HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jem and the Holograms
Burning of Red Lotus Monastery, The
Bag Boy Lover Boy
Sleepless Night
Willy McBean and His Magic Machine
Robbery
Tag
Never Back Down
Doraemon: Nobita's Little Star Wars
Kriminal
It Comes at Night
Strangled
Mojin - The Lost Legend
Poison Ivy
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Union Station
My Brother Talks to Horses
Storks
Big Sick, The
Phantom Creeps, The
Houseboat
White Dress for Mariale, A
Wall, The
Deadline at Dawn
Batman vs Two-Face
56, rue Pigalle
Mermaid, The
Fear No Evil
Caribbean Dream, A
Nightbeast
   
 
Newest Articles
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
Plans for Nigel: The Crunch... and Other Stories on DVD
   
 
  Sleep Dealer Buy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Alex Rivera
Stars: Leonor Varela, Jacob Vargas, Luis Fernando Peña, Giovanna Zacarías
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival screening

The Hollywood cinema party line of the sci-fi genre generally occurs in either space or modern urban settings a la Los Angeles/Blade Runner or New York City/War of the Worlds and involve lasers, futuristic weapons and supersonic vehicles. Sleep Dealer shifts the setting to rural (and sometimes urban) México and adds socio-political, as well as sexual, elements that elevate the bare bones film into something more than its big budget brothers.

In this not-too-distant world, young hacker Memo Cruz (Luis Fernando Peña) taps into a global network and overhears transmissions about “Aqua Terrorism.” The tragic consequences of his eavesdropping force him to leave his tiny Oaxaca, Mexico village and head to Tijuana, to obtain a job for an unseen labor force that performs virtual work through nodes implanted in the body. In Tijuana, he meets Luz (Leonor Varela) a young woman posing as a writer but who secretly records Memo’s life to resale though the cyberworld. By revealing his thoughts his past eventually catches up with him.

First time director (and editor) Alex Rivera clearly has his mind on the big picture with the socio-political and economic atmosphere. His simple film makes big, topical statements about not only how important the future of water rights will become but the continuing exploitation associated with outsourcing. The Mexican “node workers” act as cheap labor in various parts of the U.S. but they don’t know exactly where they work. One node supervisor mentions, “We’re giving the Americans what they want, cheap labor without all the Mexicans.”

It’s easy to visualize images of Brainstorm, Johnny Mnemonic and The Matrix where working and lower class become a plug and play (or plug and work) society. People plug in at the divey Tijuana bars to get their single or double shots, but not of whisky. Memo and Luz plug in to experience each others deepest thoughts during sex. The various aspects of where this world might actually be heading keeps the film going as straight as the border between the US and Mexico.

Although thoughtfully provocative and interesting, the film’s characters lack emotion that would surely add more depth to the film. In a film about underclass Orwellian society, it’s surprising Rivera fails to generate much passion in these underprivileged characters. With his roots in digital media, Rivera clearly has a visual eye as well as firm grasp on serious issues that many people can relate to. Now if he can only bring that human touch to his characters then we would truly have something to plug into.
Reviewer: Keith Rockmael

 

This review has been viewed 2511 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: