April 5, 2015

Movie Review: The Upper Footage

I just recently found out about this indie thriller called The Upper Footage. They had started following me on Twitter for some reason. The other day they sent out a call for direct messages, with the first handful getting a link to watch the film. Wouldn't you know it, I was one of the chosen. I will admit to being curious about the “Like the Blair Witch Project, only real” marketing they were putting out for it. A little digging uncovered all sorts of interesting viral marketing. They were very successful in this alternative marketing method. It is a shame the movie fails to deliver much of anything.

The opening minutes of the movie go over the “it's a true story” elements of the marketing (which was meant to be seen as the reality building of the movie). It tells of a young woman seen snorting a mountain of cocaine in a YouTube video and subsequent blackmail and media attempting to guess who the mysterious supposed celebrity is. This is accompanied by video clips, online news headlines, and a story about Quentin Tarantino buying the real footage with the idea of turning it into a movie.

All of this is pretty interesting, granted it has since been exposed as being entirely fictional. Still, they did a lot of great marketing work to build a reality for the film. The problem is that once we get past the reality setup and into the found footage aspect it falls off real quick. Far be it for me to try to dissuade anyone from seeing any movie, but this was a struggle to sit through. There is not one likable character, no one has any sort of personality, it is shot all shaky camcorder style, and is just flat out boring.

We follow a group of annoying New York socialites as they party, drink, and do a lot of cocaine. They pick up a young woman named Jackie (her face pixelated to protect her family) and end up back at the apartment of one of the guys. There, they drink more, do more coke, get more annoying, all leading up to Jackie getting sick and dying. What follows is the cover up and disposal of the body. Then the movie ends.

Seriously, this has to be one of the most boring films I have seen. The biggest takeaway from The Upper Footage is that shitty rich kids are shitty. That's it. There is nothing else to this. It almost seems to be an experiment in viral marketing more than a movie itself. If that was the goal, kudos, you nailed it. However, if there was an intention to make a good, or at least passable movie, this is an utter bust.

The Upper Footage goes beyond one's ability to suspend disbelief. One of the things about found footage type films is that there should be a reason why they are filming (like making a documentary, or catching glimpses of a giant monster, or even going on a vacation or honeymoon). There is no explanation for why this particular night is being filmed or when things go south, why they continue to film. It fails to have any sort of logic. No to mention there are revelations at the very end that seem to contradict what we are told earlier.

There are no credits or cast listed, selling the reality to the bitter end. Again, the marketing and the question of its reality is great. Although, the idea of information completely disappearing from the internet seems unlikely, I was willing to go along with it. Sadly, I wanted a movie and I did not get one.

Not Recommended.

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