Today’s Cinema Society screening was….how can I put this delicately……an exercise in boredom. Admittedly, I was not the audience for it. I’m not into science fiction, nor do I have a huge connection to stories about college kids who grunt instead of talk but are really good with their computers (e.g. techies). And movies in which things explode a lot make my eyeballs bleed. I like narratives, and “The Signal” doesn’t have much of one. What it has is a young director, William Eubank, whose second feature film this is, and the “cool” factor of having premiered at Sundance in February. Herewith from the film’s publicity materials:
Three college students on a road trip across the Southwest experience a detour: the tracking of a computer genius who has already hacked into MIT and exposed security faults. The trio find themselves drawn to an eerily isolated area. Suddenly everything goes dark. When one of the students, Nic (Brenton Thwaites of “The Giver” and “Maleficent”), regains consciousness, he is in a waking nightmare.
Suffice it to say, our hero has a journey involving aliens and weird looking people and mysterious questions posed by Laurence Fishburne as the torturer in chief. I kept wondering if Fishburne has big alimony payments that forced him to take this role or if it’s just tough for actors to find work at his age.
I think the less I say about my lost afternoon in the theater the better, except that I wish I had those two hours back.