Cyberpunk Review » Thieves

August 6, 2012


Movie Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 2012 (maybe August)

Directed & Written by: J.G. Barnes

Zenisphere Chanel on YouTube

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Low

Key Cast Members:

  • Jason Arthur: Sheldon Simmons
  • Agent Janice Monroe: Kelly Kirstein
  • Extractor: Didrik Davis
  • Anna VanDerhoff: Lauren Kole
  • Rating: 8 out of 10

    Overview: Ever see a short movie and wished it could be made feature-length? OK, 9 made that jump in 09. Now, a new short has similar designs. Thieves made its debut in film-festivals in July, claiming audience choice at the Mitten Movie Project with a nomination for short of the year, and is now available for online viewing (like above).


    The Story: America has created a new prototype energy cell that is now powering New Detroit. To protect both the cell and the city, an agency known only as “Butterfly” is formed to foster patriotism and stability, and to “recruit uniquely skilled people” to make it all possible. However, a terrorist organization has taken the prototype cell and plan to dismantle it. While the world waits for Armageddon, Butterfly has captured a high-value terrorist and plan to “recruit” him.


    Sheldon Simmons: Remember his name. I got a feeling his name will be called at some future Oscar ceremony.

    A Piece of a Larger Puzzle. Fourteen minutes hardly makes for a feature, so this short may make you feel like you’re missing a lot. THAT was intended:

    From the beginning, Thieves was conceived as an excerpt from a much larger saga of feature films. As such, Thieves is not a self-contained piece. It’s made quite clear from its opening moments to its closing frame that there is most certainly a hell of a lot more going on before and after the events showcased in the short film.

    Of course, there is the danger that if Thieves does become feature length it may become another Snakes on A Plane. But as long as the Zenisphere crew keeps true to their vision (and creative control of the project), that danger should be minimal.


    Conclusion: If you haven’t heard of Thieves before, be ready to hear more of it in the future. Zenisphere has made a slam-dunk short that’s going to leave you wanting more. Already gathering high praise from indie film bloggers, Thieves is set to garner even bigger accolades (like ours), and possibly become the next Blade Runner, or at least The Matrix.

    This post has been filed under Amateur Film Production, Cyberpunk movies from 2010 - 2019, Internet Short, Dystopic Future Movies, Good low-budget movies, 8 Star Movies, Movie by Mr. Roboto.


    August 6, 2012

    SSJKamui said:

    Sounds interesting. This Butterfly organization really reminds me on some internet discussions I witnessed.

    It’s really a good idea to use Detroit as a backdrop because the city is both the symbol of americas industry as well as the symbol of the current economic crisis of the western world.

    The theme of the energy cell is rather interesting because it covers current discussions of alternate energy forms, a possible peak oil and the discussions about atomic energy.

    On the topic of terrorism, it seems that this topic is currently up to date for Cyberpunk authors on this site. ;)

    August 7, 2012

    JGBarnes said:

    Wow! What a flattering review! Thank you so much, Mr. Roboto!

    I’m actually from Detroit and the film was shot here as well. Even if that weren’t true, I have to agree that Detroit is sadly an incredibly strong symbol — if not the strongest in America — for displaying the worst the economic crisis has done to the country. If the universe saw fit to grant me the fortune of being able to expand this into a decent budgeted feature length, I’d still keep the film based in Detroit. The backdrop is perfect.

    The alternate energy theme is one that I omitted from the final cut, but is still a component I feel strongly about keeping in the fiction and certainly in a feature length if I had the opportunity. The reason I chopped it from the final cut is because it was only background information and didn’t serve the immediate plot that unfolds in the short film. Instead, I rewrote some lines of the textual prologue to better educate the viewer on more pertinent information.

    Thank you so much for watching, posting, and enjoying!

    November 11, 2012

    dipdowel said:

    Hey fellows, along with “Thieves” I find these two short movies essentially cyberpunk.



    September 20, 2013

    ¢┌yptê┌ said:

    Looks awesome, can’t wait for final cut.
    Well good EVEnings

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