- Summary: This stand-alone, "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style episode of Black Mirror (released ahead of Season 5 proper, which should arrive in 2019) is directed by David Slade and set in 1984, where it follows a young videogame developer (Fionn Whitehead). There are over five hours of footageThis stand-alone, "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style episode of Black Mirror (released ahead of Season 5 proper, which should arrive in 2019) is directed by David Slade and set in 1984, where it follows a young videogame developer (Fionn Whitehead). There are over five hours of footage altogether, but which parts you see will be determined by choices you make.… Expand
- Genre(s): Drama, Science Fiction
- Show Type: TV Movie
- Season 1 premiere date: Dec 28, 2018
- More Details and Credits »
If Brooker had taken a more literal approach to the idea of doing an interactive narrative, it might have proven dull. Instead, he took this as an opportunity to tell a story about how difficult telling stories like these are, really leaning into the meta opportunities provided by that approach while also indulging in some undergrad-level philosophical musings about the nature of free will. It’s a blend that works better than one might think, veering from comedy to pathos to horror with relative ease.
There is a lot to appreciate within the many iterations of Bandersnatch, which is not just a mystery box show, but a mystery box show about mystery box shows that’s trying to play three-dimensional chess with its audience.
It’s admirably executed, tightly organized, well-thought-through and a lot of fun, if not particularly frightening or profound. The interactive mechanics are splendidly handled and designed; it runs seamlessly, whatever path you take.
The bottom line is that despite the promise of becoming a participant in the storytelling process -- and the allure of wedding games and narrative fiction -- a well-told tale, watched passively, still trumps a so-so one that fosters the game-like illusion of putting the viewer in the driver's seat.
Bandersnatch can be fun, if you’re entranced by its puzzle structure, or if you’ve always believed TV episodes would be better if only you could spend hours grinding through them again in order to watch 45 seconds of new footage. But it doesn’t make for much of a story. This is partly because the core plot is uninspired. ... It’s occasionally genuinely moving. But it’s not haunting in the way that comes from reaching the end of a story and realizing that the only “What now?” answer you get will have to come from you.
The interactive aspect of the viewing experience is seamless, and each adventure manages to be tonally unique and narratively distinct. But it turns out that when television starts to become a video game, the integrity of the story is muddied by the thrill of choice and control.
"Bandersnatch," as creative work and not as experiment, falls so short of the standard "Black Mirror" has set that to put it forward is to risk the credibility the series’s first four seasons have earned. ... Too little thought, ultimately, was given to how this plays as television.
Dec 28, 2018Giving less than an 8 for this movie is ridiculous. If you complain that it seems unfinished you are totally wrong, its obvious that it isGiving less than an 8 for this movie is ridiculous. If you complain that it seems unfinished you are totally wrong, its obvious that it is impossible to create an infinite range of possibilities because of your choices and netflix did an incredible work at dealing with it.
On top of that its an amazing movie that you can watch more than one time. Strongly recommend.… Expand
Dec 28, 2018This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So Black Mirror... where to begin. The shows have always been a hit or miss depending on your preferences. Some of the show I absolutely loved, and some make me feel like I just wasted 45 minutes of my life. 2 things that tied the shows together was Easter eggs from previous shows and social media.
Since social media was absent back in 1984, this choose your own adventure episode was fresh and new. The closer to the end you get, the crazier the decisions you made ranging from choosing your favorite cereal to fighting you female ninja psychiatrist.
I give this a 10 for the creativeness of the producers :P… Expand
Dec 28, 2018I think considering this a gimmick in the way some people are is a disservice to what's actually being done by this film.
This film usesI think considering this a gimmick in the way some people are is a disservice to what's actually being done by this film.
This film uses conceits from the plot as a means of generating the relevance of the mechanic rather than deciding on the mechanic and creating the rest to match. To this end, I actually think this achieves a great deal as a media concept piece. Every element seems to further every other element.
I find it quite jarring exactly how stupid some of the reviews and criticisms have been.
Wondering why this film uses choose your own adventure as Variety did in its review is so shockingly stupid. What other form would it take? The mechanic is a scaffold for everything to do with the film. It's not really an inclusion so much as an integral part of the structure of the experience. Perhaps they said it so they could review this film as if it didn't include the mechanic. Under this pretense, then one can surely justify the criticisms found throughout the piece which otherwise ignore the medium altogether.
CNN belittled the philosophy of Colin as if it was actually the same as the philosophy of the film. They compare it to the musings of a drug-addled teenage, somehow missing that in context they actually were the musings of a drug-addled teenager, or rather the delusions of a mentally-ill drug-addled teenager. What a grand statement for CNN to make. How marvelously clever of a criticism!
More than likely this is a symptom of something else. This is a symptom of a review culture that systematically derides anything it sees as video game-esque. Leave it to this review industry to totally overlook a cheeky usage of a medium that is otherwise gimmicky in a way that is actually integral to the function of the narrative.
Indiewire seems to be, admirably, not so obnoxiously self-serious and pontificating to the extent that they actually seemed able to receive the experience of this film.… Expand
Jan 6, 2019Well, that was an interesting experience that reminded me of John Scalzi’s Redshirts. It was more a video game than a movie so the movieWell, that was an interesting experience that reminded me of John Scalzi’s Redshirts. It was more a video game than a movie so the movie succeeded there (given thats what the movie tried to do), but as a movie, it was pretty lacking. The story was unfocused in telling its story and I felt like I did not see a complete movie by the time when the credits rolled.
The story telling was very innovative and that was enabled because of technological advancement. But when you think about it, many choose your own adventure video games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead series and Life Is Stranger have done it much much better. I look forward to making decisions in the game but when ever the situation occurs, the movie basically just stops for 10sec for the audience to “play” the movie. I get it, its for the audience who arent used to this kinda thing. But for me who plays video game, it really breaks the story’s momentum. In The Walking Dead, things are still happening on screen while you have to rush to a decision, which felt a lot more organic. The first 10mins of the movie was so removed from the rest of the movie because it was kind of a tutorial.
It was an interesting experiment and the use of the this choose your own adventure tech was fun.… Expand
Jan 7, 2019Kudos for taking a chance on the concept, which I'm sure we'll see more of, but I hope that in the future there's a bit more effort put intoKudos for taking a chance on the concept, which I'm sure we'll see more of, but I hope that in the future there's a bit more effort put into the other elements of the production aside from the gimmick.… Expand
Jan 11, 2019Complicated and without much sense. In this episode of Black Mirror, the setting of how choices are made and the options to go back to tryComplicated and without much sense. In this episode of Black Mirror, the setting of how choices are made and the options to go back to try other ways, make the movie totally lost. The difficulty many find in fully understanding the transmitted message is not trivial. The film was self-taught with this model that was presented to us. His script has potential, so the "fault" would be the junction that Netflix tried to emulate. Maybe Black Mirror does not have adequate stories for these patterns of interaction. Both Black Mirror and interactive productions are good, but not as a "couple". For new interactive productions to be made, it is best that everything be rethought, without junctions with lack of cohesion. 5.8/10… Expand
Dec 28, 2018This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A barely coherent narrative that forgets to actually make sense in pursuit of allowing watchers to decide what it was about.
The team behind this clearly wanted this to be a case where the watcher could decide what was really happening in their own head-cannon. The problem here is that instead of leaning into ambiguous themes and endings the show decided to force the viewer to do the work of making sense of the show altogether. This might have worked had the show not contradicted itself at nearly every ending. Some endings play it straight with the main character jailed for committing crimes, others end abruptly with the main character implied to have been killed by a literal demon, others end with the main character in a karate fight with his therapist who suddenly produces a pair of battons with which to fight it out martial arts style. And that's to say nothing of the ending where the main character ends up in the real world amidst filming of the aforementioned fight scene very much in character while his director berates him for deviating from the script.
At times the show appears to be commenting on the nature of free will, others it waxes on about the permanence of reality amid a not so theoretical set of alternate timelines. Sometimes we appear to be watching the hallucinations of a rapidly deteriorating mind, others we appear to be watching someone struggle as some mysterious technology from the distant year of 2018 forces them to make bad decisions and others the show seems to just shrug and a literal demon kills the main character.
At it's best it's an ambitious project that forgot it actually had to be internally consistent, at it's worst it's an enormous meta wink at the audience that feels not just out of place but down right confusing.
Black mirror is often thought provoking, but this particular episode just didn't make enough sense - I found myself asking a lot of questions, not because the episode had anything profound to say but because it simply wasn't coherent one ending to the next.
I'm baffled to see so many positive reviews for this poorly executed gimmick, don't waste your time - Bandersnatch isn't coherent, much less an enjoyable viewing experience.… Expand