DVD Review: Catfish
DVD Release Date: January 4th, 2010
Rated PG for coarse language
Running time: 88 minutes
Henry Joost (dir.)
Ariel Schulman (dir.)
Mark Mothersbaugh (music)
Ariel Schulman as Himself
Nev Schulman as Himself
Our reviews below:
Catfish DVD Review By John C.
***1/2 (out of 4)
In 2007, one of Nev Schulman’s photographs appeared in a New York newspaper. Shortly after, he received a request on Facebook from Abby, an 8-year-old girl in Michigan asking his permission to paint the picture. What followed was a 9-month friendship with her family, and an online affair with her 19-year-old sister, Megan. When things started spiraling downhill, Nev’s older brother Ariel and fellow documentarian Henry Joost were thankfully on hand to record the events.
Despite the forgivable shaky camera work, this is an endlessly engaging and fascinating film that keeps us in suspense until the final scene. Whether or not you believe that this is an actual document of true events, or just a piece of cautionary fiction, it works brilliantly as a multilayered character study and psychological thriller. Filled with twists, this is a provocative and shocking film about the dangers of the internet, that will shake you up and leave you talking about it for days.
The DVD also includes a very interesting 25-minute documentary with the filmmakers, which is a must see after watching the movie.
Catfish DVD Review By Erin V.
***1/2 (out of 4)
In 2007, photographer Nev Schulman got sent a painting of one of his pictures from a correspondent on facebook. The note said it was painted by an 8-year-old girl and was sent by her mother. He started writing back and forth, and soon started a relationship with this kid’s 19-year-old sister online. But things started to seem a little unusual, so his brother Rel and friend Henry Joost decided to film as the three of them tried to find out the truth.
You don’t want to know much more going in. This film plays as a great mystery and story of discovery and you just want to go in for the ride. This is a wonderful look at the dangers and misperceptions of the world of social networking. With a film like this, there are always questions – did this all really happen, etc. But in some ways, no matter what it is, it’s a cautionary tale, and as one, it is a testament to the film itself that when we watch it we can’t help but be suspicious… as we always should slightly be with any kind of media.
Included on the Catfish disc is a 25-minute interview with the filmmakers, which is a must watch after seeing the film. The title of the film (which I won’t spoil) is also perfectly brilliant. I would definitely recommend seeing this one. This is a film that finds truth in the fact of documentaries that it is not the camera work, but the story you are telling.
Catfish DVD Review By Nicole
**** (out of 4)
Catfish is a fascinating documentary about the artificial world of the internet. When Nev Schulman, a young photographer, is contacted by Abby, an 8 year old painter, he happily donates one of his photos for her to use. Nev is delighted to discover Abby has a 19 year old sister, Megan. He quickly falls for Megan, a pretty girl whom he knows only on Facebook. But when the two date online, Nev decides to investigate who Megan really is. The truth is shocking, but one feels compassion for both parties involved.
Catfish is both a psychological thriller, and a moving human drama. Never boring, the film shows us that, in the end, we still need real friends, as opposed to “friends” on Facebook. Mysterious, suspenseful, intriguing and touching, Catfish is an amazing movie that is sure to win awards.
Catfish DVD Review By Maureen
***1/2 (out of 4)
Catfish is a fascinating, suspenseful story about what’s real and what isn’t in the world of Facebook. Filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost decided to document an unusual online relationship Ariel’s brother Nev was involved in. What unfolds is somewhat disturbing and intriguing to watch.
It’s hard to know for sure if this is a documentary of true events or a fictionalized version of how truths can become blurred in the online world. Either way, Catfish is a really good story. The twists and turns as the truth unravels keep the viewer on the edge of their seat. The final outcome is both disturbing and touching.
Even if you saw Catfish in theatres it merits a second viewing. Anyone seeing this film for the first time will want to avoid any spoilers. Seeing it without any hint of the story beforehand makes it all the more interesting. Catfish is a must-see for its thought-provoking look at Facebook.
Catfish DVD Review By Tony
***1/2 (out of 4)
In their twenties, New York brothers Ariel (Rel) and Yaniv (Nev) Schulman and their friend Henry Joost are making a documentary film on the career of Nev, a photographer of dancers and other artistic subjects. Some of his images come back to him in the form of acrylic paintings that are pretty good considering they allegedly were done by an eight year old girl in a Michigan town. A Facebook relationship develops between Nev and the girl, her mother and older sister Megan. At once intrigued but increasingly suspicious, the guys decide to pay the folks in Michigan a visit, with totally unexpected but ultimately fascinating and touching results.
Nev’s exuberance, charm, and ultimately his discretion and grace with what he finds make this a very watchable film that is sure to satisfy a large audience and lead to interesting discussions about virtual relationships. Stick around for the guys’ own remarks following the film on the disc, including their choice of the title, which makes perfect sense.
Consensus: Both as a documentary and cautionary tale about the dangers of the internet, Catfish is a brilliant and provocative character study filled with shocking twists that you will be talking about for days. ***1/2 (Out of 4)