December 8, 2021

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[Review] Tales from Loop: fantastic brackets on Amazon Prime

Welcome to Ohio, where a small town is the scene of strange happenings. In the 1980s, a machine was created to explore the greatest mystery of the universe, The Loop. Based on a painting by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, the Nathaniel Halpern series is structured as a fantastical account of the human condition.

Tackling the mysteries of the human condition through stories borrowed from fantasy and science fiction, that’s what Tales from the Loop bets on.

Designed as an anthology, it will focus on a different character with each new episode. A construction that is not new, but the series is brilliantly reinvented. From the very first moment, Tales from the Loop strikes with its poetic tale. The series is very much the opposite of what the SVoD platform offers us and prefers the wonders of humanity over a massive spectacle of special effects. Here, the fantastic is far from central and above all is a pretext for overcoming human feelings.

Each episode addresses a new theme such as time travel, the desire to be different or to live outside of society. The first part focuses on the story of a little girl whose mother has disappeared, and at the same time addresses questions of ownership and family. The series does not interfere with long explanatory sequences and at the same time avoids complicated scenarios. Like a painting, its reflection is left to the viewer and it is this that is ultimately the strength of Tales from the Loop. Contemplative, he relies on his actor acting and rare dialogue to get his message across.

In addition, there are many people on the casting side. To introduce this fantastic collection of fables, Tales from the Loop relied on the stunning Jonathan Pryce. The man who played the sparrow in Game of Thrones improvised as the narrator and managed to take us to this new world. He was joined by the talented Rebecca Hall and Paul Schneider. All the actors wept for sincerity and paid homage to the drama Tales from the Loop.

But in the end, what was most surprising after watching Tales from the Loopitu was the care given to the images. The photography of Ole Bratt Birkeland, Luc Montpellier, Jeff Cronenweth, and Craig Wrobleski sublimates the snowy décor or spring glow of this ’80s city. The tenderness of the image and the grain participate in the special atmosphere of Tales from the Loop. The subtle production of various filmmakers who follow each other behind the camera completes the picture of this highly overpowered series. There’s still the music of Paul Leonard-Morgan (Designated Survivor) and Philip Glass (The Truman Show) that completes this fantastic tale. The series was ultimately a real success for Amazon who had built its narrative around like some weird and interesting short films. Faced with the spectacular escalation of the SVoD service, the platform is betting on offering us fantastically good brackets that may discourage some with the slowness of the story.

‘Tales from the Loop’, Anthology of 8 Classic Sci-fi Stories that Tend to be Flat
Many series or films are based on adaptations of art books, but the series “Tales from the Loop” is adapted from a book of paintings and stories by Simon Stålenhag, one of the series’ executive producers.

The book is now turning into a role-playing game in turn or what we know as role playing. Now the adaptation into a role playing is being done by Nathaniel Halpern (Legion). Will he be able to put Stålenhag’s drawings together in the series?

The Amazon Originals series now streaming on Amazon Prime begins with an old man saying, “Good night … or good morning, depending on where you live.” He then introduces himself as Russ Willard (Jonathan Pryce), founder of the Mercer Center for Experimental Physics (MCEP), which was built under the city of Mercer, Ohio. The nickname of the experiment site was “The Loop.”

The purpose of the establishment of The Loop itself is ‘to open and explore the mysteries of the universe’. Simple isn’t it? However, this anthology series that tells eight different stories in eight episodes is not as simple as the goals mentioned above. These eight episodes unravel the mysteries of the eight characters in the city of Mercer, who are connected to The Loop, either directly or indirectly.

The first episode titled ‘Loop’ tells of a girl named Loretta (Abby Ryder Fortson), who likes to explore where she lives with her mother Alma (Elektra Kilbey). Loretta is an intelligent child who likes to explore new things she wants to know, such as the loud noise she hears when she puts her ear to the dock at the local lake.

When he comes home, he hears someone arguing with his mother about the equipment he took from MCEP, where he works. Alma told Loretta that he wanted her for an experiment. But the experiment not only turned off the power, but also broke the window while flying out.

The next day, Loretta saw the stone outside her house. When he touched it he saw his mother in the distance… then he left. Loretta then goes into the woods to look for her mother and meets a child named Cole (Duncan Joiner). Cole is seen throwing snowballs at a large robot. Loretta then tells Cole that her mother works ‘underground’, knowing that her family can help.

Cole and Loretta then try to meet Cole’s mother, also named Loretta (Rebecca Hall), who is also the daughter-in-law of Russ Willard, who also lives with them, but they have a long argument and can’t be found. Loretta notices that Cole’s father George (Paul Schneider) has strange robotic arms, and his older brother Jakob (Daniel Zolghadri) is also sketching at home.

The next day, Cole and Loretta go to MCEP to look for Alma, the guard says he doesn’t work there, but finally the guard tells Loretta, and she looks surprised at what the guard tells her.

When little Loretta and old Loretta meet each other, they realize that they have an unusual relationship. And that relationship is definitely involved with Alma and The Eclipse, the machine that runs The Loop.

Many films or series tell the story of when a person meets each other when he is old, or the old meets the young. Directed by Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), this episode tells the story of an accidental time traveling case. The story itself seems a bit forced, and with an average duration of 50 minutes/episode, we have to conclude for ourselves whether it happened because of Alma’s experiments when Loretta was little, or there were other causes.

Episode 2 titled ‘Transpose’ tells the story of two teenagers, one of which is Cole’s older brother, Jakob, who along with his friend, Danny (Tyler Barnhardt), find a mysterious object in the middle of the forest. And when they got into the thing, they realized that their bodies had been swapped for each other, and agreed to swap for one day. But swapping bodies was not as easy as turning it around later.

Episode 3, entitled ‘Stasis’, tells of May (Nicole Law) who is in love with Ethan (Danny Kang) and May while fishing on the seafront, finding a broken thermos which, after being repaired, can stop time. What did May do with Ethan after that?