iCrime (2011) – By Cary Conley

Carrie leaves Oklahoma for L.A., staying with her moderately successful, very shallow, and totally gorgeous cousin Stefy. Unbeknownst to Stefy, Carrie has actually come to L.A. to save Stefy’s career by tracking down an old ex who is threatening to go public with a sex tape he and Stefy made years before. Carrie is addicted to the Internet and spends a great deal of time chatting with a cyber crush from Scotland and following the latest teen cybersensation, Jordan Rivers. When Jordan Rivers is kidnapped live on her webshow, Carrie thinks it’s a hoax, so she strikes a bargain with the paper that has Stefy’s sex tape. If Carrie can somehow locate Jordan Rivers and prove her "kidnapping" was a media ploy, then the paper–a National Enquirer-type rag–will give Carrie the sex tape and drop their pursuit of Stefy for the Jordan Rivers scoop.

So begins a web of betrayal and deceit as virtually every single character in the movie is lying to everyone else, or trying to cover up their own dirty little secrets. Will Carrie be able to save Stefy’s career or will she get caught by the police who are investigating her for other misdeeds? Is Jordan Rivers actually in danger or is the kidnapping merely a shameless ploy to invite even further media scrutiny as Carrie believes? Are seemingly random events truly random or are they actually being carefully planned out in order to manipulate Carrie, the innocent Hollywood newcomer?

Director Bears Fonte’ has crafted a fun and highly entertaining cyber thriller. In his directorial debut, Fonte’ shows a real flair with the camera as well as for some great storytelling. While I had my suspicions, the film kept me in the dark for most of its run time and had me second-guessing the motives of each character. I was never quite sure who was dealing in fantasy and who was dealing in reality. While I’m sure that Fonte’ also deserves credit, kudos should go out to editor Jonathon Alvord, whose techniques–especially in transitions and during several brief montages–lent the film a sly coolness not seen since Tarantino exploded onto the screen with Pulp Fiction.

The writing is crisp and witty and made me laugh out loud several times at the sarcastic replies between characters. The entire ensemble of actors did an excellent job and all are quite talented. Sara Fletcher starring as Carrie is at her hip, pouty best here while Christie Burson gives cyber-nerds a totally new sex appeal. Gorgeous Kelly Noonan co-stars as the typically shallow blonde bombshell who uses her body to not only rock every party in town but also to climb the proverbial Hollywood ladder. And Leah McKendrick does an excellent job as the latest teen cybersensation, the tart and bitchy Jordan Rivers. Everything about her character is contrived, including that horrible fake name. And finally, Travis Brorson co-stars as the good guy/love interest who is drawn into the viper’s nest that becomes Carrie’s life.

The musical selection is excellent as well, ranging from acoustic to alt-rock, punk rock, and even some heavy metal. The entire score is very well-done and fits perfectly into the film–it is a highlight of the entire movie.

In the end, all is not what it seems to be as just about every character in the movie reveals something he or she is hiding. It’s as if Fonte’ was creating a real-life parable of Hollywood: characters are carefully crafted by Tinsel town publicists and no one is truly trustworthy in a place where one can become Yesterday’s Big Thing at the speed of light.

iCrime is funny, stylish, sexy and cool. It is a highly entertaining mystery-thriller you won’t want to miss. It is being released on September 27 by Breaking Glass Pictures. For more information, go to breakingglasspictures.com.