A disappointing indie in which the audience is the mark
Benjamin Scott | SEATTLE, WA United States | 11/27/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I picked this direct-to-video film up based on my respect for Seth Green. It was, unfortunately, a mistake.This movie, a first-time venture for both Byron Thompson and Steve Morris, ends up failing in so many respects that its skipping theatrical release was as predictable as much of its plot. While the indie market is flourishing, more films like this could stop it in its tracks.When Erik (Brad Rowe) enters the ivy-league Stonebrook on a bogus family scholarship engineered by a family friend (Bill Mesnik) it is, of course, too good to be true. In the first few minutes his scholarship is revoked and he falls helplessly into the hands of his nerdy roommate Cornelius (Seth Green) and a small-time criminal named Tali (Stanley Kamel).Cornelius and Erik begin to dupe virtually everyone around with their elementary confidence scams before discovering they are in much too deep. In the midst of the myriad scams, Erik finds a love interest in the form of Londyn (Zoe McLellan) who turns out to be integrally related to the tangle the cast soon finds itself in. While each scam breeds another and the roommates dig themselves deeper and deeper it is only the number of cons that grows, not the tension or suspense. Indeed, the final resolution of all their scams is so predictable I was moved to tears.Almost as an after-thought Morris throws in a brilliant criminal mind that has orchestrated it all. The attempt is pathetic, made even moreso by the shot-for-shot stealing from "The Usual Suspects." On the whole, the movie is not worth even renting. The acting is hardly worth mentioning; Rowe plays Brad Pitt instead of Erik. Green's take on nerdy is only as deep as the glasses he wears. McLellan, as the poor little rich girl is pitiable only as an actress and admirable only for keeping a strait face. Mesnik defines emotionless while Kamel underplays to the point of monotony. The direction is reminiscent of a sixth grader with a film crew and the writing could very well be attributed to a team of monkeys with a typewriter. Early on, Green's character mentions "everyone's a sucker." Turns out he's referring to the movie's audience."
A Pleasanst Surprise
Mark A. Rusin | Cary, NC USA | 01/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some think this was a direct to video movie and it was not. I personally saw this movie at the theatre! I can say I was honestly surprised. It is very suspensful, with a number of unexpected twists. Brad Rowe is very believing in the character he plays. I personally saw a couple of the scenes in this movie being filmed in Chapel Hill, NC, and it is a professional flick, not amateur as stated by a couple of other reviews here. If you like suspense, thrillers, twists, catch this movie!"