Movie Review

By: J T. Ramsay

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Posted 10/29/2004 - 03:39:19 AM by jlynch:
 What I get from this review is that you didn't like the movie because the main characters were amoral and/or didn't act the way real people would. This completely misses the boat; this is a multi-layered movie that can be enjoyed/critiqued on more than one level. I personally loved how the tech-speak approach took the risk of alienating the audience - in fact, the entire explanation of how time worked into the concept of the machine was fascinating in a way that some dumbed-down sci-fi movie could never accomplish. For an hour, this movie was about the sheer thrill of scientific discovery, a thrill that transfers over to viewers quite admirably and even *gasp* creates an emotional bond between them and the characters. The chilling, utterly confusing last 20 minutes as well are a completely separate beast to marvel at. I won't say that it all makes sense and works itself out after seeing the movie multiple times, but really: forming theories and going back to gather evidence by watching it yet again sure is a lot of fun. And finally, I don't think you mentioned the fact that this movie was created for $7,000. Or that it was written, directed, produced, starred in, and scored by the same person. This is remarkable given how well storyboarded and planned the shots seem, and how generally professional it all looks. I know that this does not a good movie make, but ... $7,000! I'm sorry you didn't like the movie because you weren't able to connect with the characters, because the rest of us sure are having a good time talking about it. And seeing it again.
Posted 10/29/2004 - 04:49:55 AM by MacGee:
 '...the empty-headed students who prefer the tech and business classes.'? Have you read C.P. Snow's 'The Two Cultures'? How exactly does a few semesters studying semiotics elevate you to the lofty heights of the enlightened?
Posted 10/29/2004 - 01:21:15 PM by JT_Ramsay:
 I haven't read 'The Two Cultures'. What's it about? I don't think I privileged semioticians over mechanical engineers; I questioned their social consciences and responsibilities as inventors. I think it's a valid criticism, but you're welcome to your opinion. As for the value of the film qua film w/ an eye toward the budget: it is quite an accomplishment, but there's no sliding scale of achievement to be had here. Was it entertaining? Perhaps, to an audience that can genuinely appreciate the rigorous math, it's own achievement, but admittedly it doesn't fulfill it's promise as far as storytelling goes. The ending seemed entirely tacked on, rather than evincing some question about causality or reliable narration. Nevertheless, this shouldn't keep anyone from enjoying Primer.