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Catfish 2010

PG-13 CC

A riveting suspense thriller with a jaw-dropping twist, this true story follows 3 friends as a filmmaking project takes them on the most exhilarating and unsettling ride of their lives.

Starring:
Yaniv Schulman, Ariel Schulman
Runtime:
1 hour, 27 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Starring Yaniv Schulman, Ariel Schulman
Supporting actors Henry Joost, Angela Wesselman-Pierce, Melody C. Roscher, Wendy Whelan, Craig Hall, Tiler Peck, Drew Jacoby, Rubi Pronk, Adrian Danchig-Waring
Studio NBC Universal
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 5, 2011
Format: DVD
As many others, I distinctly recall the marketing campaign for "Catfish" that spoke of this quasi-documentary in thriller-like terminology. I was actually surprised by how wide this movie dropped in its initial theatrical release--most current documentaries don't get a full scale media blitz but instead are relegated to the art house circuit. In many ways, I can already see the negative backlash that this approach has caused by setting up expectations that the actual film had little intentions of fulfilling. It's disappointing, really, in reaching for a broader appeal--perhaps "Catfish" was a bit oversold for mass consumption. "Catfish" is actually a very compelling and entertaining character driven piece and I think that the people who approach it with no pre-conceived notions might find this film has a lot to offer about our media obsession. Where David Fincher's "The Social Network" was the great fictional Facebook movie of 2010, I think "Catfish" stands as an interesting counterpoint in the non-fiction category.

In truth, the less you know about "Catfish"--the better. And perhaps that is the reason behind the mysterious trailer that may have been a tad misleading. The story is extremely contemporary. Anyone who has experienced online networking and dating know the inherent perils in believing everything you read. It's simply not prudent. "Catfish" documents a relationship between a successful New York photographer and 8 year old Abby, an artist in Michigan. Abby sends him a painting of one of his published photos and the two strike up an electronic friendship. His brother and friend start to document this blossoming camaraderie and this forms the initial basis for "Catfish.
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Format: 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.
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Format: DVD
Catfish is a captivating film although I have some doubts that every last thing presented by the filmmakers is true. The story moves along at a very good pace; and the cinematography, while somewhat amateurish, works well enough to enhance the film. There's a fine musical score and enough time for us to get to know the people involved in the story which highlights online relationships with all the inherent benefits and risks.

At the start, we meet a young successful New York City photographer Nev Schulman who works with his brother Ariel and their buddy Henry. When Nev gets a painting of one of his photos sent to him by an eight year old in Michigan named Abby; Nev is flattered and starts an online friendship with Abby under her mother Angela's supervision. Ariel and Henry document the budding friendship between Abby and Nev by filming it; and it isn't long before Nev befriends Abby's entire family and starts "internet dating" and flirting using text messaging, phone conversations and online chat sessions with Abby's older half-sister Megan. Nev befriends other people on the Internet who also know Abby's family.

But things become much more complicated. While on a trip to Colorado, Nev gets some music from Megan--but they turn out to be songs posted on a website by another artist! They also can't find any evidence on the Internet that Abby is an artist. Nev feels confused, scammed or taken advantage of but to some degree the young man really doesn't know what to think. Nev, Ariel and Henry decide to get to the bottom of things: They fly to Chicago, rent a car and drive to Megan's farm and the town where Abby and her family live to find out once and for all what's going on.

What Nev, Ariel and Henry discover is shown in the rest of the film.
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