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March 1, 2014

Movie Review: The Upper Footage (2014)

Review By: Rob Sibley

 So what are the the two things I hate most in this world? Found footage movies and rich yuppie kids who are given way to much money and power way to young. It's all over mainstream media these days. You see pop singers or talent-less boy bands making it big not for the talent but because they have money and enjoy punching limo drivers in the back of the head while they are not busy doing 8-balls or H or pick any drug.

"The Upper Footage" I will say right now... will make it onto my top films of 2014. Why? Because it feels like Bret Easton Ellis grabbed a camera and filmed a night out of him partying (when he was younger). The film oozes the vibe of early Ellis. If Less Then Zero was a found footage film... you'd have something like "The Upper Footage".

The story concerns a gal who went missing Jack Spearo. Just vanished like she was vaporized like in 1984. We were bombarded with news articles, conversations of real radio personalities and it very much feels like the Herzog starring film "Beneath Lochness". What makes a good found footage film? If you can't make out if it's real or fake, if the actors are believable, if it doesn't have stupid musical stings and obnoxious editing. The biggie being the screenplay, director and the actors. The almighty three. Well director/writer Justin Cole has learned well because I was glued to my computer screen watching this gem.

After the "media blitz" we get into the found footage aspects of the film. Without spoiling it we are dropped in the upper crust of NYC mid twenties society. It all starts out fun enough, a bunch of d-bags who only care about sex, drugs and expensive studio apartments decide "We need some drugs". So they end up in a limo with these assholes. I mean assholes as a compliment because these actors embody the true spirit of "Fuck everything, lets get high and fuck". They don't care about each other, they care about their next line of snow, their next orgasm. These are the kinds of kids who drown in the excess of the environment they were born and bred in.

Jackie doesn't pop up in the picture after the initial opening till around the thirty minute mark. Her face is blurred (for legal reasons). We find out she's one of the d-bags girlfriends. So they decide to party it up, with a nice million dollar, studio apartment... the coke comes out and that's where the trouble starts... this is the film that is the antidote to pictures like "To Jennifer" or any other found footage film that falls flat on it's ass.

This film is 87 minutes of pure realism guys and gals. I'm not easily impressed with found footage, it's not my cup o java. But this film... not sure why Oren Peli get all the credit and Paranormal Activity #45 is playing at every theater. A film like this is important, it shows you the dark underbelly that surrounds us that most people tune out.

Much like Shane Ryan, Justin Cole is another new-breed of filmmaker who embraces realism and takes life for what it is and documents it. This is a film where friends turn on "friends" backstabbing is the name of the game. You get a few people who are the "voice of reason" but they are outnumbered by the upper crust, that 1% that has everything.

This film comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, you must watch this film. I don't endorse many Independent films because to be frank 90% of most Inde films are utter shit. This film is something that will disturb you and stick with you. Don't expect gore or buckets of blood, this is a film that knee's you in the balls with raw emotion. These characters are slowly spiraling out of control in the dark abyss of life and well... don't expect Hollywood with this film. It may sound like I'm kissing ass but I don't do that. But that being said, sign me up for the Justin Cole fan club.

You can rent the film via Vimeo. Word of warning... the film will stick with you long after it's over. My final thoughts as I finished watching the film "It's true... money talks and bullshit walks" in regards to the characters...

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