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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Blur Studio is definitely not one of "the big boys" of computer
generated animation, such as Dreamworks or Pixar. Despite mostly doing
work for computer games, they've produced a few short films such as
GOPHER BROKE (which was nominated for an Oscar) and this one (which
probably should have been nominated). So far, the animations I've seen
them produce are top-rate--of exceptional quality and artistry. A
GENTLEMEN'S DUEL is no exception to this artistry--being a product that
can compete with any other studio.
The film begins with two gentlemen arguing over a voluptuous lady. Considering the title, it's no surprise when this degenerates into a duel, though how they did it was a shock! Though it appears set in the 19th century, they get into giant mecha-robots that are steam-driven and proceed to have a battle reminiscent of TRANSFORMERS!! In the process, they destroy much of the lady's mansion and nearly kill her again and again.
A funny and cute film, the only reservations I have about the film at all are its occasional adult content. There are numerous references to the lady's huge breasts and the ending is a bit sexually suggestive--so I don't recommend this for young kids.
This film is one of the bonus shorts included with the wonderful DVD "A Collection of 2006 Academy Award Nominated Short Films"--a must have for fans of the genre.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't normally care for the computer-generated animation style that's used here-like at all, but this was just so utterly charming and funny, and the action in it so frenetic and madcap yet so fun and well done that I couldn't help but soon love the whole thing. I've seen a few comedy-toned computer animated shorts like this, a lot of them fairly good, but this was one of the very best examples I've seen yet. I like the humorous irony of the title. There sure wasn't a thing gentlemanly or honourable about this duel-and these were no gentlemen! Over the course of the short the two walking caricatures manage to inadvertently sock the very lady they are both wooing several times in the face, destroy much of her estate and part of her mansion. The snooty voices and hilarious banter of the two suitors is one of the best things about this show. I loved listening to such ridiculous one-liners and insults that are let fly, such as: "knicker nibbler!", "poodle fiddler!", "Monkey spanker!", and "Cheese pirate!" Now that was a good one! I liked the running gag of the impossibly low neckline of the lady's dress and ample busom! Something else that I found pretty funny was the "Wild Wild West" approach to the technology-like you know how in the crappy Will Smith movie there's a giant mechanical spider and everything? Well it's just like that, all technological conventions of the time are completely thrown out the window! But who cares when it's so much fun! I thought the battle between the humongous steam-powered robots was epic and wickedly awesome!!! I noticed how the French man's robot looked like a frog! I thought the battle was really well done and didn't drag on or come at you way too fast at all, but rather had a good pace that entertained and amused from start to finish. It's so weird when they both stop for a spot of tea right in the middle! Pretty damn fantastic animation in certain scenes. I especially like the setting sun in the background as the match begins. And I loved the cool classic distant reaction shot that happens when the two bots slam into each other and explode as the battle reaches its climax. After their gigantic robotic suits blow, both exhausted men crawl towards each other to fight to the death-until they realise that they may have just killed the very woman they were fighting over and at which point they both show their true character by promptly finding the strength to run off! I kinda wished the 'lady' had been squashed, rather than what you do see has become of her. Ooh la-la! Subtlelty is definitely not this animations strongest point. I loved it. It was thrilling, they managed to keep up the spectacle of it without things lagging whatsoever, and it was funny at the same time, and I just think they did a great job of pulling that off. Jolly good show!
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