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In 1982 a Russian physicist discovered something extraordinary was behind the strange radar anomalies he was recording. Something dark, which will eventually alter the path of mankind. Before he could tell anyone, he mysteriously vanished. Many years later budding physics student Dean Hollister and his discredited physics teacher have become obsessed with the same mystery. What had been a rare phenomenon is suddenly happening all over the world. The day it happens is a regular night shift for Dean at his mother's diner. Black rifts appear in the sky. Behind those rifts, something is moving. It's watching us. Written by
I have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to screen The Rift. This is a Short Film debut release from the newly formed Vantis Pictures. The Director is Robert Kouba and his most ambitious project to date. The score I gave this film is a refection of the parts and it's "weight class". It's not fair to judge a debut micro budget short as if it was a major studio release. There is a lot to be excited about in general from Vantis Pictures and Robert Kouba.
First thing that struck me was the quality of the equipment used. The camera work was excellent and lighting too. These are little things new directors often do poorly on. The casting of Eileen Grubba was great, she was a stand out. The CGI and editing were also really strong points. Robert Kouba may be young, but he has a firm grasp of movie making mechanics. I expect big things from him in the future...along with big budgets comes big responsibility.
Now let's focus a little sharper on the issues I had with The Rift. You would think with the great equipment and skill level on the mechanics it would be a slam dunk winner. Unfortunately this is more of a calling card than a movie. More attention was put into the craftsmanship than the actual story. Outside of Grubba, the cast was sub par. For having such a small script (18-20 pages?) it wasn't very tight. Normally with new Directors the one thing in their control is the story and script and they lack the tools or skill. This is backwards. There was nothing new. The characters were stereotypes and the dialogue was hard to listen too. Even the really well done special effects were familiar, from 10 different movies.
In summary I think Robert Kouba is capable of making some really great films in his future, but I hope he puts as much effort in having something to say in his next movie as he does making it look good.
~Todd at the movies
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