2009 is looking to be an amazing year for movies, running a gauntlet of genre. The year has had a few seats revealed early at the Oscar table, including cowardly robots, has-been wrestlers, and of course, pyromaniac jokers. A late but welcome addition to the '09 family was "THX 1247."
Nothing can fully prepare us for the virtuoso direction of 1247. At its heart, it is a world threatened by the global extermination of the Millennium virus. With the trigger in the hands of a teenage overlord, our salvation lies in a skillful, patient spy (Michael Swaim), who is also teenaged. But don't let the stylized world scare you, this tipsy-turvy thrill ride catches every gasp with a rich soundtrack and the promise of unique characters that only a George Lucas homage could provide.
Once the directors have the audience completely enthralled by the two-man tension of the opening sequence, they place on-screen the drama of a floppy disc (a cinema verite meditation on the glorification of technology). Armed only with a few frames, StormDragon Productions put the film world on its feet in outrage. A cinematic gesture that could put a smile on face of even the harshest critics, though that's just the opinion of this fair-haired film reviewer.
At one point, the film provides what can only be called low-light magic, as the clear nod to Chris Carter doesn't fall short, at least for this hairy-chested fan.
By the end of the experience, you've felt the turmoil of a crime story from the inside out. Its predecessors (Goodfellas, Miller's Crossing) are left in admiration of the achievement of a film that is both academic and universal. I can't think of a better reason to pay the price of admission, but that's just me: a man who has chlamydia.
Written, directed, and starred by a virtuoso team of writer/producers, 1247 knows all its references. Instead of Lucas' lone wolf breaking out, Swaim rather ingeniously plays a man trying to get in. However, like the film with which the title comes, we learn a lesson too frequently ignored: these men are more than just numbers.
I think i speak for all moviegoers when I offer the following to these brilliant new comers, in their own debut's last words: we shall meet again. At least, they impressed me (I have oddly shaped balls).
Golden State Review
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2009 Those Aren't Muskets!