With Eva Mendes, David Krumholtz, Jay Hernandez, Andre Braugher, Katie Cassidy, Rob Brown, Monet Mazur

Written & Directed by Bill Guttentag

Over the decades the reality show concept had been prevalent in fiction and motion pictures before modern televised entertainment concepts made Mark Burnett a mogul (with the likes of Survivor and The Apprentice). Books like The Prize of Peril and The Running Man from the '70s and '80s were turned into movies. Both these had people chased down by killers on live TV as its subject. Series 7: The Contenders had a similar reality TV premise in the late-'90s, but with people randomly picked to knock one another off until the last man (or woman) is standing. Mocumentaries have also become commonplace.
Live! incorporates both mocumentary and reality TV, expands this brand of televised show hysteria into the studio realm where numbers is all that counts, and cutting edge, controversial programming is designed to cause a stir and make a fortune. And fortune, greed and need is at the heart of it all. A young studio exec played by Mendez get together with her team to devise a new show, and they come up with Live!, a show where six contestants play Russian Roulette live on TV for a fat prize. The conceptualizing of the show, turbulent battle with lawyers and advisors, and the demographically-, emotionally- and strategic contestant selection is shot like a documentary in the making. At first the moviemaker following Mendez around tries to remain objective, but soon the morality of issue bleeds through.
Besides the studio out to keep on earning and showing growth to their investors and shareholders, the motivation of the contestants is mostly financial.
The social commentary aspect of the movie is blatant, and Live! succeeds on many levels, except for some very specific flaws, practicalities and inevitabilities which we know in the back of our minds the moviemakers are driving towards.

3 / C
- Paul Blom

1 2 3 4 5 6
- B - C

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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