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By Felix Vasquez Jr. | February 4, 2007

2007 SUNDANCE SHORT! Killip’s short documentary about a young man with imagination, and a somewhat disturbing sense of alienation is well intentioned, but ultimately tedious to sit through. Ronny is a fascinating young man, nothing short of average.

He lives in suburbia, loves horror movies, loves wrestling, is a bit mentally unstable, and really feels like a loner. That’s probably every single suburban boy I’ve ever met since I was a kid, so, “Master of Reality” is nothing but a short film that states the obvious.

Ronny is an outcast, Ronny is unusual, Ronny is disturbed. Why? Uh—he just is. I don’t know. Without much of an explanation, the focus on Ronny becomes curious and unusual in itself. Why is he so interesting? Because he has no possibility of breaking free from his shell? Or because he prefers fantasy over reality?

Killip leaves so many questions unanswered, and dissects much of Ronny’s imagination, which makes up the more interesting scenes here. Also, explained is Ronny’s infamous headline grab as a wannabe wrestler who cut his forehead with a light bulb. Why? I have no idea.

But Killip never extrapolates the bigger issues. What about his reality makes is so unbearable to Ronny? Does he have a history of mental illness? Why horror movies? Killip bears no real explanation for it, thus “Master of Reality” ends as simply a depressing and somewhat dull observation of a young man without many achievements or future to explore.

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