Cover Art 8/10 and Menus: 5/10
The cover gets my attention. It’s mysterious and has a very distinctly modern computer-age vibe. I wouldn’t have it as a poster, just because it’s got a bit too much geometry going on, but other than that it ain’t half bad:) The menu is just video from the film and navigation. Why am I still talking about menus in 2011? I have no idea.
- Interview With The Filmmakers – It’s not much, not even enough to earn the middle of the road 5 out of 10. However, it is meant to reveal to us the ‘reality’ behind the story, the movie, and the filmmakers. I like it. It’s not long enough. The best part is they, the 3 young men who made the film, chat, and answer questions off of cards they may or may not have said where the questions came from, so listen closer than I did when it starts.
The Movie: 7/10
If you wanted to pick some movies that represent each decade, Catfish would definately be one on the list for the 10’s, or 00’s, or whatever you call the beginning of a century, like from 2000-2010. This film follows a young man who meets an 8 year old artist online and developes a friendship with her family. He’s a city fella and she lives on a farm with her mom, older (sexy) sister, brother and father. They are interesting artsy people and the city boy is a photographer who focuses on dancers. They have a lot in common, and the internet offers them the chance to exchange photos, links, music, conversations, well, you know how it works. You are online right now reading this. You probably have a facebook account, or Twitter, or at least some way to communicate with people you know and people you don’t know online.
This story explores the ways we communicate with people we have never met ‘in the flesh’. How do we present ourselves? How do we fall in love with words and photos on a computer screen? Twenty years ago it didn’t exist. Twelve years ago when I met my lovely husband, Ascully, online it was very rare and people thought I was going to the airport to be greeted by a serial killer. These days the TV commercials say that 1 in 5 relationships start online, and why would they lie? How do two people so far apart find a common ground and when face-to-face happens how much have we really revealed and how much have we concealed? I don’t want to say much about their story. This is a documentary style film(I say style because it’s very very very produced and edited and it doesn’t always feel like a straight up documentary film to me). They use real people, real life interactions, and lots of images we are familiar with, files downloading, links to click, facebook, cell phone text conversations, etc. To talk too much about the specifics would crack the tension and suspense they manage to build.
I will say this, I was glued to the screen. There were moments that the tension and anticipation were super prickly. I think I even held my breath once during a particularly intense exchange. As a documentary I’m not sure I take it all for face value. I mean, they can say it’s all 100% as it was, and that’s fine. There is often more interpretation and editing than even the filmmakers can see that interfers with the truth of the matter. Maybe I just like the really gritty documentaries that don’t have all the bells and whistles, but that doesn’t take away from Catfish. It is very enjoyable. It’s a modern film that I can truly say is of my time as an adult. In thirty years when I look back all this facebook and twitter will be gone, dust in the wind making way for new technology that either brings us closer together, or is still bringing up all the questions we have today about our lives being open to the world.
I recommend Catfish for three reasons: 1.) It’s a great story and told well. 2.) It’s entertaining. 3.) It’s well made.
What more can you ask from a movie on a cold winter afternoon?
Audio & Video: 7/10
Catfish is not the movie you will be showing your home theater off with as it’s a mixture of low quality hand held camera work. This doesn’t mean it sucks though, NO far from it. The shots that were taken on a HD camera look beautiful with some really rich blacks and very high detail. The macro shots of computer screens in particular look amazing right down to every single pixel.
The 5.1 DTS HD Master audio track does it’s job, with little to no action in the rear surrounds or sub-woofer. Documentary’s such as Catfish need to have clear dialog and this uncompressed track delivers clear crisp dialog the entire time. There are a few muffled lines but the filmmakers knew this and decided to subtitle those for your convenience. Again not a stunning soundtrack compared to big action movies but as far as documentary films go this is a standout.
It’s a great Saturday afternoon movie to watch, but there’s not much else going on with this disc.
Overall Score 7/10