Blogger's note: Sincerest apologies to Orpheos Productions for missing their initial review request. It's a good reminder to check my spam box more often! Also, minor spoilers for the webseries.
When it comes to reviewing anything visual, I tend to do so in two different ways. One is the ‘Hollywood’ way, which is judging a film with movies with Brad Pitt and thousands of dollars behind it. The second is for films that might not have that kind of financial backing or A-list stars available. This is especially true for production companies just starting up or something a fan created. And both review methods boil down to two questions: Can this entertain me and would I recommend it?
Orpheos Productions is a new production company, and recently released a series titled ‘The Machine of Death’, currently in three parts with more to follow. None of these parts are numbered on youtube, but they are all stand-alone so it doesn't matter. The basic premise is this: The world has created some kind of machine which will tell a person how they die, but not when. The three parts explore three different people’s reactions behind this, some ending up with good results and others with not. This sort of puts me in the mind of Minority Report, where one human received a predetermined destiny and did everything he could to prove the system wrong. I'm just saying, if I got a prediction of being burned to death (for example), I would immediately take up skydiving and try to land in a nest full of hungry crocodiles. The machine said I was pretty much immortal to anything else, right?
Anyway, this kind of scenario does raise all sorts of interesting questions, some of which the Machine of Death series does tackle. Fair warning though-most of these episodes do consist of one actor or actress explaining what happened in front of the camera. However, so far all the actors do between a decent-to-great job and your eyes shouldn’t stray from the screen too much.
In short, would I recommend this? Yes. Does it entertain? Yes. Go check it out.
Episode 1 - The Perfect Place: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK2auzqYw4Y
Machine of Death homepage: http://orpheos.co.uk/machineofdeath/