Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DVD Review: iCrime (2011)

iCrime (2011)
LABEL: Vicious Circle Films
RATING: Unrated
DURATION: 103 mins
AUDIO: English Dolby Digital Stereo
VIDEO: 16:9 Anamorphic (1.78:1)
DIRECTOR: Bears Fonté

CAST: Sarah Fletcher, Travis Brorsen, Leah McKendrick, Christie Burson
TAGLINE: The Truuth and Cyberspace Collide

Small town Midwestern girl Carrie Kevin (Sara Fletcher) moves to L.A. to watch over her super model cousin Stefy Sinclaire (Kelly Noonan) after learning that tabloid journalist Evelyn Echo (Katherine Randolph) is about to go public with a sex tape of her cousin which could damage her rising star. Carrie makes a deal to provide the tabloid journalist with an even bigger story, to prove that annoying internet vlogger sensation Jordan Rivers (Leah McKendrick) apparent kidnapping from her bedroom during a video broadcast is merely a hoax perpetrated for notoriety. After a chance encounter with wanna-be actor and part-time grocery cart return boy Zeffer (Travis Brorsen) the two set out to solve the mystery Scooby-Doo style.

The film starts off pretty dark with a seedy hotel encounter but then as it rolls on it becomes a darker version of Nickelodeon's tween TV sensation iCarly with annoying tween-appealing vlogging, blogging and texting superimposed on the screen, it's very Nickelodeon cum Mtv. Perhaps it's hypocritical that I find it so annoying since I am a blogger after all but I found it just annoying, on the other hand my tweens walked into the film midway and we're enraptured with it leading me to believe this could be a hit with a younger, and arguably more annoying demographic.

Anyway, as Carrie delves deeper into the seedy underbelly of LA celebrity she herself becomes something of an internet sensation. The dark, twisty ending is a good bit of fun though perhaps a bit too clever for it's own good. At 103 minutes the film could have used a judicious round of editing, there must be a good 15 minutes of Carrie looking moody and dragging on a cigarette, the film definitely needed some tightening up.
Fletcher and Brorsen offer some solid performances, the rest of the cast is a mixed bag but overall this is a pretty typical indie film in that respect. Obviously a film shot on the cheap with limited resources the film visually plays to it's strengths and is rooted in reality. Stylistically the film is a mixed bag for me. While at times quite attractive the gimmicky picture-in-picture vlogging and text superimposition grinded my nerves. Too many characters are introduced, many of which are extraneous to say the least, and the film lacks focus to it's own detriment because somewhere in here there's a pretty lean 88 minute thriller.
DVD: The DVD screener from Vicious Circle Films presents iCrime in 16:9 widescreen (1.78:1) with English language Dolby Digital stereo, with no subtitles. It's a bare bones disc and did not include any of the special features which include director's commentary and deleted scenes. As the burned screener is of lesser quality I would assume the final DVD to be much better in regard to picture quality and as such I'll refrain from critiquing the transfer of the film which certainly lacked in many respects.

VERDICT: Surely iCrime will appeal to a younger market, in my not-so-early 30's I found it annoying despite the fact that I'm on twitter, tumblr, facebook and blogging about a quarter of my waking day, so maybe it just hit too close to the bone for comfort - am I really that annoying? iCrime is the feature film debut from writer/director Bears Fonté, it really aims to be a sexy digital thriller and is only somewhat successful, in actuality it's more of a dark iCarly episode. Certainly not a terrible film but definitely lacking substance and it's a one and done for me. 2/5