Friday, December 5, 2014

Singular






You might not know this about me, but I'm a bit of a fan when it comes to the comic books.

True story, hand to God. I know, unbelievable, right? I mean, I rarely talk about them...

Still, 100% true.

So, keeping that in mind should explain right away why I have posted this particular short film. It's called Singular and it was written by Carlos Esteban Orozco and directed by Juan F. Orozco. As usual when it comes to the short films I post, I don't know much about them. In fact, I basically know nothing about their work. Is it good? Is it bad? I don't know, but this here looks interesting.

Here's the film's synopsis:

In an America where everyone has superpowers, Andy, the only kid who doesn't have one, struggles to escape a group of bullies led by Sofia, who just wants to make Andy's life more miserable than it already is. But what begins as an ordinary 'everyday' beating ends up spiraling out of control, putting our hero in a life-or-death situation where courage, leadership and sacrifice will guide Andy -- and Sofia -- to discover the true meaning of "being special."

I'm always intrigued by the idea of "super powers in the real world". I like exploring the ramifications superpowers would have on society. I like imagining how different types of people would actually use their powers, and how day-to-day life would be changed. I also like thinking about how superpowers in general would actually physically effect the world and the possessor. But that's just me. Like I said, I'm a fan. So, when these stories are done well, I find them really fun, and often a nice alternative to the more traditional comic book superhero tropes.

Unfortunately, the plain truth is these things are rarely done well. In fact, whenever I try on out, I usually end up with something tentative, tone-deaf, and more than a bit dull, something obviously embarrassed by its own genre roots. They're also usually made by dilettantes, people unfamiliar with the genre who think they're bringing some bold and insightful new take to what they consider to be an inert and low end of fiction, when the reality is they're just ignorantly rehashing ideas that are decades old cliches at this point. Or even worse, you get something that neuters all the fantastic right out of the story in favor of something they label as "realistic" and "grounded", or the death knell of all things good and imaginative: "grim and gritty."

Barf.

So, that's the rub... not only do most of these things usually turn out crap, they often end up unintentionally highlighting how ridiculous this stuff really is, turning an ill-conceived project that might have started out as a bit po-faced and dull, into something both embarrassingly unaware and laughably stupid.

Is that what we'll get here? I hope not. We shall see.

Let's watch...



Huh. That was all right. A nice little parable about bullying, I guess. Maybe a little bit too on-the-nose, but then anti-bullying things aren't usually the biggest fans of subtlety, so no big shock there. In the end, the story felt a bit too loose, and a bit naive, really, but it's an 8 minute short film, you can't really get too Epic. I'd be interested in seeing more of the world, though. It seemed to have some interesting ideas going on. It definitely looked good, or at least, professional. I also really liked the portrayal of the powers and all the little quirks that came with them. That was pretty cool. There was a lot of good effect work going on here. On a Technical level, it was very well done. Story? ...eh, not so much. But then, it wasn't terrible either, so your mileage may vary.

If you've got time and you're a fan of this type of thing, you'll probably enjoy the film.

I did.

Love,
Jon

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