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Paradox Alice

Paradox Alice (2012) Movie Poster
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USA  •    •  115m  •    •  Directed by: Erika Dapkewicz.  •  Starring: Jeneta St. Clair, Stewart W. Calhoun, Ethan Sharrett, Andrew Hernon, Amy Lindsay, Sandra Staggs, Liz Stewart, Jack Brand, Tansy Alexander, Scott Gabelein, Kim Mulligan, W. David Bogard, Jessica Schulte.  •  Music by: Mika Krstic.
       In the near future, a team is sent on a dangerous mission to Europa to retrieve and bring water back to a dying Earth. Their operation unexpectedly goes awry, jeopardizing not only the lives of those on board but also on earth, resulting in the possible extinction of the human race.

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Review:

Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Image from: Paradox Alice (2012)
Being part native American, human transformations have always been something I've been intrigued by. Almost every native American folk tale (from my tribe, at least) ends in a transformation of some sort; man to animal, man to object, or even man to woman. The ladder was usually the coolest story.

It seems like no films on Earth involve this idea, but it appears I have found one, Eric Dapkewicz's Paradox Alice. However, Paradox Alice is a generic independent film with nearly no redeemable qualities at all.

With better writing, this film could have been worth it, but as it is, the only thing this script is good for is testing to see if your new paper shredder works. The concept of sequential hermaphroditism being a plausible way for a species to survive is compelling enough for me to suspend my disbelief, but the film gets lost in this pretzel a tangled "love" triangle. The two other males, one being a nerdy Christian mama's boy and the other being a rigid old captain, both fall for their friend who has just become a woman in an unsettling and sporadically amount of time. If my best friend turned into a woman overnight, it would be extremely hard for me to forget he was once a dude, thus, it would take years for me to actually fall for himher, if I even ever did. But these guys forget it instantly and pursue her after just a few days. The captain character is begging for a kiss after what seems like 45 minutes.

The acting is abysmal. Andrew Hernon as the captain character gives such wooden delivery in every scene of the film and he makes me want to throw my remote at the TV screen; every scene he's in is just completely torn to pieces by this guys lack of acting skill. Stewart Calhoun as the nerdy Christian somehow manages to be even worse, but it doesn't help that his character is written unbelievably poorly. The only credible actor in this film is Jeneta St Clair, who actually does a pretty good job and she deserves better work than this.

The overall look of the film is very cheap. The lighting is atrocious; the film takes place in a futuristic space ship, not a damn cave. The ship computerrobot thing looks like a Sony camera with a tin can taped to the side, and I swear the film was shot in a garage. There are wooden bookshelves in the control room and the characters use futuristic visual trans-space communicating devices that look identical to iPads (gee, I wonder why?) But I will partially dismiss this because the budget was, what, $1000? If even?

Most people seem to bring up the rape scene. Honestly, I did not find it that disturbing for two reasons. One: it is extremely brief...I mean, it lasts like three seconds before the male climaxes. The only thing I was thinking was "Wow, this guy finishes really fast." Two: the acting is so horrendous that it made it obvious that the rape was not real, therefore, I was not disturbed by what I was watching.

The most baffling and confusing part in the film is the very ending. As the film begins to wrap up, we see the Xenomorphs (the creatures from the Alien films) aboard the ship while the ship computer spouts gibberish. This is obviously a twist ending...but what the bloody hell was the twist? Was the computer working in cahoots with the aliens the entire time? Was the gender transformation all because of the computer? Were xenomorphs on board the ship the entire film? (How else did they get on the ship at the end, besides just spontaneously appearing on board?) Most importantly, why the hell were there Xenomorphs in this film at all? Was Eric Dapkewicz trying to imply that this film is in the same universe as the Alien franchise?

I've checked out the other works of Eric Dapkewicz, or "MakoDap" as he goes by on YouTube. He is the editor for several major Dreamworks films such as Flushed Away or and Puss In Boots, and those are some of the best edited animations I've ever seen. In the past, I also listened to and reviewed two albums by his band, Imaginarious, and both reviews were pretty positive. However, I have also checked out some of his stuff on YouTube. This man is very into transformations, man-to-woman specifically. He has created online comics depicting male-to-female transformations in graphic detail, most of which are sexual and contain some form of eroticism. Also on his YouTube account are the films he has directed, The Kiss and The Last Piece Standing, with Eleven being uploaded this summer. All three of these films have male-to-female transformations as the main theme. Another reoccurring plot point among nearly all of Dapkewicz's YouTube work is that after a man transforms into a woman, heshe becomes very horny and has sex with another man, usually willingly and very happy to do so. The ladder theme is very peculiar and disturbing, and it seems like this is just a masturbation fantasy for Eric Dapkewicz to get out of his system. That said, most of his YouTube work is actually crafted very well and he has a natural talent for storyboarding, but I don't recommend any of it.

Overall, biggest problem with this film is that its just forgettable. The script is awful, but not so awful to the point of where its memorable. The acting terrible, but none of the actors are among the worsts (except maybe the captain). The effects are just mediocre, the sets are mediocre, the editing is mediocre, everything just blends in. Its the solid definition of a 310 - 410 film. I honestly don't recommend it even in the slightest, but I do think Eric Dapkewicz can make something good given some money, a good script and actual actors.


Review by Scott Sonoma from the Internet Movie Database.