Wednesday, January 28, 2015

“The Signal” 

   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.

   That said…this month’s film is a science-fiction movie that flew under the radar of The Boxed Office, but did not escape my notice….:-)

The Cast: 

   There really isn’t much to say about Lawrence Fishburne. If you’re a fan of his like I am, you already know how he commands the screen when he’s in front of the camera…and I can tell you that his performance in this film is much the same. Playing Damon, the administrator of a mysterious facility, he drew me in and never revealed to me if he was friend or foe. Fishbone excels at playing roles of characters that keep their motives and intentions close-to-the-vest. In the end I trusted him…but you will have to watch the film to find out if that was the right call.

   I hadn’t seen much of Brenton Thraites before this film, and have only seen him since in “The Giver.” I think he’s a capable actor and with more time and ample work, will do quite well in the film industry. In this film, because of the nature of this character, Nic, I dare say it must have been easy to play a freaked out MIT student with no clue where he is or what is happening. It’s just my opinion that some roles are simply easier to pull off than others, and although I feel this is one of those roles, I certainly think Thraites did it very well.

The Plot: 
  Nic and his two friends are driving across country to make a move, but along the way they decide to track down the signal of a notorious hacker (as it happens to be in the way). Finding an seemingly abandoned house, the all experience and disturbing and unexplained experience that finds Nic waking up in a facility, alone, with no memory of how he got there.

   The facility administrator Damon, meets with Nic frequently with the single agenda of  finding out how Nic tracked the signal and what he found when he tracked it down. Of course, Nic isn’t forthcoming with answers as he has none, which only heightens the tension between the two as Nic becomes obsessed (understandably so) with finding his friends and leaving the facility.

   As Nic begins to make some small discoveries about where he is, where his friends are, and what happened to them, it becomes clear that there is much more to the situation than Damon is telling (assuming he knows anything at all), and Nic is remembering. What happens next is exciting and mind-blowing as Nic makes good his escape after realizing something profound has happened to all of them, but even with that revelation…he is not even close to prepared for the truth of what is really going on!

The Verdict: 

  Even though this film didn’t have a huge budget to work with, they made it work regardless. The character development at the beginning of the film makes it feel as though it’s another type of film than the science-fiction sleeper that it is. Once the weirdness starts, the entire tone changes and it’s this change that riveted me to my seat.

   I’m not going to spoil anything for you about the story, but I will say that the suspense gets intense at times and the special effects (once they really begin) are pretty darn good considering the low budget. There were some parts that I absolutely had to replay (I watched it On-Demand) and thought to myself “this must be where all the money from the budget went.” That, and paying Fishburne.

   I have to say that I did not see the ending coming the way it did and was very pleased to have been surprised. I really didn’t have any expectations before watching the film, not knowing anything about it beforehand, but I still had that feeling that it was better than I expected it to be when it was over. 

   Science-Fiction is exactly my flavor, so this film was certainly welcome in my cup and the fact that the direction took it in so many places and solicited so many emotions gave it some extra zing. I didn’t track this film’s signal when it hit theaters, but caught up with the broadcast later…receiving it with three and a half spicy cinnamon sticks, out of five, in my cup.


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