on August 11, 2012
Safety Not Guaranteed is a quirky love story that sucks you in the second it starts.
The story is about a team of 3 journalists (Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson, and Karan Soni) who decide to write a story about a man who is seeking someone to travel with him back in time. He doesn't say where he's going or why, but the ad he writes is interesting enough for the story. Besides a wonderful subplot, thats basically the story. Its funny, cute, and above all else brutally honest. Our three journalists are all in someways emotionally damaged or emotionally distant, and watching these characters grow is a wonderful and move beyond their troubles is pure joy. Mark Duplass as Kenneth, the one who wrote the ad, is fantastic. He does such a good job with the character that about halfway through the movie, you begin to question if he really does know how to travel back in time or not. Aubrey Plaza as the one who gets close to him also does a great job, a character worth rooting for and one that by the end may have you holding back a few tears. Karan Soni plays the lovable geek while Jake Johnson has a subplot involving a past lover that is as heart wrenching as it is funny.
This movie is so beautifully simple that I can't recommend it enough. The performances are great, the music is wonderful, and the story is all being told in front of a beautiful backdrop (mostly filmed in or around Seattle).
on September 12, 2012
This is a great gem of a movie that has all the tell tale markings of a sleeper hit. I have to say this film made me realize how jaded I've grown toward independent films. Having seen the trailer, I expected to be entertained and enjoy the film, but I was sure that I was beyond its warm and fuzzy sentiments - I never expected to fall so hard for this movie.
It was absolutely lovely to watch a film that both my teenage son and I could enjoy that has great characters, plot, dialogue and direction. Not to mention heart, warmth, and a refreshing lack of violence and nudity. The film walks a fine line, yet never falls into the realm of the sappy, cliché, or bland family film. This is the kind of film that shows you how delightful it is to be surprised and charmed by everyday reality.
on October 18, 2012
Safety may not be guaranteed when you travel through time, but I can safely guarantee that this is an excellent movie. I ,on a whim, just decided to buy Safety Not Guaranteed through Amazon Instant Video. The performances are just great in this movie especially Mark Duplass (The League) as Kenneth and Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation) as Darius. Mark Duplass really shows what he can do as an actor in this movie as he plays a completely different character than Pete from the League. Kenneth is introverted and highly intelligent, but also is a bit crazy in an endearing way. There is also some good side story stuff featuring Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Karan Soni (Worst.Prom.Ever.) where Karan's character Arnau convinces Johnson's Jeff to give a girl a chance even if she looks different than she did twenty years ago. This movie is just so well acted, directed (Colin Trevorrow), and written (Derek Connolly) . There is a lot of deeper thoughts and feelings especially regarding the reasons for going back in time and the relationship that forms between Darius and Kenneth. There are also some great heartfelt moments and just as many fun moments. The ending is also not what you'd expect, and it was awesome. I absolutely loved this movie, and it's the best indie movie I've seen a while. GO BUY THIS NOW!
The last we heard of the Duplass Brothers (Jay and Mark), they brought us "Jeff, WHo Lives at Home". Now comes this, which is co-produced by the Duplass brothers and others, and which stars Mark Duplass.
"Safety Not Guaranteed" (86 min.) is based on a real ad which appeared in a magazine, looking for a time travel mate, "please bring your own weapons, safety not guaranteed". From that writer Derek Connolly made up this story. In its very essence, a journalist and 2 interns from Seattle Magazine go out to Ocean View, WA, to find out who placed the ad (which turns out to be Kenneth, played by Mark Duplass), and why. One of the interns, Darius (played by Aubrey Plaza) poses as the time traveler-wanna be. Apart from this main story line, there are several parallel lines, one involving the magazine reporter looking up a HS girlfriend, now 20 years later. Duplass plays Kenneth straight up and you cannot tell whether the guy really believes that he can time travel, or whether he's just putting us on. That is one of the movie's biggest strenghts as it keeps the interest in the plot. That said, I was a bit let down by the ending, which came with a number of things unexplained, or worse, simply not believable.
This is a quirky little movie that is mostly entertaining. The acting performances are great, in particular from Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza. Kudos also for the excellent soundtrack from Ryan Miller. Make sure to stick around to the very end, as "Big Machine", a song that Duplass briefly plays solo in the movie, plays in full band mode as the end credits roll, and it's a fantastic tune (performed by/credited to Ryan Miller and Mark Duplass). This movie is MILES away from your standard Hollywood fare, but if you are in the mood for a good indie movie, I'd readily recommend "Safety Not Guaranteed".
on June 8, 2015
I guess the Duplass Brothers decided they needed to use Kristen Bell's name to promote this movie, as if the movie needed star power. The thing is, Bell has about two scenes in the movie, and is not really in the main plot--almost like they added her in at the last minute. That said, this is a fun, thoughtful, and surprising film. You keep thinking the main character (Mark Duplass) is most certainly out of his mind, but then, the movie keeps reeling you back in, so you think, No, this guy's a genius, or something... Great acting by Aubrey Plaza, as the princess-of-irony and attitude newspaper intern who finally earns her way into Duplass' weird time-travel world of intrigue, black ops and paranoia. The ending is really satisfying, as we once and for all find out that Duplass is indeed a genius and not a crazy person.
on September 11, 2012
An ad appears in the paper:
"Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed."
Jeff (Jake Johnson from "New Girl"), an assistant editor for a magazine convinces his editor to let him and his two interns Arnau and Darius (Aubrey Plaza from "Parks and Recreation") try and find the person who placed the ad as there might be something there about which an article can be written. She agrees.
It turns out he has an ulterior motive, his old girl friend lives there and he wants to see if you can go home again. One of many subplots, this adds depth but is not the main focus of the film. They find the author of the ad, but he spots the assistant editor as a ringer right away. They then send in the incredibly withdrawn intern Darius and in an unconventional way, they bond.
Although the question of whether or not he can build a time machine is answered, I'm not going to reveal that here. That's OK; you see, It Doesn't Matter. This is not a movie about time travel. It's about what happens to all these people in the process of finding out.
I can't say enough good about this film. Well acted, well directed, good story, the whole thing. I can say that almost everyone will be thoroughly delighted. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes bittersweet, sometimes joyful, sometimes philosophical, always charmingly offbeat, this movie is a unique treasure.
I also can't say enough about what a pleasant surprise this movie is. It grossed less than $4 million so far, it's not the "Dark Knight" after all, so there is a whole world out there that hasn't yet experienced this gem. Become one of them. This is HIGHLY recommended.
A recommendation: Get the DVD vs. the Blu-Ray. This is a small indie film, and neither the video nor the audio are going to benefit that much from Blu-Ray. So, as long as they do a decent DVD transfer (and if they don't it's unlikely they'd be able to afford to do so on the Blu-Ray), I wouldn't endorse the 25% surcharge for Blu, especially given how well players upscale DVDs.
on February 22, 2015
Shallow people. Weird happenings - a man objectifies women the whole time! (at least none of them allow it) and learns nothing, a nerd gets laid, and there is a time machine. Aubrey Plaza is still playing April, though a more realistic version, and it gets boring.
on July 5, 2015
Completely enjoyed it. My wife was skeptical about this movie from the description but really liked it as well. It's really character driven and the actors are very good in their roles. I don't want to give away any of the plot. Suffice it to say if you like quirky character movies of the romantic/drama/ a little scifi type you'll probably like this.
on March 24, 2016
When an unusual classified ad inspires three cynical Seattle magazine employees to look for the story behind it, they discover a mysterious eccentric named Kenneth, a likable but paranoid supermarket clerk, who believes he's solved the riddle of time travel and intends to depart again soon. I can't say enough about each and every perfect character and the actors who are playing them. When the intrepid journalists head out to find the real scoop on this guy and one of the reporters has an ulterior motive too, he wants to hook up with an old girlfriend, you will run into all manner of crazy or is it crazy? I loved the direction, the acting, the story and the scenery, too. If you don't get pulled in right away by the very smart and witty dialog....you have no soul! I can't and won't single anyone out as this is truly a group effort. I love it and think that you will too.
on March 29, 2016
Fantastic film. I only rented it because the original ad that they show was a real advertisement placed in "Backwoods Home" magazine by one of its writers (of course, the intent of the original ad was to find a life partner willing to live by the old ways.) I got immediately into the story and the hour and a half sadly went by in no time flat. I found it so good I purchased a DVD copy. One note - there is a serious side to this and a comical side to it. I found the characters related well to my own family, and the implausible story line combined with the reality of what would happen if someone figured out how to time travel, a very interesting combination. Well acted too, or I would not have given it 5 stars. Mind you, you need to like films like "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" and "Time Rider" to appreciate this one.