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The Independent Critic

Jimmy Carter, Richard Makepeace, Matthew Thomas, Fran Biggs, Jayne Humphreys
Liam Johnson
15 Mins.

 "Reboot" an Intelligent, Involving Short Film 
I get a bit excited whenever I hear from U.K.-based filmmaker Jordan Barrett, whose short films Per Mare, Per Terram and Exodus were reviewed here on The Independent Critic while Barrett was still a film student. This time around, Barrett is serving as producer for writer/director Liam Johnson's terrific short film Reboot, a thought provoking and emotionally involving fifteen-minute short film about Charlie (Jimmy Carter), a young man whose father (Richard Makepeace) unexpectedly passes away and leaves Charlie with a grief more complicated than words can express.

In fact, a good part of the brilliance of Johnson's script is that he so often chooses sound and image over actual dialogue in illustrating Charlie's extraordinary struggle that turns into a thoughtful determination to use his engineering prowess to, perhaps, turn back time at the flick of a switch.

Reboot is equal parts sci-fi and compelling psychological drama with the film's humanity ultimately being what takes it from being a good film to a great film. It helps that Jimmy Carter, not the former U.S. President, gives an understated yet rich and appealing performance as Charlie. If there's one thing that always bugs me about sci-fi themed films, it's that too often emotion is left out of the equation. Carter, with only sparse dialogue and deeply felt physicality, brings Charlie to life as a man who is driven by both his obvious intellect and his overwhelming emotions. His performance is so convincing that you'll find yourself wanting to sit back and watch the film again.

While Reboot very much centers around Charlie, even the supporting players are well cast and convincing. Makepeace is excellent here, while Matthew Thomas, Jayne Humphreys and Fran Biggs all have brief yet memorable moments in the film.

D.P. Scott Coulter's lensing is beautifully realized, capturing the little details in both Charlie's intellectual process and his emotional journey. Jonathan Armandary's original music, a selection of which is shown in the above trailer, perfectly weaves itself into the fabric of the film and adds an emotional layer all its own. Editor Paul Meynell is clearly in touch with Johnson's vision for the film as there isn't a wasted scene in the film and each moment leads perfectly to the next.

Reboot was only recently completed and will no doubt prove to be quite popular on the indie film fest circuit. Both intellectually stimulating and emotionally resonant, Reboot is the kind of indie gem I live to discover.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic