Monday, June 22, 2015

Riley Rewind (2013)

Number Rolled: 83
Movie Name/Year: Riley Rewind (2013)
Genre: Sci-Fi
Length: 46 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production Companies: Runaway Machine
Executive Producer: Ray William Johnson
Director: Ray William Johnson
Writer: Anna Akana
Actors: Anna Akana, Lamar Legend, Leanna Spear, Cassandra Van Dongen, Russell Dennis Lewis, Christina Marie Leonard, R. Eric Braun, Trevor Dow, Scott Higgins, Ray William Johnson, Chad Anthony Miller, Megan Rosati, Emma Lee, A Leslie Kies, Zach Preston, Kaja Martin, Jennifer Shumaker, Clint Jung, Josh Holt, Tony Curtis Blondell

Riley is your typical high school student. She’s worried about the prom, her date, her best friend… oh, and she has this nifty ability to turn back time. When she finds out a fellow student is in trouble, Riley decides to go back and help her out.

Selina’s Point of View:
I haven’t known about Ray William Johnson (=3, Booze Lightyear, Your Favorite Martian) for very long. I learned about his former YouTube show, “=3,” from my friend Xavier in mid-2013. Not long after that, he canceled the show, but it’s back with a new host now.

His channel is still up and running. I recommend checking it out.

I expected a lot from Riley Rewind. Johnson is a funny guy and I fell in love with his channel pretty easily, why wouldn’t I enjoy a movie of his?

The film is split into 5 acts and was originally seen broken up on YouTube. Although it’s all pushed together for the Netflix version, the theme still splits it up like chapters. I didn’t really mind that. It added an extra “rewind” aspect to the film.

The acting seemed a little over the top at first; except for Anna Akana (Breaking Los Angeles, 10 Second Trauma, The Beauty Inside) and Russell Dennis Lewis (Real Heroes, Return of the Black Queen, Saltwater) who were immediately amazing. As the film drew on and I got sucked into the story, the acting either got better, or was always good and I just started understanding the characters and their mannerisms.

I was thrilled with what I watched. I wish it was longer.

I’ve seen only a single piece of hope for a sequel. It came in the form of a 2013 blog post by Anna Akana. I can’t find any evidence of a formal announcement or coming attraction. That makes me sad.

I’d like to leave a little note for Ray William Johnson and Anna Akana: Make a second one. If it’s a matter of money, there’s always indiegogo. Just in case, I’ll keep a donation with your name on it.

Cat’s Point of View:
One thing I really enjoy about the randomness of our selection process, is that it brings me to movies I might otherwise have never seen. This film is a good example.

The concept of the story was well thought out and they did a pretty good job with the execution. I am a fan of "wibbly wobbly timey wimey…stuff."

Having grown up with Doctor Who (1963-), it tends to set the bar pretty high.

I was glad that the story was handled with real cause and effect – changing the past having unknown, and sometimes unintended, effects on the future. Riley’s moral quandary around her powers vs. whether it gave her responsibility to use it to save others was another element I appreciated.

Now let’s talk special effects. For a small independent film, they can’t have had a very big budget for such things. I think they got pretty good bang for their buck. The time transitions weren’t too hokey, and I liked the little electric effect they added to her.

The only thing that bugged me a little about the film was the repeated replay of the opening credits sequence. It was a little confusing for me. Was this originally some sort of series that eventually was packaged as a single film? Was it a device that was underscoring the ‘rewind’ aspect, continually rewinding the opening between acts?

It reminded me of old-school cartoons that had short bookend sequences around commercial breaks. I’m not sure that was where they wanted to go with it. Regardless, it left things feeling a little disjointed for me. Otherwise I really enjoyed the movie.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 42%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.9/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer:

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