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Film Reviews: Identity Theft (2009) - By Duane L. Martin
Posted on Saturday, August 01, 2009 @ 00:42:24 Mountain Daylight Time by Duane

After he won fifty million dollars in the lottery, Matt Walker (James A. Ward) thought he had it all.  Then his gold diggnig bitch of a fiance expected him to blow about half of it on their reception.  Needless to say, he dumped her.  Enter the friend, Brian (Michael Cole).  He didn't have a large part in the film, but he did have an instrumental role, because he's the one that called Matt to come down to the bar to have a drink with him.  Matt, tired of sitting around staring at the photo of him and his ex, relented and headed on down to the bar.  It was there that he met ever so hot blonde, Karen Bristol (Laura Weintraub), who would by the following morning, totally screw over Matt's life.  How?  Well, basically Karen wasn't Karen.  Her body was a very old soul that jumped from body to body whenever it felt like it, and had been since the time of the Civil War.  Men, women, it didn't matter.  It was all about the experience and living the good life.  She drugged Matt and when he woke up in the morning, he suddenly found himself in Laura's body, and the other soul was in his, and fully planned on taking over his identity and collecting the fifty million.  Now, the real Matt, now in the body of a beautiful model who's also deeply in debt and has a couple of warrants out for her arrest, must try to figure out a way to get his body back.  To that end, he attempts to enlist the help of his best friend and his ex-girlfriend, but one of them will betray him.  I bet you can guess which one.

These body swapping movies are a dime a dozen.  I think it all started back in the day with Freaky Friday, and just sort of went downhill from there.  It takes a lot to make one of these types of films watchable, much less entertaining.  So how did this one do?  Well, I'm happy to say that this is one of those rare films of this type that happen to be both watchable AND entertaining, and there's exactly one person I can credit with that.  Laura Weintraub.  She not only put in an absolutely fabulous performance, but she also managed to be really entertaining and likeable in her character.  She handled the whole transition and getting used to the new body aspects of the role in a really great way that made her fun to watch and actually made you feel for the character.  The fact that she's really hot didn't exactly hurt either.  In fact, that's kind of related to one of the more amusing parts of the film.  She gets back to Karen's townhouse, and naturally the first instinct of a guy who's just found himself inhabiting a girl's body would be to...explore a bit.  So she takes a shower and then comes out looking all exhausted and says, "Well...that was different."

The rest of the cast did a good job in their roles as well, but Laura was the real shining star in this film.  She only has a couple of credits on IMDB, but I really hope we get to see more of her...soon!  She's a great actress and deserves to be in more films that will show off her talent the way this one did.

On a technical level, the film was generally quite well made.  It was edited nicely and at 66 minutes, was the perfect length for the story.  Any longer would have dragged out the story too long, and any shorter would have left you feeling like it was rushed.  The camera work for the most part was well done, as was the lighting.  I think the only thing I could really ding it on technically is that some of the lower light scenes got a bit grainy and there were a few spots where the sound could have been recorded better.  In general though, it is a well made film.  Just be sure to watch it all the way to the end of the credits, because the concluding scene of the film is at the very end after the credits.  If you don't watch that scene, you won't know how it all turned out at the end.  Oddly enough, nothing in this movie really finishes up in any sort of a cookie cutter way, which is another reason it's great.  I loved the way it ended up, because it was a nice, unexpected and well thought out twist, which I won't be revealing here.

James A. Ward wrote and directed this film, and did a great job with it all.  The story is solid and fun and everything about the production was just great.  I highly recommend that you check out this film.  It's not only a great example of the wonderful creativity to be found in independent cinema, but you get to watch the incredibly entertaining Laura Weintraub pull of the whole "dealing with being a guy in a gir's body thing".  What more could you want?

Laura, if you happen to read this review, I want to see you in a LOT more films in the near future.  No more of this six years between films thing ok?

If you'd like to find out more about this film, you can check out the film's page on the Three Degrees Off Center Productions website.

Saturday, August 01, 2009 @ 00:42:24 Mountain Daylight Time Film Reviews |
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