|Index||4 reviews in total|
This is an underrated student film that is worth watching at least once. It is well made with obviously good production values. The performances by Charles Durning and Elizabeth Pená are decent but the real interest would be, artist Peter Gabriel in the mysterious lead role. The film does build up towards an ending that many will find unsatisfying but that doesn't mean it is bad though judging by the rating many have. The story is not much to talk about and isn't the film's strong point but that doesn't seem to have been the filmmaker's intention. Instead it seems that Breck Eisner knew that he wasn't much of a screen writer and instead gave everything he had in the practical and visual department for his futuristic vision. The visuals, especially the effects and camera work is very good and the music creates an atmosphere that suits the films dark theme. It's not original and following Peter Gabriel's downbeat detective into a near future might remind you of Blade Runner but only to a fairly low degree. Peter Gabriel suits as the shadowy figure that not unlike Harrison Ford's lead character finds out something he didn't expect. The movie seems almost to be intended as an introduction to a longer film that never happened. If one doesn't expect something that it isn't it is worthwhile. I was very surprised when I saw it because I had never even heard that Peter Gabriel had appeared in a movie. So I didn't feel cheated when it ended because it had more in common with some of the past's narrative-driven music videos then short films. The interactive approach was involving and using it in the beginning of the 90's connected it to the computer and interactive gaming experience that was about to happen. In the end this is your chance to see Peter Gabriel in a future noir and it will always fall short if you're looking for something else.
I have to agree with the other commentary writer you mentioned that the
leadup to this was great but the ending left a little to be desired.
High productions values and attention to detail abound, but the lesson
that the good short story or film is only as good as its climax was
somehow ignored. It just goes to show how important the script is to
proceedings. As a Masters Film it was only average. I expected better
from the director of Sahara, a good fun satisfying movie. But it is
worth the watch for the visuals and the good sound design (which
admittedly at times grated on the senses - less is more).
In a world far more technologically advanced than our own, Peter Gabriel plays Grant, an overworked and troubled detective suffering from memory loss whilst obsessively trying to solve a spate of spree-kills in the city. In order to discover the identity of the killer, the police employ a new technique - use a computer-memory-reconstruction technique to send Grant into a simulation of the last few minutes of the life of the latest victim (Valerie Trapp) in order to discover the identity of the culprit. The effects and music are good for their time and it's really cool that Brock Eisner managed to get music legend Peter Gabriel in the lead role, as well as some great performances from the late Charles Durning and Elizabeth Peña. On the downside, the plot twist is overtly cliché and probably doesn't make much sense, though the cliffhanger at the end isn't too bad. I think Eisner and Cantor hooped that they could extend this into a full-length movie and it didn't work out. If this had been made into a full-length movie, I would totally watch it, because it would just be so awesome. It's got the same feel as Dark City (1998) and it explores the same area as a lot of 90's movies questioning the nature of reality, including The Thirteenth Floor (1999), Total Recall (1990), Memento (2000), eXistenZ (1999), and of course, The Matrix (1999). Of course, being a short film it doesn't necessarily get the time it needs to elaborate on the questions that arise from it, instead just leaving the viewer just as confused as Santiago. On the whole I think this film, whilst a little flawed, in my opinion gives a well-rounded and suspenseful short that doesn't outstay its welcome and doesn't rely too much on its star names and its tripped-out effects sequences.
Being a Peter Gabriel fan I decided to see this short film. It reminds
me of a horrible Atom.com movie. Claimed as a student film with
industry favors pulled, I wonder if they were the same favors pulled
for Breck Eisners horrible Sahara.
I saw more talent in the 1926 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon drawn in pen and ink on paper than this film.
Thank goodness Cantor decided against releasing the film on his website (as wired reported) or he may never have been accepted for the job that gave him the Oscar nod.
This reminds me why they call student films student films.
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