Saturday, 27 October 2012

Film Review: "Safety Not Guaranteed" (2012).




"Wanted: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid when we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before." 
Which is what Safety Not Guaranteed is all about. This comedy film directed by Colin Trevorrow; written by Derek Connolly; inspired by a 1997 Backwoods Home Magazine classified ad - itself written as a joke filler by Backwoods employee John Silver - by a person asking for someone to accompany him in time travel. The film follows three magazine employees as they head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel.

The original classified ad upon which the film is based first appeared in Backwoods Home Magazine in 1997. It was written as last-minute filler by John Silveira, an employee of the magazine, who is credited in the film as "Time Travel Consultant" and also has a cameo. The ad was later featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) in the "Headlines" segment, and eventually turned into an Internet meme before being developed into a screenplay. On a remarkable budget of $750,000, the film was shot in Seattle and Ocean Shores, Washington, and other locations within 30 miles of Seattle. It is also partially set in Seattle. The film was shot with a Sony F3 camera using old Panavision lenses, which gave the film a desired "Hal Ashby look" for director Colin Trevorrow.

The film stars Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson and Karan Soni. The cast gave fantastically witty and emotionally dramatic performances. With each cast member displaying their own unique witty and emotional flair and depth. As you genuinely feel emotionally invested in each character as they go through their own personal journeys.

Safety Not Guaranteed is a heady blend of time travel, romantic comedy, and human emotion. Like a time portal, the film creates a whole new world of stories and possibilities for film, and stands as one of the most exceptional movies of 2012. The skill, the guile and the humanness to turn a ridiculous, outlandish gimmick into a dense and emotional piece makes it the freshest thing the cinematic world has seen since Reservoir Dogs (1992). The film has an impressive feel for the odd, quiet rhythms of small-scale story-telling and little time-travel. The movie never looks cheap, because every shot looks as it must look. But the homemade feel is part of the point. Expertly shot and acted, the film gives the audience a simple plot and then piles on layers of drama, twists, and emotion before pulling out the rug from underneath. Interesting, funny, emotional and exciting, it could take you to a deeply emotional place lying dormant in your soul.

Simon says Safety Not Guaranteed receives:


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