Dark Matter Reviews
Also, I hope it's no closer to the truth than I think it is...
As a low cost indepedent movie, it is great.
"Dark Matter" is a wildly uneven movie due somewhat to amateurish directing. The stunt casting robs a lot of the attention from Liu Xing's story but Aidan Quinn is very good.(There is a closeup of his eyes that speaks volumes.) And is this supposed to be a period piece since a lot of the technology looks so out of date? The movie would have been better if it had settled down and took its time detailing its lead character's adjustment to America. Not every setback is the end of the world when they are studying the beginning of the universe. There is some intriguing material about assimilation and I had to wonder if Liu Xing and his colleagues moving to the United States are part of a brain drain. However, there is a lot more pointless emphasis on the insular world of college politics.
The direction was smartly-handled for someone who's stolen every smart thing about it from other directors. Meryl Streep's participation was what partly saved the movie, since Meryl Streep could even play Spider-man and get an Oscar nomination for it.
The movie "comes together" and starts to make sense as a whole at the end. I sympathized with the guy whose only dream was taken away, and as a resulted reacted the way he did. Strip a man off his dreams and you've left him with nothing - and that's what the movie is about for me, and the reason why I liked it.
It fell short in its execution on several accounts. For one, Meryl Streep was more of a tertiary character, and that was disappointing.
For two, it seemed to move too fast, skipping over crucial plot points to focus more on unnecessary dialogue, such as Liu Xing's parents talking about what they've heard about America. There should have been more focus on the rivalry between Liu Xing and Laurence Feng in their attempts to win the praise of their professor Jacob Reiser. Instead, it started out with Xing being Reiser's protege. Then Joanna Silver (Meryl Streep) mentions to her husband that there's a new Chinese student at the school named Feng who was 2nd to Xing at their school in Beijing and that they were rivals there. Then, Feng is suddenly taken under Reiser's wing, and Xing seems to be forgotten about entirely. But we don't see any of the struggle or the emotion of this, which makes the ending come as a complete shock.
But it also seemed to drag in parts that should have moved quickly.
It could have been an excellent movie. The beginning was great. The ending was perfect. But somewhere in between, for a very long period of time, it died, which caused this to be just an okay to good film.