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Critic Reviews for Polypore
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Audience Reviews for Polypore
Low budgeted indie kick starter films always have the chance to produce something special, original or provide a new twist on things. Without movies like this, many legendary directors wouldn't be where they are today. I'm always open to new indie fare so this sounded very promising. Polypore looked interesting, combining many cinematic elements from other films. It has a combined mesh of plots, evil corporations, globe-trotting and conspiracies. Its premise isn't anything new but became too bogged down by its own plot, characters and countless machinations. The main issue is that they had too much to say in 70 minutes and no real direction. There was too much exposition and not enough room to clear it up by the time the credits roll. It became hard to say where they are coming from, and then you become confused and disinterested on what's to come next. It doesn't allow you to enjoy it, rather just throwing it at you and taking it as is. The script had too much detail in parts then none at all. There was no set tone or flow. The usage of styles also hampered it down quite a bit. It's too all over the place and has no set tone. It feels as if the director packed in as much as he could, thinking it'll look good. Because how could it not with so much great ingredients. You could clearly tell the influences but would have greatly benefited if they toned it down a lot. It becomes way too erratic for the normal viewer, causing them to not care for the characters. The editing was also very disjointed and sloppy. It's hard to see what's going on from scene to scene, not to say the plot was unintelligible but it feels like nothing was set and everything flew off the handle. It didn't seem very well planned out. One moment a character is doing an action then a second later he is in another setting doing something else. It has too much reliance on the viewer to take everything as is no questions asked. I get what the director is trying to say about deceitful pharmaceutical companies, media white washing, government corruption etc. but it wasn't told in a straight forward way. It tried a bit too hard in showing the hypocrisy with no real payoff. It kind of feels like stuff we've all seen before in better films but without the twist to make it fresh. The use of certain shots were also confusing as they reused some of the same shots but not adding anything to the film. I didn't really find the characters all that interesting or intriguing. You get who the antagonist and protagonist is trying to do with goals firmly set in place, but you end up not caring for the good guy or the bad guy. Neither of their plights seemed interesting enough for me to care. I was going through the motions while I was watching the movie, not caring who won or lost in the end. And the actions of the characters were downright bizarre. Out of nowhere a character does or says something totally random and unfounded, but it seemed to make sense in the terms of the character on screen. It adds nothing to the overall movie but just confuse the viewer even more. I don't really know what effect they were trying to evict but it wasn't the intended one. The acting overall wasn't that great. I'm not expecting the gravitas of Daniel Day-Lewis or Tom Hanks but it didn't make me believe with their problems. None of the acting really stood out for me at all, and it all felt kind of lazy. I couldn't stand the over usage of music throughout the movie. It bothered me way too much. It felt like a music video at times, and a good way to say something on screen with no real acting or exposition. With the slow/fast paced, nature and city imagery, a lot of it felt vastly unneeded. It was a bad attempt at trying too hard. The lighting in some of the shots also bothered me. I don't know why they used the dimly lit spotlight style on certain scenes. And I didn't like parts of the scene blocked by the non-light section. It was way too noticeable. Polypore has an interesting concept but could have used improvements on all fronts. There could have been better editing, clear direction and plausible character actions and motives. When starting off with one's first movie, it's hard to not have everything you want in one movie. But to be a great director, one has to make those changes and risks. There was simply too much to ask of the viewer with no real answers by the end. It's a worthy effort for all involved and especially for a first film. One shroom out of five.
Polypore is a near-future sci-fi adventure with an edge of dark humor following the rediscovery of a plant of the eponymous name of the Polypore, said in legend to be linked to supernatural powers, the last widespread tale of which details a slaughter by those who were poisoned by eating it. We follow several characters, but the film is mostly following the journey of one young man as he stumbles across one re-emergence, discovering far more about the truth of the world than he might have ever planned to, leading to a trip through the real laws of the universe and the depths of depravity that exist behind the closed doors of one certain corporate group. The direction behind the film seems somewhat lacking. And the film is by no means straightforward. Most parts of the story are quite disjointed from each other, especially the cold opening which leaves us watching a family mealtime with absolutely no clue or reason to know why we should be paying attention to the details of their table conversation. Things only begin to start taking any specific direction around a quarter to a third of the way into the hour running time, but still don't quite settle into one particular flow until the end, which is not particularly built up to as a finale as much as a scene that happens to hold the actions that cause the story to stop being interesting enough to continue following. There are many characters introduced as the film progresses, many with very different goals and thoughts which are never explored as the 'show don't tell' principle is taken to an extreme, and the short run time of this kind of film sacrifices any development for progression of the overall story. There's even a completely-divorced-from-reality scene that seems straight from Scooby Doo where a hired killer begins talking about how terrible his job is mid-chase to a passing film director. This is not helped by a cast that seems not to have been given a strong enough direction for their parts - deliveries feel either too wooden or far too scrambled to provide an emotional shorthand for what we otherwise can't draw from the writing of the film, which itself has a lot of cultural run-off in its influences. Anyone who has played an Assassin's Creed game will notice a lot of similarities between the near-magical pseudo-science and techno-babble hand-waving on the concept of a concrete scientific basis to past lives and perfecting the bridge between past and current reincarnations, not to mention the anti-corporate sentiments, and even certain aesthetic sensibilities of "The Rein Corporation" (get it?). Use of "Ave Maria" during one scene certainly calls back to several recent pieces of media, but various other callbacks can be spotted as unintentionally included in the film because they don't lead anywhere. Despite this, there are some very interesting shots throughout. Many cutaways have very interesting surreal images like a man convincingly throwing himself to a remorseless suicide, and a dreamy alternate reality where the main character has exactly the life he wants, highlighting the following scene's demonstration of just how far from ideal his current situation is. Many transitional scenes are very visually pleasing and are well-colored and shot in a way that that film overall should have taken clues from. Locations are very fitting and seem well researched, never staying in one environment for too long and each one does feel distinct. Once in a while a shot is so incredibly well made that it stands out to make the rest of a scene feel lacking, and this stood out to me more than anything else about the film. Criticism aside, the film definitely has a lot of care taken and it has strong points to offer despite its incoherence and oversights. It has the feel of someone with limited resources but a lot of research and writing time who maybe has such an over-understanding of their script they have forgotten what doesn't come across to an outside viewer. It seems as if the story board was well conceived but poorly recreated, or that the script had many line notes that weren't translated. If published as a book I'm sure it would be a lot more interesting to experience, or if given a little more time and funding to develop, or perhaps a change in director. Sadly, the finished film definitely does have a sense of something being missing, and while I recommend that if you're looking for something very quirky and different this short film may well be worth sitting through, perhaps a second time with a little more conviction, it may be worth skipping on if you have no patience. As it is the film is simultaneously slow on the atmospheric shots and far too quick on the plot, some of which is incredibly interesting to hear about but gets parroted off with no deeper exploration most of the time, so a lot of interest from the start is likely required.
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