Reviewed by: JimmyO
Raymond Andrew Bailey
What's it about
After chasing down a suspected child killer, a cameraman begins to question whether the culprit is guilty or not. It might have to do with the fact that he and his camera keep reliving the same day and finding more and more about what is going on during an election.
Is it good movie?
11:59 is a very good premise, if not all that original. See Groundhog Day and a few others. A cameraman named Aaron (Raymond Andrew Bailey), along with a reporter, end up hot on the trail of a suspected child murderer. When the police don’t arrive and they have a chance meeting with the runaway, Aaron chases him down, with camera in tow. Finally, both worn down by the chase, the suspect tells him that it is a cover-up and he is not guilty. But by the time the police actually come to do their job, it is too late for him to get any other information from the dude. So there may be a cover-up eh? Well, once the day begins to replay for Aaron, he suspects that the dude may be right. As every morning comes, he wakes up in the same field, in the middle of nowhere, on the same day. Yes, it’s an interesting story and it is very well shot. Jamin Winans creates some striking images including a symbolic image of Aaron drowning as he drinks himself to forget. It is visually pretty fascinating but it is a shame that this story of redemption is slow and un-involving.
The idea of redemption and finding a way to do the right thing is almost always a great story to tell, but I didn’t really find the trials and tribulations of Aaron all that exciting. And although I thought Mr. Bailey did a good enough job, he seemed to be a little weak. For a hero, this guy was pretty damn pitiful. Yet I think his okay performance may have been partially because of the script and a director more interested in style than character. Liz Cunningham as Adele, Aaron’s boss, is also a misstep. She is supposed to be this tough as nails, take charge kind of lady, but she was completely unconvincing in the role. Again, she may not be a bad actress, but this was not the character for her. Adele is a ball-buster that wants to be numero uno, and be queen bad ass, but she came across much too soft and she failed to inject any authority in the role. Many of the other actors did fine, and I do feel that there was a good movie here. But all the elements just didn’t seem to gel and it made for a mystery thriller that lacks mystery or thrills.
Video / Audio
Video: The is a terrific Anamorphic Widescreen transfer that captures the style of Jamin Winans work quite well.
Audio: Also very good is the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and the DTS Surround Sound 5.1. This is a great looking and sounding film, shot in HD.
The extras of 11:59 offer up a look at Jamin Winans talent, even though the film as a whole didn’t work for me. First up is Commentary with Jamin and Director of Photography Jeff Pointer. They speak about finding the right cast and shooting the film in High Definition. I would recommend this for almost anyone trying to make a low budget film. This is an interesting listen.
Next up with get Interviews with Jamin Winans (7:33), Raymond Andrew Bailey (6:49), Joe Sekyia (2:27) and Jeff Pointer (3:07). I really began to appreciate Jamin’s talent after hearing his commentary and watching this interview. He has a great eye for creating interesting looking visuals, and he had a DP that was able to capture his vision with Jeff Pointer. All of these interviews were fun and sometimes insightful.
Next up, we get to see a short film from Jamin Winans called Spin (8:14) about a D.J. who is able to change events by spinning records. This short is damn good. Again, he has a lot of style and it looks amazing. The story is also pretty interesting and since there is no dialogue, I feel it works much better than the feature attached. There is also commentary from Jamin on this explaining where the idea came from, which of the cast was also in 11:59 (including lead actor, Raymond Andrew Bailer) and the idea of finding the rhythm of life. I think Mr. Winans could have a pretty great future because he knows how to offer up a great looking movie, yet his dialogue and casting decisions could use some work.
And finally, we have a Trailer for “11:59 and also the following Tartan Releases, “Red Road”, “A World Without Thieves”, “12:08 East to Bucharest”, “Triad Election” and “Silk”.
11:59 looks really fantastic and it seems like it cost a whole lot more than it probably did. But it still lacked in power and failed to build any sort of suspense or tension. I liked the end and I think it was one of the best scenes for Raymond Andrew Bailey who gives an okay performance. But the weak turn from Liz Cunningham also hampered the enjoyment of the film. This woman is much too nice to play this type of character, and if she could have pulled it off, I think she would have needed to work with a better “actor’s director” maybe. It comes down to this, there is some very clever elements, yet it fails to keep you rooting for any of the characters and it also gives away the “twist” ending too early, leaving little in the suspense department. It’s worth a look just for some wonderfully shot sequences, but not much else. I’m glad I don’t have to keep reliving this day.