6 items from 2015
Naive, hamfisted, and amateurish indie sci-fi… but as hilarious as the clumsy, clichéd execution is, it still isn’t even worth it for the laughs. I’m “biast” (pro): big sci-fi fan
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
This is one of the most ridiculous movies I’ve ever seen. Oh, the premise potentially has promise — two grad students invent a mind-reading, thought-transmitting device in their garage — but the execution is, well… One word for it is naive. Another word: hamfisted. One more word : amateurish.
First-time writer-director Khalil Sullins appears to have little understanding of how to construct a plausible story, and his problems have nothing to do with his sci-fi ideas — even as out-there as the ones here are — and everything to do with crafting likable characters and not requiring them to behave in idiotic ways in order »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Do we really want to know what other people are thinking? Do we want anybody listening in on our thoughts? That possibility is explored in an incredible new, Independent thriller called Listening.
David (Thomas Stroppel) and Ryan (Artie Ahr) are graduate students at Cal Tech who are working on the very real possibility of translating human thoughts into computer language. Thus translated other people can “listen” in to our thoughts. They develop hardware and software with equipment borrowed from the University. Unknown to them a shadowy, secret Government agency (is there any other kind?) is working on the same idea.
David and Ryan are both desperately poor, they want their system to work in order to become tech millionaires, or least be able to pay their bills. David and his wife and daughter are due to be evicted, Ryan lives in an efficiency apartment with his Grandmother and has to »
- Sam Moffitt
Read More: Watch: Mind-Reading is Better (and More Dangerous) Than Sex in Exclusive 'Listening' Trailer Indiewire's Springboard column profiles up-and-comers in the film industry worthy of your attention. For his feature debut, filmmaker Khalil Sullins looked to the future -- but not too far. With his "Listening," Sullins imagines a world where technology has allowed people to communicate via telepathy, though the results are far from ideal. Although the idea behind "Listening" is pretty wild, it turns out that it's not that far removed from where existing technology is currently heading. The film stars Thomas Stroppel, Artie Ahr and Amber Marie Bollinger as penniless grad students who, quite surprisingly, invent an advanced technology that facilitates telepathy. What they don't know is that they're not the only people working on such advances, and when their discovery is taken by a shady government agency, they're forced to contend with their. »
- Kate Erbland
Read More: Prepare for a Technological Breakthrough in Exclusive 'Listening' Poster After debuting the striking poster art for "Listening" last week, Indiewire is excited to premiere the official trailer for the futuristic cerebral thriller. Marking the debut feature of Khalil Sullins, the film centers around a team of genius grad students who invent a mind-reading technology. Strapped for cash, they use their discovery to reap some serious financial benefits, thought it's not long before their decisions begin to destroy their lives and threaten the future of free will itself. Thomas Stroppel and Amber Marie Bollinger star. The trailer above foreshadows all of the technological breakthroughs and sleek cinematography the film has to offer. "Listening" hits theaters and On Demand on September 11. Read More: Attention, Filmmakers: Here's How to Talk Sound Design »
- Zack Sharf
Read More: Exclusive 'I Believe in Unicorns' Poster Has Its Head in the Clouds Mindgames and breakthrough technology are the center of writer-director Khalil Sullins' debut feature, "Listening." Starring Thomas Stroppel and Amber Marie Bollinger, the film won the Best Director prize at the 2015 Phoenix Film Festival. The futuristic drama centers around a team of genius grad students who invent a mind-reading technology. Strapped for cash, they use their discovery to reap benefits, thought it's not long before their decisions begin to destroy their lives and threaten the future of free will itself. "Listening" hits theaters and On Demand on September 11. Check out the exclusive poster below. Read More: Attention, Filmmakers: Here's How to Talk Sound Design »
- Zack Sharf
Director: Khalil Sullins.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Synopsis: Two young scientists (Stroppel & Ahr) discover a way for computers to read human thoughts, but as they perfect their method it appears some nefarious sorts have their own plans for such work.
Listening is not the kind of independent science fiction film that wants to exist quietly and garner a cult audience. It is instead a fantastic and intelligent effort that holds a mirror up to its Hollywood counterparts and shows how budgets, names, and effects, mean nothing when pitched against a compelling story and those involved actually giving a damn. It would serve film fans well to note the name of director and writer Khalil Sullins, as it is highly unlikely that he will not be making bigger waves in the future, and on a larger scale. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
6 items from 2015
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