Sunday, October 4, 2009

film review: 2B: THE ERA OF FLESH IS OVER

Even the logline is a statement that cannot be dismissed merely as exaggerated fiction: New York, soon. Technology's exponential growth is fast and furious. Human life is in the process of being transformed. Mia 2.0, the world's first "Transbeman" and her creator, "father" Dr. Tom Mortlake make a shocking, global political statement "designed to prove that human reliance on the fragile, human body is over and eternal life is at hand". It sends a spine tingling chill down my own fragile, flesh body.

The story is not a new one with well known science fiction authors as well as Mary Shelley's foreboding message in Frankenstein - that we ought not to dabble with Nature by playing God. There are consequences. And there are scientific and medical advances that humans are accepting into their lives at a remarkable level of technological expansion despite expressing discomfort at the pace and what is predicted as what will be.

The setting in a gritty New York is familiar with the lights and huge screens in Times Square streaming breaking news from around the world. James Remar (THE WARRIORS, COTTON CLUB, 48 HOURS) plays Dr. Tom Mortlake (mort=death, lake=water,birth), an eccentric technology inventor and billionaire who lives in a cavernous mansion echoing medieval great halls and labyrinths and is surrounded by and immersed in media that plays throughout the environs. His genius/madness brought into being Mia, played by Jane Kim (WEST 32ND STREET, FEEL), a beautiful, naive creation, who is summoned to participate in Mortlake's showdown with leaders of the "Fleshists" movement. The Fleshists are the political power ready to take Mortlake down before MINDFILE (a software that downloads human consciousness) becomes available to the public. During a news blast, the entire world, including down and out journalist Clay Konroy, played by Kevin Corrigan (THE DEPARTED, GOODFELLAS), as Mia executes Mortlake, shooting him in the head in cold blood. She leaves the scene with Mortlake's cerebral/soul essence in a box, escaping human homicide detective, Vicky Borano's (Florencia Lozano) hot pursuit. Following Mortlake's direction, Mia finds Clay and asks for his help in uploading the first MINDFILE, thus resurrecting Mortlake back for his eternal life. The white light spreads all over. All are welcome.

Visual effects and production design with technological graphics delivers a synthesis between the digitized and filmic styles. Everything could be going on either now or the very near right now, especially the gritty neighborhoods that camouflage the ultra cool tech bar where the fugitive Mia meets with Clay for her side of the story. But it's the music that gives it the human touch and composer Michael Galasso's score is beautifully poignant throughout this film adding sentiment into an otherwise biotecho engrossing and a seriously palatable course in science fiction entertainment.

Watch the streaming video from the Woodstock Film Festival panel Redesigning Humanity- The New Frontier on

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