Friday, December 9, 2016

COUNTER CLOCKWISE (2016) (DVD Review)


COUNTER CLOCKWISE (2016)

Label: Artsploitation Films
Release Date: December 13th 2016 

Rating: Unrated
Region Code: 1
Duration: 91 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby digital 5.1 Surround with Optional English Subtitles
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) 
Director: George Moise
Cast: Michael Kopelow, Devon Ogden, Kerry Knuppe, Joy Rinaldi, Caleb Brown, Frank Simms

Scientist Ethan (Michael Kopelow) and his partner Ceil (Alice Rietveld)are on the verge of creating a successful teleportation machine, they've run the computer simulations and everything checks out, they're not quite to human trials yet, but they're sure enough to send their beloved one-eyed lab dog Charlie through it. When they do so he disappears without the aid of any fancy wormhole effects or light shows, he just sort of blinks away but fails to reappear on the opposite transporter pad as expected. They're bummed, they're angry, they may have killed their dog, and they call it a night. Later after Ceil has left for the night Ethan's returns to the lab alone when Charlie reappears, seemingly none the worse for the transporter-wear. So what does Ethan do, of course he sends himself through the transporter... only to reappear a year and a half later. Turns out through a simple wiring malfunction the transporter has turned from transporter, which was already cool, into an even-cooler time machine!  

Well, that's just silly, but this is sort of silly sci-fi thriller, and if you're willing to forgo the usual "hey, that's just dumb" premise for time travel this is a Hell of fun watch. A lot has happened in the year and a half Ethan jumped ahead, his lab has been taken over by a rival corporation, and he is a fugitive from the law, wanted for the double-murder of his hot wife Tiffany (Devon Ogden) and his sister Fiona (Kerry Knuppe). Stunned and overwhelmed he tracks down his former colleague Ceil and he begins piecing together just what the fuck has happened and how can he fix it.

The movie is fun, when I think of indie time travel movies I think of two in particular, the fun Timecrimes and the more serious Primer, that latter of which made my head hurt with science and logic, but I loved Timecrimes, and thankfully Counter Clockwise falls into the more fun vein along the lines of Timecrimes. To set things right Ethan will travel back to the origin point more than once in an attempt to set right what he wronged, but it still goes horribly wrong before anything goes right. Each time he gains a bit more knowledge about what happened, and a conspiracy involving his duplicitous sister and his former employer Roman Rakubian (Frank Simms), who is all sorts of awesome as the diabolical tech impresario. Also noteworthy are Rakubian's hired thugs, one of which is a nekromantik weirdo! 

My favorite moments in any time travel movie are when the character time travels and inevitably bumps into his own self while trying to set things right, which never really works, right? There are a few moments when Ethan must conspire against his own self, and being as he is from the future as certain points he has an intimate knowledge of where he will be in the past, making it easy to throw a wrench into the works. 

The movie is low-budget stuff, the special effects are mostly relegated to dated, retro-vintage looking computer screen graphics, evoking some of the classic science fiction of the 80s which I loved.   

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Director George Moise 
- Audio Commentary with Director George Moise and Editor Walter Moise
- Audio Commentary with Director George Moise and Actor Michael Kopelow 
- The Making Of Counter Clockwise (27 Mins) 
- Deleted scenes with Optional Commentary 
- Trailer (2 Mins)

I really liked this movie, a science fiction comedy that wasn't too silly, but rather a comedy of errors of the time-traveling variety. Michael Kopelow was awesome, offering a nice mix of comedy, physical humor and nerdy quirkiness. This movie has loads of quirk, if you're a quirk-lover who enjoys science fiction and time travel shenanigans this is worth a watch. 3.5/5

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