One of the most compelling films I've seen in a long time (by sls3)
I see a lot of movies, and the great majority of them make little impression on me. They are fun and entertaining, but quickly forgettable. Not DISCONNECT, though. This is a powerful and provocative film that not only keeps you pinned to your seat but also makes you think about the consequences of your actions. It should certainly be required viewing not only for young people but also for anyone who uses social media or communicates via the Internet. This is a timely, well-written, well-acted, and well-paced movie that stays with you long after you leave the movie theater. I was also pleased <more>
by the fact that the director and writer did not take the easy way out. No glib, predictable solutions here, which is one reason why the film's events linger in your mind.
A powerful "ripped from the headlines" experience that packs an emotional wallop (by larry-411)
The Internet has dramatically changed the world. That much we know. Our lives are better for it, on balance. But it's the other side of that scale, the harm caused by our web-connected lives, that is the weighty focus of "Disconnect." The damage that can be done, intentionally or not, has been well-documented. Writer Andrew Stern and director Henry Alex Rubin have selected several examples of the Internet age's unfortunate downside and crafted three compelling story lines, all based on actual cases. This common narrative structure will inevitably be called <more>
"Crash-like," but whether or not the stories connect isn't really the point of "Disconnect." The movie raises a danger sign that, if gone unheeded, will only result in more senseless tragedies -- countless lives ruined, innocent children lost -- and putting the spotlight on several unsuspecting victims of our Internet society makes for a powerful experience that packs an emotional wallop from opening credits to finale.This is one of those films for which, as a non-spoiler reviewer, it's best for me to avoid the specifics of the script and who does what here. You'll have to discover that for yourself. But, needless to say, Disconnect is not the feel-good movie of the year. It's often sad and scary, dark and depressing at times, and knowing it's based on true stories makes it all the more devastating when we witness the consequences of our seemingly-innocuous actions when entering a chat room, looking for virtual companionship, playing a childish practical joke, or putting our personal information online.Every actor in the huge ensemble cast, from adults to teens, is superb. Without giving away their exact roles, Jason Bateman does a dramatic star turn here as a caring father in an unfathomable situation. One of our most prolific and underrated actors, Bateman has appeared in 22 features since I began attending the Toronto Film Festival six years ago, including my fest faves "Juno" Toronto 2007 , "Up in the Air" Toronto 2009 , and "Paul" SXSW 2011 . As the commanding lead in one of Disconnect's three story lines, charismatic 23-year-old Max Thieriot dominates the screen in every scene he's in. Colin Ford 15 at the time turns in one of the most heartwrenching youth performances I've seen in years as a typical mischievous youngster with a penchant for playing pranks. Other standouts include Paula Patton, Frank Grillo, Alexander Skarsgård, Jonah Bobo, Aviad Bernstein, Andrea Riseborough, and Hope Davis. All demonstrate a clear passion for the material and belief in Henry Alex Rubin's lofty vision. Your pulse should be checked if you don't shed a tear or two, or more during the viewing of this movie.Production values are quite high for an independent film. Lighting subtly matches the tonal changes of each storyline. A warm color palette provides a soft amber glow around characters driven by affection. A family whose life is orderly and organized is bathed in white, with bright primary colors on flat surfaces with square geometric shapes and sharp angles. The milieu turns dark and shadowy as innocence turns to evil. Max Richter's haunting score similarly complements each disparate narrative as their respective characters are drawn deeper into the dilemmas they've created.The cinematography is a character unto itself. Ken Seng's adept camera-work is consistently magnificent in its use of techniques like frame-within-a-frame, with shots peering through windows and doors as though we're voyeurs, faces often half obscured by laptops. Objects move in and out of frame, partially blocking our view, as though we're spying on the subjects. Point of view shots of computer and phone screens occupy much of the frame in many crucial scenes. The film is filled with such bold choices. All serve to enhance and echo the themes laid out by the broad premise of unintentional connections caused by the disconnect between our fingers on the keyboard and the humans at the other end.Editor Lee Percy had the challenging task of making it all coherent. Knowing where and when to cut, whether or not to weave the stories together or keep them parallel, when to converge and diverge -- these are all crucial decisions that are key to the success of the project."Disconnect" sits near the top of all the pictures I've seen this year and is one of the few which prompted me to utter the word "masterpiece" quietly as the credits rolled. As one tends to have intense feelings about a film in its immediate afterglow, I often wait for the emotional excitement to die down before writing my review and assessing its impact. "Disconnect" haunted me throughout the rest of the festival and has continued to do so. Will a movie like this alter the way we interact with technology? Probably not. But one less life shattered will make it worth it.
Had the opportunity to see this amazing film at a sneak preview last night at the AFI/Silver Theater in Silver Spring MD. This is a powerful film that exceeded my expectations. Reading the marketing blurb I was worried it would be just another hi-tech thriller making use of all the latest cool technology. Being a tech Luddite I was about to pass,but the comparison to Crash pulled me in, and I am glad I went. This is a compelling ensemble film of how three different set of characters are impacted by the technology that has become so integral to our lives. We follow the stories of these people <more>
as they cope with the a new reality brought on by their reliance on electronic devices. This is a lame description but I can't go much further into it without spoiling this gripping agonizing film for you. Let just say it will make you recall and relive every stupid thing you did as a teenager, every stupid decision you make now, and how those decisions are amplified by our reliance on electronic devices. None of the stories are new in the human experience, but the speed in which events occur and the seriousness of the consequences are greater because of the wired alienation of society. The screen play, acting, cinematography, editing, lighting all work together to increase the tension of this film. Jason Bateman, in particular, stands out in this dramatic roll. He has proved he can sit in the top ranks of male dramatic actors and I hope to see him expand his resume in drama. All of the actors go deep into their characters, many with a realism that could be sitting next to you in the theater, Particularly effective is the use of text on screen to show on-line chat conversations. As the previous reviewer describes, there is a voyeuristic perspective to the shots. A viewer at the preview referenced Rear Window in comparison, and that is true. This film is a Rear Window for the new millennium, where we peer into our neighbor's lives with cell phones and lap tops. Is this film a thriller? It is thrilling in a way that has you alternating between the edge of your seat and sinking deep into your seat. This film will leave you thinking for hours and days afterward. It may also have you looking at your cell phone and laptop with a new distrust. I can't tell you my favorite scene, other than it was a completely human, non-tech reaction by a character in grief. I will have to wait for more friends to see this film, and then we will sit down face to face and talk about that scene. Go see this film, tell your friends to go see this film. And then have a good talk about this amazing film.
Why hasn't this movie been raved about? One of the best I have seen in a long time. Don't even think it got a cinema release in Australia. This is the sort of movie that should have Oscar nominations and a must see. An ensemble cast and all are outstanding. Jason Bateman is such an under rated actor but can just about do anything, probably hurt by Arrested Development although I must admit I did like that show. If you liked movies like Crash you should enjoy this. 3 stories going on at the same time which also have some intermingling, if there is such a word. IMDb rating is a bit low <more>
and I would rate it in the high 8's even getting close to a 9. Have banged on a bit as I didn't realize you needed to submit 10 lines of text to post a review/comment.
Real and virtual existences entangled (by wolfgang-a-koch-857)
This movie has three parallel stories, with one important thing in common: real lives unravel as their presence on the media, especially the social media, spirals out of control. Moreover, as it turns out, each story ends up intersecting with one or both of the others.There is Ben, a lonely teen who is hideously deceived and then callously exposed on the Web by two mean-spirited schoolmates. This drives Ben to make a grave decision that will leave his future hanging by a thread and his parents and sister reeling.Then there are Cindy and Derek, who are trying to grapple with the death of their <more>
baby. As if that weren't enough of an issue in their life, they discover their credit cards have been maxed out. The private eye they hire, Mike, backtracks Cindy's and Derek's every online move, with unexpected revelations. Moreover, the result of Mike's investigation turns out to compound the problem rather than solve it.Finally, there is Nina, an up-and-coming TV news reporter who gets her hands on the life story of Kyle, an older teen engaging in a salacious line of work performed online in front of a camera. Nina's TV piece is at first widely applauded, but its broadcast unleashes an avalanche of trouble for both Nina and Kyle, as well as for other people in their career lives.A ready interpretation of the title "Disconnect" is to associate it with the dangers of "disconnecting" with real people in the real world. And indeed: people in this movie do communicate a lot via text messaging, and in chat rooms. In these spheres, things are sometimes not what they seem—and neither are people: two characters make up another, and communicate with someone else pretending to be that person, with potentially lethal consequences.But the title "Disconnect" can also be taken as an imperative: "Disconnect!" Log off already! Otherwise, you will forget real existences cannot be edited, backed up, deleted, and restored like virtual ones. Actually, real life in this movie interferes with virtual plots in a way that even the latter take unintended twists and turns.It turns out Mike not only changes Cindy and Derek's life they set out to make a dramatic move as a result of Mike's investigations , he also is forcibly involved in the story around Ben. Ben's dad, in turn, is a legal counsel at the TV station where Nina works; that way, he is drawn on two fronts into the fallout from risky behavior of teens on the Internet.While this is Nina's immediate connection to another story in this movie, the mere fact that she is a TV personality probably superimposes her story on the others: just as everybody is online these days, everybody still consumes sensational TV news. Need it even be said: when you turn on your TV, you also "disconnect" from real life. The three stories progress at a similar pace and climax at the same time. After all the scheming, searching, plotting, and just plain misunderstanding emanating from cell phones and computer keyboards, the scenes suddenly stop in freeze-frame. Real-world existences clash in an ultimate, inevitable collision. The disconnect comes home to roost.
Excellent telling of 3 stories relating to interactions on the web. (by c_waid)
I'm going to keep this a simple review, there's plenty of longer ones if you want that. I went to this movie with zero expectations. I wanted to see a movie today and this just happened to be 1 of the 4 playing at my small theater. The movie was very well done. All 3 stories were intriguing and believable. Many sad stories such as these are often over-dramatized and make me hate them. However, I found this one to hit the drama level perfectly. They make you feel for the characters and believe their actions to which I'll say all of the actors did an AMAZING job, particularly the <more>
kids .I almost wish I could see a feature-length movie of 2 of the 3 stories in this. Those being the bullied kid and the other of cyber sex ring. Those 2 were definitely hit their mark. I thought the 3rd, with the couple who lost their money to identity theft, was good as well...but perhaps not to the same level as the others. To be fair though, the other 2 might just have been more intriguing of a topic for me.Just a quick comment on the Rating: Personally, I think this movie should have been rated PG-13. There was only light violence not gloritized, either and very brief, tasteful nudity. All while 2 of the stories were relating to very real scenarios related to kids. Meh, maybe I'm just being silly thinking kids can handle movies about topics they clearly live through.
Sad story of how technology alienates us rather than bringing us closer (by Kicino)
A brilliant story to tell how technology has alienated marriage, family and friendship instead of connecting people. It is even sadder when all the stories are based on true events. I watched it at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and for the first time after almost 10 films thought this is the first one which can be publicly released for a wider audience because of its social message, especially right after two cases of murders of local parents by their adult sons who loved to play computer games.Disconnect mainly centers on three sub stories which are loosely linked. There was <more>
nothing wrong in each character's internal logic or perception of the world: a lonely teenager looking for friendship, a wife confiding to a stranger on the internet because her husband cannot talk with her on their loss of their son, a young journalist trying to get a scoop on runaway youth turned cyber sex provider.As the story progress, however, we see how these longing deviate and troubles follow. Some people were so longing for connection with other human beings but cannot be satisfied at home that they naively trust this virtual relationship on the internet or mobile phone – while on the other end of the line, their "friends" might well be abuser or bullies, taking advantage of these lonely hearts, intentionally or not.Since the director used to shoot documentaries, the film is filled with an authentic flavor, developing with an urgent tempo. The cast are excellent in portraying they care for their families with wrong method so it looks like they are communicating on the wrong channels thus counterproductive. Jason Bateman is superb in portraying a concerned father who tried to save his son after realizing how much he has neglected him. The large portion of computer chat is displayed by text overlaying on head shots of the authors. And here is what we see how good the acting is, especially young Colin Ford who showed a strong sense of guilt on an innocent face, but also deep concern for his friend.The characters are not lovable but you cannot help but feel sorry for them and keep asking what went wrong. It also makes us reflect what we need to do, as parents, as classmate, as a regular net shopper to be really connected with people we care amid this overflow of information technology. Just turn off your computer, drop your mobile, and go see it.
Must-See Cautionary Tale for All Netizens (by 3xHCCH)
I have not seen a movie like "Disconnect" in a long while. It has this style of telling about the lives of various different seemingly unconnected characters working up to one common story that intertwines all of them together. A decade ago, this style was very popular. This was first brought to prominence by the acclaimed Mexican movie "Amores Perros", and then we saw it in "Traffic", "21 Grams", culminating in the Oscar Best Picture Award given to "Crash." "Disconnect" brings us back to those days when complex intersecting story <more>
lines ruled the cinemas."Disconnect" leads us into the lives of four characters and their families. What all of them have in common is that they all have been a victim of some sort of Internet crime and abuse. The start of the film was very discomforting to watch. We witness how various internet chat sites can be so dangerous. This is true whatever the nature of this chat site is, whether this is a private pornographic live chat room or a support group chat room for bereaved families. We will see sexual exploitation, bullying, fraud, identity theft, and various other internet crimes in action. We will also see the adverse effects these crimes have on the victims and their loved ones.The actors were all very good in their roles. I recognize a few of them. Jason Bateman from "Horrible Bosses" is the busy lawyer whose introverted son was bullied at school. Paula Patton from "Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol" is a lonely neglected wife who confides her problems on a chat room with someone who could have just stolen all their money. Andrea Riseborough from "Oblivion" is a television journalist determined to go up in her profession even if it would cause problems to the young man who granted her the interview which would land her on CNN. The other young actors playing the bully, the bullied, and the sex site boy toy all gave memorable performances as well.The pace of the movie is slow, and I think this was deliberate to make us feel how insidious these crimes can be. They can be happening to us without us ever knowing about it, until the consequences hit us squarely on the face. The director makes us of very dramatic camera angles and apt visual effects to emphasize his points. The editing done was very effective to create an intense feeling of dread and tension. Despite the PG rating given this film locally, the topic of the film is very adult, as well as the treatment, with scenes of nudity, sex, drugs and violence.This is a very serious and very thought-provoking film for this Internet Age we are in right now. In our obsession to remain connected to our virtual world on our favorite social media sites, are we actually being disconnected from our very own families, and other flesh and blood people around us? A must-see for all netizens. Highly recommended. 8/10
A husband and wife are victims of Identity Theft and to make matters worse their personal secrets are exposed online - A female reporter tries to "save" a teen Adult star – Cyber bullying and a sex-texting picture cause tragedy – A lawyer more in tune with technology than his family. Yes, we are going into another CRASH site. Are you ready? Buckled in? Let's get started as the stories above will come full circle and are very entertaining and powerful. There is rough sex talk and nudity in the beginning, then all that goes away and the movie settles down to the stories. What <more>
you will see are a lack of communication problems, bad personal actions and decisions that cause very bad consequences. You will care about these characters as these players are perfect in what they do. This movie seems to mirror life - as we know it today - and it's not pretty, as you may already know. The pacing is spot on and there are some instances of suspense and tension.It was nice to see Jason Bateman in a very good dramatic role. He is one of three who can do comedy and drama seamlessly - the other two are Cedric the Entertainer and Tyler Perry, IMHO. All three have that necessary timing for both comedy and drama. Kudos. 8/10 Violence: Yes. Sex: Yes briefly. Nudity: Yes. Rough sex talk: Yes. Language: Yes.