Disoriented and forced to relive memory after memory, John Peterson struggles
to solve the mystery of what is
happening to him and the identity of the enigmatic woman, who is seemingly guiding his way.
Written By: Rob Johnson
Directed By: Rob Johnson
" In a flash of white a lifetime was shown before his very eyes. But who's? " - was the quote that kept running through my mind as I approached the end of Rob Johnson's short film Cognizance Blurred. Who am I quoting? Nobody really. Just a phrase that kept repeating in my head. This little film was strange, unique and held enough visual interest to keep me happily watching straight to the very end. If I were to compare styles, I would say there was a lot of "The Butterfly Effect" and maybe a dash of "Inception" thrown in for good measure. It's also worth pointing out that some scenes; intentional or not had a creepy "The Shining" vibe going on. Not so much because a hotel was used but rather the visual style itself. I've made all these comparisons and you, the reader is probably asking yourself if I'm saying this isn't a unique story. I'm not saying that at all. The plot presented is a pretty cool and unique one. The hard part for me is that it's very unusual and hard to explain. The only way I can relate it in words is to compare it. Otherwise I would give away the story.
First and foremost I want to touch on the cinematography. Cognizance Blurred features some very nice camera work at times. Awesome dolly work and some excellent shot compositions are the norm; the hand-held shaky shots are nowhere to be seen. By that token alone, Cognizance Blurred is elevated to a much higher standard than a lot of indie films and compliments the story at every turn. I love visual candy! Following up the camera work is the video editing itself. This was competently handled for the most part, with only a few instances that had me scratching my head a little. In a massively stylistic gesture there are edits that completely ripped me out of the world Rob Johnson created. Splices where the actor was doing one thing and then instantly vanished, or was in another area of the room altogether threw me. I've seen these types of cuts used before... stylistically... but here, in these cases they simply didn't work. For me anyhow. Again, this is all one mans opinion and may not be yours.
The talent did a good job portraying their parts and although not always perfect, never enough to make you think you're watching a grade school production. I'm also inclined to believe that the few instances the actors seemed 'off ' may have been more of an audio issue. Audio you ask? Sure. Some overdubbing was done here. Maybe the entire film, maybe only some trouble spots like the beach scene, it's really hard to tell now-days. Dubbing probably couldn't be avoided (Beach Scene) due to wind noise and whatnot. There are times however, where the sync up doesn't match and the audio... sounds off. Line delivery by the actors may have felt 'odd ' to me because it was dubbed, and not because of the talent itself. One of those things that's really hard to say for sure but again, not that big of a deal.
In the end I can safely say I was glad to have gotten to watch Cognizance Blurred and would gladly do it again. We have an interesting story with some some good talent backing it. The post and polish, for the most part compliments the unique attributes of the short and to put it simply, without all the fancy mumbo-jumbo... it was just a really entertaining short film! I tend to wonder if there's any chance of a feature being written based on the idea presented here. Guess I/We will just have to wait and see.
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