Surveillance

"Weak"

Surveillance Review


Digital filmmaking technology can be a dangerous thing. On the one hand, it opens up affordable avenues of production to virtually everyone. On the other hand, it leads to a flood of movies on the market that have been made for less than the cost of printing your Christmas cards.

Which, in the case of Surveillance, is apparently the case.

The film's conceit is this: Digital video was not simply used for cost concerns, but because it is integral to the story. In the picture, a private eye named Trip Stevens (Stephen Triplett -- get it?) is hired by a becoming redhead named Junis Rozma (Jacqueline Carroll) to locate her missing brother "C. Fred." Trip, with his team of Charlie's Angels-lite helpers, quickly learns that Fred's dead, baby, and soon he is wrapped up in a convoluted web of trickery that revolves around a porky cop, his inexlicable "fake prostitution stings," a Russian limo driver, and a video dating service. Think of it as a backyard, undergrad version of Chinatown.

As Trip is a P.I., the entire film is told from the perspective of alleged surveillance and hidden cameras. (Interesting idea, but it turns out that just about everyone carries a "hidden camera" or two with them, all the time, thus ruining that angle.)

Unfortunately, the lack of attention paid to Surveillance (its really snazzy presskit aside) shows through at the seams. A two-hour running time is far too long to keep an audience seated without a score or, at the very least, some better acting than we're treated to here. Triplett may be funny as a sketch-comedy player on Talk Soup, but his mooning antics grow tiresome quickly in a feature film format (which, I might point out, is not supposed to be a comedy). A raft of other semi-improvising and otherwise out-of-work actors (with the notable exception of Carroll's femme fatale) doesn't help matters.

While Surveillance makes good use of the photographic options of DV, it ends up relying more on handheld bouncy-cam footage a la The Blair Witch Project than anything else. Rotten sound design leaves much of the film hard to make out aurally -- a problem that would have been largely avoided had an aggressive editor chopped about 80 minutes of fat out of the film.

Surveillance ultimately has a few charming moments but feels more like a weekend film school project than the daringly experimental feature it desperately wants to be. Nice try.

Yep.



Surveillance

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 31st July 2008

Box Office Worldwide: $1M

Budget: $3.5M

Distributed by: Magnet Releasing

Production compaines: Blue Rider Pictures, Lago Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 40 Rotten: 33

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Elisabeth Anderson, as Sam Hallaway, as Bobbi Prescott, as Janet, as Dad (Steven), David Gane as Grocery Man, Gill Gayle as Degrasso, Kent Harper as Bennett, as Billings, Shannon Jardine as Elaine Meyer, Angela Lamarsh as Maid, Gerald Lenton-Young as Coroner, Mac Miller as Johnny, Charlie Newmark as Wright, as Mom, as Stephanie, Anita Smith as Tina, as Jim Conrad, Josh Strait as Keith, Kent Nolan as David

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.