Generation Um…

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Mark L. Mann‘s narrative feature debut, Generation Um…, shows the fun and terror that evolves out of someone getting his first camera. In the movie, John (Keanu Reeves) steals a video camera, turning him into a guy who enjoys filming squirrels and his two friends falling apart. Basically, he’s the worst indie filmmaker walking the streets of New York, which is saying a lot. It’s a movie that relies more on mood, a feeling that Mann created on 16mm running around New York streets and a claustrophobic apartment. He wasn’t the only one in control of the camera, though. Within the film we John’s own footage, which Reeves shot himself. According to Mann, that footage allows the introverted John to express himself. We spoke with Reeves and Mann about the character’s internalization, filming on 16mm and more:

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When used properly, Keanu Reeves can be quite effective. Perhaps his California slacker-voiced persona doesn’t fly in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but it certainly works in Point Break or Speed. Unfortunately, in Mark L. Mann’s Generation Um…, nary a thing is “used properly.” Reeves is perhaps marginally the best thing in this film, since he merely exists in front of the camera. Though he is amidst a sea of overacting, a preponderance of static, boring footage, and bad attempts at non-linear storytelling. In fact, it’s almost difficult to pinpoint a plot in this film at all. John (Reeves) is a Lower East Side-based driver for two young callgirls, Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), though he seems to hang out with them recreationally as well. It’s John’s birthday, and after stealing a large handheld camera from a group of hula hooping cowboys (yes, you read that correctly), he starts filming everything, from the water coming out of a drinking fountain, to Violet and Mia snorting coke, drinking red wine, and spilling the details of their sexual histories.

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Generation Um

More like Generation Uh, What? In Mark L. Mann‘s Generation Um…, Keanu Reeves apparently reaches the nexus of his career as he plays John, a shiftless New Yorker who spends his time as a driver for an escort service. Perhaps all you need to know about John’s career is that he drives his “party girls” around in an old station wagon; you see, things aren’t going so well for either John or his main hangs, Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), but everything takes a sharp left turn when John steals a camcorder and sets about recording his dismal life. It looks depressing as hell. Check out the first ennui- and crime-filled trailer for Generation Um… after the break.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, editor and writer for Cinematical Erik Davis and movie monkey for UGO Matt Patches drop by to discuss the finer things in life. We revel in the beauty of Uwe Boll’s warm glow, watch the Auschwitz trailer on a first date, erase the slate of Summer 2010 films with the best summer movies of all time, and figure out how to put MacGruber into Forrest Gump. Plus, we find time to review Resident Evil: Afterlife, I’m Still Here, and The Romantics. Also plus, Cole name drops Toys Are Not For Children which he seems to think makes him hip even though it doesn’t.

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The casting for Generation Um… is the kind of thing that leaves me, and probably Keanu Reeves, speechless. Of course, it’s clear that calm breezes, snails running, and actors speaking lines of dialogue to him also leave Reeves speechless. In theory, that makes him perfect for Um…, because any drug-drama that’s name ends with ellipses deserves a bit of the acting powerhouse that is Keanu Reeves. According to Variety, the indie film starting rolling cameras today and also includes Bojana Novkovic (the daughter in Edge of Darkness and possibly the devil in Devil) and newcomer Adelaide Clemens. Apparently the three will play characters living in an oblivion of coitus and cocaine, but it sounds like it’s being shot to show those things, somehow, in a negative light.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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