New Line Home Entertainment
Date: April 19, 2005
Review posted: April 27, 2005
experiments in a garage, two brilliant engineers (Shane Carruth,
David Sullivan) who lead double lives accidentally discover that
their project enables them
back in time. Each man's curiosity leads to experiments without
the other's knowledge, some with serious consequences.
technical jargon and some impressive props (simple yet very
effective) for a low-budget film, Primer presents an
interesting and intriguing story that soon evolves into a type of
mystery and puzzle. The script starts off pretty slow as it
introduces the characters and their situation, which is that these
guys want to create a product or idea they can later sell for big
profit. As the movie seemingly creeps along (the pace is quite
slow for the first hour) the story begins to unravel turning into
somewhat of a mindbender. That is, once the two guys realize they
have built a time machine of sorts (it requires they enter a large
box with an oxygen tank), they begin to experiment with time and
opportunity, meaning investing in stocks. However, their situation
soon becomes complicated and even dangerous, which creates a good
amount of tension.
intriguing premise, after it was over I had a hard time trying to
figure out what exactly happened. I couldn't grasp the idea behind
the time traveling, or how they achieved it, which is somewhat of
a setback. Parts of the movie are kind of confusing and not fully
explained. On the other hand, Primer is well done for a
low-budget production, I especially liked the cinematography and
the mood of the score. Shane Carruth's direction in interesting as
he achieves some good moments of tension and intrigue. The acting
by Carruth and David Sullivan is fairly good.
New Line presents
Primer in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The video isn't the
best quality (it was shot with the most affordable film - meaning
Super 16mm - the director could afford) as there is lots of grain
throughout the picture, as well as a lot of natural light. Some
specks and dirt appear also. Colors look okay, they're mildly well
saturated. English and Spanish subtitles are available.
New Line presents
Primer in English Stereo 2.0 Surround. Dialogue is sometimes
easy to hear but other times it's very hard to make out, so
subtitles sure come in handy. The music and few sound effects are
presented rather nicely through the front speakers.
tracks are included with this release. Commentary by
writer/director Shane Carruth is informative and interesting
for most of the duration. He shares some stories from the
production and also explains several scenes in the movie but sadly
doesn't go into much detail about what is really happening in the
The cast and crew
commentary is more entertaining as the participants tell a few
good stories and chat about various things, but it's not as
informative as the first track, plus some information is repeated.
Also available is
the theatrical trailer and previews for other New
Line titles. An interview piece would've been nice.
is an interesting movie to look at even though some story elements
are a bit confusing. The DVD is decent so I'll recommend it as a
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