Stars: Amanda Melby, Nancy Mercurio and Steve Briscoe
|This film was an official selection at the Phoenix Film Festival in 2015. Here's an index to my reviews of 2015 films.|
Well, 2035 looks pretty damn good, if this is anything to go by. It isn’t all digital, because the costumes of Nola Yergen are as amazing as ever, but most of it is computer generated. As an IT tech, I tend to despise Hollywood’s attempts to visualise user interfaces, not being knocked out by any cinematic interpretations until an indie short called Restitution in 2013. The students at UAT clearly spent a lot of time thinking out how they wanted to present current hot tech topics like the Internet of Things and instant synchronisation between portable and fixed devices. There’s a lot of handprint authentication here, minor AI and a host of TLAs to go along with the military designations: TBL, QTM, SEC and the like. Digital effects date and these will be no exception, but they look pretty damn fine right now. Unfortunately, while they might drive odd discussions amongst film fans who work in IT, they certainly don’t drive this story. They just sit there and look both awesome and busy while the story tries to steal some focus back and, eventually, fails.
If, in a parallel universe, this might have become a deep and scientifically accurate feature, it’s actually a surface scratching short that seems to be constructed entirely out of Hollywood stock moments, because Hollywood never wants to go deep and scientifically accurate. It just wants to reuse memorable moments like a scientist being confronted by a future version of themselves, or the revelation that one action made the universe split and now the entire timespace continuum is falling in on itself. We get a whole collection of these moments here, none of them explored beyond the usual because of the time constraints. Only a deus ex machina moment, quite literally for a change, goes beyond that and it gives Steve Briscoe some opportunity to act. If this could be viewed as a sixteen minute edit of an imaginary ninety minute feature, the work of Briscoe, Melby and Nancy Mercurio finds some power. Certainly, each of these actors finds a way to do more with their material than it deserves at this length.