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|Index||19 reviews in total|
I got to see this movie in the Asheville Film Festival, towards the end of 2004. The description grabbed me, guy takes a camera to school to film his last days leading up to his suicide.... What I witnessed was simply extraordinary.... I personally believe, every parent should be forced to watch this movie, because it breaks down the issues of Child Suicide and the mentality that goes along with it, and what it can cause. Being not too far removed from my teenage years, I understood things like the Columbine Masacre and other such child tragedies. This movie finally brought that into the spotlight, and if you really watched this movie, you will get a glimpse at the mind set. It ends with the perfect political statement. "I hope this wakes you up, because if this doesn't, then something else, far worse will happen that will...." My only regret, a woman got up beside me after the movie was over and said, "Well, now to try to get THAT out of my head." I should have stopped her and said, "No, don't force this from your head, because if you do, you'll be forced to relive it...we all will...." All that said, I'm almost positive that the movie will never be picked up and distributed. It is controversial on a whole nother realm, because it will make everyone see what they themselves turn a blind eye to.... And if there is one thing American's can't stand, is seeing the truth of what is in front of them....
I work at Blockbuster, so naturally we get to see the movies before
their official street date. I picked up "State's Evidence" because I
saw that Alexa Vega was in it and the story just sort of grabbed me.
It was bold, but moving; the cast did a great job (Kris Lemche, in particular). The idea of a bunch of teenagers setting out to all commit suicide on camera is somewhat silly, but hearing their observations of the world today and seeing how everything spins out of control was just indescribable. This film was disturbing and surreal, but it was great. It literally made my heart ache.
If you're looking for some romantic comedy or cliché drama, then this is not the movie for you. However, if you're looking for a honest eye-opener, then I would definitely recommend this.
This movie had all the right ingredients for an amazing diamond in the
rough. However, it falls short with it's endless lists of tired clichés
that come off as another "adult's" perception of teenage-hood.
This movie isn't totally hopeless though. Douglass Smith and Kris Lemche steal the show with their opposing personalities: Cold, collected, reflective, intellectual philosopher(Smith) and rabid, hedonistic, irrational, desperate.(Lemche) Sadly, that's about where the shining ends.
The movie tries way too hard to pull off the 'The life of teenagers: XTREME, XTREME, XTREME' card. It's best moments lie in the most subtle scenes of self-contemplating, and views of the human psyche.
Long story short- could've been amazing. Didn't pull it off. A pure rent at best.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
State's Evidence is a timely film about a group of high school kids that plan to commit suicide together after one instigator brings the idea to the group. The kids get camcorders and film their exploits and memoirs over several days while they prepare to die. In relative truthfulness, some people when faced with eminent death or utter hopelessness climb to a higher plane that brings about courage and compassion while others sink to the depths of depravity. The story culminates in, of course, a high school shooting where the bullies get it as well as the innocent. The commentary by the shooter in the end has its merits as it is becoming more evident that the hopeless juvenile is more apt to become violent when they sink into the depths. While its always good to see a bully get it on film, its more satisfying to see a bully who has become an good and active member of society. I tend to group bullies and shooters into the same category of sociopaths. It's a Darwinian twist that bullies who dish out depravity and shooters who can't overcome life's battles tend to cancel each other out. Neither one is fit. An A class film with much to say.
wow i just watched this movie last night and was blown away. the premise was intriguing and when i popped the DVD into DVD player i was blown away by the story and the character. it was dark gritty and brilliant. it opened my eyes to the things around me. it tapped into the mind set of many teenagers. on some level i think all teens can relate if not with the suicide but with elements that create the characters. if its the hurt of a broken home. the enduring love for that one. this movie should be watched by all teens and parents. not only can teens relate but parents can get an insight on how hard it is to go to high school now. times have changed from when the y were in highschool. i recommend this to everyone. you are in for a real treat.
I honestly have to wonder if many of the other reviewers have seen the
same film as I. Unfortunately, I went into this film with very high
expectations, as the premise and the content warnings seemed very much
like they would deliver something compelling and extreme. The main red
flag however, is that this was a low budget movie from a director who
made no further films. This can sometimes mean something brilliant, but
in this case, the film just barely steps above the bar of "cheap
amateurish independent straight to video film".
The Writing Style/Plot Development
One important thing to note is that this film is very dialogue driven, mainly with the monologues by the characters to the camera. I know well about the writing process, and as in plays, when your story is so heavily dialogue based, you're at a great risk of making your characters seem schizophrenic, because that dialogue is ultimately based on the episodic mood swings of the writer over a long period of time, crunched down into the short period of time within the material. The foremost problem with the material delivered by these young actors is that really, it sounds like dialogue written by a balding middle aged man who THINKS he knows how teenagers talk, feel, and rationalize, which is packed with tonnes of whiny pseudo intellectual nonsense, which because they're TEENAGERS, never goes full circle and often ends in vanity, triteness, or ambiguity, so in most cases a REAL concise reason for committing suicide is never established, and how each character's "inner thoughts" contradict from scene to scene shows that the writer himself did not BELIEVE the dialogue, and thus was unable to make it coherent and credible.
My first impression was that the directing was bad, but the story and idea were good. I began to think twice about this in how the instigator of the whole premise "Scott", tells his very eclectic group of friends about his idea one by one, who ALL think it's so cool and amazing, and that they too MUST commit suicide along with him. The young actors were fairly mediocre, aside from Kris Lemche as "Patrick" who was the only one really able to create a compelling character with some sort of screen presence. I personally did not like any of the characters, especially the main protagonist "Scott" who speaks like a programmed robot, so filled with technical analytical phrases, that he only comes across as a caricature, and his friends have a bit of this too. Even though they're supposed to be non mainstream, in this film, a hodgepodge of sub cultures and social backgrounds so that ALL BASES of teen anxiety are covered, it's hard to imagine anyone being that out of touch with the world they live in, and moreover, "Scott" is able to rationally convince the school bully to return their camera, that he stole, with this very irritating way of speaking.
The Directing/Scene Layout
The directing, combined with a very stagey unravelling of events is what I found amazing that so many other reviewers were able to overlook. The classroom scenes, with the protagonist goofing off with his camera were very badly handled. That just won't happen without the smart ass students as well as the teacher getting in your face about it, and most teachers would confiscate the camera, but no one says a word. Picture having a conversation on your telephone in a classroom. How ridiculous would that be? Also, Patrick's character, spying on everyone with his camera, looking up girl's dresses, masturbating in the girl's washroom, without being seen, heard, or getting in trouble, not to mention abducting a screaming 10 year old in a crowded supermarket, hauling her into the washroom where he rapes and kills her without being seen, heard or caught, is simply just not realistic.
The real crux of the issue however is the suicidal motives of the characters and how they were handled. of the 4 characters who state their cases for WHY they plan to kill themselves: Scott: inner freedom. Sandy: testament to true love. Trudi: domestic discord. Patrick: homicidal urges? None of these are given much background or ANY aside from Trudi's case, though still not convincingly, who ridiculously enough, in all 6 of them is the only one who is shown to have typical problems of depression, the kind you see in most real life suicide cases. The characters, Rick and Cody, who we are given no inner insight into, are wasted, and seem very full of life rather than depression, Particularly Rick, who in this film represents typical quasi hip-hop culture, who doesn't seem to fit in with this group of people at all.
Closing Notes/Film Message
I will close by touching on one of the very last phrases spoken into a camera by the character "Scott" and showing truly how badly the people involved in the making of this film do NOT understand their subject. "Do you want to know the real truth? I did it because I was bored. The number one killer of teenagers today isn't drugs or alcohol... It's just plain boredom.... AND I WAS BORED!". Not only is it hilarious, but it's just plain not true. Any deaths to teenagers caused by boredom result from "Accidental" not "suicidal" deaths such as car crashes, skateboard injuries, auto-asphyxiation or the like. The impulse of suicide tends to come from ANYTHING but boredom, and instead, derives from feeling horrible and emotionally destroyed for whatever causal reasons. True, the character can say anything, and it doesn't matter if it's true or not, but by now, he's been reduced to a talking point with a face, not a character. I watched this horrible film because I was bored, luckily, it did not make me want to kill myself.
'States Evidence' is an amazingly good film that highlights the major
issues that strike America, even 10 years later. Teen epidemics like
drug abuse, suicide, aspergers, heavily lacking on self awareness, and
The film features a variety of well fleshed out characters that have their own unique personalities that in no way feel dry or stereotypical. Character personalities are defined by the character's actions, and as a result grow and change over the course of the film.
The cinematography is great, and always feels natural in the way it presents itself to the viewer. The realistic way that the characters film their day to day life when meshed with the omniscient standard camera work feels totally seamless. The way that the director attempts to pull you into the story and care about its environs is completely immersive and never feels forced or off-putting.
To be short on character count, I'll also add that the writing is top notch and the dialogue flows naturally. Every aspect of this movie is perfect, and if you have a spare hour I'd recommend you watch this film right away. It's on youtube, and youtube is always free!
State's Evidence is a twisted, independent film, with a weird story, and an unbelievable ending. This film moves from one extreme to the other and really threw me for a curve, but the ending is so spectacular that it truly makes the whole movie worth while. Scott Byers (Douglas Smith) plays a young man who has decided to kill himself and if that wasn't bad enough he wants to do it on video for the world to see. Byers tells his friends of his plan and claims that once you know your fate, you are truly free to be yourself and do whatever your heart really desires. Not only does his group of introverted friends buy it hook, line, and sinker, but they ultimately decide to join him. The story eventually takes an ominous turn, when one of his friends darkest desires emerge, putting the whole group at serious risk. This film had a very low budget, so low in fact, that half of the film is shot by the actors themselves, on camcorder. It was a little stranger, but made for some interesting scenes. The cast is made up mostly of young actors who have little to no big screen experience, but you would never know it, because they were terrific. Movies like this can sometimes be a bit unpredictable and the solid performances given by the cast will really have you buying into ever emotion and situation their characters are feeling. Unfortunately, it's not all good news for State's Evidence, because while the beginning was intriguing and the ending was fantastic, the middle of the movie is very slow and seems to drag on, making it a challenge to even make it to the terrific ending. Most of this film chronicles a day in the life of a group of High School rejects and it most definitely has it moments. State's Evidence features a great young cast and an ending that will blow your mind, but parts of it drag on and the film felt a lot longer than it actually was and that's never a good sign.
This is the most irritating movie that I have seen in some time. The thing that makes it such an unremitting piece of crap is its infuriating pseudo-intellectualism. The characters are unbearably pretentious, and the writing is absolutely terrible. The so called intellectuals in this movie apparently know something of philosophy but don't know that they sound like complete dicks, a few Kant references do not make you an intellectual. I have never written a review before but after seeing this movie I had to write something to register my disgust. This is terrible and pretentious with nothing to be pretentious about. It sucks.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw "State's Evidence" mainly as a friend worked on it, and I was impressed with the feature's strong message. High school student Scott (Douglas Smith) rationally decides to commit suicide as both a statement and, by using a video camera to record his Last Day, all but makes it performance art. Against his advice, his close circle of friends become drawn in and demand to be a part of the Project as it comes to be called. Each armed with a camera, the paired groups chronicle the angst of their time and their individual lives, as well as revelations as to their reasoning for this being their final day of life. Sandy (Alexa Vega, who really can and should take over Lindsay Lohan projects from now on), is awesome. Meanwhile Patrick (Kris Lemche) takes the concept of "no consequences" to dark and terrible extremes. Despite the moving and powerful script, the film lacks only in the world's worst sound mix in cinematic history. For much of the film the lip sync is distractingly and painfully way off. It cannot be construed to make it "look real:" it just looks either like very lame sound mixing or (less likely), poor ADR work. The frequent and considerable audio problems notwithstanding, this is a film parents should see, as well as their teens.
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