Wednesday, December 20, 2017

OtherLife (2017)

Number Rolled: 78
Movie Name/Year: OtherLife (2017)
Tagline: None
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production Companies: WBMC, Cherry Road Films, Head Gear Films, Kreo Films FZ, Metrol Technology, See Pictures
Producer: Stephen Boyle, Tommaso Fiacchino, Jamie Hilton, Lucas Howe, Phil Hunt, Bo Hyde, Janelle Landers, Marco Mehlitz, Aidan O'Bryan, Josh Pomeranz, Michael Pontin, Kendall Rhodes, Compton Ross, Elliot Ross, Fenella Ross
Director: Ben C. Lucas
Writer: Kelley Eskridge, Ben C. Lucas, Gregory Widen
Actors: Jessica De Gouw, Thomas Cocquerel, T.J. Power, Liam Graham, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Hoa Xuande, Sarah Anjuli, Anna Philp, Priscilla-Anne Forder, Clarence John Ryan, Joseph J.U. Taylor, Adriane Daff, Steve Turner, Ian Toyne
Stunts: Peter West

Blurb from Netflix: After inventing a drug that induces time-compressed virtual realities, young Ren grapples with partner Sam over how to use their powerful creation.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’m on the fence with this film.

See, OtherLife had a good story and decent acting… but the pacing was weird and the scenes were disjointed to the point of sometimes being hard to follow.

It’s clear to me that a lot of the disjointed quality was done on purpose and, quite frankly, I think they took it way too far. On the one hand, it makes sense for mind-fuckery to have that sense of the story lunging back and forth from time to time. On the other hand, if you do it too much, you pull the viewer right out of it and leave them wondering what the actual timeline is. Especially when you don’t really give any indication of closure to that time line by the ending.

The thing is, that quality caused me to be pulled out of the story so often that I spent the majority of the film bored. I mean, to the point of tears. The kind you get when you yawn way too much.

Eventually, the pacing did pick up, and they eased off that jumping bullshit long enough for the story to really engulf me. When they did, the movie became phenomenal. I was absolutely glued to the screen for the last 15 or 20 minutes of OtherLife.

Is that enough?

The film is an hour and a half and I was only transfixed by it for less than the last half-hour. That’s a problem.

I don’t know whether or not this kind of movie is par-for-the-course for director Ben C. Lucas (Wasted on the Young, My Generation, Slaughtered). I hope it’s not. With any luck, OtherLife just exhibits some bad experimental choices by him, instead of a pattern.

Cat’s Point of View:
OtherLife was a refreshing and welcome change of pace. It certainly had a little bit of everything and it defied my expectations at every corner.

I’d say that Ben C. Lucas (My Generation, Wasted on the Young, Casa del Suenos) and his production crew got a cosmic bang for their buck over their mere five week shoot. That seems like such a short period of time for everything that was crammed in this movie – without things feeling crammed at all.

It was as if I’d hopped into my own little pocket experience where time was a little more fluid than the little clock in the corner of my computer screen would insist.

This film is said to be loosely based on a novel. This is another one that has brought me to consider expanding my ‘to-read’ list by another volume. If this was a loose adaptation, I wonder what other avenues the written page explored.

Returning to the movie, though, I found it visually mesmerizing in places. I absolutely loved the kaleidoscope transitions. It made so much sense and was really cool to watch.

While the film has some expected sci-fi elements, I can’t recall the thematic story vehicle being used quite in the same way before. I honestly can’t think of anything I would change and I certainly wouldn’t mind watching this again.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 61%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.3/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5

Movie Trailer: 

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