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S.I.N. Theory (2012)


by JG Hanks
Staff

At just over an hour long, S.I.N. Theory accomplished what many similar films struggle in doing: holding the viewers interest with a compelling story and characters without boring them with scientific information. The story involves Dr. Michael Leimann (Jeremy Larter), a disgraced mathematics professor, who successfully uses mathematical theory, coupled with sensitive personal information, to predict the future. Of course, information like this always leads to trouble.

The film throws us right into Dr. Leimann’s world, offers up glimpses on how his past relationship affects his psyche, as well as his current involvement with one of his students, Evelyn (Allison Dawn Doiron), as well as a hacker named X_CUT. Because of his newly developed “abilities” and the powerful information it provides, they are soon being watched by two mysterious men, presumably to steal the formula for their own nefarious means.

Without revealing too much of the plot and ruining the anticipation of viewing, I will say that the chemistry between Larter and Doiron is apparent from the first scene. Both of their performances are excellent and provide the depth needed to care about what happens to them, as well as to keep you watching to find out what happens next.

The cut scenes and flashbacks writer/director Richie Mitchell uses throughout the film add another level of mystery to an already compelling story. While watching, you can’t help but wonder what exactly is going on. What more can you ask for from a film like this? Kudos to everyone involved for making such an excellent end product with such a small budget.

Fans of Shane Carruth’s PRIMER, Darren Aronofsky’s PI, and Christopher Nolan’s FOLLOWING will undoubtedly love this film.

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Dead Weight (2012)

by JG Hanks Staff Before I begin my review, I want to get it out of the way and say John Pata (one of the film’s writers, directors and producers) […]

by JG Hanks
Staff

Before I begin my review, I want to get it out of the way and say John Pata (one of the film’s writers, directors and producers) is a friend. Although I’ve never met him in person, he has been a tremendous help with my film society: giving advice, offering his thoughts, and even sending me some stuff from one of his zombie walks to give away to the attendees of my Halloween film festival. We share a love of horror, and of film in general, that is a kinship those who don’t share wouldn’t understand. I knew he was working on a film and I knew it would be good, I just didn’t realize how good. As with most things John does, Dead Weight was obviously a labor of love…and it shows. The film is spot on in every way: locations, acting, sound design, DVD packaging…everything…but especially in tone. Dead Weight is probably the most accurate and honest portrayal of a post apocalyptic/end of the world/infection/zombie movie you will ever have the pleasure of witnessing. Congratulations to everyone involved; you were all amazing.

In the wake of an apocalyptic viral outbreak, Charlie Russell treks through the wilderness to reunite with his girlfriend, Samantha. As Charlie’s journey brings him closer to his destination of Wausau, WI, he must face physical exhaustion, malicious survivors, and perhaps most menacing, his own emotional burdens. With his newfound traveling companions, Charlie must attempt to break his obsessions with the past.

He must learn to let it go.

To simply call Dead Weight a post apocalyptic horror film would be a discredit. Although one would be quick to lump it into this category, or maybe that of a zombie film, it’s more a drama filled character study at its finest. Watching the decent into madness, or depraved survival – depending on your point of view, that Charlie Russell (Joe Belknap) spirals into is heartbreaking, and at the same time somewhat understandable. If you were put into the same situation, what would you do? Films are sometimes too often quick to show humanity’s willingness and ability to overcome hardships and or, as the film so eloquently states, overcome adversity when things have “gone shithouse.”

I could go on and on about the acting, spill more of the plot in an effort to convince you how great this film is, but to give away any more would be a mistake. You need to witness it first hand to feel its full impact. Do yourself a favor and stop reading this and either find out where the film will be playing next, go rent it from your local library, or go buy it. You won’t be disappointed…but you may be heartbroken once it’s over.

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