I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something incomplete about the trailer for Mike Cahill‘s Bliss (Amazon, 2.5). It feels like an Andrew Niccol head-scratcher.

HE to Friendo: “What’s with the flashlight gizmo with the nostril tongs? This is the MacGuffin flip switch, I realize — the transportation device — that’s propelling Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek into a digitally reconstituted reality. But is it…what, just an injection experience that lasts for a few hours or what? Are they actually sitting in some drab apartment the whole time? I’ve watched it twice and I’m not getting the geometry of it. Maybe I’m not intended to.”

Friendo to HE: “Apparently they’re plugging into some AI or VR system a la Strange Days, and you spend most of the movie being teased about which reality is the “real” one, etc.”

Boilerplate: “After recently being divorced and then fired, Greg (Owen Wilson) meets the mysterious Isabel (Salma Hayek), a woman living on the streets and convinced that the polluted, broken world around them is just a computer simulation. Doubtful at first, Greg eventually discovers there may be some truth to Isabel’s wild conspiracy.”

Many exotic overseas locations, but the film was lensed in Los Angeles and Croatia…nowhere else.