Saturday, 30 May 2015

Mr Sumbody web trilogy review - Part 1

If you like Scifi Noir stories akin to Max Headroom, VR5, Johnny Mneumonic, Dark Angel, Blade Runner, and Judge Dredd, by way of Heavy Metal, then you'll definitely get into Mr Sumbody, an independent web trilogy filmed and produced in Vancouver, Canada through Mind Tool Films that features some well known talent to bring this story to life.  Mr Sumbody is dark and gritty modern day, two steps forward, with a twist. A future just at our fingertips, but just far enough ahead to be a dream... or is it?

Mr Sumbody follows Jacob Sumbody, an underground shock journalist in 2029 Vancouver where daylight is dangerous and people have adapted to a more nocturnal lifestyle.  With an uncanny knack for rooting out the truth, even if that truth is too uncomfortable for some to see it exposed, Jacob is a bit of a conspiracy theorist seeking the real skeletons hiding in dark places, skeletons the rich and powerful don't want found.  What he stumbles into takes him to a place he never expected, forcing him to question who he really is and who he can trust.  The world and the people around him are not what they seem, but to get at the truth, his life takes a deadly turn and he must fight back to survive the nightmare he finds himself thrust into.  His most trusted friends may well be his enemies while those who seem like bad news may well be able to save him.

The feel of Mr Sumbody is tangible as if it could be disturbingly real, yet takes you just a few years forward, reachable yet with the sense that things are not quite right.  Part one of this trilogy sets the stage and takes you on the beginning of Jacob's journey, triggered by a mysterious phone call, as he tries to figure out what's going on around him.  He's an alcoholic, heavy smoker, sex addict, and knowledge junkie poking his nose where he's not wanted, and when trouble finds its way to him, he discovers that the reality he knows may not be what he thought it was.  Seeking answers, he takes a chance that could cost him his life only to find himself staring at a reflection he doesn't recognize.  Part one, titled "Into the Future" (encompassing clips 3 and 4 from the site), pulls you in and doesn't easily let you go, leaving you wanting to know not only what happened to him, but also how he's going to get himself out of it.

Quite a selection of Canadian talent have worked to make this story come to life, including two well known and prolific screen and voice actors.
Dean Aylesworth (The Sentinel, X-Files, Dark Angel, SG1, Supernatural) is underground shock journalist Jacob Sumbody and main character in the trilogy.
Amanda McEwan (Supernatural, Rush) is Pinky Robertson, a raver girl turned informant for Mr Sumbody.
Garry Chalk (Watchmen, Angel and the Bad Man, The Killing, Blackstone, Tomorrowland) is Peter Heart, head of "The Real Press" and "friend" of Mr Sumbody.
Rob LaBelle (Stargate Atlantis, Supernatural, Watchmen, Psych, The Possession) is Dr Angus Phillip, the creator of the new street drug called "Punched".
Scott McNeil (The Sentinel, SG1, Sanctuary, Arctic Air, Primeval: New World) is Ted, a street wise bounty hunter and information hoarder.
Alexandra Mihil (The Pharmacist, A Mother's Nightmare, Gettin In) is Martha Young, editor at "The Real Press".
Tiffany Shepherd (Another Day in Hell, Bates Motel, The Millionaires Club, Motive) is FBI Agent Claire Saturday.
Trevor Mirosh is the writer, director, and executive producer for the Mr Sumbody web trilogy.

It is certainly a more mature story and setting, with some nudity, violence, and touches on drug and alcohol addiction, so some viewer discretion would be advised.  But don't let the more mature themes deter you from what is bound to be an engaging story with interesting twists and turns.  The story and characters are well written, giving the actors a solid foundation to build on, which they do quite well.  While part one is fairly short (19 minutes including credits), you end up feeling like you know Jacob and are already invested in his story.  These are not paper cutouts and one dimensional tropes, these characters are written as real people just like us with their own flaws, motives, mistakes, and imperfections.  You can relate to them and find yourself believing in this world and the people who live there while you wonder if this future is inevitable, or perhaps just one possibility.

Check out the official Mr Sumbody site to see the trailer, Part 1, and four clips from the trilogy, and read about the story and characters.  You can also follow Mr Sumbody on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.  To find more from Mind Tool Films, go to their official site, youtube, Twitter, and Facebook pages.  Our podcast interview with Trevor Mirosh and Dean Aylesworth can be found on our Podcast Garden page.








(Please Note: If any links are still broken, please be patient - both official sites, Mind Tool Films and Mr Sumbody, went down when their hosting was hacked and they were forced to relocate to new hosting and rebuild both sites from scratch.  All links will be updated as they come available.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.)