A strongly told tale that is superbly acted.
Why didn't we get a proper version of this movie to review?
Jimmy and Judy is the cinema verite tale of two people who seem destined to be together. Jimmy (Edward Furlong) is doing his best in this role of a pretty deranged person. However, as we see his life and his parents and the lies that are all around him, it is quite easy to see how he ended up this way. Judy (Rachel Bella) is just as disassociated as Jimmy, and it isn't until she realizes that he has been doing certain things for her (like paying back people that treated her badly), that she finds something to live for. What happens next features a lot of sex and boyfriend girlfriend type moments, as it becomes apparent that these two cannot live without one another.
In and out mental institutions, Jimmy kills a police officer one night and he and Judy go on the run. They continue having fun and eventually kill some more people, but it truly begins to seem like these characters are really victims of circumstance. Things get a little more complicated when they hide out in a commune that is lead by a man with a fanatical following. In the end, things can only seem to end tragically for our main characters. However, this film simply presents these situations and it's characters. It doesn't take anyone to task and I never got the feeling that it was raising the main characters up above society.
Not for the faint of heart, it's nice to see that filmmakers still have the moxie to make movies like Jimmy and Judy.
Sadly, this version of the movie that Starz sent over was a screener copy and contained no extras.
Anamorphic Widescreen. This movie is shot on video with a handheld style that features many confessional moments. However, I liked that the camera was for the most part always clear, however there are moments where things are happening, big climatic moments, and all we can do is sit back and listen. I felt that this was a big strength for the look of this movie, because it made what we did see all the more shocking. I would be curious to know how much of the movie the actors shot themselves.
Dolby Surround 5.1 - Dolby Surround 2.0. The audio was almost too clear at times. As I have mentioned this movie was shot on video, so the sound that was captured seemed to come about while the camera was rolling. This movie plays so much like a home movie, I really wonder how much soundwork (and crew) was needed to bring it off? I also think the opening song for this film perfectly sums up the generation being portrayed... Utilizing the phrase "Whatever..." Why wouldn't the characters feel this way?
Starz sent us this move in slim, vinyl packaging that may or may not be the actual packaging that this movie is going to have. This front cover features Bella and Furlong decked out in black, with Furlong brandishing a gun. The back cover offers more shots from this movie, a description, cast list and technical specs. I don't figure the final packaging will be too much different, but you never know, right?
Truly a product of its time, I think the thing that bothers me the most about Jimmy and Judy is how few people will probably get to see it. This is the kind of movie that should be advertised all over Myspace and other social networking websites. Shot on video it has an immediacy that a slicker looking film just wouldn't be able to achieve. Yet, amidst all that this movie seems to be commenting on our society at large while never getting preachy. Also, we know from the beginning of the movie that things will probably end badly for our characters. Yet there are moments when I was watching this film that I really thought Jimmy and Judy t have a chance.
I don't know how much of this film was improvised. I don't know if there was even a script. That said, Rachel Bella and Edward Furlong really do a fantastic job of playing these characters. While at times I thought Furlong sort of lapsed into that "everything is bullsh*t" character that he can play so well, in truth I feel that that really helps his portrayal. Even the smaller characters seem to have a lot to work with, and with this film's handheld style that says a lot about what it has in the substance department.
See this movie. Period.