Saturday, July 6, 2013

To Jennifer Review

You may remember that I was fairly impressed with director James Cullen Bressack's film, Hate Crime. That being the case, and because I asked super nicely, he graciously allowed me to view a screener of his newest film, To Jennifer. I had a basic idea as to what it was about, but other than a general idea, and that it was filmed entirely with an iPhone 5, I had no idea what to expect. I knew how brutal Hate Crime was, and when I sat down to watch Jennifer, I did so, hoping to be scarred for life.

To Jennifer is the story of Joey, a young man who is convinced his girlfriend, the titular Jennifer, is cheating on him. He enlists the aid of his cousin, Steven and his friend Martin, and together they plan a road trip, to catch Jennifer in the act. They are also filming the entire thing with Steven's iPhone, and plan to show the film to Jennifer, so she can see the heartache she's put Joey through. 

Strictly speaking, I suppose To Jennifer is a "found footage" style film, which as we all know are a dime a dozen these days. To do something original, or even different these days is damn near impossible. It's evident from the very beginning that a lot of thought went into the filming, which makes the fact that it was done entirely on an iPhone even more impressive. The plot isn't needlessly convoluted or over thought, but at the same time isn't non-existent. There's even a twist or two, and character development! Character development in a "found footage" movie, that was shot on a cell phone. Tell me that isn't a talented writer/director. Still, as good as To Jennifer is, it isn't without a couple of minor flaws. The pacing slows in a couple spots, when scenes would run a bit long. There were also a scene which, while humorous, seemed un-necessary. The other disappointment was that about halfway through I knew what was going on, and if you're paying attention, you will too. 

Still, those minor issues aside, To Jennifer is still an incredibly well made and entertaining film. It didn't pack the emotional punch that Hate Crime did for me, but the ending still managed to get to me. That's something I can't say for most of the films I watch. James Cullen Bressack is a name that we will all be very familiar with in the near future. We need more people like him making films.

1 comment:

Maynard Morrissey said...

Glad you enjoyed it! My expectations were very, very low, but wow, I ended up very, very surprised.