Stephanie Alvarez, Alexandra Hoffman Beechko, Kristin Bellamarie
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
I admire a filmmaker with artistic integrity.
No One Lives Forever writer/director Joseph Villapaz surprised me when he contacted me to check out his latest short film. While it's certainly not rare to be contacted by indie directors for a review, it's at least a little bit rare when I've given a less than glowing review to the filmmaker's preceding effort.
In this case, I reviewed Villapaz's 50-minute Love Eterne, a promising microcinema effort inhibited greatly by the filmmaker's budgetary constraints and inherent tech limitations. It was the kind of review where I found myself intentionally not trashing the film, though there are certainly many filmmakers who would consider a D+ a thrashing regardless of what words were used.
No One Lives Forever isn't a brilliant film, but it's a definite improvement from Villapaz's last effort with a stronger tech showing this time around and a promising concept that gives yet further indication of the creativity going on in the filmmaker's mind. The film also puts on full display what happens to be a primary strength for Villapaz, his camera work. Filmed on an incredibly modest production budget, No One Lives Forever features solid imagery and a few interesting special effects along the way.
The film centers around an alien advanced being who seeks refuge on earth only to be heavily pursued by secret operatives intent on returning her back to her home no matter the cost.
For the record, this isn't Men in Black 3.
No One Lives Forever has a solid sci-fi thriller vibe, though it doesn't manage to work up much anxiety over the course of its slight nine-minute running time. A substantial part of the problem lies in the film's less than adequate sound mix, an inevitable consequence of the film's low-budget. Of course, an even bigger part of the film's problem may very well be that it's intended as a short film version of what will likely be a 70-minute feature film. While the film may still have to resolve some tech issues along the way, this is a storyline that's begging for more than nine minutes to play out.
For more information on No One Lives Forever, visit the film's website listed in the credits and be sure to stay tuned for the feature film's release. Here's hoping Villapaz sends me his next film!
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic