Bottom Line: Cafe Insomniac is a thinking man’s machinima. The visuals are well crafted but the real beauty of this story is trying to unravel what’s real and what’s a delusion.
Machinima is animated film-making within a real-time virtual 3-D environment. It uses the technology developed by computer gaming and transfers it to film-making.
Machinima has been around in a primitive form since the 1990’s, but it’s only been in the last year that the technology has existed to produce quality content.
Recently Warner Brother’s became the first film studio to release a machinima series – ‘Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series’.
This has just about everything you could ask for out of a Machinima. The story is one twist after another, the camera work and animation is brilliantly done and the voice work is excellent. Not only that but each episode feels complete, which is the most common problem web series face, they are usually just under 10 minutes long and by the end you feel like the plot has actually moved somewhere. (Storytelling 4)
Machinima is pretty hit or miss. The trick is to make it feel like you’re not just watching a cleverly edited video game with voice overs. Cafe Insomnia does the job. The editing is crisp, the voices fit the action and the world manages to breath. We can only hope that as the series continues, some of the open questions are answered the the writing continues to be as good as the first three episodes. (Polish 4.5)