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I'll Follow You Down (2013)
Well Go USA
Blu-ray Disc Released: 8/5/2014
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/25/2014
"Hey, you wanna' watch a movie?"
"Sure. What kind?"
"A time-travel movie."
"Oh...I don't know about that."
We all have genres and sub-genres that we love and hate, but is there one more hotly debated than time-travel films? Pick any time-travel movie, visit it's page on IMDB.com, and marvel at the debates which viewers have over these movies. They usually deal with inaccuracies, inconsistencies, lapses in logic, and the other sorts of things that movie nerds love to argue about. Even the most tightly-plotted movie in this realm has those who will rip it to shreds. Because of this, many avoid these movies solely based on the fact that they may not be able to follow them. I'll Follow You Down takes a different view of time-travel, which may be appealing to those who don't like movies that want to be overly clever.
I'll Follow You Down opens in 2000, as Marika (Gillian Anderson) along with her son, Erol (John Paul Ruttan), drops off her husband, Gabe (Rufus Sewell) at the airport. Three days later, Gabe fails to return home as scheduled. Marika contacts her father, Sal (Victor Garber), whom Gabe had visited, but he doesn't have any information. As no clues were left behind, Marika doesn't know where to turn. The story then jumps ahead 12 years. Erol (Haley Joel Osment) has followed in his father's footsteps and studies theoretical physics. Sal has moved to teach and be closer with his daughter, who has never recovered from her husband's disappearance. Despite his mom's issues, Erol has attempted to have a normal life, attending class and spending time with his girlfriend, Grace (Susanna Fournier). His life is turned upside down when Sal approaches him with an odd proposal -- He has discovered Gabe's notes when imply that the man was dabbling in time travel, which may have been the cause of his vanishing. Erol and Sal thus embark on a quest to not only invent time-travel, but try and find Gabe.
First things first: It's been 15 years since The Sixth Sense and Haley Joel Osment is all grown up. Yes, 26-year old Osment has aged to look a lot different then he did when he was 11. Who amongst us hasn't? Let's not judge.
I'll Follow You Down attempts to carve a unique niche in the world of time-travel films. This is a science-fiction movie which avoids having a lot of science-fiction. The film focuses more on the ethics of time-travel, paradoxes, and history. If Erol and Sal are able to succeed in cracking the secret to traveling through time, their goal is to change an event from the past. However, if they succeed in doing so, that will dramatically alter the present which they know. They debate about which is more important -- living with the present or altering the past. This kind of thing is often mentioned in time-travel movies, but it's rare to find a movie in which these kind of deep questions are the focal point of the story.
While this is truly interesting and makes I'll Follow You Down decidedly different, it also means that the movie offers very little action. Writer/Director has created a film which becomes very top-heavy with dialogue scenes. There is one shocking moment in the middle of the film and a montage of Erol and Sal working, but otherwise, it is one talking scene after another. In what is clearly an example of saving money, the "time-travel" is depicted through sound effects and a sudden bright light. We see drawings of the completed time machine, but the finished product is only shown at an angle. Thus, if you are looking for hardcore sci-fi action, you need to look elsewhere. I must say that there is a moment in the final act which is surprising, but it's not enough to rescue the film.
If you've walked away from movies like The Terminator andLooper (or even Back to the Future) with a headache, then you understand the consternation that some feel over time-travel films. I'll Follow You Down raises some confusing points, but itís more concerned with drama and philosophical questions. The actors deliver good performances and itís interesting to see Osment and Anderson, two actors who found fame in the 90s, in the film. However, I'll Follow You Down lands in a no-mans land where itís too talky for action fans and too vague for those looking for the next Primer.
I'll Follow You Down is a somewhat weird title for the movie on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Well Go USA. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 24 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good, most notably during the walk across campus in the third act, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The crispness of the picture offers a nice amount of depth and the level of detail allows us to see textures on objects. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.7 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are detailed and show good separation. The surround sound and subwoofer effects are fairly subtle throughout the film, but during the time-travel moment, they really come to life and sound great.
The I'll Follow You Down Blu-ray Disc contains a few extras. Instead of looking at the movie as a whole, "Behind the Scenes" (13 minutes) focuses on the fim's score. Writer/Director Richie Mehta discusses the film's music while we watch the orchestra at work in London with Composer Andrew Lockington. The Blu-ray Disc contains three DELETED SCENES which run about five minutes. These are all fairly brief and no new ideas or characters are introduced. The final extra is the film's TRAILER.
Review Copyright 2014 by Mike Long