A man spends years alone on a space station orbiting Earth after losing communication with Houston/Earth. Time is spent on maintenance, exercise, watching old messages and reading a journal by a soldier in the American civil war 1864.
Jacq Vaucan is an insurance agent of ROC robotics corporation who investigates cases of robots violating their primary protocols against altering themselves. What he discovers will have profound consequences for the future of humanity.
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen,
Dr. Laura P. takes a job on a cargo spaceship for 4 years plus 4 years back. She'll join her sister on Rhea. 44 months later, in Laura's shift, strange things happen in cargo. The crew is reanimated and the captain dies mysteriously.
Anna Katharina Schwabroh,
The movie's geography makes no sense, with a postulated setting of Nevada at one moment, and the Rio Grande Gorge appearing at another. The characters actually discuss this, it's one of the main plot points, and the ending explains why this is. See more »
Take a look at yourself, Nic. The perfect integration of human will and alien technology. Our finest achievement.
Nomad, yes. I brought you here. But remember, Nic, you were the one who came looking for me. So you might want to ask yourself, "Did I find what I was looking for?"
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An impressive film school exercise but not quite a movie
"Visually arresting, methodically paced, and almost perfectly executed" says another review here. I agree and would add well-acted, produced, and directed. But it still doesn't quite make it as a movie, something with a real story that is effectively delivered and is more than the sum of its strung-together parts. Each scene is fine, but they just seem like a string of episodes rather than a coherent story. One has trouble getting the point and is left somewhat confused and unsatisfied, with the final twist more baffling than impactive. I would say that the words "inchoate" and even "incoherent" can't help but come to mind regarding the film.
Before you write me off as someone who only likes nice linear films where EVERYTHING is made perfectly clear and who can't handle anything unusual, abstract, metaphoric, or different in any way, compare "Signal" to "Dark City", the recent "Under the Skin", and even "THX 1138" (which BTW arguably has a lot of similarities to this one).
Meanwhile, for examples of films that have similar problems as "Signal", see "Citadel" (2012), "Critical Nexus" (2013), and even "Shuttle" (2008) or "Blair Witch Project". I would argue, tho', that most of these, whatever their flaws, are probably more effective at delivering a real story than "Signal". MEANWHILE, to see what a low-budget independent sci-fi movie CAN be, see "Moon" (2009).
Finally, I was just reading a review of "Signal" in which the reviewer mentions another director who started out with a middling low-budget sci-fi film and has gone on to bigger and better accomplishments; he sees similar potential in the director of "Signal". I fully agree. Again, I think "Signal" was impressive and well worth seeing, but doesn't quite make it to the level of a real and effective movie.
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