Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Primer (4 Stars)

A group of scientists invent a machine which can send a person back 21 hours in time. Rather than report their results they use it to make money by playing the stock market. Scared they might create temporal paradoxes, they hide in hotels during the time when their doubles are also alive. But their caution doesn't work. Things go wrong, and they have to struggle to put it right again.

I bought this film after seeing it in first place in a list of the world's most underrated sci-fi films. It was a good recommendation, but the list overall was faulty. "Dark City" was in the list, and that isn't underrated, is it? I thought it was a well known sci-fi classic. To be "underrated" a film has to be unknown to people who would like it if they saw it. As soon as the film becomes known and appreciated it's no longer unknown. Or at least, that's one definition. Another definition is that a film is underrated if it's really good despite most people saying that it sucks. That's a tough standpoint to defend, though, because usually the majority are right. A third definition of "underrated" is a film that was a box office failure, but people who see it later on DVD like it. Ah ha! In that case "Donnie Darko" would qualify as an underrated film.

I personally like to think of an underrated film list as something subjective. It has to be my own personal list of films that I think are good, even though others who like that sort of film haven't seen them. That would make them non-rated rather than underrated. My personal list of the most underrated sci-fi films is
  1. Timecrimes
  2. Triangle
  3. Outlander
Two out of three are time paradox films. That's probably not a coincidence. Maybe I should add "Primer" to the list and make it three out of four.

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