Updated: Nov 4, 2021
Picture this: It's a beautiful day. You are walking along, minding your own business. Then the world around you starts to...glitch?
A voice speaks to you but it's not God. Instead, you realize that you are nothing more than a simulation. Experience this feeling of identity crisis in...
"Untitled Earth Sim 64" (2021)
Directed by: Jonathan Wilhelmsson
Written by: Jonathan Wilhelmsson
Music by: James Newton Howard
Stars: Karen Olrich-White, Alexandra Frick
Watch on: Youtube
Review Alpha 9.14.21.0013
I'm a huge fan of science fiction short films. This is why I thing DUST is one of the greatest things on the internet. I support these short films because often they are produced by up and comers and are often the first start for several actors.
Does this mean they are all good? No. Some are just alright, such as "Untitled Earth Sim 64."
Marie is a woman who faces an existential crisis after learning that the universe is an untitled simulation. To make matter worse, she communicates with an entity called The Researcher, who assures her that everything will be fixed. However, The Researcher is a bit of a bumbling technician who keeps delivering bad news, including telling Marie that he and his universe are also a simulation that happens to be running the simulation of Marie's world, called Earth Sim 64.
The two explore the malfunctions where The Researcher plods along while Marie contemplates what is really existence. Realizing that it doesn't really matter, Marie gives in and loses the will to continue on. The Researcher tries to encourage her, but typical to his bumbling nature, he realizes that Marie's simulated universe is slated for decommissioning.
Watching this short reminded me a lot of attending writing classes at the University of North Texas. My classmates and I would write a story, send it out to the each other, and then we would workshop the story so make suggestions for revisions. For this film, this is the approach I took to it.
What I liked:
The story concept is good. I like the idea of simulations running simulations where most of them are unaware that the one running the simulation is also a simulation. This creates comedic potential when a senior simulation is aware that it is also a sim.
The effects are pretty good for a short, especially the glitches. Some of them where funny, like the ice cream and the ghost.
The actress who played Marie did a pretty good job
What could be better:
The Researcher was too bumbling and his comedic timing was off. In the overall scheme of the movie, I think dry comedy would have worked better.
The film could have benefitted from expanding the story a bit. It's a little over 6 minutes long; I think adding another 4 minutes would have made the film flow better.
All in all, it's an ok short. There were missed opportunities galore but there were also some nice moments. If I was workshopping the movie before release, I would have begged for another few minutes of Marie's journey to give the film more of a sense of closure.
Warp 5 on the SciFi drive!
Next Review: Pitch Black
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