Benson and Moorhead's Synchronic (2019)

Discussion in 'General' started by CPT HOOK, Jan 30, 2021.

  1. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    After hitting the festival circuit back in 2019, the latest movie from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead Synchronic is now available on blu-ray and DVD.



    The plot concerns two paramedics Steve and Dennis (Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan) in New Orleans who begin noticing many of their recent patients are under the influence of a new legal designer drug called Synchronic. When Dennis' daughter goes missing, with a Synchronic wrapper found in the place she was last seen, Steve (with nothing left to loose after a recent terminal brain tumor diagnosis) begins experimenting with the drug and following clues in order to find out what happened to his friend's daughter.

    I would say I preferred their previous movie The Endless to this one, but not by a wide margin. They're both pretty strong. These guys have come a long way since the not-so-hot Resolution. I'm generally not a fan of heavy science-fiction and was a little worried this might be one of those abstract movies that don't make any sense, but that fear was for naught as the movie is very accessible and easy to follow. In fact, you spend nearly an hour getting to know these characters and their world before the movie starts to go into the more psychological elements of what exactly this drug is. Once those elements are introduced, it becomes surprising fun and playful for a movie involving a missing daughter, a dissolving marriage, and terminal diagnosis. The ending packs a nice emotional punch as well. It's as much a buddy movie between Mackie and Dornan as it is a psychological sci-fi film.

    The blu-ray is currently a super affordable $14.96, which isn't bad for a new-release. The making-of is only a brief 15 minutes, but it's not your typical EPK and they pack as much as they can into that time. There's also some other goodies on there, including a commentary and some visual effects examples. The alternate ending isn't serious, it's just a joke involving a rock carving displayed throughout the movie. I can't guarantee this is the type of movie you'll watch over and over, but it's certainly worth seeing.

    Spring and The Endless both have threads here, and they appear to have fans on the forum. I figured Synchronic deserved a thread too. Anyone else check this out yet?
     
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  2. x666x

    x666x Well-Known Member

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    Saw it. Loved it. I am not even into sci fi myself, but these guys just nail it every time. They are great at dealing with time travel. They make it not so sci fi somehow. I agree Synchronic is definitely more straight up than the others for those who do not want a more immersive amount of detail.

    Glad you posted this, CPT HOOK. These guys are so underrated.
     
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  3. zompirejoe

    zompirejoe Active Member

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    I saw it, and I loved it as well. At one point in the movie I actually yelled out “oh no!“. I don’t get that reaction with a lot of movies that I watch. The last time I had a reaction close to that was with my recent viewing of Hunter Hunter, Another title I can highly recommend.It was a crazy somewhat haywire sci-fi story overall, but they made it work and made it feel real. I enjoyed The Endless and Spring as well, but this is my favorite film by these guys so far .
     
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  4. Natas

    Natas Is it October yet?

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    Looks pretty cool, I look forward to checking out. Same goes for The Endless.
     
  5. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure The Endless is still on NetFlix, if you have it.
     
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  6. sinister

    sinister Active Member

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    I liked Spring, but The Endless I thought was mediocre and Synchronic I didn't make it past about 20 mins in, a bit too bizarre and freaky with the CGI stuff for my taste. Glad you guys liked it though. :)
     
  7. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    Finally checked it out last night and thought it was great. I've been a big fan of Benson and Moorhead since they debuted and they have yet to disappoint. I will admit the approach to time travel here wasn't nearly as enthralling in comparison to "Resolution" or "The Endless" but it was still very smart, thought-out and compelling. The duo really shine with their direction and cinematography - Aaron Moorhead pulls double duty as DP - here with a great use of lighting, color, and movement of the camera. Honestly, this might be their best directed film yet.

    Special shout out to Anthony Mackie who gives, possibly, the best performance of his career. He plays a smart, strong willed - yet vulnerable - man who is filled with regret about his past, and puts himself in danger for a greater good since he has nothing left to lose following his cancer diagnosis. As much as I love the sci-fi aspects of B&M's films, they don't get enough credit for really putting enough into the human drama element of their stories, and this film really dives deep into that with Mackie's character. The final act of the film really hits hard as Mackie's character struggles with regret and loss, and tries his best to do something bigger than himself.

    I might be over stating this film to a degree, because I will admit the script is a bit clunkier in comparison to previous films in the B&M cannon.
    I wasn't a fan of the doctor character, who is responsible for the existence of the drug, and for no real reason tries to over explain how the drug works. I also found it weird that he just believed Anthony Mackie when he to told him that he trashed the remainder of the drug. We also don't see this guy for the rest of the film, relegating him to "exposition man".
    There is also a disconnection with the "stuck back in time" element that comes into play. Maybe on a second viewing it would make more sense, but for now I'm still confused.

    If you are a fan of Benson & Moorhead, this is a must view. If you don't like their approach to science fiction than I really can't say "Synchronic" will change your mind.
     
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  8. ImmortalSlasher

    ImmortalSlasher Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to watch the movies by these guys eventually. I keep hearing good things. Probably do a few nights for all of them.
     
  9. Natas

    Natas Is it October yet?

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    I watched The Endless last night. I thought it was just OK. The story was interesting enough, it was very well made......I dunno, just didn't do a lot for me. The ending was a let down in my opinion. I'm still gonna catch Synchronic though.
     
  10. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    This will be on NetFlix starting April 16th.
     
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  11. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Now available on NetFlix.
     
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  12. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    It's currently sitting at #1 on Netflix as well! :eek:

    I'm both shocked and glad, Benson & Moorhead deserve the attention.
     
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  13. Natas

    Natas Is it October yet?

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    I caught this over the weekend. Really enjoyed it. Pretty trippy.

    I did not like the sequence with his dog though. I'm one of those ultra sensitive dog lovers now, I guess
     
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