Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel

Undiscovered (2005) *

Directed by Meiert Avis; written by John Galt; photography, Danny Hiele; editing, David Codron; production design, Philip Duffin; produced by Michael Burns, Bic Tran, Marco Mehlitz and Michael Ohoven; a Lions Gate release. 97 minutes. PG-13. CAST: Pell James (Brier Tucket), Steven Strait (Luke Falcon), Kip Pardue (Euan Falcon), Shannyn Sossamon (Josie), Carrie Fisher (Carrie), Peter Weller (Wick Treadway), Fisher Stevens (Garrett Schweck), Ashlee Simpson (Clea), Stephen Moyer (Mick Benson).

For the love of me I can’t figure out which public “Undiscovered” is aiming at. My best guess is tolerant teens and perhaps a sprinkling of persons slowly moving into their early 20s. Even so, one wonders why that movie was made. It is bad. It is made unbearable by the worst camera work I have ever seen. The screen is choking with gratuitous images going from front to back, right to left, side to side, dumb diagonals –for no reason. The camera jiggles, with out-of-focus images shaking as though made during an earthquake. The editing is abysmally bad. Obviously, a hand-held camera is at work, one whose handlers have never heard of the steady-cam device.

Documentaries often use hand-held cameras. Back during World War II in, say, the Pacific theatre, courageous –in fact heroic – photographers kept risking their lives while shooting with their Bell & Howell wind-up cameras, but without the atrocious giggles of “Undiscovered”!

The plot (?) of the current movie mostly centers on Pell James and Steven Strait. Somehow, in the New York subway they glimpse each other at a distance, are smitten, then vanish. About two years later, she, a model, moves to Los Angeles to become an actress. He, a rocker, by coincidence also moves there to become a somebody. Of course (!) they meet. I will not elaborate what follows, as the story lacks any kind of saving graces, and instead is chockfull . A number of other characters are involved, to no real interest to the audience. Just one of them stands out notwithstanding rather short appearances. She is the mature Carrie Fisher who plays the sensible and intelligent agent of Pell James, and who treats the gal with maternal affection. Ms. Fisher is what you might call a breath of fresh air within a story (?) that’s a chock-full of dull, insignificants and boring elements.

There is, however, one more performer of interest. It is a bulldog who roller skates. It (he?) and Carrie Fisher are the sole reasons for my upgrading the movie from zero stars to one star.

Copyright © Edwin Jahiel

Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel