16 items from 2016
What is it? Mackenzie (Ella Purnell) is a teen in crisis. Her father has died, and her mother’s addictions have forced her into rehab, so with no other resources she’s sent to stay with an uncle in Alaska for the summer. He shows her kindness, showers her with gifts, and sneaks into her bed at night to do unspeakable things. It may not be the first time, and she knows it won’t be the last, so when the opportunity arises she runs away. Her luck changes when she crosses paths with a hiker named Rene (Bruce Greenwood) in Denali. He wants nothing to do with her at first, but when the two of them end up on the same deserted trail in the park he quietly allows her to join his party of one. What »
- Rob Hunter
Written and Directed by Jacob Gentry.
A physicist who invents a time machine must travel back to the past to uncover the truth about his creation and the woman who is trying to steal it.
Synchronicity is a complex piece of entertainment that will undoubtedly become a cult classic, under-appreciated gem of the science fiction genre. Both written and directed by Jacob Gentry (also known for The Signal from Sundance 2007), the film’s most pleasant surprise is that it never once feels the obligation or necessity to indulge in the typical action you would expect time travel shenanigans to jump the shark into; it instead trusts its characters and their desires to be enough to sustain interest in what is again, a rather mind-bending experience. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself exchanging thoughts on »
- Robert Kojder
Through the hazy light that seeps in via Venetian blinds and in the midst of the cold, dark hallways that make up the world in Jacob Gentry's Synchronicity, a mind-bending, sci-fi love story unfolds. Much of what plays out rests in familiar territory. The general design of the futuristic (but not quite future?) world is more than a little reminiscent of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. But that familiarity in structure only serves the love story Gentry is telling, the greater of the two mysteries with which the filmmaker presents. With focus, determined pace, and nice swaths of dry humor, Synchronicity emerges as more than the sum of its influences' parts. Gentry succeeds in creating the world, implications and subtext of the story he's telling. At the head of Gentry's story is Jim Beale (Chad McKnight), a physicist who believes he has the key to the greatest, scientific discovery in history. »
- Jeremy Kirk
Synchronicity director Jacob Gentry talks to Shock. Synchronicity is director Jacob Gentry’s newest science fiction thriller. Best-known to genre fans as “one of the directors of that awesome 2007 science fiction film The Signal”, Gentry has once again paired up with Aj Bowen for this dystopian/crime/noir/time travel/alternate dimensions? story. In addition, Brianne Davis and Michael Ironside…
- Chris Alexander
Possessing an infinite wisdom into the origins and purpose of our existence is a unique brilliance that not many people have the luxury of possessing. Furthering their abilities, so that they can travel back in time to protect society’s survival from disastrous events, is an intelligence that scientists have not yet been able to achieve, but is an enviable goal they’re still working on. While preserving civilization is a top priority for scientists, society could face a potential downfall if even one person was suddenly afforded a parallax view of their own life, and selfishly attempted to use physics to solve their own problems. That powerful dilemma over whether people [ Read More ]
- Karen Benardello
Jacob Gentry's retro futuristic, time-tripping noir, Synchronicity (review), was one of my favourite films that emerged out of last year's festival circuit, and now that the film is out for the world to see, we thought we'd get the director on line to chat about the movie.
In the interview below, Gentry talks about the various iterations of the idea, the influences on the style of the film, Ben Lovett's moog-driven score, and whether he's ready for the inevitable backlash from the time travel logic police when audiences start picking apart the film's paradoxes.
Daring physic [Continued ...] »
Time travel is such a highly specific subgenre in sci-fi that a few big movies tend to always dominate the conversation. Primer, The Terminator and Back to the Future are the biggest fan favorites and so any time a new time travel movie comes out, those seem to crop back into the conversation as influencers. However, that's not entirely the case with Synchronicity, the new sci-fi mind bender from writer-director Jacob Gentry (The Signal). At least, not as far as Gentry is concerned. Synchronicity hits theaters and on demand tomorrow (that would be January 22, 2016, in case you're reading this from another timeline), so we asked Gentry to tell us what his actual influences were when writing and directing. His answers may actually surprise you, at least if you're...
- Peter Hall
If you could slap a dudebro fedora on Blade Runner, you’d get this ridiculous attempt at a mind-blowing sci-fi drama. Pretentious yet accidental silly. I’m “biast” (pro): big science fiction geek
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
If you could slap a fedora on Blade Runner — not a cool Indiana Jones sort of fedora, but the sort of fedora that has come to be a signpost of clueless dorky misappropriation of style and attitude — you’d get Synchronicity. A completely ridiculous attempt at a mind-blowing science-fiction drama, this amalgamation of pretentious yet accidental silliness gives us physicist Jim Beale (Chad McKnight), who is, like, a super genius, totally for real, but also put-upon and misunderstood. Because of course he is. Still, someone compares him to Nikola Tesla, he’s that awesome. And he’s just built a wormhole generator, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
I never thought it would happen, but I have finally, personally, hit the wall with indie time travel flicks. Jacob Gentry's Synchronicity is not lacking in smarts or clockwork precision, but abjectly fails to convince in its core ideas of love and fate. Love may be a sticky and difficult thing, but the film seems to only communicate lust and desire, while empathy fails to make the journey. There is one worm hole too many. This leaves some impressive homages to Blade Runner's dreamy Vangelis score and neo-noir chiaroscuro, as well as Code 46's delight in contemporary-future architecture, simply hanging in empty space.Slightly strung out scientist Jim Beale (Chad McKnight, often evoking Jared Leto) is on the verge of inventing time travel with the help of his two calmer, wise-cracking lab technicians,...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Written and directed by Jacob Gentry, Synchronicity is an ambitious neo-noir time travel yarn that feels like a companion piece to Gentry’s first sci-fi feature, The Signal (which he co-directed with David Bruckner and Dan Bush). Both deal with fractured timelines to a degree, but it's his latter that proves Gentry’s keen ability to manipulate popular tropes all while creating a complex and intricate story. The film takes a bit of time to find its footing, but when it does, that’s when Synchronicity evolves into something rather special. On par with films like Timecrimes, Predestination or even Primer to a degree, Synchronicity once again proves that you don’t need a huge budget to create a compelling cinematic experience.
- Heather Wixson
Late in Jacob Gentry’s thought-provoking but clumsy sci-fi time bender, Synchronicity, one character says to the other: “You have the power to cross the universe in an instant… All the things you could accomplish, all the questions you could answer, and you just want to get laid.” That monologue synthesizes the most important aspect of the latest crop of time travel movies: they’re all rooted in primal concerns. Like last year’s underrated Time Lapse, Synchronicity centrally revolves around the way a relationship feeds into a headier concept — in this case, time travel.
Unfortunately, even by the end when all the twists have been revealed that explain that central relationship, it still just doesn’t make sense. But even if Synchronicity doesn’t succeed on its own merits as a story, it’s another example of the possibilities of low-budget sci-fi alongside recent successes like Coherence and The One I Love. »
- Michael Snydel
Not many filmmakers can turn heads with a single release, but Jacob Gentry earned his must-watch potential after striking gold with 2007’s The Signal (a shared effort with David Bruckner and Dan Bush). All eyes were on what Gentry would do next, which ended up being a three-part slasher franchise on MTV known as My Super Psycho Sweet 16 – which, admittedly, weren’t the worst. But his televised splatterfests didn’t showcase Gentry’s full potential, which makes Synchronicity all that much sweeter a return for the ambitious indie auteur. Once again Gentry explodes with genre vibrancy (Sci-fi this time), as we’re transported to a metallic future that’s molded into an engrossing cinematic universe. Gentry does more than make movies, he builds entire worlds. It’s immersion in the fullest form.
Chad McKnight stars as Jim Beale, a physicist who is on the verge of mastering time-travel. Aided by his laboratory associates, »
- Matt Donato
Arriving in theaters and on VOD platforms everywhere this weekend is Jacob Gentry’s Synchronicity, which reunites the director with Chad McKnight, Aj Bowen and Scott Poythress—three co-stars from his first genre effort, The Signal. This time around, McKnight stars as a scientist who has invented a machine that can create a wormhole, and both Bowen and Poythress play his wisecracking labmates who help the film’s hero put all of the intricate pieces of Synchronicity’s puzzle into place.
Daily Dead recently had the opportunity to catch up with Gentry, Bowen, McKnight and Poythress at the press day for Synchronicity and discussed with them their experiences reuniting for another cinematic adventure and so much more.
I think it's really ambitious when you can make a movie like Synchronicity because when you think sci-fi, a lot of folks automatically think “big concepts that usually require a big budget.” And this movie, »
- Heather Wixson
The Signal director Jacob Gentry returns to screens with his new sci-fi film Synchronicity. And while Chad McKnight, Aj Bowen, and Michael Ironside may top the cast it seems immediately apparent that the fantastic retro score by Ben Lovett is every bit as much a character in the film. Daring physicist Jim Beale has invented a machine that can fold space-time and ruthless corporate tycoon Klaus Meisner will stop at nothing to get it. When Jim uses the machine to tear open the fabric of the universe, a rare Dahlia appears from the future. But in order to keep the rights to his invention he must prove that it works by finding the flower's identical match in the present. Jim soon discovers that the Dahlia...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Among Synchronicity director Jacob Gentry’s formidable gifts is a sharpened sensitivity to context, background, and setting that frees him to put in his characters’ mouths dialogue that might seem in the hands of less attuned writer/filmmakers overblown, at best chuckle-worthy in its impropriety. After all, even before being forged into a balanced partnership, these variables are already so complex. Consider the following line from the film as if it were a stand-alone: “Time is a great teacher that eventually kills all its students.” It does express a truism, but it also sounds, and reads, pretentious. One of several correctives would […] »
- Howard Feinstein
When 2007’s The Signal first hit audiences, it did a hell of a job showing a small glimpse of the capabilities of the film’s trio of writer/directors, David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry. Each director’s segment felt completely different from the previous director’s, and there was a sense of promise that you felt upon watching the film, one that made you know each of the three filmmakers would go onto promising futures in storytelling. Bruckner went on to direct the best segment of the first V/H/S film and is now set to helm the latest Friday The 13th, while Bush directed one of the most memorable films of this year, the sci-fi grounded in reality film The Reconstruction Of William Zero (review). Gentry, following The Signal, focused on solid short films, and the made for MTV slasher series of films, My Super Psycho Sweet 16. »
- Jerry Smith
16 items from 2016
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