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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant but concerning story about online 'friends'
Catfish is a 'documentary' about Yaniv 'Nev' Schulman, a young, budding New-York photographer. Three months after one of Yaniv's photos is published in the New York Sun he receives a package from Michigan-based, 8-year old, child-prodigy Abby Pierce containing a painting of his photo. Taken aback by the quality of the work and generosity of the artist, he befriends Abby...
Published on 24 Jan 2011 by J. Morris

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So where does the truth end and the film begin?
In 2007, a photographer in New York City, Nev Schulman, was surprised to receive a parcel in the post containing a painting. It was a painting of a picture of his that had been published in The New York Sun some weeks earlier, and the artist was apparently only eight years old. Intrigued, Schulman began corresponding with Abby, the artist, online under her mother Angela's...
Published on 7 May 2011 by A. Whitehead


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant but concerning story about online 'friends', 24 Jan 2011
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catfish [DVD] (DVD)
Catfish is a 'documentary' about Yaniv 'Nev' Schulman, a young, budding New-York photographer. Three months after one of Yaniv's photos is published in the New York Sun he receives a package from Michigan-based, 8-year old, child-prodigy Abby Pierce containing a painting of his photo. Taken aback by the quality of the work and generosity of the artist, he befriends Abby via Facebook in a completely innocent and benign way as they exchange photos and canvas.

Always on the lookout for interesting subject material, Yaniv's brother Ariel decides to document their electronic relationship as it progresses as Yaniv talks to Abby's mom Angela, her half-sister Megan and a few other friends in her life. Yaniv falls for Megan hard after an extended online relationship and is desperate to finally meet her. Alarm bells begin to ring after Megan becomes evasive and certain things she has told him do not tie-up. Yaniv decides to confront Megan by showing up at her house unannounced with extremely interesting results...

Putting the controversy aside about whether Catfish is real or staged, it's an amazing story nonetheless which I won't ruin for you by disclosing the plot. I was captivated for the full 86 minutes as the tale is told through shots of Yaniv's Googlemaps, Facebook messages, text back-and-forths and phone calls. It's edgy and well filmed, despite the majority being shot on handy-cams and I honestly felt involved enough with the story to understand what was going through Yaniv's head as his brother and friend ask him for his POV on what's going down.

There is an unfathomable amount of Apple product placement but this could be due to the artistic nature of the guys to begin with (Apple has always pitched itself as the creative 'right-brainers' computer) and some of the "penny-drops" are just so scene-perfect that even the guys themselves acknowledge they got lucky. But what makes this documentary just so enjoyable is that despite being duped, Yaniv and co. never once become malicious or vengeful, giving the benefit of the doubt up until there just is no other option left and even then they aren't angry, more inquisitive as to what would motivate someone to do this.

Whilst you will probably enjoy all the nuances of the online snapshots and internet usage if it's something you know and love yourself, you can follow what's going on even if you're not a fan of Facebook. What's most important is that this is a fascinating story in it's own right even without being labelled as a "Facebook-saga" and resultantly being tarred with the pop-culture brush. Great cinematography through and through, I recommend this intelligent & allegorical docu-drama to everyone!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and disturbing - is our image conscious, isolated society partly to blame?, 25 Aug 2014
This review is from: Catfish [DVD] (DVD)
As someone who watches 'Catfish: The TV Show' I was interested to see this as it's Nev's story.It's gripping, thought provoking and at times disturbing. It's also very sad, it shows how manipulative these 'Catfish' can be and the damage that can be done through their deceit.

Many people meet online now (often successfully - I know of married couples who are very happy) but pretending to be someone you're not is never going to end well. A lot of people have self esteem issues, and spending time online may be attractive to those who are isolated yet lack confidence to mix in the 'real' world. It's too easy to forget that the online world is not a real one, in that people can very easily not be what they what seem. Perhaps todays image conscious, photoshop obsessed society doesn't help with this and contributes to encouraging people to pretend they look like models when they don't. But the sad, often forgotten reality is no one looks like that, even models and celebrities look different without their make up, hair extensions and airbrushing. I guess the problem is pretending to be someone you're not is that once you've established that identity, it can't be easy to back track.

I'm always struck by the kindness and humanity shown by Nev and Max in the TV show, and how they try to see both sides. Seeing this film has helped me appreciate that so much more. How Nev's story turned out was pretty shocking, but how he responded shows what an amazing person he is.

A fascinating docu-drama, not really a thriller, but it's gripping and makes you think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 8 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Catfish [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this yesterday, it just shows you what the reality can be if you talk to people online. It's truly an amazing film and I want to watch it again I'm glad that I can.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catfish the movie, 24 Jan 2014
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This DVD is really worth watching !! Must be seen this was a present for my daughter she loves the tv show
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So where does the truth end and the film begin?, 7 May 2011
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catfish [DVD] (DVD)
In 2007, a photographer in New York City, Nev Schulman, was surprised to receive a parcel in the post containing a painting. It was a painting of a picture of his that had been published in The New York Sun some weeks earlier, and the artist was apparently only eight years old. Intrigued, Schulman began corresponding with Abby, the artist, online under her mother Angela's supervision. His brother Ariel and friend Henry, amateur film-makers, smell a potential good story here and begin filming Nev's interactions with Abby's family by phone and computer. Nev also comes into contact with Abby's family members via Facebook, particularly her 19-year-old sister Megan, whom he starts 'Internet dating'. Since the family live many hundreds of miles away in Michigan, the chances of meeting them soon do not appear to be likely.

Whilst working on a project in Colorado, the trio start to find holes in the story presented to them. Megan, who sings and plays guitar and piano, sends Nev some songs she's recorded, but he finds that they are recordings of songs from YouTube. Googling reveals no mention of Abby's artistic skills in local media. Nev becomes concerned over being scammed, and they decide to detour to Michigan on the way home to learn the truth.

Catfish is an interesting film that was released last year after proving a storm at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It then triggered a significant wave of controversy, though we'll come to that in a moment. It's easy to see why the film has been praised: it's a zeitgeist-capturing movie about people who forge relationships online where the details presented by the parties involved may be exaggerated or indeed fabricated altogether. The final act, exposing what's really going on, subverts audience expectations about the motivations of those involved. As a piece of film-making, Catfish is entertaining, intriguing and builds tension towards the moment of revelation (though it has to be said that this is a quiet, non-flashy film; the trailer suggesting it's a 'thriller' is totally inaccurate).

The film also asks an important question of the audience, one that may or may not have been intended by the film-makers. The film is about people passing themselves and a situation off as something that is rather different to what is presented. So, it is perfectly logical for the viewer to ask, "Okay, but what about you guys? Is this really what happened? Are you manipulating us?" If the film-makers had done this deliberately and perhaps avoided answering the question in promotion, it would be a fascinating and metatextual statement on presentation, perception and motivation in a world where it's all too easy to manipulate these things online for an intended purpose or effect. Unfortunately, the film-makers have spent a fair amount of time saying that everything in the film is 100% the truth and nothing has been changed or manipulated.

This claim is immediately challenged by a scene in which Nev and his compatriots arrive at the address supplied by Megan, intending to surprise her, only to find the house abandoned and uninhabited. Nev opens the postbox (rather dubiously; interfering with the mail in the USA is a federal offence) and finds it stuffed full of the letters and packages he's sent to Megan during the course of their 'relationship'. However, this is clearly a fabricated scene: the post has 'return to sender' already stamped on it, indicating that the post was delivered, not picked up and sent back to Nev in New York. He then appears to have taken the post back to the address and set the scene up to demonstrate to the viewer the deception of Megan providing a false address.

This in turn leads to the viewer questioning the truthfulness of the entire enterprise. Many tens of thousands of words have been dedicated to questioning every aspect of the film by multiple articles, blogs and even news items on US television, so I'll avoid into delving too far into that, except to note that there seems to have been some very clever manipulation of scenes and chronology going on to present the narrative as it unfolds to us.

The film, taken at face-value, is intriguing and raises interesting questions about Internet-based relationships. However, the fact that aspects of it are clearly manipulated and possibly exploitative (one of the participants has since passed away, something that has indeed been verified, but which makes the situation even murkier) leaves a bad taste in the mouth. But at the same time, the fact that after watching the film the viewer can then go online and read up on all the controversy and draw their own conclusions itself adds another level to the experience: layers of deceit, spin, presentation and impersonation. Talking about the film and seeing how different people interpret it is arguably more interesting than the movie itself.

Catfish (score not really applicable) is a bizarre and thought-provoking film about modern media, manipulation and social networking. Whether you believe all of it, none of it or something between, it definitely raises some very interesting questions. The film is available now on DVD (UK, USA) and Blu-Ray (UK, USA).
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4.0 out of 5 stars compelling, 3 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Catfish [DVD] (DVD)
as a fan of the show i wanted to know about the story behind it all .this film is about.nevs own catfish encounter documented .The fact that millions of people nowadays use the net and speak to tons of different people everyday building relationships friendships but who are you reallly talking to .the idea of a catfish in itself is inteteresting .why do people do it ? low self esteem there are probs hundreds of reasons why you could wanna create a lie in your identity and thats jus why this film is so compelling because you are given one answer to one lie and you will be shocked .never trust online unless you have proof or.u could be.well and truely caught by a catfish .watch it
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gotta Keep The Cod In Shape, 23 Dec 2010
By 
P. J. Potter "Phil" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catfish [DVD] (DVD)
Let's face it, a movie based around a Facebook conspiracy featuring loads of Apple product placement should be a recipe for whackness.

Catfish is filmed as a documentary with Yaniv's two mates following the relationship between him and an 8 year old girl Abby. Yaniv (AKA Nev) is an ascending photographer who unexpectedly has Abby sending him a painting of one of his dance photos that was published in a magazine. They develop a non-paedo relationship where Nev emails the youngster his newest photos and she'll post a painting of those pictures to him a short while later. He adds her as a friend on Facebook along with the rest of her family and friends. He loves them, the paintings rock. They love him, he's helping Abby get her name out there.
He develops an e-boner for Abby's stepsister Megan. She's legal. The `Nev + Meg 4 eva' freight train picks up momentum with him sending photos and budding musician Meg slinging her own personal cover songs back Nev's way. Meg's friends tell Nev he doesn't appreciate her talent and so on. He gets pretty into her despite them never meeting. Hmm. Mystery abounds when it becomes apparent that Meg's sending him pre-existing cover versions ripped from Youtube and passing them off as her own.

Visually the film's first half has lots of screen shots you're expected to read subtitle style. All zoomed up close like someone holding their screen 4 inches from your eyeballs. It also utilizes Google Earth. Street View, Facebook and Blackberry's and other modern technology to illustrate its story so you get to see all the details first hand. A regular documentary would give you them second hand through a talking head.

As for the real or not argument, I'd be leaning towards saying Catfish is definitely staged;
The cameras/cameramen constantly pop up in the frame reminding you how reeeeeeal it all is. (A unique style I could see catching on)
The two cameramen directors have pretty good cinematography. (Maybe they're talented)
The directors seem to catch every relevant detail as it occurs. (Suspicious, but it could happen)
The story plays out in a familiar Hollywood style patterns. You get your intrigue about 25 minutes in, some sleuthing, bit of a road trip, the confrontation and revelation toward the end, a little prologue to wrap everything up. Nice. (Can't even think of a defence for that one)
And most damningly the lead is far too good looking. It's got to be...

It certainly works as fiction since I stopped searching for telltale signs as the story was captivating enough and I didn't care at the end whether it was true or not. It wouldn't really affect my enjoyment on a rewatch knowing it wasn't real as opposed to finding out say, Schindler's List, was based a phony story.

Some might mark it down saying it was predictable. I told my friend the plot synopsis and he nailed it 5 seconds afterwards, but it was great watching it play out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Catfish: Where it all began, 5 Sep 2014
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I loved this movie when i saw it's premiere on Channel 4 years ago! But i finally gave in after watching Catfish on MTV the movie Follows Nev and he forms an online relationship with a women he meets on Facebook.....

The end result is both heartbreaking and heart warming!!!

The sole Extra on this region free blu ray release is a hour long interview

Most people say this movie is fake if it is....it's still brilliant!!!!!!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very well-executed idea, 24 April 2011
By 
Asphodelia (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catfish [DVD] (DVD)
The trailer for `Catfish' had intrigued me - after the documentary style introduction, I was struck by the scene where the protagonist and his friends drive to the gate of an empty house the middle of the night. I thought that the film would turn to either horror or something really creepy.

It turned out that the the film is a story about the construction of online personas - how we think we know a `friend' from Facebook but actually we don't - all we know is what the person behind the Facebook profile is telling us. Shot in documentary format, as well as being based on a very interesting (if not terribly original) idea, certainly an issue that is frequently discussed in the media - I thought this film was particularly well executed. The interaction between characters was very realistic, to the point that it really looks like a documentary and you find yourself believing the story. I don't want to spoil the plot to anyone reading this review but I can tell you that you will find yourself wondering if the various characters are either the best actors you have ever seen or are playing themselves. I am still not sure. But that's what makes the film even more watchable - a bit like The Blair Witch Project: is it true? Is it a fake?

A very interesting film nevertheless, and one that raises many questions about our online `social life'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 4 July 2014
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Intense...
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