4.3/10
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Camjackers (2006)

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" It's cool man. We've got black friends..." Two rich, clueless film school grads ("the Filmfakers") are shooting a modernized "ghetto" interpretation of an ancient Greek play on the mean ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
2Mex
Aceyalone
Darkzeied ...
Camjacker #3
...
Sista Strada Cast
Jeremy Fels ...
Whack Filmmaker #2
...
Starlet (as Brittany Paige)
Cody Lucich ...
Camjacker #2
Elza Minor ...
Sista Strada Cast
...
Detective Richard Miles (as Michael Robert Nyman)
Phoenix Orion ...
Camjacker #1
...
Whack Filmmaker #1
...
Sista Strada Cast
...
Entertainment reporter
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Storyline

" It's cool man. We've got black friends..." Two rich, clueless film school grads ("the Filmfakers") are shooting a modernized "ghetto" interpretation of an ancient Greek play on the mean streets of Los Angeles. Their equipment is "borrowed" by three street youths ("the Camjackers"), who shoot a compelling documentary on underground hip hop. The Filmfakers rip off the Camjackers' film and rise to fame and fortune. The Camjackers see their stolen work on TV and seek revenge. Written by Julian Dahl

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Can't make a film? Just steal one! Class war, revenge and the race divide collide in this funny post-reality hip hop mind trip.

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Comedy

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26 March 2006 (USA)  »

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12 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie in ann arbor at the film fest. The film was billed as a "mockumentary" of LA's underground hip hop scene. Its that but a whole bunch more. Camjackers has aspects of a documentary within a drama within a comedy within a documentary, if that makes sense. At its core is a showcase of LA's scene including commentary, song, freestyling, dance, graffiti, local legends, etc. Then we have a foursome of characters (also into the scene) who capture this, and the original "whack" filmmakers who hilariously try to do a Shakespearean ghetto drama (did anyone see "O"?).

Moments of the film are light and uplifting, and then the next shot is devastating. The ride for the audience will be excruciating for some, given the guerrilla style camera work, the complicated, hyper, and disjointed story. The shift from comedy to documentary doesn't always work, especially in terms of uneven character development. I was most weary of the race premise. Two milk white filmmakers go into the hood and get jacked. Not to reveal too much but the story really ended up being a fairy tale commentary on main stream society's co-opting of Black, oh I mean "urban" culture. What happened in the movie, would never have happened in real life. That said, I enjoyed the whack filmmakers getting their just desserts.

I felt the best aspect of the film was the way it looked (is that cinematography, editing, I dunno). But there was a glorious technical aspect to the film as it switched point of view. I'm not sure what was happening but depending on who was telling the story we got different shots, different light and color filters. They utilized film, surveillance camera, digital, night vision etc. It worked really well. Be sure not to miss the performance of Phoenix Orion, the male lead. He truly captured the experimental genre of the film. You knew he was acting, but you also knew the character was part of his true self. And I could not tell in which scene we were seeing bits of Phoenix vs. the character.


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