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Alistair1918 (2015) – Movie Review

Alistair1918 (2015) - Movie Review

I’ve been in a bit of a rush to get this one up on the site for you all because I’m not sure how much coverage it has got so far online (i.e. I don’t think many people have heard about it!).

Anyway, I’m in the process of kicking yet another virus my young son has given me so excuse any lazy grammar in this post – I’m comparing this illness to the virus that wiped out the planet in Stephen King’s The Stand (yeah it’s that f##king bad!!!).

But, I was really surprised by this movie and it actually took my mind off my aching, fever-ridden bones for 90 minutes the other night.

I had to get it up here and give you lot a chance to see it (and make your own mind’s up!).

The Plot

A World War One soldier accidentally time travels to present day Los Angeles and struggles to find a way back to his wife in 1918.

Not Without Flaws, Not Without Beauty

I struggle to remember a Found Footage movie that caught me this much off-guard and impress me in this way. Sure, the movie is not without it’s flaws, but it’s a beautifully brave piece of drama and science fiction.

To be brutally honest, I think the only reason it was shot in the Found Footage style is because the filmmaker, Annie K. McVey, had less than five dollars in her pocket…but man was it a good move!

Fans of Found Footage are SOOOO used to clichés by now…but this film didn’t really have any…because it was an idea that hadn’t really been tried out in this genre before.

Sure, you can argue that the ‘time slip’ and ‘get me back to my own time’ angle has been done a million times before in Hollywood – but you’d have to be a complete prick to think that this film falls into that silver screen category.

This film is unique and it manages to fall seamlessly into it’s own category – it’s a beautiful use of the Found Footage genre/idea.

Conclusion

Of course, a film on this sort of budget is always going to have it’s share of flaws, especially when it’s a Found Footage movie. But these flaws meant nothing to me due to the final package delivered to the viewer.

Annie K. McVey has done a wonderful job of creating this indie-universe, but she did have the help of lead actor, Guy Birtwhistle, along the way.

Not only was this British actor on the top of his game – he actually wrote the movie as well!

Yep, turns out Mr. Birtwhistle is a bit of a actor/producer crossover in the indie world, but I have a niggling feeling that we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future.

There was a down-to-earth and realistic feel to this movie due to the female lead’s need to believe this homeless solider (Birtwhistle). You kinda get the feeling early on in the movie that she’s leaning towards his wild story and this helps the film out.

How does this help the film out?

Well, the far-fetched aspects of time travel that this film covers, and the obvious flaws, are softened greatly due to the majority of the documentary crew ‘wanting’ to believe Birtwhistle’s character.

When the time travel shit finally hits the fan they don’t have to over-act or get all ‘Academy Awards’ about the situation, they can act within their limits and this seems to work (and work well).

Not everyone is going to like this movie – I’m already resigned to that fact, but I found it so refreshing and surprising I doubt I’ll be forgetting it in a hurry.

I loved it – but I’m just me! 🙂

Chris

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