Eye For Film >> Movies >> Paraphernalia (2009) Film Review
Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson
"Your graphics are rubbish", says Atari. The target of his scorn is his pet robot, a charmingly inept bit of kit. However, as we (and Atari) discover, even the worst of machines still has a job to do.
By rights this is a short film, albeit one with a character wholly created by CGI. That's no small feat, considering how recently one Mr. Binks blazed that particular trail. Foregrounding its use of a technique by adding it to a particular strand seems odd, but no matter - it's a technical accomplishment, but more importantly both entertaining and touching.
As Atari, Elijah Mohammed is convincing, resentful of his television-faced companion. Not much use at drawing, with no games, he's a danger around the house. It does seem reasonable to protest on occasions: "You terminated the fish!" However, there are clues that not all is well, subtly indicated. An apple a day is one thing, but a leaflet entitled Why You Are Special starts to give us some indications. That is, of course, assuming that you don't immediately identify Atari's friend - Andrew Peel's concept (art), Mark Halpernin's character modelling, and Conor Ryan's robot animation all work together to make Atari's burden a recognisable one, without beating us around the head with it.
If there is a weakness to the film it's purely that it feels a little like it's intended to reassure rather than entertain, and though this isn't really a fault it is a shame that there don't seem to be other films in a series with it - there'd certainly be scope.
In producing this creature of imagination and graphical wizardry, all three have helped serve writer/director John Williams' crisp little film. With a name like that, it's perhaps unsurprising that he also contributed to the music, though aided by Anthony Telfer Brown. Paraphernalia is a product of a significant team effort, and it shows in its quality. With solid technical execution the reality of Atari's situation is allowed to gradually filter through, and that process is lovely.Reviewed on: 09 Jul 2010
If you like this, try:Terminator 2: Judgment Day