Reality Check Project Type: Short Film (Sci-Fi)
Funding Goal: $10,000
End Date: August 23, 2013
Chris Buchal is an independent film maker taking on the insurance industry. Sure, ok, pretty cool. Only, he’s not making an intrepid, expose documentary; he’s making a sci-fi-heavy, time traveling short … way more awesome, right?
The world of Reality Check gives insurance claim adjusters the ability to travel back in time and investigate claims as they happened. The short focuses on Elion (Cora Benesh) as she’s investigating her final claim, which will grant her an opportunity to time travel into her own past. Her path leads her down a bad trip where she’ll confront violence, love, relationships, and deceit.
Buchal, who cites Christopher Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, and David Fincher as major influences, when asked about what he wanted to bring to the time travel sub-genre, he responded: “I like that time-travel in 12 Monkeys has a loop. Looper has a loop with a twist at the end. Primer has… options. Then Looper has characters I like, and 12 Monkeys‘ plot actually makes sense. What makes Primer cool is…well… we don’t actually really know…or do we?
“So for this piece, I’d like to do a loopitdy loop within a loop, add a strong female lead, have moral decisions, and cover corporate accountability. Corporations, while made of large groups of people, are in the end composed of individuals. This is a story about an individual, and how corruption begins on a personal level.”
Battle: Los Angeles Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Staring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ne-Yo, Ramon Rodriguez
Release date: March 11, 2011
As Battle: Los Angeles begins, we meet Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart). He is an older soldier, and at the start of the movie, decides that his best years are behind him, and chooses to retire. As fate would have it, he has one last mission, and he is assigned to a group of Marines led by a young Lieutenant (Ramon Rodriguez). Unfortunately, that last mission involves aliens invading and the possible end of mankind. The rest of the movie deals with the Marines trying to rescue some civilians while fighting the alien menace.
Battle: Los Angeles tries to be a combination of Black Hawk Down and District 9, but unfortunately, it never reaches the levels of either. To be fair, I don’t think it was the creator’s goal to make as deep a movie as those two are. It seems like they just wanted to make a cool alien invasion movie, and in that they succeeded. The movie has a pretty fast pace, and never slows down for too long, meaning that I didn’t ever lose interest in what was going on. The CGI is decent enough; director Jonathan Liebesman and his team chose to use a lot of smoke to obscure the effects a little. You very rarely get a good look at the aliens, and they’re never really established as a threat, other than having superior firepower, but even then, the aliens can be taken down with modern human weaponry.
The Sci Fi (SyFy? If we all refuse to acknowledge that, will they change it back?) channel has already far and away proven that they can take an old TV series, completely restructure it, and create one of the best shows of all time. Now that Battlestar Galactica has come and gone, Sci Fi is developing a new potential series based on Alien Nation with fanboy favorite Tim Minear writing.
Alien Nation first started as a movie starring James Caan and Mandy P in 1988 that turned into a 1989 TV series on Fox. The show was canceled after one season, but has seen five new TV movies made since then, as well. The show is basically a social observation using a fictional setting and aliens known as “Newcomers” who were at first made to live away from humans, but now have been allowed to reside among us; of course this doesn’t stop racism from continuing. The original movie for which this new project is being based followed an L.A. cop (Caan) whose partner is killed while investigating the Newcomers. When the first alien police officer comes to his department, he volunteers to join up with him in order to sneakily try and investigate the death of his former partner.