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In this breathtaking science fiction spectacle, a strange mechanical device lands on a desolate world and uses the planet to undergo a startling transformation, that has profound implications for an entire galaxy.
Thom just wanted to be an astronaut. His girlfriend Celia just wanted to create robots - and for him to not be freaked out by her cyborg hand. How was Thom supposed to know that breaking up with her would make her take out her anger on the rest of humanity using her robots? It seems the only possible way of undoing everything...is to overwrite her memory of what happened 40 years ago. Written by
Hard to credit what they did when it is so very evident what they didn't do
Tears of Steel sounds like an interest concept. A young man and woman are on a bridge in Amsterdam; their relationship is not working out well perhaps because he has other dreams of being awesome in space whereas she believes he is just freaked out by her robot arm. We then jump forward to a near-future overrun by robots where, for some reason a man tries to recreate and resolve this original conflict with a large robot in the role of the girl. It appears early on that maybe there will be some interesting ideas in here and that ultimately the base of the film will be the relationship situation but it is not too long before you realize that this will not be the case.
You see, this is a film credited to the Blender Institute Blender being an open-source piece of 3D animation software. This film primarily exists as a way of showing off what is capable and as such it is impressive. Large robots, impressive city views, large action sequences they are all done much better than you would expect with such a low budget. It is a real shame then that it is hard to really enjoy what they have made because outside of the effects it is surprisingly weak. I understand it is a short and it should be applauded for what it did with the resources, but I am always a bit surprised to find some in the shorts community so caught up in the need to praise that they seem to extend that goodwill to everything while at the same time would go after a blockbuster for being the same (money on the screen but nothing else). The plot doesn't go anywhere or tell you anything and the same time the dialogue is really poor indeed so bad that at several points I assumed it must be a deliberate thing.
Performances match the dialogue and are pretty weak throughout and all that remains are the effects. As I said, they are very impressive not "for a short film" but just generally they are technically impressive. The problem is that they exist to show off Blender, not to make a film if you really want to win over a community, it is better not just to show that you can animate complex things very effectively, but rather to show that Blender can serve as a tool for the low budget production of great shorts; this film shows the technology is there, but Tears of Steel offers nothing to suggest it helped make a good short film.
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