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SURVEILLANCE
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Jennifer Lynch

Starring:
Julia Ormond
Bill Pullman
Michael Ironside
Charlie Newmark


Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A couple of FBI agents deal with three different accounts of a roadside massacre. Of course, as the film unfolds, all three individuals reveal details and flashbacks that give you clues as to what the hell really happened. Thereís a plot twist to be had here, and if youíre fooled by it, this one might be up your alley!
Is it good movie?
This movie was directed by Jennifer Lynch, yeah..the same one who nearly imploded when releasing the cinematic abortion that was Boxing Helena so many years ago. But hey, after 15 years, she deserves a second chance and Iím happy to say that this movie doesnít suck, hooray!

This movie sort of reminded me of a dark and mean version of Vantage Point, a relatively mediocre movie. Thereís a lot of retelling and a lot of little hints dropped along the way. As for the big twist, well itís advertised on the back cover and I will unfortunately admit that I figured it out.

Itís a pretty simple premise and the film feels a little straightforward, in my opinion. What breaks up the standard stuff is when you see ungodly acts of violence committed by state troopers and a few nasty interrogation scenes to make you uncomfortable. The script seems fairly pedestrian, with that weird indie feel intact. The only difference is that just when you start to lose a bit of interest, Lynch will slam you in the face with nasty gore and violence to keep you watching.

This is all to say that I got what I expected from a flick from someone with the last name Lynch. This one is slightly askew, with good characterization, a wacky set of characters and some strange goings on to keep you thinking.
Video / Audio
This disc features an anamorphic 1.75:1 widescreen transfer and looks okay. Keep in mind that this movie uses a lot of grainy footage anyway, but the transfer comes off as blurry and sort of dirty.

Audioís once again in Dolby 5.1 and sounds pretty good, and the rear speakers really roar to life during the appropriate scenes.
The Extras
First up, a commentary track with Jennifer Lynch and actors Mac Miller and Charlie Newmark This is a great track, actually, as Jennifer really seems to have enjoyed making this film and seems passionate about it. Itís also good to note that sheís totally uncensored and makes some pretty hilarious comments. Good stuff here.

Surveillance: The Watched are Watching runs about 15 minutes and is a pretty standard EPK, except for the fact that some of the cast act like crude teenagers, which is weird.

HDNet: A Look at Surveillance is essentially a 5 minute trailer full of spoilers. Donít watch it if you havenít seen the flick. Thereís also two deleted scenes and an alternate ending, which run about 12 minutes total. The scenes are pretty lame, but when you listen to Lynchís commentary, she provides proper context to make them worth watching.
Last Call
Surveillance was a decent little movie, if you can get past the somewhat ridiculous plot twist. If you like your movies to have a good spot of weird mixed up in them, youíll probably dig his. Lynch seems like a passionate director, which is a good thing, Iím glad to see her back.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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