Two cops investigating the murder of a young boy become invloved in a very secret project involving alien life. Needless to say, the authorities don't want them to stick their noses into ... See full summary »
BOTH BRILLIANT AND SUB-PAR - BUT NEVER AT THE SAME TIME
Most people reviewing this movie don't realize its patchwork origins. The film is a collection of three stories and one wrap around sequence. The wraparound and the first episode were made for the film by the same director, explaining their grainy look, uninteresting plots and decidedly low-buget feel. Sure, Brion James is good and some things of interest but there really is no reason to go into specifics. However, no viewer should eject the tape after this lackluster start, because what follows are some inspired and (in the case of Mr. Petrified Forest) spinetingling looks at life that were made independently by film students, before they got cobbled into this collection. NOTE: these superior episodes are hardly horror, more like black comedies.
The Roommate is quite fun, with Bill Paxton having a ball playing the ultimate jerk. There are many laughs for anyone who has been taken advantage of by a roommate and many familiar faces appear. However, if this episode doesn't appeal, do not eject the tape because as in the greatest anthology tradition, the best is last.
Mr. Petrified Forest is the student thesis of Matt Reeves who went on to direct The Pallbearer and many popular tv episodes. The film is a wonderfully insightful piece of sarcastic drama about the fear of death. I do not want to give anything away but I'd just like to say that the film is gorgeous to look at (the afterlife parts,) great use of the instrumental "Sleepwalk," tongue in cheek, appeals to anyone whose had a panic attack, and the last line of the episode gives goosebumps everytime.
I'm sure this will sound nuts to most film buffs, but this 3rd episode of this often trashy film "Future Shock" is one of the best narrative driven short films that I have ever seen, up there with The Red Balloon, An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge, Twilight Zone's "Eye of the Beholder" episode," Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, Mario Bava's "A Drop in the Water" and any other short films that I am forgetting. If you rent this movie, make sure that you see this episode. Do not listen to other reviews here because this episode may be better enjoyed by those who don't like sci-fi and horror, and obviously many reviewers here were expecting those two genres when they watched a film titled "Future Shock." Anyone who likes normal comedy-drama's with a pinch of romance should appreciate it. It is no wonder Reeves went on to make a career.
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