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Movie Review: Plato's Reality Machine


For Charles, video games are an escape, but when Sophia leads him on a mysterious quest through the spaceship, Plato... he discovers in the game of life, every heart is a moving target. Plato's Reality Machine is a sci-fi comedy romance that explores the lives of six New Yorkers via three unique perspectives.

Writer-Director Myles Sorensen has assembled an independent film with a fresh-faced cast of up-and-coming talents in Trieste Kelly Dunn, Ed Renninger, Carolina Bartczak, Doug Roland, Heather Shisler and Nathan Spiteri.

Sorensen's experimental blend of first-person video game and New York romance drama is ambitious as the film-maker tries to bridge three dimensions and genres. The film feels like you're channel-hopping after being thrust in the deep end. This multi-format keeps the saga intriguing as you try to make sense of the evolving narrative, but the storytelling is fragmented to the point that the video game simply laces a number of interesting sketches together.

Plato's Reality Machine is a curious title and Sorensen has created an independent film that seems more like a showcase for his actors than a singular story. The writing is equally curious, delving into the psyche and concocting some imaginative dramatic scenarios for its characters. It's also somewhat alienating, exacerbated by the ensemble drama and making you feel like you know less about the characters by the time the credits roll.

Plato's Reality Machine

"How about a day job instead?"

At one point, it seemed as though the blurred lines of reality and unreality were turning Charles into a front page headline waiting to happen. This story blend of video game addiction and trigger-happy reality has edge and it would have been interesting to see it play out beyond the bar scene, or better yet, become a film of its own.

Sorensen tries to get behind the curtain by breaking the fourth wall with character interviews. While it's an interesting ploy, the multi-tier perspectives create an inconsistent and alienating feel to Plato's Reality Machine. We're drawn into each world, but without a anchoring character or sense of continuity, we find ourselves adrift.

Plato's Reality Machine is bold, fiercely independent and its promising cast go with the flow. Unfortunately, the end result is discordant, never fully establishing a rhythm for the audience or its characters. The suspense of the unpredictable keeps us on our toes, but each scene teases us with a happening that never materialises. Plato's Reality Machine is an ambitious film with its head and heart in the right space, but the story and characters just seem out-of-reach.

The bottom line: Discordant

 
New Releases at Ster-Kinekor Cavendish this Week! (30/01/15)

Ster-Kinekor Cavendish

Ster-Kinekor, Cavendish Square is one of the best cinemas in Africa, delivering a world-class digital film experience so that you get to watch GREAT moments at their GREATEST. Here's a selection of what's hot-and-happening at this state-of-the-art cinema complex at Cavendish Square in Cape Town. Visit the SPL!NG Facebook fan page to stand a chance of winning double movie tickets!

FURY

 


David Ayer's World War II tank action drama blends the authenticity of Stephen Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan with the street smarts of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Follow Sgt. "Wardaddy" and his 5-man squad of soldiers, who find themselves on a do-or-die mission in the heart of Germany. Be prepared for gritty, all-out, gut-wrenching action and real WW2 tanks in this spectacular war movie.

Why you need to see it: The sound design puts you in Germany, the visuals are visceral and it stars some of Hollywood's coolest in Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman and Shia LeBeouf.


ANNIE

 


In Annie, a foster child who lives with her mean foster mom sees her life change when she's taken in by a mayoral candidate in a ploy to win more support during a campaign. This re-imagining of the classic musical sees Quvenzhané Wallis, star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, taking on Will Gluck's family comedy drama musical opposite Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx.

Why you need to see it: The film features an all-star cast, takes a Boston Legal episode to another level and features a Golden Globe nominated song and performance by Quvenzhané Wallis.



 
Movie Review: Fury


Fury is a simple film masquerading as a complex animal. Writer-director David Ayer presents a cocky yet typical platoon war movie as a bunch of characters band together to form, storm and norm again as a new recruit gets initiated. The difference being that instead of being sent to Hell on amphibious landing craft, we're living, breathing and dying through a Sherman tank.

We're treated to a World War II drama trying to match Saving Private Ryan for aural and visual majesty. While the soundtrack does transport you and match the visceral on-screen war games, Ayer isn't going for pinpoint accuracy and authenticity in Fury. This, despite opting to use real tanks in scenes depicting battlefield warfare and the decimation of towns.

The war drama is dirty and ugly enough to be taken seriously, but Fury is also infused with similar dynamics to Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. His film is gunning for cult appeal with its brand of comedy and could have easily had A Knight's Tale soundtrack.

Fury Movie Review

"Gentlemen... tonight we dine on Bratwurst."

The common denominator is Brad Pitt, who literally "goes commando" playing Wardaddy, a scar-faced and fearless tank sergeant. Pitt's a solid actor and doesn't disappoint, becoming a father figure to Logan Lerman as the newbie. Lerman is no slouch either, making an excellent counterpoint to Wardaddy and giving us a fresh, naive perspective for this hostile misadventure.

Ayer taunts us with obscure war philosophy, brandishing American bravado to the point of serving as troop recruitment propaganda. He peppers Fury with ethical and religious hypocrisy, adding edge and tension to make it more than a World of Tanks video game blast behind enemy lines.

The body count is gradually excessive, the stylish violence is head-crunchingly graphic and the action has been emphasised. David Ayer is the director behind End of WatchStreet Kings and Sabotage, which gives you an idea of the film's proclivity for action and it's level of grisly Imagine a violent adaptation of those gung-ho Battle-Action war comics from the '80s.

There aren't many tank-focused war movies out there and Fury will be remembered as one of the better ones. The ultra-violence and glorification of war do make it seem like "war porn" as one reviewer put it, but it's tempered by the film's overall quality and production values. If Spielberg's Saving Private Ryanand Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds both appealed to you, there's a strong chance you'll enjoy Fury.

The bottom line: Cocksure

splingometer

 
New Releases at Ster-Kinekor Cavendish this Week! (23/01/15)

Ster-Kinekor Cavendish

Ster-Kinekor, Cavendish Square is one of the best cinemas in Africa, delivering a world-class digital film experience so that you get to watch GREAT moments at their GREATEST. Here's a selection of what's hot-and-happening at this state-of-the-art cinema complex at Cavendish Square in Cape Town. Visit the SPL!NG Facebook fan page to stand a chance of winning double movie tickets!

THE IMITATION GAME

 


Alan Turing's life was full of secrets, which made the brilliant mathematician perfectly poised to dismantle Hitler's Engima Code in World War II. The Imitation Game covers his top secret involvement with MI-6 and reveals much detail that was hidden for 50 years. Benedict Cumberbatch brings this biographical drama to life with an Oscar-nominated performance.

Why you need to see it: Excellent performances, accurate production values and a powerful, yet intimate true story bring The Imitation Game into clear retrospective.


THE PYRAMID

 


In The Pyramid, a team of U.S. archaeologists discover an ancient pyramid buried in the Egyptian desert. Despite warnings they enter and disappear deep inside its twisting, pitch-black tunnels. However, as they explore and become lost inside its dark catacombs, they soon come to realize that they're not only trapped they're being hunted.

Why you need to see it: This one will appeal to those, who enjoy dangerous and claustrophobic exploration horror thrillers like The Descent.



 
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