48 Hours - `Saving Uranus' by Team `Gladius'

Genre – Sci-Fi
CGI Quotient – Amazingly Sleek! I’d like to think of it as an achievement rather than some member of the team was a special effects whiz and could churn these out in a short time.
Greatest moment – The `Shimmy' (a dance term – referring to a person splaying out both arms and vibrating convulsively, often seen on women because it has an asset-enhancing effect).
Worst moment – The ending, too abrupt (but they were smart to cover it up with News Flash at the end).
Production Value – Bravo! Bravo! Or should it be called post-production value. Even the choice of location (the clinical-looking lobby) was appropriate. And a visually effective wardrobe – the use of blonde hair on an Asian face was very iconic.

I try to watch Sci-Fi movies though the scientific details usually get lost on me. But the moment Saving Uranus came on, something told me it was going to go downhill after this. For me, it was primarily the pacing of it. It punched its way through the audience’s consciousness like a machine gun, complete with dramatic and visual twists. It was about a female secret agent who was sent on a mission to save the destruction of the planet Uranus. She had to enter the enemy’s domain which had that quintessential white and immaculate look. After passing through several barriers, some even invisible (supposedly laser operated), she chanced upon a Hongbao kept in a safe. Admittedly, I was lost at this point because her `navigation-controller’ who gave instructions was too snappy in his delivery. In the end, she was chased and caught by the enemy and in a dramatic finish, she slumped over the glass wall under gun point.

I had an inkling that this group ended up with the right genre. Most apparent of all were the CGI, especially that of the newscaster who manifested in translucent forms over strategic parts of the wall. In fact, many of the shots were very thoughtfully composed with the CGI in mind. It even sensibly exploited the free-of-charge backdrop of Supreme Court to up the ante on credibility. The male navigation expert who directed the agent’s moves was sharp and looked tech-savvy. The only let down was that he was only instrumental to the story and rather 2-D. On the other hand, the girl who acted as the agent was quite memorable apart from making a fashion statement. Finally, I felt it was an achievement in the script that it was science fiction that could laugh at itself. I refer to the parts when she had to contort her body to avoid detection and of course, the Shimmy. I think 2 years ago there was a German Sci-Fi parody comedy called `Battleship something’….. I am going to check it out!

Team Gladius has a blog themselves. It is http://www.seriouslysarah.com/blog/2008/04/28/saving-uranus-a-48-hour-film-project/ It's got behind the scenes pictures on the production.

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