Sleep Dealer Reviews

  • Jul 17, 2019

    Considering that it came out long before America's recent hard right turn toward nativism, the film is a searing and uncannily prescient indictment of US-Mexico relations, from exploitation of poor laborers to inhospitality at the border. Filmed on the sparsest of budgets, the resulting austere aesthetic aptly mirrors the desolation of both the Oaxacan landscape and the prospects of its impoverished inhabitants, while in turn proving that really great science fiction relies on philosophical ideas, not special effects or rigorous technological authenticity. Yet while the financial constraints may have resulted in rather unrealistic visuals, the simplicity of the production provides a portentious vision of deeper socio-economic truths, recognizing well ahead of public consciousness (at least within the US and Hollywood) the looming menace of water scarcity, ecoterrorists, outsourced labor thanks to the technology, precariousness at the southern border—including the threat of its closing and the building of a wall that looks more like an ineffective fence—the use of drones to serve the imperialist interest of capitalism, cheered on by jingoistic media, and so on. This dystopian prophecy is disturbing not because of what seems strange, like the surreal sequences of workers jacked-in to their machinery, making love and buildings with wires extending in and out of their erogenous nodes like a McLuhanite nightmare (or better still: McLuhanightmare), but because, barely a decade later, it all seems so familiar.

    Considering that it came out long before America's recent hard right turn toward nativism, the film is a searing and uncannily prescient indictment of US-Mexico relations, from exploitation of poor laborers to inhospitality at the border. Filmed on the sparsest of budgets, the resulting austere aesthetic aptly mirrors the desolation of both the Oaxacan landscape and the prospects of its impoverished inhabitants, while in turn proving that really great science fiction relies on philosophical ideas, not special effects or rigorous technological authenticity. Yet while the financial constraints may have resulted in rather unrealistic visuals, the simplicity of the production provides a portentious vision of deeper socio-economic truths, recognizing well ahead of public consciousness (at least within the US and Hollywood) the looming menace of water scarcity, ecoterrorists, outsourced labor thanks to the technology, precariousness at the southern border—including the threat of its closing and the building of a wall that looks more like an ineffective fence—the use of drones to serve the imperialist interest of capitalism, cheered on by jingoistic media, and so on. This dystopian prophecy is disturbing not because of what seems strange, like the surreal sequences of workers jacked-in to their machinery, making love and buildings with wires extending in and out of their erogenous nodes like a McLuhanite nightmare (or better still: McLuhanightmare), but because, barely a decade later, it all seems so familiar.

  • Jul 01, 2019

    I at first was not willing to watch it but then I saw who the main actor was and I honestly like his work. When I saw it, of course the low budget cgi or animations were just out of place but it still helps with the story. If only the film was remade or made in a more recent year where better tech then those fails could be opposite. Otherwise this was a really good film, original indeed. Wished I was part of the crew! :D

    I at first was not willing to watch it but then I saw who the main actor was and I honestly like his work. When I saw it, of course the low budget cgi or animations were just out of place but it still helps with the story. If only the film was remade or made in a more recent year where better tech then those fails could be opposite. Otherwise this was a really good film, original indeed. Wished I was part of the crew! :D

  • Feb 25, 2016

    A dystopian future that is the dream of some GOP politics in USA.

    A dystopian future that is the dream of some GOP politics in USA.

  • Dec 03, 2015

    It's basically The Matrix. Memo and Neo. Come on, even I could have been more creative.

    It's basically The Matrix. Memo and Neo. Come on, even I could have been more creative.

  • Robert B Super Reviewer
    Oct 08, 2015

    Sleep Dealer is underwhelming if one reads some of the reviews posted about it. The filmmaking is amateurish and some of the effects are poor. Still, the film succeeds because it shows heart and spirit, and that is a refreshing change from most Hollywood fare. The actors act as though they believe that the technology and the world is real.

    Sleep Dealer is underwhelming if one reads some of the reviews posted about it. The filmmaking is amateurish and some of the effects are poor. Still, the film succeeds because it shows heart and spirit, and that is a refreshing change from most Hollywood fare. The actors act as though they believe that the technology and the world is real.

  • Mar 14, 2015

    I thought this was an extremely unique idea for a movie. It seemed to be made by an unexperienced filmmaker, but I wouldn't subtract too many points for that. Definitely worth seeing if you are interested in the environment or racial/immigrant issues.

    I thought this was an extremely unique idea for a movie. It seemed to be made by an unexperienced filmmaker, but I wouldn't subtract too many points for that. Definitely worth seeing if you are interested in the environment or racial/immigrant issues.

  • Jan 13, 2015

    Rapaz mexicano vai buscar trabalho na cidade grande operando robôs à distância que trabalham nos EUA. O meio de trabalho é uma conexão física que permite a telepresença. Com o tempo, ele perde a motivação de trabalhar e entra numa crise. Pior fica quando descobre que sua namorada está vendendo as memórias com ele para internautas conectados. O filme vê a tecnologia pelo outro lado, pelo lado daqueles que são explorados pelo capitalismo mas que resistem lutando pra viver.

    Rapaz mexicano vai buscar trabalho na cidade grande operando robôs à distância que trabalham nos EUA. O meio de trabalho é uma conexão física que permite a telepresença. Com o tempo, ele perde a motivação de trabalhar e entra numa crise. Pior fica quando descobre que sua namorada está vendendo as memórias com ele para internautas conectados. O filme vê a tecnologia pelo outro lado, pelo lado daqueles que são explorados pelo capitalismo mas que resistem lutando pra viver.

  • Jan 11, 2015

    It looks cheap at first but we eventually get used to its low quality CG graphics, poor acting and other flaws. It looks good enough though with its bright colors : made me think of The Zero Theorem but set in a future mexico as seen in Elysium. It's definitively a low budget sci-fi flick but its message touched me. Its about the flows and technology. How this powerful tool can build walls but also destroy them, separate people or connect them.

    It looks cheap at first but we eventually get used to its low quality CG graphics, poor acting and other flaws. It looks good enough though with its bright colors : made me think of The Zero Theorem but set in a future mexico as seen in Elysium. It's definitively a low budget sci-fi flick but its message touched me. Its about the flows and technology. How this powerful tool can build walls but also destroy them, separate people or connect them.

  • Sep 02, 2014

    'Sleep Dealer' is a very apt title for this film as it will most surely deal you a long, deep, immediate and premature night of deep sleep. In simpler terms, it is boring as hell. Poorly made film ripping off ideas from 'The Matrix' and shoehorning them into a heavy handed message about illegal immigration, labor laws, refugees and government paranoia. I'm shocked that people have such positive things to say about it, because it was not good. From a visual standpoint, the film-making is amateur at best. Over-saturated colors make everything look jaundiced and visually unappealing. PS2 CGI and effects incorporation are laughable. The direction is jarring and badly edited. Just a very poor technically executed film in pretty much every way. The acting is another point of flat out terrible. Pena is unbelievably bad. Unflinching, stone faced, unable to compute any sort of emotion or relateability and just a total waste. What makes his horrible performance even worse is that his character is portrayed to be deep and charismatic which is the antithesis of his acting. Substitute him with a dead fish, and few would notice. In the 'positives' for him, Varela and Vargas are almost as bad, so at least he isn't alone. Ridged and off-putting performances all around. The story has potential, but the most interesting bits are inconsequential. The world they live in is far more interesting than the characters themselves, but unfortunately this isn't focused on. Director Rivera is fixated on these uninteresting doofus characters for some reason, and completely misses out on really exploring this reality. Misses the boat entirely, and becomes a boring, preachy and unbelievably dull. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not quite sure why I rated it as high as 1.5 stars. It does have some interesting ideas and an interesting idea of the future, but it is completely and offensively underutilized. All in all, a waste of potential and pretty much a total waste of time. But again, it did deal me a good nights sleep, so thumbs up to the title.

    'Sleep Dealer' is a very apt title for this film as it will most surely deal you a long, deep, immediate and premature night of deep sleep. In simpler terms, it is boring as hell. Poorly made film ripping off ideas from 'The Matrix' and shoehorning them into a heavy handed message about illegal immigration, labor laws, refugees and government paranoia. I'm shocked that people have such positive things to say about it, because it was not good. From a visual standpoint, the film-making is amateur at best. Over-saturated colors make everything look jaundiced and visually unappealing. PS2 CGI and effects incorporation are laughable. The direction is jarring and badly edited. Just a very poor technically executed film in pretty much every way. The acting is another point of flat out terrible. Pena is unbelievably bad. Unflinching, stone faced, unable to compute any sort of emotion or relateability and just a total waste. What makes his horrible performance even worse is that his character is portrayed to be deep and charismatic which is the antithesis of his acting. Substitute him with a dead fish, and few would notice. In the 'positives' for him, Varela and Vargas are almost as bad, so at least he isn't alone. Ridged and off-putting performances all around. The story has potential, but the most interesting bits are inconsequential. The world they live in is far more interesting than the characters themselves, but unfortunately this isn't focused on. Director Rivera is fixated on these uninteresting doofus characters for some reason, and completely misses out on really exploring this reality. Misses the boat entirely, and becomes a boring, preachy and unbelievably dull. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not quite sure why I rated it as high as 1.5 stars. It does have some interesting ideas and an interesting idea of the future, but it is completely and offensively underutilized. All in all, a waste of potential and pretty much a total waste of time. But again, it did deal me a good nights sleep, so thumbs up to the title.

  • Jun 16, 2014

    This is one of several recent films that deal with borders, surveillance & immigration. using the visual language of Science fiction. Now if only Dealer's acting & script were stronger they might have had been an even more effective film

    This is one of several recent films that deal with borders, surveillance & immigration. using the visual language of Science fiction. Now if only Dealer's acting & script were stronger they might have had been an even more effective film