Tim Plester


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – in a future America, an important member of the First Family gets trapped in an inventive super-max prison the likes of which we’ve never seen, and the only person who can save them is a sharp-tongued criminal. Sounds pretty familiar, right? Unfortunately, James Mather and Stephen St. Leger‘s Lockout is no Escape from New York, but dammit if Guy Pearce‘s performance doesn’t hit some gleeful Snake Plissken-inspired high notes in the midst of some serious cinematic mess. Mather and St. Leger’s take (which comes from an original idea from co-writer and producer Luc Besson) on the “one man against a mega-prison” moves the action away from not just New York, but Earth itself – setting the majority of Lockout in a super prison in the sky. MS One is the first of its kind, a space prison that uses the unique advantages of its location to isolate its prisoners twofold – not only are they trapped in space, they’re also sunk into a deep stasis that should guarantee that escape is not only impossible, but also unthinkable to their conked-out brains. Unfortunately, as we’re told repeatedly, “some minds just can’t take it,” and the philanthropically-minded Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) has just arrived on MS One to interview some recently awoken prisoners to gauge the effects of their stasis. Emilie also happens to be the President of the United States’ only daughter, a fact that the audience knows from the get-go, even […]


The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Tapping into human nature means scanning the stars and the self. It might have been easy for director Mark Buchanan to deliver airy faux-philosophy with this concept, but he wisely avoids it in exchange for a genuine human story of a troubled family, a piece of technology meant to find life on other planets, and a reminder that we’re not alone. Part science-non-fiction, part Lives of Others, this film is effortlessly engaging through a smart blend of camera work and sound where voices often come from off screen, and writing that makes us ache to learn the people behind those voices. This is human foibles and failings and drama and humor done brilliantly well. What does it cost? Just 12 minutes of your time. Check out The Search for yourself:

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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