In the Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati, social misfit Jimmy Wright always has his video camera - at his psychiatrist's, spying on his parents in their bedroom, and watching high-school senior, Judy Oaks-Kellen. He rescues Judy from a teacher and students who tease and torment her, and showing her his video tape of revenge kick-starts their friendship, which is soon in an overdrive of romance, sex, and pleasure. Jimmy is in and out of mental institutions, and before long, he and Judy are on the run. Cocaine, guns, and a commune of other misfits figure in their flight. How far can their love take them? It's all on video.Written by
The film won the Myspace.com award at 2006 Newport Beach Film Festival. See more »
[coming into video focus]
Jimmy, we discussed this, you can't tape our sessions, it's not allowed. Does your defiance make you feel more powerful? Filming people makes you feel like you're in control of the situation, doesn't it? Maybe?
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For Greg, without whom this film would have never been possible. You made a difference in all our lives. See more »
United States of Whatever
Written by (Liam Lynch)
Performed by (Sifl&Olly) See more »
Wow... I get to be first on an IMDb comment? Sweet! Annnnyway...
I really enjoyed this film. I don't think I'll be giving away any spoilers here. First off, this film is shot entirely from a first person perspective, ala Blair Witch, but seriously, do NOT let that scare you away.
The titular characters are played by Edward Furlong and Rachael Bella (both of whom attended the premiere in SF tonight). You'll remember Eddie Furlong as the whiny little saves-the-future brat from Terminator II, though you'd do much better to remember his performances in American History X and Pecker, as he's long since shrugged off the child-actor label in these latter parts. Rachael Bella you may recall as the "crazy chick" who witnesses the bizarre death of her teenage friend in the beginning of The Ring (boy, I really hope I didn't give anything away there).
The story unfolds exclusively from the perspective of Jimmy's video camera. He's a video junkie (not unlike the neighbor character in American Beauty) and feels the need to "document" every important event in his life on tape (including certain aspects of his parents' relationship, and there's no way in hell I'm giving up *that* spoiler!).
Jimmy's been in love with Judy all of his life, their parents having apparently been friends for quite some time, but that love has been unrequited until now. He's a social misfit and outcast in all aspects of his life. He finally approaches Judy to show her how he's taken revenge on those that have wronged her in school (herself also being a social outcast, apparently) causing her to instantly fall in love with him.
The remainder of the film is a high tension tale of the love between the two star-crossed lovers and the misadventures they become entangled in as they explore a life of crime and independence. No, this is not a retelling of such "on the lamb" films as Natural Born Killers, True Romance, or The Devil's Rejects. They are not crazed teens on a killing spree, out to kill everyone who gets in their way. They do come across in many respects as honest social outcasts who simply end up in the situations they end up in out of circumstance and their purest desire to remain together and not be torn apart. You can, however, feel the influence of the aforementioned films as the story progresses.
I don't want to go into too much detail so as not to be blamed for submitting any spoilers. Suffice to say, the style in which the film is shot is actually somewhat secondary to the story. It does offer a unique perspective, though, on the relationship that is formed by the young couple and how they grow to bond so strongly. This really is a true perspective, incidentally. Not until the very end of the film (mild spoiler here, but not really) are you treated at all to a third person perspective of the action.
According to the Q&A following the premiere, the film was shot with practically no budget and within 15 days in the Kentucky countryside. The casting of Eddie Furlong was a very very fortunate accident when one of the future crewmembers of the production briefly met him at a party and suggested to the writing/directing team that they send him a copy of the script which he fell in love with. Rachael Bella is also very well cast and is beautiful (to say the least) which will appeal to those seeking the voyeuristic nudity and sex which I'm sure will likely be at the heart of some other reviews. Honestly, there really isn't anything explicit here. Jimmy is a first or second year college student suspended from school due to an incident involving his videotaping craze (at least partly to blame for his severe emotional scarring) and Judy is a high school junior or senior and their relationship is typical of that of late teenage/early twenties relationships when it comes to the sexual element (at least from my own personal perspective), so I'm sure you can figure out roughly what to expect.
The film is a love story... with complications. Honestly, what good story ever came out of an uncomplicated love affair? It's the honest portrayals and realistic style in which the movie is filmed that is it's true driving force. I hesitate to say phrases like "edge of my seat", but it is quite definitely apropos for much of this film. I think I'd prefer to just come out and say that this flick grabbed me by the balls and at no time did it really let go. It's a very fast-moving story once things really get to happening and I soon found myself totally engrossed.
I'm running out of words here, sadly, and I doubt I'm doing the film quite the justice it is deserved. I suppose my rush to try and provide this very first review of the movie (on IMDb at any rate). All I really do have to say, in the end, is that I truly hope that this film gets picked up for distribution (I believe it was mentioned that this has already happened, or is definitely in the works) and if you get any chance to see it, I highly recommend that you do. Hence my "10" here on IMDb... and my "6" on the festival ballot (which only went to "5" = Brilliant!,
see this flick.
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