The Upper Footage (UPPER) is a film that was thought to be real, much like The Blair Witch Project, but people smartened up*see note below* and realized it’s just that, a movie. Still, The Upper Footage (UPPER) does a superb job at making everything seem so real, which definitely gives credence to the fact that people fell for it. Did I like The Upper Footage (UPPER)? Personally, it just wasn’t for me, but lets see if it might be for you…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: ‘THE UPPER FOOTAGE’ is the first film experience of its kind. The film is an edited version of 393 minutes of recovered footage documenting a young girl’s tragic overdose death and subsequent cover up by a group of affluent socialites. What started as a blackmail plot played out over YouTube, became Hollywood’s biggest drug scandal, turned into a heavily controversial film property that was rumored to be held by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Now, after playing itself out in the media for 3 years it is finally making its way to the public.
Tatlock’s Quick ‘n Dirty Recap: The Upper Footage (UPPER) has quite the history behind it, starting all the way back in 2010, when YouTube clips of the movie started appearing online and people thought it was real. Pixelated faces appearing on screen and real life actresses getting accused of doing drugs. It’s quite the accomplishment on the director’s part and it goes to show how effective viral media can be.
The movie itself, and yes, it is just a movie, is about a group of 1 percenters, who are out partying and doing drugs and anything else rich people do on a normal night. Along the way, one of the guys picks up a girl, named Jackie, and brings her back to the one of the other guys apartment. Once there, the cocaine is brought out and the girl starts going crazy with the snorting. Jackie eventually overdoses and part of the group decide to cover up the accidental death.
Tatlock’s Opinion: I’m going to be perfectly honest with you folks. This movie was given to me for free to watch and review and part of me feels like I should not give it a bad review, but the other part knows I would never do that. So with that out of the way, what didn’t I like about The Upper Footage(UPPER)?
For one thing, the movie is boring. It takes an incredibly long time to get going and the camera work is a giant pain in the ass to live with. I completely understand the reasoning behind having the camera constantly going in and out of focus, flop around or just have a black screen for a few minutes, as this leads itself to the “realism” it’s shooting for, but unfortunately in movie land, this just doesn’t work, as the viewer is bored beyond tears, waiting for something to happen and the number one rule, is keep the viewer engaged. When something does happen, it’s in the last minute of the movie and bam, the credits are rolling and the necessary after movie information, as to what happened after, is given to you, just to sell the realism.
I feel like I’m being very harsh with this movie and I don’t mean to be. I mean, I see the passion in the movie, I see the hard work that went into making it and the performances feel real, very real. In fact, it’s those performances that sell the movie for what it wants to be, a horrifying night of bad choices and life changing decisions. I’ll give props to all involved, as the movie will have you forgetting it’s not real half way through, if you can make it through the boring scenes that is.
Verdict: The Upper Footage(UPPER) will not be for everyone (I say that a lot on my site) and falls into a certain niche market. Fans of the time when everyone thought The Blair Witch Project was real, will fall in love with the marketing behind this movie and what it achieves. Unfortunately, the amount of minutes wasted on nothing, is what turned me off and for that I can only give it a middle of the road score. I still think you should check it out, as the talent in front of and behind the camera, is what’s worth the price of admission.