Friday, September 09, 2011

iCrime (Review)


iCrime (2011)

Directed by Bears Fonté

The Truth and Cyberspace Collide

That's the tagline for iCrime, a stylized, indie film 2.0 that uses the MTV formula to tell a story about a Midwestern girl finding her way in the City of Angels.

I'll be honest, the poster and trailer make it look like it's a late night Skinemax after dark production. Go watch the trailer and don't tell me you didn't expect a scantily clad female seducing a dude to show up. But I was kind of surprised that this wasn't the case (and a little disappointed). In a weird way, iCrime is a perfect fit for a midnight showing on MTV. It clearly calls for the 18-34 year old demographic to eat up the content.

So what's the appeal to the Millennials? You have a murder mystery wrapped up with iJustine homages (or maybe a bit of Lonely Girl 15) with some fancy window editing, texting gimmicks, small town girl in a big city looking for love and a TMZ ripoff. It's a blend of Web 2.0 and film noir that clearly is more ambitious than it should be.

I'll admit I was very much entrenched in the goings of our lovely cutie Carrie but that's not to say it didn't have a mountain of flaws. It felt a bit unfocused at times and sometimes stressed style over substance. A supporting cast with little depth as well as subplots all over the place made it a bit over packed with shiznit.

But for a movie that plays on themes of the unsparkly side of Hollywood, family bonding, trust and betrayal, it works and for that I enjoyed my iCrime film viewing experience. Now check out what two millennials think.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Carrie Kevin may seem like a typical Hollywood ingĂ©nue – a small-town girl looking to break into acting – but underneath her fresh-faced appearance is a girl on a mission. After learning that a journalist is about to go public with an old sex tape made by her cousin Stefy – a moderately successful pinup girl – Carrie makes a deal to provide the journalist with an even bigger story. Now she must venture into Hollywood’s seedy underbelly to expose the latest Internet sensation Jordan Rivers as a fraud. Yet, as Carrie delves deeper into the lies, deception and betrayal, she may end up making a name for herself after all – as the latest Hollywood murder victim.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

It's Fake-O Tweet-O-Vision!

MovieLover1992: @SelenaLovesKyle6 I just saw this awesome flk iCrime!

SelenaLovesKyle6: @MovieLover1992 OMG. Whats it about?

MovieLover1992: @SelenaLovesKyle6 Well this Okie girl comes to LA and works for a website called Echo Report and tries to prove this girl Jordan on YouTube is a total fake. As if!

SelenaLovesKyle6: @MovieLover1992 Sounds a bit like one of those shows on CW or ABC Family....I'm totally gonna watch!

MovieLover1992: @SelenaLovesKyle6 Yeah its got texting on screen, internet videos and chatting and OMG that ending is just crazy. Srlsy I was so shocked!

SelenaLovesKyle6: @MovieLover1992 Send me the trailer and a review. I wanna chk it out!

OK that's enough of my fake-o tweet-o vision. Director Bears Fonte debut film is clearly entrenched in a world that spins the small town girl in LA into a whole new direction. We've seen it before but here he's added a few Web 2.0 add ons to the mix. Carrie (Sara Fletcher) our Oklahoma noob tries to protect her cousin Stefy from a sex tape going public. But that plot line is just one of many which either detracts or enhances the film (to me, there were way to many things going on). The main plot line revolves around Carrie who works for "the Echo Report" online tabloid as she tries to expose the internet phenomenon Jordan, as she tries to prove she's an actress and not the innocent school girl she plays online.

The first thing about this film is the Web 2.0 generated gimmicks that get maxed exposure. We get the following:
  • The Echo Report (TMZ-ish parody)
  • Some gratuitous Skype-ing (video chatting)
  • Texting in movie (as the texts appear like subtitles on screen)
  • YouTube videos of our LonelyGirl/iJustine phenom "Jordan"
  • YouTube response videos of Jordan's fans reacting to her ordeal
  • Various references to message boards and social networking sites (you know the ones)
I don't mind all of these things in my movies. I laugh when Spyder Crawler or FrienderZ show up. Making an internet UGC movie without mentioning the obvious brands they reference is a staple. I mean you can't just say Twitter you know? The beauty of iCrime is it taps into a generation spoon fed info via 160 characters at a time. The Nancy Drew mystery Carrie investigates is a wee bit ridiculous but Sara Fletcher's performance was stellar and her presence onscreen negates any ridiculousness we see.

A few supporting roles from Zeffer (Carrie's possible love interest), Stefy her cousin looking for another big break, Raychel a fellow blogger and Jordan the web star are solid as they are just outright cardboard cutouts of a teen Lifetime movie of the week.

As Carrie searches for the truth, she also goes onto side quests that got distracting. From a blackmail plot of her cousin, to Hollywood insider parties she attends, to the budding relationship between her and lovable goofball Zeffer to ultimately the final reveal, it's a mish mash of filler scenes that got a bit convoluted. Fonte may have overloaded his script in his debut film with all these plot lines. In doing so he forgot to develop the characters into something more than caricatures. Carrie ultimately reveals a slew of problems she's dealing with, but all I cared about was the kidnapping gone awry. The twist can be predicted without a degree in sixth sense powers but it's as MovieLover1992 says: Srlsy I was so shocked!

That's not to say the it isn't fun to watch.

iCrime is filled with various LOLs that kept the movie moving. Fletcher does such a good job of being the champion of anti-fakeiness it becomes addicting. She's got that girl next door look, has various "cool" outfits and smokes...alot. The supporting players though one dimensional are still interesting and the movie has a decent soundtrack (including a live punk rock performance) It's a perfect film for the millennial generation as the web and CW-ish plot are easy to buy into. Occasionally, I like watching betrayal soaps with an interweb style that can be consumed in easily digestible morsels. Yeah I said it.

It's a credit for iCrime to deliver an indie movie that knows how to speak that Millennial language. Sometimes you feel like watching something that "MovieLover1992" and "SelenaLovesKyle6" are gonna love. There's no shame in that.


Nada...but some PG-13 cleavage. Does that count?

WTF moment

Srly that ending OMG! FTW!

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

iCrime is being released via Breaking Glass Pictures via their Vicious Circle Films brand. It'll be out on DVD on September 27th. The DVD will include Deleted Scenes and runs about 103 minutes.

The inner millennial in you is itching to see this. It's up to you to decide if you should listen to that voice.

The Vitals

Check out the trailer below.

1 comment:

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