Stars: Xin Li and James Rich
|This film was an official selection at the 7th annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival in Phoenix in 2011. Here's an index to my reviews of 2011 films.|
Initially it comes over as scientific gibberish painted over a hippie backdrop. I'm still not quite sure as to whether it really leaves that by the end credits, because the more I try to fathom the answers to what it raises, the less I'm sure as to what the questions were. It's that sort of movie that moves around a lot and keeps us interested but without ever seeming to actually do anything. Certainly it's insubstantial to begin with, with an enticing narration all about time and dreams and trans-dimensional gateways, that may be as much freeform poetry as it is science hinted at by on screen mathematical formulae that may or may not attempt to describe the deliberately slowly edited living world they overlay. 'Dreams originate on the space-time manifold of cosmic consciousness,' expounds the eager narrator who seems unable to stop. 'They're forged in a turbulent furnace by quantum mechanical fields percolating bubbles of time into ever expanding oceans of simultaneous being and nothingness.' Oh yeah, baby. Right on.
And off he goes, blinking into nothingness and scaring the crap out of Ming. When he comes back only a few moments later, he's talking backwards and convinced that they're an item. The rest of the story may or may not explain any of why. And here's the real problem of the film. I can watch Ali because he's good at being a wacky sort of charmer with an undercurrent, half science and half new age, that prompts us to wonder which side of those strange bedfellows he sleeps with. I can watch Ming all day because she's a pretty Chinese girl who sunbathes on the roof and knows tai chi, and because, while she doesn't appear to do anything, she hints that there's substance there waiting to be found. James Rich and Xin Li aren't the most talented actors I've ever seen but they fit the story well, people caught up in something magical and never losing their sense of joy. So, while the sci-fi pretends to be substantial, it plays much more like meaningless jabber. As a quirky romance, it's well, quirky. New age time travel: A+ for ambition at least.