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

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.