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The Phoenix Project (2015) Poster

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Of mice and men
aldiboronti18 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
But mainly mice. OK, firstly, despite the subject matter, this is not a horror movie. Which is fair enough, I enjoy good thoughtful SF. Problem is that this isn't that either.

Let me give a rundown of the plot. Some guys get together on a project to bring the dead back to life. We watch them painstakingly trying to reanimate dead mice and rabbits. Did a whisker just twitch there? No. Back to the drawing-board. Finally they succeed in bringing Bugs Bunny back. He seems fine. Hey, maybe this will go somewhere now, I thought. I glance at the time. The movie has less than 10 minutes running time left. The whole film has been taken up by the rodents, sketchy attempts at character development and dialogue less than gripping.

OK, now the director figures he'd better deliver something. Guy who's desperate to bring his dead sister back offs himself so his pals will be forced to try human reanimation. They succeed but their buddy looks around as if he's seeing the world for the first time and doesn't speak. They smash the machine. The end.

All the above takes place in the space of a few minutes, including their instant diagnosis that their friend isn't merely in shock. I certainly am. Did I just watch a film in which the characters spend most of the time gazing intently at dead mice and bunnies? I did. You don't have to.

And would you believe not even a single girl to ogle when bored (which is most of the time.) Avoid.
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Putting the Science back in Science Fiction
Drive-in_Zeppelin17 February 2015
I love me a slow, dull movie where the characters are more concerned with just standing around talking about things rather than having big action sequences. No I'm being completely serious, I love my sci-fi long and drawn out with a haunting indie score. Just look at Solaris or Stalker.

Not a movie meant for your average movie-goer though

The Phoenix Project is a modern day homage to Frankenstein and one that would make Mary Shelley proud. It's exactly what I needed to in a low budget sci-fi and one that will leave you feeling a little hollow but encapsulated by its bleakness.

When four scientists move into a home to begin a project of raising the dead via their ingenious machine, tensions flare as the project becomes more about personal ambitions, career obsessions and underlying motivations rather than simply breathing new life into a dead mouse. Directed by Tyler Pavey, this film as previously mentioned isn't flashy. You'll get no scenes akin to Dr. Frankenstein screaming 'IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE! MY GOD IT'S ALIVEEEEEEEEEE!'. You'll get no monster terrorizing the countryside.You'll get four dudes doing science in a garage and you'll like it consarnit!

This movie is concerned with the relationships between the scientists as they deal with the frustrations of scientific advancement, the tensions associated with limited grant money and getting their tests exactly right, and most importantly the flair of temperaments from living in such close proximity to each other throughout the project.

I believe the alternative title is something like 'Technology with unexpected consequences' and that's basically the best way to summarize the film. It's a film that questions morality in scientific advancement and reveals the unintended ramifications of trying to blaze new trails.

Decently acted, the four main characters show extreme levels of chemistry on screen as the story waxes and wanes through collusion, comradery, and eventually collapse. The story is character development at its finest as we see a spectrum of emotions from all four scientists as they each have to confront their personal demons and are pushed to the brink in order to achieve immortality both in terms of their scientific contributions and more literally with the success of their reanimation project.

If you like minimalist science fiction you'll love this film. If you adored the story of Frankenstein for reasons other than the monster you'll love this film. It's a character driven plot with masterful levels of human drama and it all takes place in a 2,500 sqft home. I encourage you to watch the credits in their entirety and just let that level of creepiness sink in if you still wish it were more like Frankenstein.

Read the full review and others like it on the Drive-in Zeppelin Website
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Is this a student project?
robcooper200119 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A terrible boring going nowhere film. Not even a "pet Cemetery" moment at all. Save yourself. The guys hole up in a rented house and conduct reanimation projects. They fail several times before the lead student cheats by moving the subject on the pretence of success even for a limited time. They then find out the lead had tried this before and been caught by the faculty. One of the participants has a brain dead sister and reviving her is his hidden agenda.... The group breaks down from the lies and deceit. But a couple manage to revive a rabbit - hazel from Watership Down i think. In order to convince the other guys it could work, he commits suicide and forces them to "do him" They revive the guy with great success. Except he has his mind "wiped".... Derrr...!!! He does not go on a rampage, eat people, become violent, speak in a cryptic ancient language, spout Einsteinian intellect. Nothing. He is just dumb. They pack up and leave. And the film ends. The suspense is incredible. But it finally ends... Thanks be to god.
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Worth watching, but definitely slow.
shawn400418 May 2015
Make no mistake about it, this is a slow movie. I'm not sure if the other reviewers expect all movies to be action movies or what. In my opinion, a slow movie can be good, and this is one of them.

I won't rehash the plot, you know the gist. What I will say is that the acting is good, the premise is good, and the payoff is good. I haven't seen a movie about re-animating corpses that had this twist, and I liked it. Be forewarned though, don't watch this movie just for a previewed payoff in the end. It is a bit of a surprise, but this isn't an M. Night Shamalamadingdong movie. I really dig these lower-budget, indie sci-fi movies, but mostly they fall short of being good. This one didn't.

Worth watching, but definitely slow.
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The Premise is Moot
unimatics13 October 2015
The problem with this movie is that the premise is moot.

I personally have been dead for a period of time (granted, hours, not days), and was brought back to life. My body was brought to a hospital, not a house (as in this movie), and the work was done by medical professionals (not as in this movie). The year was 2005, ten full years before this movie was made.

Let's skip the discussion of the after-death and re-integration experience issue; leave it for another time and place. And, I don't want to write a spoiler.

The fact is I'm alive and healthy today, and I have all (or at least most) of my memories. I'm writing this review. Aside from a nurse welcoming me back as "a member of the walking dead - don't worry, there's more of you every day" (I'm presuming she was just being a wise-ass), there's nothing creepy or even dramatic about the experience. Profound, yes. But, as the nurse noted, this has become a daily phenomenon. There aren't riots in the streets, and people aren't agonizing over it. The practitioners aren't losing sleep about it or worrying about becoming pariahs.

Technically, the movie is OK, it's just that the premise is, well, way out of date. That effectively drains most of the real drama from the film.
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Great movie if you like science
alan-987-15155525 January 2015
The other reviewers were bored with this, and you will be too, if you don't like the scientific method. I found the character development and motivations well done, unlike the other reviewers. The other reviewers obviously wanted something more exciting. I myself was riveted. Biological Science does use mice and rabbits, and hot girls and wacky entertaining scientists aren't usually involved, so if that is a motivator, don't watch it. I am not a science geek, but if you have a moderate attention span, and are moderately intelligent, you may like it, or think it was excellent like I did. I didn't give it ten, only because the ending was a little disappointing. The moral question part of the ending was great, but the characters reaction, as far as the success of the experiment was concerned, was a head scratcher. Remember that the success of an experiment is to get a positive result. Yes, there was tragedy. But the experiment wasn't about human issues.
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I liked it...
avi8trgal16 February 2015
I honestly can not believe so many were disappointed with this film. I thought it was well written and well acted. I am a science geek so maybe that is why I enjoyed it more than most.

It did move slowly, but that is the type of film it was meant to be. It was more about getting to know and staying attached to the characters.

I loved the fact that they had moral issues with the experiment and were not afraid to voice that. There can be a very fine line between Science and Moral issues and they a good job depicting those emotions..

I thought it was a very powerful, emotional moving film.

I agree with the others about the end. I sure wish it would have ended on a better note..
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Four men search for a method to reanimate dead organisms (AKA bring the dead back to life)
supertech20072 February 2015
If you are looking for a high budget thriller with exciting characters and vivid action this may not be for you. If however you are the type of person that knows about or is interested in the scientific process and enjoy very realistic very human characters then you won't want to miss a single moment. Like one other reviewer, I did find the ending a bit disappointing - however during the movie itself I put off things like going to the bathroom and blinking so that I didn't miss any part of it. Those with a high IQ are very much more likely to enjoy this film than the mainstream population who tend to describe it as boring or uninteresting. If you did enjoy this though, I would recommend another "boring" movie called Primer which also has equally believable characters who almost accidentally discover a way to go back short amounts of time.
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Ai ai ai
etnew201416 February 2015
Only good thing about this movie is the soundtrack. It was so slow it felt like it was going backwards.

The storyline really drags and it is frustrating to watch the dialogue try to be Oscar-worthy.

I really do like the music.

If only it wasn't so predictable.

And so so very slow.

And overly dramatic.

And slow and boring.

And too artistic.

And boring. And whiney.

Loved when it ended, because it actually ended and didn't go on for eternity which is what it felt like.
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Fantastic Slow Burn Thriller
jokerdavidson31 May 2015
In an age of storytelling dominated (but not entirely representative) by big effects and/or high budgets masking an often bland and rhetorical script, it is great to find a gem that weaves an interesting and compelling story and bread & butter realism of characters. The Phoenix Project I include among other small intimate compelling films such as The Man From Earth. This film doesn't dumb down to find a bigger audience and it doesn't feel like I need a degree in anything to understand exactly what is going on; it treats one as an intelligent viewer. What is different about The Phoenix Project from other similar features is that this film relies on our characters to take us through this journey, not on the audiences ability to "see the whole picture." The premise is tried and true, yes. Have we seen a bunch of scientists young or old attempting similar experimentation? Yes. But this path is not one often seen; the struggle of those who have thrust themselves headlong into a creative/scientific process mentally, emotionally, morally, ethically. In truth, the brilliance of "The Project" is in the questions it poses to it's characters about where they live in relation to "the line." It's the same questions posed to us as viewers, as the film moves us through "the shoes" of our four characters. The views, thoughts, doubts and plans are all those we too would find ourselves facing in the moments of "The Project." Regardless of where you fall in relation to which character you feel represents yourself, the end result is the same; a slow taught movie not interested in asking if you COULD, but if you WOULD.


Happy Views
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3 Blind Mice
phil-philcool-marsden20 January 2015
first off i implore you,if you value your time please find another movie to watch or failing that slap some paint on your wall & watch that dry it'll be more entertaining believe me!.i initially thought The Phoenix Project was going to be another foray into the 'Crazy Re-Animated Guy' genre but after 20 minutes i was sadly mistaken,but if your thing is doing lame experiments on mice then this film is definitely for you,the 4 main protagonists Corey Rieger-Perry Frank,Andrew Simpson-Devin Fischer,David Pesta-Ampersand (i know i've never heard of that name either) Garner & Orson Ossman-Carter Watts actually do quite a good job given that the script by Tyler Graham Pavey who is also the director is non existent suffice to say this movie is by far & away the most mind numbingly dull movie i've seen in many a year & to make the movie even worse it feels as though throughout its building to some kind of climax but it never happens & it just fades to a whimper,so do yourself a favour & watch Re- Animator the movie this movie wishes it was!
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Dull Dull Dull
brad-66230 January 2015
The most boring film you will ever see in your entire life. Stay away at all costs. If your idea of a great time at the movies is watching lab experiments on rodents for over an hour then by all means, buy a ticket...take the ride. The acting is sub-par, the writing is dreadful and nothing happens until the very end of the film. What kind of movie is that? I want my time back but alas, that time is gone.

If you are someone who funds films, please do not ever give these filmmakers another dime. I really hated this film, it may even be in my top ten least favorite films of all time. It's pretentious, boring and lame in every possible way. Licking stamps and addressing envelopes is more fun than this film. You've been warned.
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Painfully Boring.
I tried to watch this whole movie... I really did.

It was so boring I was beginning to wonder if it was the beginning of a series and they just wanted to lead you along for the entire first episode. But thank God it's not a series, because no one would watch it.

Did I already say it was boring? And had no story or plot?

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