First Hit: A very good, interesting, powerful film about how our digital connections, and how we use them, can damage our lives.
This is a film about three stories: A son attempting suicide because of a picture of him nude was posted on the internet. Another about young kids who’ve runaway from home and make a living selling themselves for private sex over the internet. And, finally a couple whose personal tragedy grew to include identification theft, but this difficulty helped them grow closer together.
Each of these stories was based in today’s reality. The point of these stories was how technology creates new ways for us to communicate and do it poorly.
Rich and Lydia Boyd (Jason Bateman and Hope Davis respectively) have a daughter Abby (Haley Ramm) who is popular at school while her brother Ben (Jonah Bobo) is a loner who loves music and keeps to himself both at school and at home. Two boys, using technology, decide to harass Ben. They make up a girl that likes him and encourage him to do something stupid. A television interviewer wants to expose young kids selling sex over the internet. By getting more involved creates complications for both the person she’s trying to help and herself.
Derek and Cindy Hull (Alexander Skarsgard and Paula Patton respectively) have just lost a young son and turn to internet activities to soothe their pain, her a chat room, him online gambling. Their identity gets stolen and now they are losing everything except themselves. T
wo of the three stories are interwoven with Mike Dixon (Frank Grillo) who is a former cop who has turned to internet sleuthing and remedy.
Bateman is great as a father who loves his son but has gotten so involved with work; he lost his family connection and tries to get it back. Davis is strong as the mom who is trying to get her husband to pay attention to the family. Ramm is good as Ben’s sister, a brother she loves but is also embarrassed by his awkwardness. Bobo is fantastic as the boy who is so scared of showing up and lives within the world of his music. Skarsgard is really good as the father who has lost a child and doesn’t know how to reach out to his hurting wife. Patton is fantastic as the hurting mother who is looking for a way to find emotional relief. Grillo is very good as the single parent trying to do right by his son. Colin Ford as Grillo’s son did a superb job of showing his angst, sorrow and fear for his actions. Andrea Riseborough was really good as the reporter knowing she wanted to help but also wanting a story. Max Thieriot was fabulous as the young kid just finding his own way. Andrew Stern wrote an outstanding script. Henry Alex Rubin directed this three story film with precision and wonder.
Overall: This was a really good film and deserves to be seen by a lot of people who don’t get how technology has changed our lives.