that was not in fact finished before the deadline, and the deadline mysteriously extended for no apparent reason, which happened to be just enough to allow ID:SS to be entered. Convenient, suspicious one might say. Not only that, but who could forget the utterly out of place dance sequence, designed to allow the movie to be entered into the dance category as well. Pretty down and dirty if you ask me, but ok, I can live with that. Now what about the FACT, that they blatantly broke contest rules by releasing the movie early, thereby bringing themselves huge additional promotion and attention that they otherwise would not have had? That was one of my biggest wtf moment to be honest. It's not that they didn't deserve to win the contest, their movie was clearly the best of the bunch, but the fact that some very suspicious and questionable shit went on in order for that to happen, is an irrevocable smear on their good-name. This may of course be a series of misunderstandings and unfortunate events, but the above did happen. The motivation for them, can only be guessed at, rather than proven.Then we get the IDEFO trailer, promising a meaningful continuation to the story, some kick-ass editing and the return of Zinwrath! Which didn't happen of course, Zinwrath is not part of their team anymore and to be quite honest, from what I saw at Blizzcon, he was their driving force, and the man with the ideas. They have admitted on their website that they had to completely rewrite the script. I would hazard a guess that the omission of this key character, and the lynchpin for the story, was the reason.Continued hype and missed release dates, Myndflame calls for donations to help fund the project, and then in live chat only last night Gobbler claims " you do realize we have lives right?, so STFU, blow me or go away". Really? Lives like, normal people, with jobs, and the ability to fund their amateur hobby projects? (that's what it is, this is not professional machinima, no more than begging for handouts on a street-corner makes you a professional hobo). Why is it that one guy, with a job, can make a movie almost 5 times the length of yours (5 times if you discount the pointless credit sequences and intro of IDEFO), in 3 hours work per day, that has better editing and writing than yours? (referring of course to Tales of the Past) What exactly was that money for? Don't tell me it was for new equipment to record your original music (the only redeeming factor of the movie, aside from the hark-back to Zinwrath that came in the form of the hilarious, yet woefully short Super Snacks Fighting Game scene), the soundtrack was done over a year ago and the rendering rig was donated by viewers, as stated on Myndflame's website a good long time ago. You're not telling me that you didn't take a job for all this time to work on this, are you? In which case what the hell did you actually waste your time on? There were no 'wow, that's amazing editing' moments that I remember from Zinwrath and Super Snacks. There were no laugh out loud, original jokes, and their were no just plain awesome scenes that I'd want to watch over and over again.No, what IDEFO is, in this man's humble opinion, is a flailing attempt to salvage an almost dead franchise, and a desperate cry for attention. It is out-classed, in every way, by other movies. With trailer after trailer and several useless shorts released to try and keep interest alive in Myndflame's work, as well as the cynical 'affiliation' offered to other, more talented machinimators, was there really any possibility that this movie would have been anything more than a crushing disappointment? I cant wear the rose-tinted spectacles that I once wore as a rabid Myndflame fan, because this entire process has been perhaps one of the most jading experiences the machinima scene has ever known. A fall from grace of gigantic proportions.A weakly-strung effort at best, a mish-mash of scenes and characters that make little to no sense, some flagrantly stolen humour (Python anyone in the jailhouse scene?) and enough plot-holes to swallow up the population of a small town. I've seen more tied up ends at a Glass Shoe-Lace Convention.Some of you may think I'm being harsh, but at the end of the day, I used to be a fan, and I've been let down, as have many others. This is how not to make your machinima, and a lesson to all in future that this is just the kind of development cycle you need to avoid, because all it leads to is justified criticism and a poor end-result. Arcanite reaper? No.. Not again. When your jokes are coing from 6 month to 2 year old memes, many of which you yourself started, then you know something's dusty and rusty in your writing.Myndflame need to be lauded for their initial effort in Zinwrath, and to some degree, Super Snacks. Both brought something new, fresh and genuinely entertaining to the WoW Machinima Scene. Now that scene has changed, and it seems to me that Myndflame needs to find their A-game again and get with the times. B-grade writing and abject silliness without a purpose won't cut it anymore, and no amount of fancy After-Effects work will change that. Here's hoping whatever they put out next will right some of the wrongs this installment has committed, but that's not going to change this man's humble opinion that this is the worst thing they've ever put out and many of it's flaws are inexcusable.
1-02-2008 @ 1:46PM
1-02-2008 @ 1:54PM
I agree and disagree. Instead of writing a review on the machinima, you wrote a review on Myndflame. Everything you said was true, and should not be overlooked.However, this was a great Machinima. It was NOT worth the wait, it was over hyped... but it was pretty damn good if you ask me, and I applaud Myndflame for this.I guess I thought they could do better, though.
1-02-2008 @ 1:56PM
TLDRWhatever you may hate about this movie, there's others out there that still like it, including myself. Of course it has its flaws, but regardless, the end product was worth the wait.
1-02-2008 @ 2:08PM
@11 Thanks, but I did remark on what I believe was worth remarking on in the machinima, but more importantly, put it in the context of Myndflame's previous work. It is nigh on impossible, for anyone that's been following Myndflame's and the WoW Machinima scene's work in general, to take it as a stand-alone product.If it were a stand-alone product, I'd have said the same thing 'This movie has no sense of plot, doesn't resolve anything what-so-ever at any point, is recycling things which were funny 2 years ago, but not anymore, and lacks the very essence of good storytelling. This script seems like it was written in 10 minutes on the back of a beer-mat'.If Zinwrath and Super Snacks had never existed, this movie would still be complete nonsense. The fact that they do exist makes matters even worse because they were both awesome in their own way.If you enjoy the movie, then great, I'm glad you've not had to suffer the disappointment I have, because I tell ya, it really sucks. It can all be summed up in a single sentence'They can, and have done, so much better'
1-02-2008 @ 2:22PM
I don't really have anything to add on the STATE OF MACHINIMA — say it in a voice like James Earl Jones playing God and maybe it has the right tone.However, I read your comment in a snooty voice (Think Thurston Howell III) and picture you wearing a monocle, perhaps a jaunty hat and an ascot, wielding a cane with a large crystal bird on it — perhaps a trophy wife on your arm, a glass of $500 wine in your other hand as you regale the room with your witty and biting criticism of a video game movie before leaving for your vacation home in the Hamptons.The image made me laugh. Not as much as the movie — but I did giggle.
1-02-2008 @ 2:27PM
Clever stuff Zygote, were you touching yourself as you penned your ever so droll witticisms, in the criticism of the criticism of a video-game movie on a blog's comment section? We could do this all day, pip pip old chap.
1-02-2008 @ 2:38PM
TB:I yield the field to you. In blog comments, going to the masturbatory reference almost straight out of the box is a sign of power, prestige and E-Peen prowess that I am just ill equipped to handle right now.I suppose I could respond with a "your mama" joke, but honestly, doesn't someone have to draw the line?
1-02-2008 @ 2:42PM
@Zygote - Kindly do not besmirch the glorious art of sarcasm with your ham-fisted slobbering attempts to practicing it. If you wish to play the ad-hom e-thuggery game, then bring it on, by all means, whip it out and let's compare.
1-02-2008 @ 6:51PM
So, So , So True. TB FTW (In a Non-Zealous kind of way).And the bit about Super Snacks and the X-fire contest? Interesting indeed.
1-03-2008 @ 10:17AM
Way too long. Not going to bother reading that much crap on a comment.
1-03-2008 @ 12:02PM
I'm going to start out by lauding TotalBiscuit for his post. Unlike many of the comments you see on these things, he posted an intelligent, thought out piece that consisted of more than a string of abbreviations with a hint of insulting banter, and thus invited intelligent debate. It's a shame that so many people felt the need to put "Too Long Didn't Read" in their replies, because it shows how degraded comments have become. Rather than being a haven for intellectual discussion and true ideas, modern comments are largely little more than flamebait. So bravo, TotalBiscuit, bravo.With that said, I would like to place a small rebuttal. I have not seen EFO yet, though I probably will in the future. As a part of a full review, I appreciate your placing the clip in the context of the creators and their past work, and your opinion that they could have done better, and that others have. With that said, I think I will enjoy it anyway. While EFO might not be ground-breaking work, or even anywhere near as good as the rest of their work, it does not mean that we cannot enjoy it for what it is, largely independent of the real-world context. I'm not paying for the clip, after all, and if it's decently entertaining, I will have considered it a decent use of a half an hour's watching.For future reference, to keep the short attention-span and/or intellectually challenged crowd pleased, I recommend a little blurb at the end of your post, along the lines of the following: "Overall, the clip is mildly entertaining, but the disappointment that the studio could have provided a clip of much greater quality than it has has hampered my enjoyment." Or something to that extent.In closing, I reiterate that my hat is off to you for your comment. And for those who will inevitably post "TLDR," a translation: "you win one internets."
1-03-2008 @ 12:15PM
I'm surprised you could even deign to lift your dainty fingers in order to post that then. I swear, kids these days, their attention spans get shorter by the day.
1-03-2008 @ 12:25PM
Incidently this comment tree is getting very difficult to read now, it's all over the place. My above comment was aimed at Wyrd, and all those that seem to wear laziness like a badge of honour, your comment are worthless, and they are the ones filled with crap, and not worth reading.@onetrueping - I've watched the movie several times now, and tried to watch it, and analyze it without preconceptions. Even if you pretend the entire series didn't exist, and neither did machinima, it's still a mess when it comes to story-telling and very light on the comedy, while the editing and music are of course, high quality and impressive. The thing is, even if you took it as an independent film, with no preconceptions, you wouldn't actually understand a good chunk of the jokes, since they're in-jokes and self-produced memes from the previous two movies. The creator of The Grind reviewed it himself, and came to the same conclusions I did, an amazing showpiece of audio and editing, but the story staggers around like a drunk, randomly bumping into different pieces of furniture, and eventually collapsing flat on it's face, having not actually gone anywhere at all. You can find that review here - http://forums.reebosak.net/showthread.php?t=7283So if you won't listen to me, how about listening to someone who's made movies which are arguably better than Myndflame's work, and are even in their affiliate program?
1-06-2008 @ 12:44AM
Like I said, I hadn't, and still haven't, actually seen the flick, I was just suggesting a way to circumvent all the stupid "TLDR" posts. Hat's still off to yah.
1-06-2008 @ 1:52AM
@onetrueping - Completely understandable.Feel free to take my comments as they are, merely comments, and one man's informed opinion. I've seen murmouring on some.. lesser sites, that I am simply out to get Myndflame, that I have a grudge against them, or that I just criticize everything I see simply to get attention. The irony being those murmourings often come from the very people that do just that, and merely attack me for the sake of it, rather than taking my comments at face value. WoW's spawned all this great creativity, some of it's good, some of it isn't, but it's all creativity. However, if a great chef were to create a dish that wasn't tasty, would it be better to pretend it was great, or tell that chef what was wrong with it, so he could improve his craft in future? Constructive criticism is the key to future innovation and I'd challenge any of my detractors to prove to me that what I said wasn't true, or was simply slander and misinformation. Take the movie on it's own merits and judge for yourself, I simply think that the review posted on this site in the first place was gravely misplaced, and not properly informed, and wanted to offer a counterpoint. If you enjoy the film, I'm happy for you, I'd love to have enjoyed it myself. Whoever says I'm a Myndflame hater clearly doesn't know the first thing about me, I'm a huge fan, and married to a huge fan, how could I possibly hate the company that produced my all-time favourite Machinima, in the form of Zinwrath? That's just plain stupid.
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