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Freeze Frame
Freeze Frame
Actors: Lee Evans, Sean McGinley, Ian McNeice, Colin Salmon, Rachael Stirling
Director: John Simpson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
R     2005     1hr 35min

TRAUMATIZED BY HIS ARREST & NEAR-CONVICTION FOR A SERIES OF BRUTAL MURDERS, SEAN HAS BECOME A TRUE PARANOID. CONVINCED THAT THE POLICE ARE DETERMINED TO SET HIM UP, HE HAS SPENT 10 YEARS VIDEOTAPING EVERY MOMENT OF HIS LIF...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Lee Evans, Sean McGinley, Ian McNeice, Colin Salmon, Rachael Stirling
Director: John Simpson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/18/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Freeze Frame delivers...until the end
W. Eyring | Florida USA | 10/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is the second surprisingly good new Irish indie film I've seen lately (the first being the zombie flick Dead Meat). Comedic actor Lee Evans is practically unrecognizable in the lead role and really carries this film. The story is Kafka-esque (imagine the paranoia of being wrongly accused of a grisly murder), the filming is nightmarish, and the suspense is maintained until the ending which becomes convoluted, unsatisfying, and...kinda ridiculous. It's a shame, since so much worked so well early on with trying to figure out just what is motivating Evans' paranoia--his guilt or his innocence."
Great performance by Evans
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 11/11/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Sean Veil is the ultimate paranoiac, a man so convinced that everyone is out to get him that he's even begun spying on HIMSELF. However, there is actually a method to his madness, for unlike many paranoiacs, Sean has a valid reason to be fearful and suspicious of those around him. About ten years prior to the time of the story, Sean was falsely arrested for the brutal slaying of a woman and her two young daughters - a crime for which he was eventually acquitted, although the experience has left him emotionally devastated and psychologically damaged. His reputation ruined, Sean has since devised an elaborate system whereby he can videotape himself 24/7, so that he will always have an alibi if someone ever attempts to accuse him again of a crime he didn't commit. Unfortunately, Sean soon discovers that even the latest in modern technology can't guarantee his safety if the forces out to get him can figure out how to beat him at his own game.

This quirky and original Irish film suffers a bit from the constraints of its budget and the amateurishness of some of the performances. Director John Simpson's split screen technique, though intriguing at first, becomes a bit trying after awhile, and the storyline is not always as cleanly and clearly developed as it might be, although the drab, colorless look of the film perfectly reflects the drab, colorless life of its protagonist.

The movie overrides most of its flaws thanks to one element that is the real thing: Lee Evans' searing and uncompromising portrayal of an innocent man driven to the brink of madness by his obsessive need to prove that innocence. With his nervous, soft-spoken demeanor and constant look of terrified submission, Evans makes what could have been a creepy, repulsive character into a thoroughly sympathetic figure. We find ourselves so drawn to his predicament and so involved in his fate that, even at those moments when the movie itself falls flat, we stick with it anyway."
Paranoia
scibbles777 | CA | 01/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is an impressive feature debut from writer-director John Simpson that overcomes the limitations of a low budget with an imaginative premise and stylish filmmaking. Comedian Lee Evans is quite good in a change-of-pace role as a Sean Veil, a man who was once arrested for the grisly murders of a mother and her two daughters. He was eventually released without a conviction, but was so traumatized by his false arrest that he has since taken to relentlessly videotaping his every move 24 hours a day so that he will have an airtight alibi should the police ever suspect him of another murder.

Of course, he eventually does become the suspect in another murder and discovers to his horror that someone has swiped the exact videos from his vast library that would prove his innocence. The rest of the movie covers his attempts to convince the unsympathetic cops that he is indeed innocent and to find out who is trying to set him up.

Through some slick editing that constantly cuts back and forth between human and videocam point-of-views, the movie establishes a kinetic visual sense that keeps us immersed in the protagonist's obsessively skewed world. While there are some obvious plotholes (how does the protagonist make a living when he's so isolated from the rest of the world?), the movie's premise is so cleverly offbeat and brought to life in such a vivid manner that you can't help but run with it. For the first hour this is an involving and original suspense thriller that keeps us guessing as to where it's headed.

Unfortunately, in the last 15 minutes the movie deteriorates into a talky parade of overwrought plot twists that turns laughable in its desperate attempt to tie up all loose ends just a tad too nicely. A more subtle and less contrived finale might have put this one into the same class as "Memento" or "Pi".

Still, "Freeze Frame" is a sometimes haunting and sometimes poignant vision of extreme paranoia in the modern world. While it doesn't quite get under your skin, it does leave a few marks trying to get there."
Theory of Paranoia: Stylish Camera and Overcooked Story abou
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 04/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This UK-Ireland film (shot in Ireland) has one of the most stunning visuals and ingenious camerawork I ever seen recently, but the film's convoluted story is so far-fetched and even preposterous, that I started to care less and less about the `truths' behind the mystery, and wanted to know more about the strange lifestyle of the wrongly (?) accused hero played by Lee Evans. Yes, it is Lee Evans, best known as stand-up comic.

Lee Evans is cast against type and does a serious role, and provides a surprisingly strong performance as Sean Veil, who was once accused of the brutal murders of a mother and two daughters. After being nearly convicted, Sean has been traumatized since the scandal that tainted his reputation, and he adapts a new way to defend himself from further possible accusations, shooting the pictures of his own life on video around the clock. He literally keeps taping his life every minute, even when he is outside his tightly-guarded dungeon-like flats.

After leading his life for ten years in this way, tormented by paranoia, Sean becomes a suspect for another murder case again. Sean must confront the same detective who arrested him ten years ago, and the same profiler who still believes firmly that Sean is the killer of the unsolved murders.

The film's story is initially intriguing with the striking visual flair effectively using CCTV cameras. But the story about the lonely life of the obsessive hero soon gets lost among the narrative confusion and impossible motives and behaviors of the characters, leaving us with too many questions that would not be answered. In the latter half the film gets too busy showing twists and turns, which are too many to most of us, and these overwritten mysteries finally make the eccentric behaviors of central character Sean look more risible than understandable.

Lee Evans who actually shaved his head and eyebrows, gives a credible portrait of the one who is driven to paranoia, and the first-time director John Simpson shows stylish camera work, but the overcooked scenario becomes rather silly especially in the last chapters. It is a shame that `Freeze Frame' fails to live up to its potentially intriguing story about paranoia and the talent of Lee Evans."