When they stop for gas and coffee at the beginning of the movie Nic asks where Haley has gone and then finds her overlooking a canyon with the morning sun covering her whole back but when Nic takes a seat there is a clear shadow of something up to the middle of Haley's back and what looks to be the shadow of a tree on her upper right shoulder. See more »
Nic, I offer to help, not because I think you need it, but because I know you don't.
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An impressive film school exercise but not quite a movie
"Visually arresting, methodically paced, and almost perfectly executed" says another review here. I agree and would add well-acted, produced, and directed. But it still doesn't quite make it as a movie, something with a real story that is effectively delivered and is more than the sum of its strung-together parts. Each scene is fine, but they just seem like a string of episodes rather than a coherent story. One has trouble getting the point and is left somewhat confused and unsatisfied, with the final twist more baffling than impactive. I would say that the words "inchoate" and even "incoherent" can't help but come to mind regarding the film.
Before you write me off as someone who only likes nice linear films where EVERYTHING is made perfectly clear and who can't handle anything unusual, abstract, metaphoric, or different in any way, compare "Signal" to "Dark City", the recent "Under the Skin", and even "THX 1138" (which BTW arguably has a lot of similarities to this one).
Meanwhile, for examples of films that have similar problems as "Signal", see "Citadel" (2012), "Critical Nexus" (2013), and even "Shuttle" (2008) or "Blair Witch Project". I would argue, tho', that most of these, whatever their flaws, are probably more effective at delivering a real story than "Signal". MEANWHILE, to see what a low-budget independent sci-fi movie CAN be, see "Moon" (2009).
Finally, I was just reading a review of "Signal" in which the reviewer mentions another director who started out with a middling low-budget sci-fi film and has gone on to bigger and better accomplishments; he sees similar potential in the director of "Signal". I fully agree. Again, I think "Signal" was impressive and well worth seeing, but doesn't quite make it to the level of a real and effective movie.
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