• Review: Counter Clockwise (2016)

    From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Sat Dec 17 09:55:17 2016
    (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

    CAPSULE: This is a very low budget dark comedy and
    science fiction film with some good writing, and a
    keen sense of irony. It has just basic production
    values to call attention to itself. The film is
    directed by George Moise from a script he co-authored
    with Michael Kopelow, who plays the main character.
    Some of the material is inappropriate for younger
    viewers. Rating: +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

    One subgenre of the science fiction film is the time travel story
    and one subgenre of the time travel story is the time paradox
    story, in which people move backward and forward in time meeting
    later and earlier versions of themselves and making a farce of
    causality. These stories can be as complex and complicated as
    Raymond Chandler plots. And some films combine the two to be an
    extra challenge for the viewer. Some better examples worth noting
    are PRIMER (2004), TIMECRIMES (2008), and PREDESTINATION (2014).
    They ask not just "who done it?" but also "what version of person X
    did it." A new time travel and time crime film is COUNTER

    Ethan Walker is working on a matter transmitter (a la THE FLY
    (1958)). When it transmits, the scene seems almost a reproduction
    of the similar scene in THE FLY (1958). When he try sending a pet,
    a sweet, one-eyed dog, he loses the pet in space (a la THE FLY
    (1958)). Ethan tries transmitting himself, but no, his atoms do
    not get mixed with the dog. But they do not get transmitted to a
    receiving device either. He just finds himself sent a few months
    into the future. However, Ethan finds out that while he was time-
    traveling his wife and sister were murdered and because he has
    disappeared he is now the prime suspect that the police have been
    searching for. So far the story has done nothing that could not
    have been explained by having Ethan have amnesia and unsure what
    happened while he had disappeared. In addition, the world seems to
    have become divided between two rival factions, Rakubian Industries
    and Syndicate Red. Ethan readies his broken matter transmitter and
    sends himself back in time to stop the crime. And of course lines
    of time just naturally tangle like old telephone cords. To clear
    his name Ethan has to prevent the crime.

    I cannot say a whole lot is notable in this film. The camerawork
    is not particularly polished. The acting is not particularly
    subtle or evocative. But the dialog is certainly amusing and the
    actors are as professional as needed for a few off-the-wall
    characters, particularly a rather strange but magnetic villain.
    Nor is most of the writing of the quality we would expect from a
    theatrical feature film. But a big part of the audience for this
    film will be looking at the time paradoxes and trying to work out
    warped timelines. And for the science fiction aspect the film does
    all right. It is not as complex as the plot of TIMECRIMES or
    PRIMER, but it does keep the viewer invested. The film has only
    the most minimal special effects. There is a split screen or two,
    but that was all I noticed. However, with sufficient writing skill
    the film does not need complex special effects and this film is
    fun. I rate it a +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10.

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying: <https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/counter_clockwise_2015>

    Mark R. Leeper
    Copyright 2016 Mark R. Leeper

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