Review – Mine Games (2012)

Time Loop Review #03

Type of Time Loop: House of Mirrors

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The first film in the time loop movie review blogathon extravaganza that I’ve never seen before is Mine Games. This film can be found on Amazon Prime currently, so if you’re interested in what this movie is all about, you now have that option. Another thing you should know about this movie is that it’s not a typical time loop film. This is what I call a House of Mirrors time loop, or even, a reverse time loop. Normally, you have one person stuck experiencing the same event over and over again until they get it right. However, this isn’t a specific event. This is a broad location where every day already naturally seems exactly the same, so the loop is something that overlaps and multiplies and doesn’t fully reset as you might expect. The only other movie that I know that does this is Triangle, which I’m looking forward to seeing again.

A group of young friends make an incomprehensible discovery in an abandoned mine, but the more they try to change the future, the more they seal their fate.

PEOPLE – 7/20 (35%)

Acting – 1/4 | Characters – 1/4 | Casting – 2/4 | Importance – 1/4 | Chemistry – 2/4

Clearly, there’s some issues in the people department. To be fair, this isn’t the primary focus of the film. Everyone in this movie is second nature, blend in together, have very little independent importance as a whole, and kind of suck at acting and all that as a whole is a bit distracting. The biggest flaw here comes to the mere fact that they simply needed enough actors to fill a movie with bad things that happen to these people. However, it doesn’t matter who they are or how they fit in. There’s even a psychic in the movie that I think was pointless to include…yet she was the most diverse character in the group because of that fact. That’s when gimmicks don’t really help anything.

WRITING – 5/10 (50%)

Dialogue – 1/2 | Balance – 1/2 | Story Depth – 0/2 | Originality – 1/2 | Interesting – 2/2

While there was a lot of thought put into making a twisted story, it isn’t without flaws here. I was nice in giving dialogue half points, since there was some really cheesy lines in the movie, but it wasn’t always bad, so I was nice enough. Balance-wise, it eventually does an okay job connecting the dots, but because nobody knows what direction the film is going because nobody has any goals because we have a cast of forgettable characters! Definitely not a movie with any real depth, it was just made for fun. Originality, not so much, it is basically a less-clever version of Triangle. That being said, I still consider it interesting enough to watch and guess at what’ll happen next.

BTS – 6/10 (60%)

Visuals – 1/2 | Cinematography – 1/2 | Editing – 1/2 | Advertising – 2/2 | Music/Sound – 1/2

This is the most common score for BTS in any given film. It basically just means nothing stood out and it was as-advertised. If I would say it failed at anything, it would simply be because it is a time loop film, editing should’ve been better, but it never feels impressive. At most, it was nearly there, just never quite got there.

NARRATIVE ARC – 7/10 (70%)

Introduction – 2/2 | Inciting Incident – 2/2 | Obstacles – 1/2 | Climax – 2/2 | Resolution – 0/2

The narrative arc is arguably the easiest thing a movie can get full points in, but not everyone does. There’s only two things that stopped Mine Games from achieving a full score here. First was the obstacles, and for that, we look at the snowball effect. We have flat characters without any motivations or goals, and without goals, the narrative becomes imbalanced (as seen in writing) and because there is no goals. there’s nothing to really stop them along the way to their ultimate goal – so no obstacles. The only obstacle is the time loop itself, which affects everyone equally. Other than that, there is no resolution. It doesn’t calm down or truly return to a new sense of norm.

ENTERTAINMENT -3/10 (30%)

Rewatchability – 0/2 | Fun Experience – 1/2 | Impulse/Buy – 0/2 | Impulse/Talk – 1/2 | Sucks You In – 1/2

Once again, not overly entertaining. Apart from the concept alone, there’s very little bringing you back to see the film. Nothing redeemable or deep about the characters or story, since they rely heavily on certain mysterious gimmicks, but that’s simply not enough to bring people back, let alone give them an impulse to buy it or own it. Let’s be honest. If you owned this movie, it may collect quite a bit of dust and get forgotten before you even take the plastic wrap off the movie. Gimmicks aren’t enough to truly make a film memorable or entertaining.

SPECIALTY – 15/40 (37.5%)

Time Loop – 5/10 | Thriller – 5/10 | Horror – 0/10 | Halfway Decent – 5/10

As a time loop movie, it’s okay. Honestly, the writers focused so heavily on how the time loop would factor in for the film that they ignored everything else. So, credit is given where it is due, though it’s not a very memorable time loop movie. As a thriller it does an okay job keeping thrills up, but the lack of depth kept you from caring that much. As a horror film, it is not scary and at times, tries too hard. As for being halfway decent, it could’ve been easily made better if they just focused on more than just the time loop. But because they didn’t, it wasn’t even halfway decent.

Total Score – 43%

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