Saturday, September 20, 2008
For the Reels
Banner from Forthereels.com
TITLE: For the Reels
DATE OF REVIEW: 9/20/08
Author: "Jon and Joe from Denver". Ha! Doubtful. I mean, seriously, you expect us to believe you're from Denver? As if.
Other Works: N/A
Started: December 27, 2007
Number of Comics: 36
Voting: WS100, BCX, TWC, TWL
Incentive Updates: N/A
Genre: Humor, Films
Rating: T - Some gore and sexual humor
Notes: Reviewed by author request. This comic really clashed with my review because I traditionally review while listening to disc 1 of Stadium Arcadium, but after the second comic I had to go watch the V Speech on YouTube. Damnit. Oh, also, the first/previous/next/last buttons remind me of the ATHF movie intro.
Style: Computer generated
Effort: I'm a bit torn here. Yes, the art is crappy, but on the other hand it works for this comic. They may just be playing with special effects for backgrounds and their copy/paste keys must be on their third replacement, but things appear clear and neat. It's enough for you to get the references, at least.
General: I've resigned myself to not failing out this comic on art. Art isn't the focus here. I for one can respect someone with a good sense of humor who's lacking in the art department. That doesn't mean you net a high score for computer generated art though.
Background: There is no plot. If you want some background, watch some good movies from the last four years.
Complexity: You can take this at face value. They're just throwing out one-shotters that make fun of movies.
Clarity: Some of these jokes you just won't get if you haven't seen the movie. In fact, you probably won't get most of them. In fact, you're probably not going to get any of the jokes at all on this webcomic unless you have seen the corresponding movie, even if you read the behind the scenes bit for that comic. Sometimes it's ambiguous even to those who have seen the movie.
Draw: Film humor. There are a lot of inconsequential chuckles you'll get out of this, but unless you are an avid movie fan or just love this style of writing, you can still enjoy this, but you don't get the full effect.
Overall: There isn't really a story to be told here. Maybe I should have approached my Barista Girl review like this (I may look into it later), but what really is on the counter to judge is if any of the film humor is at all good. Well, the short answer is maybe. The long answer goes something like this: It all comes down to accounting for taste in the end, which is why I am loathe to do this kind of review. On one hand, movies are a fairly intrinsic topic. On the other, you will have a hard time laughing at all if you take this comic even slightly seriously, or haven't seen the movies. I suggest keeping Wikipedia at hand if you are not well versed in the ways of movies. You should be especially careful around the comics that give out spoilers. For that reason, you should skip the ones that point out that Quint gets eaten in Jaws, Hal betrays Dave in A Space Obyssey, or that he's actually dead the whole time in The Sixth Sense if you are not already aware of such spoilers. On the other hand, if you're the kind of person who likes to stop in the middle of a movie (when at home), or whisper to a friend (when at the theater), about how unrealistic something was, how else it should have played out, or wouldn't it be funny if [insert something you think is witty here] happened, then this comic is probably for you.
Update: No pattern. They warn you in the news post when they have a new one or an upcoming one. They seem relatively frequent.
Site Design: Okay, I really like this. The site gives you a multitude of functions, ranging from real movie critic scores (done by the brothers J) to the "Behind the Scenes" commentary on each comic (and thank you again- this is not a news post, it pertains to the comic!). Everything is easy to access and news is at hand on the main page. In fact, the only thing I don't like is that the page feels very crowded. Crowded pages are not inviting to new readers. Ah well, it's not like the movies have ever NOT been crowded. Oh right. And get a forum. Now.
Comic Navigation: All in working order. Main page has a nice 'select your parody' archive-like function that sorts alphabetically by parodied movie name. Very nice feature- makes finding a specific comic no problem at all. Bonus points for animated buttons. The archives are done by picture, which is even better.
Art: 2. The art for this works. But simply being a utility doesn't make it perfect. The authors should consider looking into drawing their characters. I'm sure they had to put effort into these characters to even do them like this, but the comic is full of copy pasta and unoriginal positioning. Based on how much more dynamic characters look when they move and react every panel, it's something the authors should look into doing more often, even if the art isn't the focus.
Story: 3. As I said, the humor is funny, if you get it. A lot of these are just commentaries on other, more logical ways, films should have gone . Whereas others are just pure humor. Don't be surprised if these jokes are overused, cliche, or completely unoriginal. This comic is going to use some original jokes, but being a movie comic, chances you're going to see stuff you've seen before.
Upkeep: 3. You really had me going with that easy navigation, but the adverse effect that crowding your screen has on your readers is kinda like trying to enjoy a comic while someone has blaring music on. Using a sub woofer. Right next to you. Also, an update schedule would be nice, because without a rss subscription on the site, you're kinda left high and dry.
Final Grade: 3. Comics are funny. When you get them. This will be great for the wayward movie fan, but if you're not into that stuff (these are mainly classics, such as A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, etc) you won't get it. You won't always get it anyway. Ohh. Is that a double feature? Oh right. They like to roleplay a movie theatre. A nice touch. At the end of the day this will be something like several of the films it parodies: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and Fight Club. A cult classic. By definition, loved by a very devout few. This will not get widespread appeal, but it's definitely worth a look. If you enjoy it at first, you'll probably like the whole thing.
Now eat V Speech!