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una giovane reporter di provincia, jessie st. claire, comincia a indagare su un killer che perseguita le proprie vittime riprendendole con una videocamera. per lei potrebbe essere l'opportunita' di lavoro che ha sempre cercato per mettersi in luce. improvvisamente la stessa jessie diventa l'obiettivo del maniaco e scompare misteriosamente e il il caso richiama l'attenzione di un collega del reality show american crime che, insieme al suo cameraman, provera' a risolvere il misterioso caso.
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The American widescreen version looks the same as this if you "zoom" your TV for widescreen on this DVD (the film is presented here in TV format). For me this is one of the best films of the last decade.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I am not a fan of your traditional action style slasher flicks. I will confess that I picked it up because I wanted to gawk at Rachael Leigh Cook. However, I found it to be very interesting. It is an amalgum--a parody of the sleazy(typical)television reporting we get today as well as a murder mystery/horror film.
One reviewer comments that you couldn't recognize Cary Elwes for all the make up. I must say that is one of the major things I loved about the film. Throughout the film I was especially impressed with the actor portraying the British television personality. It must have been close to the end of the film that I wondered when Cary Elwes was going to show up. I was floored when it dawned on me that Elwes was the British journalist. His quirky, against-type performance was outstanding. In Hollywood lore the quickest way to an Oscar is playing against type
On a visceral level there were times when I was a little frightened. But what got me was the various themes presented that provided food for thought. There were parts of the film that were confusing and the ending did not let you see the killer, but tying all the strings together is not something I require in a movie or novel.
I am more than pleased that the divine Miss Cook led me to a thoughtful, off-beat viewing experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of "American Crime." Shot in the documentary style of "true crime" TV expose shows, the film tracks a possible serial killer. Seeing the film footage being reported on an actual TV program is a great idea and an interesting approach, you are lured into thinking that the film might really have a novel point of view. However, we soon step away from this concept and into "real life" scenarios. What is interesting, though, is that these scenes are also being filmed by characters within them. This movie, then, might have been unique had all the footage used been shot from a camera within the story (ALA the clever filmic technique of "The Blair Witch Project"). This seems to have been too much work, too, and any notions of the interesting narrative device enhancing the story are abandoned when regular camerawork soon takes over everything.
The story itself is a rather overheated bit of fluff. Rachael Leigh Cook, Kip Pardue and Annabella Sciorra play a local TV news crew on the track of a big story--a serial killer no one believes is real. Battling ineffective law enforcement and each other, they start to attract the attention of the killer. Cook becomes so freaked out that she may be targeted, she promptly abandons her job and life and moves away. In steps Cary Elwes as an "American Crime" correspondent to cover the story for national broadcast. Playing somewhat comically (which may or may not be intentional), these three spend the rest of the film seeking the truth and possibly putting themselves into harm's way. Seriously, several times I hoped the professional and intelligent combo of Scooby and Shaggy would help these morons investigate the crime more effectively. That's how silly it is!
Through it all, Elwes overacts (a common trait)--but, at least, it can be amusing at times. And I'll take my amusement where I can in this film. Like I said, the film seems to aspire to comment on the hypocrisy and complicity of TV programs in creating fame-seeking murderers--but the link is not well established (even though it's an easy target). So the film fails at satire, in addition to everything else. A silly disappointment that had the potential to be clever, but was too lazy to follow through with anything original. KGHarris, 02/07.
From the opening titles sequence there is a suggestion that this film may be a parody. Even when the film starts its grisly story it is done in a semi-documentary fashion with film clips, overrides, whiteouts, choppy editing, but when the narrator is a crime investigator in bad makeup and silly character demeanor (Elwes) then there is a question as to whether director Dan Mintz and writers Jack Moore and Jeff Ritchie had anything on their minds other than setting the audience up for a sequel to a film that simply doesn't merit one.
Story? Serial killings are videotaped, deemed fake porno by the police, but thought to be clues by the staff of the local Kansas TV News station - Sciorra, Cook, and Pardue. Elwes nerdy American Crime reporter enters the picture and it all goes downhill form there. Yes, there are some scary moments in dark houses filled with odd TV screens retrofilming actions, and there are the requisite bloated body shots that beg indulgence. But the worst aspect of the film is that it has no ending except for a setup for a sequel. No spoilers here: there is nothing to spoil!
So why give it three stars? The idea of a filmed parody of how the media handles crime - making its own case for blurry truth and blame and leaving the facts to blow in the wind - is a good one: witness the current media blitz for the Blake, Peterson, and Jackson trials. But that thread of an idea gets diluted by the product that results from this mess of a film. It could have been significant - especially with actors of this quality who try their best to make it all work. Grady Harp, March 05
Of course, the problem is that "American Crime" is supposed to be scary, and while it has a moment or two worth noting as being potentially creepy, I must agree with other reviewers that this movie's documentary style becomes VERY annoying VERY early and hurts the movie. "American Crime" is plagued by what I would call "lazy plot execution", a theme only too common from the horror movies we've seen over the last 20 years. Indeed, the execution is largely a failure, the acting is okay for this type of movie but "American Crime", in its attempt to be different, falls flat on its face in its ability to create any atmosphere or sustain any suspense. Quite frankly, it has a couple of creepy moments, a couple of funny moments (Elwes), but it fails in its essential purpose.
"American Crime" is uneven, disjointed and lacks substance even if it has a sense of style, but the problem is that the style it uses works against the grain of the movie and annoys the audience. I would not buy this movie or rent it, but if you catch it on the tube, watch it for Elwes's character...he's pretty funny. In the end of the movie, the creators of the movie think they are being clever and while they do keep you guessing, one can only muster a half-hearted wry smile by the time the credits roll. 1.35 STARS for Elwes and a couple of creepy moments, but this movie is a 10 on the annoying meter.
It's true that the script was very weird and not put together properly, so at the end I couldn't really get what form the movie was in.. and it's also true that the film does not have a proper ending and is extremely unsatisfying in that department.
However, in some weird way, I enjoyed it immensly. It wasn't boring. Atleast, I didn't think it was. There was good suspense. The actors were not doing a bad job! they were perfectly good to me. It was different. That was what I liked about it most. It was not predictable, there was a nice mysterious atmosphere to it. Some cheesy but satisfying ideas.It might not have been a great movie, but I felt it was very entertaining! And it was scary! Isn't that all that matters? The choice of material for the "crime" was very interesting. the film was enough to make me terrified of flashing red lights on camcorders for a long time.'
And you might say that's just because I get scared easily. Or just that I don't know anything about movies and I'm by no means an expert. You'd be right, though.But I liked it, and if I need to be an expert to dislike this movie, then that means this movie isn't really as bad as it's made out to be. I'll just say this: either this movie really deserves different opinions, or I'm stupid and the movie sucked. If it's the latter, you should just ignore this review.
That's all, and a good day. >_<