Thursday, November 21, 2013

UPPER: The Upper Footage on VOD for the next 3 weeks--watch a midnight movie, only at 12AM!

Whew -- this is one oddball concoction! How you feel about it will greatly depend, I suspect, upon what you know about the film going in. I would suggest that you do a little web surfing prior to watching UPPER aka THE UPPER FOOTAGE so that you will come to it with more knowledge than TrustMovies possessed when he made use of the critics' Vimeo link to access and watch the film. He was a lamb to the slaughter, as it were, and when he came out of the experience, he was one angry lamb. On the other hand, as the film's producer, an energetic and enthusiastic young lady named Tiffany, suggested, it might be best that everyone have the kind of experience that TM had -- by going into the film blind and believing.

Shades of The Blair Witch Project hang over Upper, and yet this is an infinitely better job of movie-making than was that now nearly 15-year-old crap-fest. The differ-ence? Blair Witch had a mammoth and very smart advertising campaign via the then newly burgeoning internet. The campaign was great; the movie not, but by the time many audiences realized this, their ticket money had already been scooped up into the coffers of the dis-tributors. It was an event, however, and so, in its way, is Upper, the director of which is said to be a fellow named Justin Cole (shown, sort of, at left).
The film is said to have had a terribly difficult time reaching audiences because it is a "found footage" video that shows a very privileged young man and his cohorts bringing home a young girl (below, with he face obscured to protect her poor family), coking her up, watching her vomit and grow sick and finally drop dead -- and then covering up the whole disgusting mess.

Fun, huh? Oh, yes, and all of this has been videoed by one of the friends, after which the said video appears online, very briefly, and is used to blackmail the wealthy family of Blake Pennington, the entitled young snob at the center of all of this.

Does that Pennington name ring a bell with you? No? Then maybe the missing girl's will: Jackie Spearo. Not hers, either? That was pretty much my experience, too, but then I often do not follow the latest gossip, so I imagined that I had simply missed all references to this case. Not quite.

Yet so much that's shown here rings bells -- the wealthy 1 % bell, the teens on drugs and sex bell, the parents who enable bell. And so on. The young people shown on this "found footage" tape seems very real indeed. "If these kids are actors," I found myself murmuring, "then they're damned good ones."

The "documentary" divides pretty nicely into thirds: the set-up, the event, and the follow-up. If the first two thirds are prime, the last one levels off some and may have you questioning the veracity of the whole thing. Yet your own "take" on situations such as this will probably carry you along quite well. You'll either see these kids as the entitled assholes of America, or maybe, if you are very young and relatively brainless, you might see them as "cool."

However you look at them, I think you will look at them -- if not eagerly or angrily, then with sadness at the shocking waste of natural resources that modern-day America can so skillfully manage. Upper/The Upper Footage, with a running time of just under 90 minutes, opens tonight, Thursday, November 21, for a three week VOD run -- at midnights only. To purchase tickets, click here and then click on Buy Tickets on the menu line at top.

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