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Safety Not Guaranteed (DVD) DVD

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When an unusual classified ad inspires three cynical Seattle magazine employees to look for the story behind it, they discover a mysterious eccentric named Kenneth, a likable but paranoid supermarket clerk, who believes he's solved the riddle of time travel and intends to depart again soon.

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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play Three journalists set out to investigate an oddball who claims he can time travel in this indie comedy directed by Colin Trevorrow When a local paper discovers a personal ad asking for someone to share in a time-traveling trip with the writer the editor dispatches Jeff (Jake M Johnson) and interns Darius (Aubrey Plaza) and Arnau (Karan Soni) to get a story After tracing the ad to quirky supermarket shelf-stacker Kenneth (Mark Duplass) an initially sceptical Darius manages to gain his confidence by posing as a potential candidate for his mission But over the coming weeks as she undertakes &39;training exercises&39; in the nearby woods she gradually finds herself torn between her developing feelings for Kenneth and her obligations as a budding reporter

Three journalists set out to investigate an oddball who claims he can time travel in this indie comedy directed by Colin Trevorrow. When a local paper discovers a personal ad asking for someone to share in a time-traveling trip with the writer, the editor dispatches Jeff (Jake M Johnson) and interns Darius (Aubrey Plaza) and Arnau (Karan Soni) to get a story. After tracing the ad to quirky supermarket shelf-stacker Kenneth (Mark Duplass), an initially sceptical Darius manages to gain his confidence by posing as a potential candidate for his mission. But over the coming weeks, as she undertakes 'training exercises' in the nearby woods, she gradually finds herself torn between her developing feelings for Kenneth and her obligations as a budding reporter.

  • Average Rating for Safety Not Guaranteed (DVD) - 3 out of 5


    (based on 1 user reviews)
  • Safety Not Guaranteed (DVD)
    Ravi Nijjar

    "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed."

    This statement, contained in the text of a classified advertisement published in a magazine, is the central idea around which Safety Not Guaranteed revolves. It's an immediately attention-grabbing mystery, that instantly encourages us to ask several questions. Who placed the advert? Does he really believe he can travel in time? What if he really can? And will anyone be crazy enough to take him up on his offer?

    Over the course of 86 minutes, this witty, often charming little indie movie by Colin Trevorrow answers all of these queries, as well as serving up further food for thought on the subject of both past mistakes and future ambitions. Whether it answers them satisfyingly, however, is another matter - and despite some likeable characters and fun situations, there's a slight sense that this film just isn't fully-developed enough to really deliver on the promise of its concept.

    Aubrey Plaza stars as Darius, a young intern at a magazine who is taken by a writer, Jeff (Jake Johnson) - along with another intern, Arnau (Karan Soni) - on a road trip to investigate the advertisement. And when they eventually discover who placed it - a man called Kenneth, played by Mark Duplass - they learn that the story behind it is more tragic than they initially realised. But as they begin to peel back the layers of Kenneth's life, they soon discover that he might not be the most reliable source of information, and that his motives might not be as pure and honest as they seem.

    Thankfully, though, the movie doesn't try to be a serious thriller or a straight-faced mystery. Instead, it treats the central plot with a certain amount of irony, preferring instead to explore the personal lives of its four main characters, including the ways in which their individual pasts have led them to become the people that they are today. So, we learn about the death of Darius' mother; the carelessness with which Jeff treated women in past relationships (including an old flame that he tracks down over the course of the movie); the timidness and lack of experience that paralyses Arnau; and the possibly-misplaced sincerity that drives Kenneth to pursue his quest.

    Along the way, there are enough funny lines and comedy setpieces to keep you entertained. However, there are also a couple of ill-advised detours into straight-faced action - including a heist at a technology company, and a pursuit by shady government agents - none of which really works, and all of which only serves to distract you from the characters and relationships that are the story's main strength. But even then, these feel like sketches of characters, rather than fully-formed personalities; as though maybe another rewrite or two of the script could have brought everything into slightly sharper focus, and made us care about everyone just a little bit more.

    This isn't a serious movie about time-travel. It's not going to explore mind-bending paradoxes or create exciting situations based around whether someone can truly change the past. But it provides some nice ruminations about how we reconcile our past actions that we may regret with the person that they've led us become in the present day - and how those experiences go on to shape our future. It's a little bit insubstantial, and - without giving anything away - makes (to my mind) a wrong move right at the end of the movie by sacrificing much of the ambiguity that it's just spent an hour and a half building up, but despite these weaknesses it's still an enjoyable slice of low-budget hipster sci-fi that will entertain you - even if it doesn't stick in the memory for long.

    Ravi Nijjar

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