2307: Winter’s Dream is a solid slice of science-fiction action set in a beautiful frozen future. This is a ‘Must-See Movie’ for any fan of the genre. It brings a cool breath of fresh air to this trending genre.
What’s It All About?
The year is 2307 A.D. The Earth is frozen over and virtually uninhabitable. The remaining humans live underground, unable to survive the sub-arctic temperatures. With no “man power,” scientists bio-engineered Humanoids that possess great strength, speed, and tolerance to extreme cold. A rogue humanoid named ASH-393 escapes from captivity and threatens to lead a humanoid rebellion against mankind. Arizona Federation leader, General Trajan, sends an elite team of Spartan 7 soldiers to hunt down and terminate ASH. Decorated veteran humanoid killer, Commander Bishop, will lead his team across the frozen wastelands to face his greatest foe.
This was described as “Mad Max on Ice”, but I’m inclined to say this film more resembles “Aliens”, “Predator” or even “The Thing”. That is not a bad thing, but a little misleading. Anyone expecting to find long chase scenes and vehicular action across the ice may be a little disappointed. This is futuristic and set in a wasteland, but there are not deserts in sight, this is a barren future filled with snow and ice. These harsh conditions are beautifully captured in this movie. You can almost feel the cold coming through the screen. The landscape becomes a character itself as our group of Spartan 7 soldiers are in a constant battle against these conditions.
2307: Winter’s Dream doesn’t get bogged down on background information. We are given a quick narration about what has become of the world, followed by a set up of the Humanoid ASH-393 escaping and then with are thrown into the story. It is a quick explanation setting the scene and that’s all we need. We are then thrown straight into the action. A film can easily get caught up on these details, but Winter’s Dream doesn’t dwell on it. The narrator tells us the what, the when, the why and the how and the presses forward with the film.
We have the typical band of macho-misfits going on the mission with Bishop. These are all given various screen-time and have varying personalities. I really liked this bunch of people. The most interesting of them being the nazi-loving Kix, who is a little too trigger-happy. I was a little disappointed with the story-arc of Ishmael, I felt as if we could have been given a little more of his story, particularly in the second half of the movie. Overall though I really enjoyed this band of mercenaries. I thought they all had excellent chemistry together and we very believable.
Joey Curtis wrote and directed the film, based on a story by lead actor Paul Sidhu, who plays Bishop. Joey has created a solid film for fans of science fiction by paying attention to the details. It’s these details that help bring the world he has created to life. The story itself is a very interesting one, while it is not completely original in terms of some of its ideas, it gives us a fresh take on them and throws in enough twists and turns, as well as some interesting character development to really let us immerse ourselves into the story. The journey the characters take is not just as simple as a ‘search and destroy’ mission, each go on a personal journey to some degree, which is satisfying to watch. I do feel that Joey deserves a lot of praise for the ambition he has shown in this film.
One of the best parts of the film is the ending. Joey takes us on a journey with this group of people and by the time the credits role you feel as if you have been on a journey yourself. The twist and turns along the path of the Spartan 7 crew are all interesting. Although the focus is on Bishop, the rest of the crew get enough screen-time and development for us to care about them, however I would have liked to have seen a little more of Ishmael in the second half of the movie. Although his character arc gets a conclusion, I felt as though we missed a big chunk of his story. More development and screen-time for this character could have improved his conclusion.
The special effects are also first class, I was extremely impressed with them. Budgets do not seem to hinder independent productions like they once did when it comes to effects. We are shown a whole host of fantastic CGI and practical effects, the standards here are extremely high. Even the small details such as the computer interface on Bishops arm looks very impressive, as I said earlier, it is these small details that make it excellent science fiction. The humanoids are great, it looks like they went down practical root for these relying mainly on make up, but it works very well, I liked the route they went down on with these, making the humanoids organic.
The action is also another highlight, and there is plenty of it. We have gun fights, fist fights and battle scenes, everything you would expect from this type of movie. There is also plenty of gore and blood. I felt that the only drawback on the action was some of the super-quick cuts during the fist fights, it does hinder the scenes a little as it is a little difficult to keep track of the action.
There were some great performances acting wise. I’m not sure how much the actors enjoyed filming in these harsh conditions but I felt as though it played in favour of the film, it brought another level of reality to the film. CGI is commonplace so I thought it was great to see a film being produced in real locations. The art of going out and scouting the right place to film and then shouting in a real location lets the actors take in their environment and really react to it. Those aspects became important character traits and let’s be honest who is going to be happy wandering around in the freezing cold.
Visually this film was great. We get some excellent shots of the snowy landscapes and city ruins, you can almost feel the cold air jumping through the screen. The darkness of the underground structure is a great contrast the white wastelands of the world above. This makes the film visually interesting. As well as that we get a great mixture of shots and clever use of close-ups, when it matters.
Paul Sidho played Bishop. Paul did an excellent job in this role. I really felt you grew into this character as it developed. He put in a very intense role but what made him stand out from other mercenary roles was the journey the character took. The character is complex with a number of levels to his story but Paul plays the part with ease. It was a brilliant story-arc for the character and he did a great job with it. I thought he showed a number of different strengths as an actor in the role .
Arielle Holmes played Kix. Kix was a very interesting character and the more you discovered about her the more you interested you be came. At first I did feel that the character was going to be one-dimensional but I was wrong. Arielle not only looked the part but seemed to completely fall into the character. She was loud-mouthed and trigger happy. Her character developed throughout the film ad she did very will with it. She had the right attitude and most importantly was believable playing the character.
Timothy Lee DePriest played Ishmael. Timothy was excellent as this character, he seemed the most vulnerable of the crew and played the character very well. I felt as though Timothy gave the character a number of layers that we only touched the surface on. I felt as though his arc could have been given more development but over was outstanding in this role. He was perfectly cast for it.
Branden Coles played ASH-393. Branden certainly had a robotic look about him in his actions and the way he delivered his lines, but the more we saw of him the more human he seemed to become. He was brilliant in the role of ASH.
Kelcey Watson played El Hatta. El Hatta was a very likeable character. He was loud and fun. He seemed to enjoy playing this character.
2307: Winter’s Dream is a perfect blend of science fiction and action. Unlike a lot of movies that go down this path, this is a science-fiction flick first and an action movie second. Joey Curtis builds a believable world and places plenty of twists and turns in the story to keep us interested. I highly recommend this film particularly to fans of the genre.