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DVD Review by David Blackwell
DETAILS:   90 minutes, audio commentary, before the making of documentary, trailers
VIDEO:  1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: Spanish 5.1, 2.0 Dolby Digital
Subtitles:  English, Spanish
STUDIO:  Maya Entertainment/ Starlight Film Finance/ Likely Story/ This Is That
RELEASE DATE: 9-8-2009

PLOT SUMMARY: 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!

Memo is a dreamer forced to go to Tijuana after his home is targeted by a drone on a mission to destroy aqua terrorists (for the TV series DRONES).   Memo has been hacking and his hacking leads him to the wrong place.  His journey in Tijuana leads him to get nodes from cyber coyote Lux  (who is a struggling writer paid to get more memories about Memo).  Memo goes to work in the factories operating a robot welder remotely in the city of San Francisco where a new building is being constructed. 
SLEEP DEALER is a film that combines the worlds seen in an early William Gibson cyberpunk novel and BLADE RUNNER in a world that seems all too real.  SLEEP DEALER sees a future that is happening today (shanty towns in big cities in other countries) mixed with a future that could happen tomorrow (like a United States that closes its border to Mexico).  It is another sci-fi film that shows you can make a great sci-fi film on a small budget.  Good sci-fi is always about having a great story.  It shouldn't be about action and great special effects.  Director Alex Rivera makes a stunning debut film with SLEEP DEALER.  
The audio commentary with Alex Rivera, the sound designer, VFX Supervisor Mark Russell, DP Lisa Rinzler, and Producer Anthony Bergman.   It goes into discussing making the film on a low budget and discuss the issue (and ideas) in the film.  It is a very informative track.
BEFORE THE MAKING OF SLEEP DEALER is a documentary that tells the story of how the film came to be made with audio commentary by Alex Rivera.   It is a good companion to the audio commentary.  Rounding out the extras are trailers for other films from Maya Entertainment.
FINAL ANALYSIS: SLEEP DEALER shows what low budget sci-fi can do with a great script and being creative enough to get it made on a small budget.   Check it out now.

This DVD review is (c)12-31-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  All Rights Reserved.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com