“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ has taken movie watching to a whole new level with its “choose your own adventure’ novelty that allows viewers to pick and choose where the movie goes.
The interactive movie, set in 1984, is the tale of a teenage gaming programmer attempting to build a glitch-free computer game based on a sci-fi book that gives readers “options’ that constantly change the book’s plot. And at the same time, the movie viewers (us) are making choices affecting the young programmer’s life.
Some decisions seem small, which album should he purchase (Tangerine Dream’s “Phaedra,’ of course!) and others more complex with exponentially larger impact, such as should Stefan take his meds or have a fight with his father. The movie allegedly has five potential endings, according to some media outlets who apparently have a lot more time to sit in front of the TV and make choices for the protagonist.
If only that “choice’ option was available in real life – more specifically to sports fans. Just imagine having the option of preventing Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin from faking that punt last week against the New Orleans Saints.
Or imagine being able chose which play Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll should gone with at the of Super Bowl XLIX. Hmm, do we give the ball to Marshawn Lynch at the goal line or throw the ball (and have it intercepted by New England Patriots Malcolm Butler)?
And then there’s always Bucky Dent and OMG! Steve Bartman.
And speaking of choices, Netflix’s anthology series “Black Mirror’ is the perfect choice to tackle this interactivity-movie option. The modern day
“Twilight Zone’ tackles moral and ethical issues seemingly always with twist that is either extremely satisfying or especially terrifying. Seriously, we may never get over the series premiere episode, “The National Anthem.’ Wish we were offered a couple choices in THAT one.
The series has won Emmys the last two years in the “Outstanding Television Movie’ category for “USS Callister’ (2018) and “San Junipero’ (2017).
There is little reason to doubt that “Bandersnatch’ will be vying for the Emmy and Golden Globe awards next year. Which reminds us the clock is ticking on you placing wagers on who will take home this year’s Golden Gloves. MyBookie and SportsBetting are among the sportsbooks offering odds on the top categories. You can also check out our picks here.
And speaking of awards, the folks that designed the software to give viewers control of “Bandersnatch’ should clear off some shelf space.
But a quick FYI, if you have an “older” smart TV, your Netflix app may not be adaptable with the “make a choice” technology, Not to worry, you likely have a device in your home that will work. In our case, it was our laptop.
So far, reviews of “Bandersnatch’ have been mixed, with it receiving both glowing praise and some a bit lackluster:
“The interactive choose-your-own-adventure aspect is initially interesting, then time-consuming and ultimately not dramatically satisfying.’ – The Hollywood Reporter
“The illusion of control – on screen and in life – is the big issue underlying this deliciously meta interactive experience.’ — IndieWire
“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch traps you in a maze of madness, one that tests your notion of free will as you make Stefan’s decisions for him. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced in a movie, a TV show, on Netflix, or anything else.” — Esquire
“‘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.’ – Variety
So, take into account what the “professionals’ say – or don’t. In the end the choice is yours.