Singularity Principle DVD Review
Written by Karin Crighton
DVD released by Big Screen Entertainment Group
Written and directed by Dr. David Deranian and Austin Hines
2013, 83 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on July 14th, 2015
Michael Denis as Peter Tanning
John Diehl as Jack Brenner
Kallie Sorensen as Lyndi Tanning
William B. Davis as the Intelligence Officer
Disclaimer: I might be generous with that score, but this was written by an actual particle physicist and I’m not equipped to fully appreciate quantum theories.
Peter has always been interested in parallel universes; as a child he often dreamed he was phase-shifting between worlds. As an adult, he is a brilliant particle physicist who writes a daring thesis on the matter. Renowned professor Jack Brenner reads it and offers him an incredible position at a state-of-the-art lab studying just that - the catch being it’s top secret and he isn’t supposed to let people know what they’re doing there. The secrets and the pressure cause strain on his marriage and his workplace. Until it works. As Peter is caught between his successes and failures, he finds himself also caught between realities, fighting to find his way back to the world he knows.
Singularity Principle does a good job honoring the actual science behind science fiction. Writer/director Dr. Deranian doesn’t shy away from the math or computer technology needed to make these things happen, but it rarely strays away from what the audience can grasp. It’s a window into what physicists actually do (dramatized, yes, but still very dry and real). To that end, the interpersonal relationships of the characters within come second and are somewhat forced.
Kallie Sorensen plays Peter’s wife Lyndi, who is introduced as very much in love with her husband, but she quickly cools to him as his success and responsibilities at work mount. It’s a formulaic character choice to give depth to the lead but gives Sorensen very little to work with as an actor. Hints are given that while Peter pays her less attention, she becomes interested in a wealthy businessman in town, which is again depressingly one-dimensional. Michael Denis does a fine job as Peter, fully committed to the role and very convincing as a physicist. The script still is a scientist’s work and not a writer’s, so he does flounder a bit when he needs to lose his grip on what is real and his flailing is over the top and confusing. John Diehl needed stronger direction as Jack Brenner. He has always been a talented actor, but in this film his perpetually amused facial expression comes off as quietly condescending and lacking urgency.
The filmmaking is basic; as I was taking the screenshots I realized there are no moments that “pop” visually. Some of the dramatic music swells were incongruous with what is happening onscreen. The special effects oscillate between good and bad. Separated from the live action, the animations perfectly detail whatever reaction is occurring. Layered over the live scenes several CGI effects look cheesy. It’s still way better than any SyFy film.
For all those points, Singularity Principle is still fascinating science. I could have watched to another a dozen more scenes explaining how this theoretical science could work. The way it’s posed in Singularity Principle makes one believe it might be possible to one day create another universe within our own.
So if anyone understands participle physics, I have questions: if the Einstein-Rosen bridge (a wormhole) joined by a black hole is the passage between two parallel universes, how would anyone be able to cross over? My understanding is a black hole would spaghettify everything. And if a monopole was created in this universe and was bombarded with energy in this universe and did create a Big Bang, would that not be a simultaneous universe within our own? How would the wormhole link work if they exist on top of one another? If you know, message me.
Video and Audio:
Occasionally the audio is muddled and difficult to hear; otherwise picture and video functions well.
Special features include: hardy plastic box to protect DVD. The description on the back of the box is apparently an old version of the script because there are references to characters and actors that do not appear in this version. Can also be used as a coaster.