Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Upper Footage with some Context

2 of 7 viewers "Liked" "The Upper Footage" (2013, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Impostor - "The Upper Footage is something I haven't seen done before, it seemed almost too real. It was very basic and simple, I feel if it got more complicated it may not have felt as real. Characters were very unlikable and scenes dragged on a bit too long which made it boring. Upper's plot had me intrigued even though things weren't executed as well as they could have been. If I didn't find out it wasn't real I think I would have thought differently about it." - 3 Stars

Lord Battle - "Viewed without any context this film is certainly a downer and because I feel that the film can't stand alone (explanation after the trailer) I have to rate it poorly, despite the fact that "The Upper Footage" is an awesome experiment in film making. I just wish Justin Cole played with the actual footage more and made it not only feel real, but also entertaining." - 2 Stars

The Great Hornito - "Found footage is my favorite genre right now and this one was a pretty good one. I really love the idea of this movie but they just didn't do enough with this unique story. I thought it would have been better if it was more campy and over the top." - 3 1/2 Stars

Huntress - "This was a painfully uneventful hour and a half, spent with a group of rich assholes. All the director-made hype about the footage being real seemed like an excuse to have barely anything happen." - 2 Stars

Book Wyrm - Spoiler - "Nothing was resolved, nothing happened, and the only 1/2 decent character got killed (Will). Terrible. I love found footage but nothing could save this film." - 1 Star

Ice Giant - Fell Asleep - Default 2 Stars

Bug - "The movie failed to keep my attention 0% of the time. There was a tiny amount of interesting content." - 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(First I have to say none of the citizens knew any of what I have written below while screening the film.)

I have to admit I feel a bit awkward about writing the wrap up to "The Upper Footage" as this is the first film I've seen in a long time that made me feel like I missed something. Upper Footage isn't some deeply intellectual film or a feature with a complicated plot; no, the reason I felt lost has to do with the main selling point of the film. Believing "The Upper Footage" is real is very important when it comes to the entertainment value of the film, simply because they focused solely on making it feel as real as possible. If you found yourself asking "Is it real?" then you enjoyed this film more than I did. 

With a bit of research I discovered the answer to my "The Upper Footage" question. Upper footage is more of an art film trying to prove the medium and what can be down with it while making a social statement. The subjects in the film are a representation of the 1% and the evils that occur when you are detached from normal society (This is obvious without any research). Although this commentary is fun, it has nothing to do with my feelings of missing something during the screening, that answer was found when reading about Justin Cole and his intent when filming "The Upper Footage".

Cole loved the media buzz that surrounded "The Blair Witch Project" and wondered why other found footage films never tried to take advantage of the incredibly realistic style. I'm sure you can tell where this is going but it's important to discuss because all of the footage in the beginning of "The Upper Footage" from TMZ and other news sources is real. Cole himself set out leaking footage and spreading rumors so that the hype and feel of his film was as real as possible. The other thing that is important to know is that the blurred face of the victim isn't just a gimmick, apparently she is an actual socialite with a famous mother and or father and the nude scene she did is actually cut due to distributors and theaters demanding an edit.

The edit demands started after bad press from this flyer used to promote the film.

I only wish I could have seen "The Upper Footage" in the right context. Sadly Upper footage will end up like most films that do well for reasons other than simply being a good film and fail in the long run. I am however very interested in what Justin Cole may have up his sleeve for future endeavors. 
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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