Replay (2006) – By Duane L. Martin

 Film maker Ramiro Hernandez recently sent me his film replay to check out.  It was reveiwed in the magazine here last month by Brian Morton, but since I reviewed Ramiro’s first film 40 Seconds twice, in it’s first incarnation and then doing a re-review of it’s re-edit, he wanted me to check out the new film as well, which I happily did.

Replay is a short with a simple story.  There are two young girls.  One of the girl’s father works as a software developer for the military and he’s brought home this virtual reality system that the two girls are playing with.  Unfortunately for them, they become stuck in a loop of virtual reality scenarios that are all relatively similar, but each one becomes progressively more difficult and disturbing.  At the end we’re left wondering if anything in the film was actually real.

I could tell from the work he did in his first film that Ramiro Hernandez had a definite talent as a film maker, and only needed experience to hone that talent.  Well I can see from this film that I wasn’t wrong.  While both films are visually very nice looking, this film takes it to the next level in almost every respect.  The visual effects, the computer animation and the coolness of the story all add up to a really sweet viewing experience.

The acting from the two young girls in the film, Emily Argenti and Nicole Richards, is quite good on both their parts, and the opening scene in particular is extremely sweet.  One of them blows away this creepy mime serial killer and the other one looks at her and says, "Nice shot."  It was really funny because it was so surprising and the other girl’s reaction was so totally casual.

The editing was tight in this film, and the pacing was good.  The lighting was good and the sound was all recorded at good levels.  The camera shots and angles were creative and very well done as well, lending even more to the surrealistic feel of the film.

One of the great joys of what I do is that I get to watch film makers grow and progress from film to film.  Ramiro Hernandez has definitely done that, and I’m looking forward with eager anticipation to his future projects.

If you’d like to find out more about this film you can check out the Fandango Pictures website at http://www.fandangopictures.com.