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Jim

A fatally unwieldy construct of naturalistic drama and cataclysmic sci-fi.

With:
With Dan Illian, Vanessa Morris-Burke, Abigail Savage, Michael Strelow.

A fatally unwieldy construct of naturalistic drama and cataclysmic sci-fi, “Jim” is just too much for one movie to contend with, try as writer-helmer Jeremy Morris-Burke might. A solid perf by Dan Illian and the topical urgency of his title character’s woes (specifically, health care and unemployment) are sent off the rails by digressions into a dystopic future that seems inspired by “Dr. Who.” Extremely limited theatrical play will likely be the extent of “Jim’s” exposure, despite a Rod Serling-style payoff that comes close to redeeming the movie.

Jim Kotofsky (Illian) is burdened by dreams, regrets and memories of his wife, Susan (Vanessa Morris-Burke, the director’s wife), whose illness destroyed his career and whose death demolished his finances. Unfortunately, pic does so much seesawing between Jim’s imagination and his reality that viewers lose their moorings, and the sudden digression into the future — where “naturals” and “clones” co-habitate beneath an earth ruined by war and insanity — is utterly disorienting. The two storylines do eventually collide, but helmer Morris-Burke (who makes imaginative use of color in his camerawork) might want to consider more straightforward drama, of which he seems particularly capable.

Jim

Production: A Tinmouth Films and Jim and Susan Prods. presentation. Produced by Vanessa Morris-Burke, Jeremy Morris-Burke. Executive producer, Kristina Szandtner. Directed, written, edited by Jeremy Morris-Burke.

Crew: Camera (color), Jeremy Morris-Burke; music, Alexandre Tannous; production designers, Michael Byrnes, Suzanne Wang; costume designer, Rabiah Troncelliti. Reviewed at Quad Cinema, New York, Oct. 11, 2010. Running time: 102 MIN.

With: With Dan Illian, Vanessa Morris-Burke, Abigail Savage, Michael Strelow.

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