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Catfish (2010 Documentary)

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Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Old 09-20-10, 09:35 AM
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Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Surprised there isn't a thread for this yet, I figured it would be getting buzz (both positive and negative).

Trailer: I've never embedded video before so if this doesn't work, here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFKe75Q6eVw

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The trailer makes it look like it's a Blair Witch/Paranormal Activity type movie, but don't get fooled. It's not in the horror/thriller genre at all. I don't want to give away too much but:

The barebones plot is that Abby is an 8 year old artist that was inspired by Nev's (our main character) photographs. She sends him her work and Nev begins to have a Facebook/Gchat/Phone relationship with Abby and her family, who include Angela (Abby's mother), Adam (Abby's brother) and Megan (Abby's half sister). Everything I just said you pick up on within the first 10 minutes. The story is about his relationship with them.

My feelings after seeing it:

Spoiler:
While you pretty much figure out what's going on half way through the movie, you don't really see the extent of it all until the end. Angela's life is just sad. She seems to have good things: A good husband and a good daughter. She seems to be a great caretaker as she's taking care of two handicap children. She's also a very talented artist. She just has so much missing and it seemed that a lot of it had to do with Megan who has pretty much disappeared from her life. When you see how far she has gone to make this entire second life for herself you can't help but feel sorry for her.

The saddest part, IMO, is that Angela could have been completely honest with Nev from the start. She could have said it was her drawings and she could have just been herself. It's just sad that she feels that she needs to be someone completely different.

I thought the filmmakers handled it well. I would have run far away as soon as I saw what was going on. Obviously they had their movie in mind and I'm also sure that as soon as they saw how much Angela had made up they saw a potential goldmine. But I do like how they tried to show the good in Angela instead of making her seem like a sideshow freak.

The movie also wasn't without it's funny moments. The reveal that Megan was sending him songs that were previously recorded and the dirty texts that Megan sends Nev are pretty funny moments. Although the latter is kind of creepy when you realize it was Angela the entire time.
Old 09-20-10, 09:44 AM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

I thought that this wasn't a
Spoiler:
Documentary, everything was setup
Old 09-20-10, 09:45 AM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

There's too much talk over whats real/fake and how horribly mis-advertised it is for me to really care about it.
Old 09-20-10, 09:47 AM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Originally Posted by sauce07 View Post
I thought that this wasn't a
Spoiler:
Documentary, everything was setup
I think that's up for debate but I haven't heard anything definitive on it.. but the creators say it's all true so I gave them the benefit of the doubt and called it a documentary.

Although I don't think it matters in the grand scheme of things.

Last edited by Goat3001; 09-20-10 at 09:52 AM.
Old 09-20-10, 09:51 AM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
There's too much talk over whats real/fake and how horribly mis-advertised it is for me to really care about it.
The advertising is terrible and I feel that a lot of people will absolutely hate the movie because they were expecting something completely different. I went in thinking that it would be a Blair With style movie. I walked out disappointed and even told a friend not to bother seeing it. After I slept on it and took it all in I changed my tune (and told my friend to give it a chance). It's a lot better once you get past the mis-advertising.
Old 09-20-10, 10:43 AM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

A friend of mine involved with the Toronto Film Festival told me this film is one to watch out for, and was one of the more popular ones at the festival. I'm looking forward to it.
Old 09-20-10, 11:11 AM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Damn, I was excited to see this because I thought it was going to be Blair Witchey. Guess I won't bother then.
Old 09-20-10, 12:46 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

I thought this was going to be about Jim Hunter.
Old 09-20-10, 01:01 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

After reading that description, this may be the MOST MISLEADING MARKETING OF ALL TIME.
Old 09-20-10, 04:05 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Yeah I'm confused.
Old 09-20-10, 04:24 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Not having seen the movie, but knowing the twist...
Spoiler:
My guess is that Angela and her family are not actors at all, and the filmmakers crafted/embellished the story after the fact. That doesn't mean it's not a documentary, though. The studio won't call it a documentary, but rather a "reality thriller" but I think that's to get more asses in the seats. Documentaries don't sell tickets like fictional movies do.
Old 09-20-10, 04:32 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

I read in one of the reviews that Nev, the protagonist, wants to bail out at a certain point, but the filmmaking team, one of whom is Nev's brother, persuades him to continue. So they basically exploited Nev to help them get a movie out of
Spoiler:
what apparently turns out to be an internet scam by this Angela lady.


I'd be very pissed off if my brother pushed me into a situation like that. (But then I'm pissed off at my brothers for a lot less than that. It would never get that far in my family. Someone would bail out during the discussion phase.)
Old 09-20-10, 05:08 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Originally Posted by SomethingMore View Post
Not having seen the movie, but knowing the twist...
Spoiler:
My guess is that Angela and her family are not actors at all, and the filmmakers crafted/embellished the story after the fact. That doesn't mean it's not a documentary, though. The studio won't call it a documentary, but rather a "reality thriller" but I think that's to get more asses in the seats. Documentaries don't sell tickets like fictional movies do.
Spoiler:
That doesn't work because at a certain point Angela admits to everything she made up. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they went back after the big reveal and filmed some more stuff to plug into the early part of the film to make the twist more dramatic though.


Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I read in one of the reviews that Nev, the protagonist, wants to bail out at a certain point, but the filmmaking team, one of whom is Nev's brother, persuades him to continue. So they basically exploited Nev to help them get a movie out of
Spoiler:
what apparently turns out to be an internet scam by this Angela lady.




I'd be very pissed off if my brother pushed me into a situation like that. (But then I'm pissed off at my brothers for a lot less than that. It would never get that far in my family. Someone would bail out during the discussion phase.)
Spoiler:

Yes there is a moment when Nev wants to bail, but his bother talks him out of it. I'm sure off camera at some point they realized that this could be their big break and Nev, who agreed to it all before, can't pussy out when they got so close.

Also there is a scene AFTER they meet Angela where Henry (one of the filmmakers) wants to bail, but it's actually Nev that insists they should keep pushing on. Once they made the trek to Michigan it was mostly Nev insisting that they keep rolling.

I think once they all realized that there wasn't any malicious intent on Angela's part, they became more comfortable with the idea of keeping the movie going.
Old 09-20-10, 05:12 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
I thought this was going to be about Jim Hunter.
You're not the only one. I still don't understand the title.
Old 09-20-10, 06:00 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

I saw an advanced screening for this a couple weeks ago at the Metreon in San Francisco.

I enjoyed it up until the ending. Not because of what happened but because when things are revealed, the pace of the film just starts to drag pretty badly. It sort of kills all the fun and tension that is the first 3/4ths of the film.
Old 09-20-10, 06:29 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

I'm disappointed they don't end up getting chained in a meat cellar like the trailer leads.
Old 09-21-10, 05:45 AM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Originally Posted by dsa_shea View Post
You're not the only one. I still don't understand the title.
It's explained in the movie... but it's clear they were going for a "Cloverfield" type title. I can think of 20 titles off the top of my head that make more sense then Catfish.
Old 09-21-10, 07:18 AM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Originally Posted by Goat3001 View Post
Spoiler:
That doesn't work because at a certain point Angela admits to everything she made up. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they went back after the big reveal and filmed some more stuff to plug into the early part of the film to make the twist more dramatic though.




Spoiler:

Yes there is a moment when Nev wants to bail, but his bother talks him out of it. I'm sure off camera at some point they realized that this could be their big break and Nev, who agreed to it all before, can't pussy out when they got so close.

Also there is a scene AFTER they meet Angela where Henry (one of the filmmakers) wants to bail, but it's actually Nev that insists they should keep pushing on. Once they made the trek to Michigan it was mostly Nev insisting that they keep rolling.

I think once they all realized that there wasn't any malicious intent on Angela's part, they became more comfortable with the idea of keeping the movie going.

That's significant additional info that was not offered in the review I read. Thanks for the clarification.
Old 10-05-10, 01:07 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Finally caught this one and yes the marketing is extremely misleading. The most disturbing aspects of the movie are Nev's tramp-stamp and over abundant chest hair.
Old 10-05-10, 01:20 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Even with being mislead to believe that this was a "reality thriller" I still enjoyed the movie, which I saw at a press screening a few weeks ago.

I can't help but think that the mis-marketing can't do anything but hurt the film in the long run though. The topic is good enough to stand on its own even with the controversy of what or whether certain parts are real vs. fake. I actually think it's a combo of both myself.
Old 10-05-10, 02:08 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Originally Posted by iggystar View Post
I can't help but think that the mis-marketing can't do anything but hurt the film in the long run though. The topic is good enough to stand on its own even with the controversy of what or whether certain parts are real vs. fake.
I really enjoyed this movie. I can completely believe that these are the kind of guys that film everything they do and lucked into the material for the movie. I'm pretty sure they were skeptical early in the process and edited that out of the movie for a better narrative flow but the events were real.

Spoiler:
Angelea was surprisingly sympathetic, who wouldn't want to escape from her reality
Old 10-05-10, 02:16 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Originally Posted by DeFan View Post
I really enjoyed this movie. I can completely believe that these are the kind of guys that film everything they do and lucked into the material for the movie. I'm pretty sure they were skeptical early in the process and edited that out of the movie for a better narrative flow but the events were real.

Spoiler:
Angelea was surprisingly sympathetic, who wouldn't want to escape from her reality
I agree.

Spoiler:
Some of the controversy from what I've read is they the material fell in their lap, but they were a bit more aware that they were being duped earlier and kind of milked the material from there, in the end exploiting Angela and her sad existence. What do you think about that?


I hope the above isn't true because that would color my opinion of the makers of this movie a great deal. But if it's true, the way everything starts and progresses rings true with the way social networking goes these days and that's kind of how I connected with the story.
Old 10-05-10, 03:45 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Spoiler:
So basically a sad women pretends to be someone else/several people on the internet? At least it didn't turn out to be a guy.


Maybe I am over simplifying this but that happens every day. I too was taken in by the ads thinking it was some type of cool thriller as it says don't spoil this for anyone. Looks like I will pass on it.
Old 10-05-10, 03:59 PM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

"Don't spoil it for anyone...because if you do they won't want to see it!"
Old 10-06-10, 04:35 AM
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Re: Catfish (2010 Documentary)

Spoiler:
I wonder how they managed to keep the footage of a federal crime taking place, in the film. Stealing mail is a federal offense.


Personally I'm of the belief that everyone in the film was playing a character, even if it was themselves who they were portraying

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