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Gary Burns likes to be cool. His movies are cool. "waydowntown" was really cool. "A Problem With Fear" is not cool.
"A Problem With Fear" has a great premise, is well acted and (sometimes) well shot. The problem is it just does not work for 90 mins. It could have if the director gave us more plot and less cool. Instead of giving a little more exposition and back round, Gary Burns decided to populate his movie with lots of subplots and shots of naked women running across the street. I'm sure it all means something...something really cool.
"A Problem With Fear" is set (I think) in the "Not So Distant Future" where one company is trying to cause the stock market to crash by sort of 'V' chipping the city into a "Fear Storm" (this happens by having the most phobic person on the planet send telepathic waves of fear which manifest into real tragedies: escalator deaths, elevator deaths, traffic deaths...) Make sense? No? Well that's okay neither does the movie.
"A Problem With Fear" is just too busy being a satire to really get a grasp on what it's satirizing: Corporate fear mongering for profit (Code Yellow anyone?). If Gary Burns had spent a little more time with plot points and character arcs and a little less time on glib hipster-mall -culture wit he might have made a movie worth thinking about. As it stands now this film is just a wannabe Lynchian fable. Sorry but the naked woman running in slow motion, for no reason, isn't symbolic...it's dumb. I don't know, maybe I'm just not hip enough to get it.
Gary Burns should keep doing what he's doing, eventually he'll make a REALLY COOL Movie. As it stands "A Problem With Fear" should have been a really cool short film.
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