Primer

Primer

DVD - 2005
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Everything you think you know about modern science is about to unravel in this critically acclaimed film about two young engineers and the consequences they face when they invent a machine that enables them to travel back in time.
Publisher: [United States] : New Line Home Entertainment, [2005]
ISBN: 9780780650466
0780650468
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 77 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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c
Calvacade
Dec 07, 2018

Cerebral sci-fi movie that requires more than one viewing to penetrate it's maze of meanings. This is a low budget movie, so it's for those who are able to think a little- not about flashy explosions or graphics.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Dec 07, 2018

Primer is about time travel to get rich quick by scamming the stock market. Four engineers moonlight in a garage. While trying to make objects lighter, one engineer accidentally creates a machine that uses argon gas to reset time. He convinces his best friend to accompany him into the past to make a fortune. (Two of the engineers are redundant.) The $7,000 “film” is amateurish even by indie standards. Most of the film is spent looking at the back of the actors’ necks or up their noses. Nevertheless, it has somehow become a cult classic among physics geeks. The movie is very confusing and difficult to follow. I had to rewatch the film to understand it. The movie is mercifully shorter than most other movies, but I would not recommend watching it, because you do not get the 77 minutes back. 1/5 stars
@TheLastSarcasm of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

r
RoyalJellyIII
Nov 29, 2018

Primer is the most realistic science fiction movie I've ever seen, and hands down the best time travel movie of all time! Many time travel stories depend on invoking either nostalgia for long-passed days or dystopian fear of distant futures. Still others depend on far-fetched occurrences and/or special effects to achieve their goal. Primer, on the other hand, is in a class all its own. To begin with, the time travel destinations are only hours or days removed from the present. This is part of what gives the film its very puzzling quality, as people do not age noticeably nor do environments change drastically within a few days time span. As a result of this, the chronology of the film must be deduced primarily from the behavior, intentions, and dialogue of the characters; behavior which is unpredictable, intentions which evolve as the film moves along, and dialogue which is awesomely scientific. As other reviewers have pointed out, the writer/director/protagonist/composer makes no attempt to dumb down the conceptual framework and overall temporal complexity within which the film operates. Primer is difficult to understand. Whether you are a scientist or a science fiction fan, the first time you watch it you will probably only fully comprehend about half of it. But this, for me, is the film's best quality. The urge to rewatch it is immediate due to the fascination invoked by what was not comprehended. At this point I have watched it several times, and each time it makes more sense to me, however I still do not fully comprehend it.

f
Frankjweisz
Oct 20, 2017

The basic premise of Primer has the potential to be exceptional, as I admire and respect sci-fi movies based on actual science. I actually viewed this movie a second time, not realizing I had seen it quite some time ago. My reaction both times: it sucked the joy out of watching this movie both times.

The problem, IMHO, is the writing. Again, the basic story line is sound, but the writers fill the script with techno-babble and hip entrepreneur-speak designed to add credibility to overly highbrow dialogue, and so came across as pretentious and superficial. I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, as I was raised in the education system of the Kennedy Cold War era, with its emphasis on math and science, but I could not honestly discern whether the science portrayed was accurate or even real. Here, the writers drop the ball in failing to make a connection that an ordinary viewer would understand. As they dumped more and more scientific terms and processes into the film, I began to care about the characters less and less.

Then there's the plot. I'm not sure why the two lesser characters of the original foursome were included, as they didn't move the story along and were completely incidental to the film. It this way, they were merely red herrings. Also, what's with the guy with the shotgun showing up to the party? I couldn't understand why that plot device was introduced, other than the writers deciding they needed to add dramatic effect to a movie dry with scientific lingo.

I believe part of the problem is the limited budget this movie must have had. Imagine what this movie could have been in the hands of a James Cameron, Ridley Scott or David Cronenberg. Here's hoping that a big budget remake is a seed in one of their minds.

n
nparrish
Sep 13, 2016

Ever wonder what would happen if a couple 4-year olds wrote a movie with cardboard boxes for props? Here you go!
This has it all: Fake science double-talk, gay tension, no budget...basically a long U-Haul ad with no understandable point. The female parts could have been played by mannequins. I don't think anyone who actually studies engineering will be impressed.

c
conford98
Jan 12, 2015

Much more complicated than an ordinary film, even "Inception". Be prepared to watch it a second time before understanding it, and maybe looking at a chart. This means the film isn't for everyone.
It's so complicated because time travel is involved, and the time machine is used as a central plot element, rather than how the scene is set ("We're trapped in <era>! How do we get back to the future?!?"). So, naturally, people try to use time travel against one another.
One thing that makes this film truly outstanding is that the conflict is not due to time travel (return home without causing a paradox) or a villain, but rather the tension of struggling with a new invention, and its moral implications. Highly recommended as a great sci-fi film.

r
rslade
Sep 04, 2013

Confusing.

laustcawz Feb 12, 2013

If you like "Primer" (which I do), be aware that the man behind it, Shane Carruth, has completed his second feature (the first new one in almost a decade!), "Upstream Color", which is set to be released in April 2013. I, for one, will make sure I don't miss it! 1inthemix--saw "Upstream Color" &...well, I could go into a lengthy review, but I think I'll save that for when "U. C." makes it to DVD. Let's just say that yours was an empty promise. I'm not disappointed, but then, maybe we had different expectations.

elidad Feb 11, 2013

Considering the inexperienced, minuscule crew of five, and the absurdly low budget of $7,000 that it took to make this movie, Primer is quite an impressive feat. It's stylish, has great dialogue (though not typical at all—much of if it's intended more for realism and atmosphere than comprehensiveness), and has a really nice feel. Granted, not everyone will be able to appreciate it, as it is next to impossible to understand the first time you see it (and perhaps the next few times, too, if you're like most people), but confusion is part of the theme, and is part of what makes Primer great. It's designed to be confusing, and this in no way diminishes the beauty of the film as a piece of art and ingenuity.

n
noidont
Oct 28, 2012

If "Inception" confused you than this movie isn't a good choice for you. It's as simple as that.

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ezekieljd
Jun 05, 2015

ezekieljd thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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conford98
Jan 12, 2015

conford98 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

elidad Feb 11, 2013

elidad thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

n
noidont
Oct 28, 2012

noidont thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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trentalex Jul 21, 2012

"Are you hungry? I haven't eaten since later this afternoon."

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