Review of "Kaze, Ghost Warrior"
I just got my DVD of Khaze, Ghost Warrior in the mail this Saturday.
First, realize that the entire 20 minutes of video was done by one person with 2 off-the-shelf computers and off-the-shelf software. It is amazing that the film was created at all.
It’s a great film for furries, no doubt about it. The anthropomorphic characters are very realistically done and impressively rendered. Much work and time went into the production, there’s no question. And considering the producer, Timothy Albee, used what he had at his hands to make this film, it’s a considerable feat.
The characters show impressive raw emotions at times. Several characters in the film show expressions ranging from contempt to joy to abject sorrow as the story progresses. And though the ending seems to take too long, it is a powerful moment and a gripping denoucement.
Unfortunately, there are many problems which detract from this work.
First and foremost is the story itself. You MUST read the back of the DVD case for the movie to make any real sense. The film doesn't stand on its own. Just watching the movie will leave you puzzled as the monologue at the beginning only creates a basic understanding of what has happened. Sadly, it misdirects the viewer into thinking Kaze murdered the royal family while the action in the story says quite the opposite. If this were shown on television as part of a series of short movies, where nobody could read the notes, the audience would be very lost.
More jarring to watching the show is the problems with sound effects. Some sections have effects and some sections do not. There were a number of places where background sound effects were expected, like a hostage gasping for breath or the metallic crash of swords crossing. Their absence breaks the magic of the show and jars the viewer out of the world that the artist created in the movie.
Another issue has to do with the fur everyone has and some visual problems. Kaze’s fur is much, much too bright in spots. At times, it is so bright that it seems to “burn” the overall scene. One wonders if this was intentional as only Kaze seems to have this effect, but it is excessive if it’s deliberate. Another smaller matter involving fur is that in one scene, Kaze’s claws pass right through tufts of it as if the fur is not solid at all. (I know this is a common problem with CGI.)
For those of you watching this on a computer, a caveat – the DVD will NOT play on WinDVD. This is a known issue and I assume it is being corrected, but those of you who do everything through their computers and have no standalone DVD player will need to use a different player on your machines. Fortunately, the disc comes with a list of players (some freeware) that are known to work just fine.
Timothy Albee has worked hard getting this far and created a visually impressive world full of animated and emotionally-vivid furries that are nearly as perfect as anything Pixar could produce. But problems with the background noises and the less than straightforward plot make the movie feel half-finished rather than a final product. It’s worth the money to purchase and watch, but it should be viewed as a proof of concept test rather than a finished product.
You can find the DVD and short demo clips at