FILM REVIEW: “Sum of the Parts”

From Willamette Week, 7/11/07:

[ONE NIGHT ONLY] You’ve got to hand it to the dedication of a guy like Portland-based writer, director, editor and actor Raymond Steers—who apparently spent the past eight years making Sum of the Parts on a shoestring budget with volunteer actors. Steers has made a dollar-store Enemy of the State, a tale of an ordinary guy who gets hunted down by an elusive group of operatives called “Agent 17” after his friend “Nut” gives him a nifty pocket-sized black electronic device “1,000 times more powerful than anything we’ve ever heard of.” It may or may not also have the power to change a person’s DNA at the push of a button. (The iPhone ain’t got shit on this thing.) Sum of the Parts relies heavily on video tricks like split-screens and motion graphics, touches that might have seemed slick back in 1999 when Steers started the project. But today, they just feel tiresome, derivative and a little hokey. There’s actually a pretty cool film buried within Sum of the Parts, in the hundreds of still 35 mm photographs spliced throughout the whole movie—on their own, Steers might have had an interesting “La Jetée”-inspired short sci-fi art flick on his hands. But at nearly two hours, it feels long, overextended and in need of its own DNA replacement. Hollywood Theatre. 9 pm Saturday, July 14.


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