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Sleep Dealer

4.3 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The place: Mexico. The time: The near future. Memo Cruz has always dreamed of leaving his tiny village and heading north to a big city where he can work in a modern, high-tech factory. Finally, his dream becomes a reality...and his reality becomes a nightmare! Memo finds himself in a terrifyingly bizarre world of border walls, shanty towns, high-tech factories, remote control drones and aqua-terrorists a world of tomorrow that will soon be today! Winner of two prestigious awards at the Sundance Film Festival, and nominated for both the Gotham Awards and Independent Spirit Awards, this groundbreaking film has been praised by critics and audiences alike.

Review

A dystopian fable disguished as sci-fi adventure... Exuberantly entertaining. --A.O Scott (The New York Times)

Like Blade Runner and other big-brained sci-fi flicks, it's about ideas... A radical vision of a troubling tomorrow --Wired

Adventurous, ambitious, and ingeniously futuristic! Science fiction with social commentary... --Kenneth Turan, LA Times

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Luis Fernando Pena, Leonor Varela, Jacob Vargas
  • Directors: Alex Rivera
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Maya Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002FUI4CE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,309 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sleep Dealer" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Sleep Dealer, dir Alex Rivera, 2008, USA/Mexico.

The Future of Science Fiction 5*

I have seen the future of science fiction, and it is good, at least if this film has the influence it so richly deserves. Written science fiction is about so much more than the space opera and bug eyed monster tales and post-apocalyptic gotterdammerung that form the bulk of filmic "sci fi" that it is good to see the film world catching up. There have always been a few "real" science fiction movies that break the mold -- "A Boy and His Dog", "2001", "Blade Runner", even "Charly" (though that butchered the original wonderful Daniel Keys novella, the intent was there) come to mind. But most of those refer back to classic science fiction written works. What is great about "Sleep Dealer" is that it takes the vision of good written SF, with an original plot and theme, mixes it with the vocabulary of the special effects driven films that dominate the science fiction theater, and comes out with something wonderful. I hope this is an indication that the new generation of writers and directors (and not just Hollywood budget types, but independent and "foreign" cinematographers) have absorbed this vocabulary to the point where it is simply another tool in their repertoir, and will continue to use it judiciously to tell a new generation of adult science fiction tales.

Sleep Dealer combines a cyberpunk vision of the near future with a clear social vision and a dynamite plot and characterizations. Memo (Fernando Pena, with a tilde) is a young man in a remote and dusty Oaxacan village, Santa Ana del Rio. His father struggles on to raise crops on the ancestral plot since a gringo corporation dammed the local river ...
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Format: DVD
This little sleeper of a movie winds together more different strands than any I've seen in ages. It variously explores American isolationism combined with a demand for immigrant labor, the rise of a commercial military, new kinds of sweat shops, armed escalation of the water wars, and the irony of social networking (in the electronic sense). As people interact more by wire, eventually, the wires become necessary for interacting even in person.

The major plot elements seem familiar - traditional society failing under pressure from the modern work, and the boy trying to support his family by working in the big city. A relatively recent stereotype appears, too: the soldier who we come to respect, even when he fights in a war that we don't.

This succeeds at many levels. It can be seen as an anti-American, anti-corporate diatribe, or as a grim extrapolation of today's headlines. Either way, it carries reminders that people will still reach out to each other, and that personal honor will continue to have meaning.

-- wiredweird
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The absolute brilliance of quality science fiction is that it almost always uses the future – either a distant tomorrow or the one lurking right around the corner – to tell us something about who we are today. In the late 1960’s, Gene Roddenberry’s STAR TREK did this uniquely well. Several major motion pictures in the last few decades have done similarly; you can add Ridley Scott’s BLADE RUNNER, Alfonso Cuaron’s CHILDREN OF MEN, and even Neill Blomkamp’s DISTRICT 9 to that list. In the past few years, a few others have once again ignited that trend – Shane Carruth’s UPSTREAM COLOR, Kristina Buozyte’s VANISHING WAVES, and Brandon Cronenberg’s ANTIVIRAL come to mind – and it looks like there will be more and more for inquiring minds in the decades ahead.

However, a film from 2008 completely slipped past me in this regards. As closely as I follow science fiction in particular, I was surprised that I’d never even heard of SLEEP DEALER. Still, given the film’s politics – or, at least, the particular leanings of the project’s writer/director – it probably didn’t get much coverage from media outlets I tend to frequent these days.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)

In the near future, major countries around the world have taken a definitive stand against terrorism, and they’ve completely secured their borders.
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Format: Blu-ray
Memo (Luis Fernando Peña) wants to escape his hard agricultural life caused by the US damming of their river. He does so with the aid of a radio interceptor. Little did he know that his hobby would lead to an unusual interaction and unique communication of three lives Memo, Rudy (Jacob Vargas), and Luz (Leonor Varela).

One scene that I can relate to is where Memo and Luz are at a rivers edge discussing life with his head in her lap. Even though this takes place in Mexico, I spent some time with my girl in a similar riverbed (Los Angeles) where it crosses with the San Jacinto River near a small park named Ford. Therefore, this had a more personal flair for me.

This is not a simple movie as not only stories overlapping but also the technology needed to tell the story is a collage of many sci-fi movies from before. I was interested in the main characters as a story however according to the voice over it is more of a political movement using technology against its self. They bend the system.

You will find a message for everyone on different levels. I think you will get the Memo.

You definitely need to see the two DVD extras "before the making of Sleep Dealer" which is almost a mini-tutorial on how to build and market a movie, and the voice over (in English) which tells all the nitty-gritty details of the movie including a more intricate use of resources. We learn that the war strike scenes are real footage from the net as are many of the other scenes and some verbiage is modeled on apache helicopter kill communications from u-tube.
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