Newest Reviews:

New Movies -  

The Tunnel


The Tall Man

Mama Africa





Brownian Movement

Last Ride

[Rec]³: Genesis

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Indie Game: The Movie

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Old Movies -

Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena

Drums Along the Mohawk

The Chase

The Heiress

Show People

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry



Miracle Mile

The Great Flamarion

Dark Habits

Archives -

Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012

All reviews alphabetically

All reviews by star rating

All reviews by release year


Screening Log



E-mail me




2081 (Chandler Tuttle, 2009)


Playing like a serious-minded version of Mike Judge’s comedy Idiocracy, Chandler Tuttle’s inventive short film 2081 presents a dystopic vision sure to resonate with anyone who feels that the world seems to be getting dumber by the day. An extremely faithful adaptation of “Harrison Bergeron,” a five-page short story by Kurt Vonnegut, it effectively captures the author’s biting satiric mindset. 2081 is set in a future where equality has been achieved through the appointment of a Handicapper General who sees fit to weigh down the fit, place thought suppressing earpieces in the ears of the intelligent, and otherwise hamper those of ability until equality is reached. The script, like the short story, is small in scale, but legitimately clever, finding humor in its appalling forced equality. In a world where the bar has been lowered to the point where everyone is equal, incompetence rules the day. The television broadcasts that we get to see include a ballet in which the ballerinas are made to carry heavy weights while performing and a newscaster who is blessed with a severe stutter yet celebrated for trying really hard to deliver the news.


2081’s plot gets underway as Harrison Bergeron (Armie Hammer), a supposed anarchist, escapes from prison. From his home, his father (James Cosmo), who has had the tragedy of Harrison’s abduction shocked out of him, watches as his son invades the televised ballet. Harrison claims to have a bomb wired underneath the music hall and a SWAT team is summoned to disarm the situation. The events that follow are predictable, given the totalitarian nature of the government being depicted, but they nonetheless make a strong statement about the sadness of a world that prizes equality above all else. The film’s climax, which involves a musical performance, is doubly effective since Tuttle has envisioned the resulting ballet with admirable simplicity. Using basic montage techniques, the director builds emotion beautifully, without requiring much in the way of dialogue. It suggests that Tuttle is capable of much more. 2081’s satire might not have the depth of something like Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, but it is a lean, well-realized short film made with obvious talent. In twenty-odd minutes it manages to create characters to care about, deliver a potent social message and transport us to an absurd and horrific possible future.



Jeremy Heilman