Survival Skills

2020

Drama

73
IMDb Rating 5.4 10 6

Synopsis


Downloaded times
December 12, 2020

Cast

Spencer Garrett as The Chief
Stacy Keach as The Narrator
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
775.19 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.56 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Go_For_The_Jugular 3 / 10 / 10

Tried it...flopped it!

A wasted opportunity, that falls way short of the mark! I loved the premise...hated everything else. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something just wasn't right. I believe this could of been a great film, if they'd kept the same plot, but just executed it differently. Mainly, I don't feel that it needed to be set in the 80's...it could of quite easily be set in the present day. I had to watch a training DVD for a job I started last year, so it's not like they stopped making them in the 80's. Also, they could of incorporated today's tech into the storyline to improve it a bit...mobile phones etc. And for a film supposedly 'following a cop on his duties for a year', it sure is boring (even for Middletown). He could of quite easily just have been a pen pusher from social services. The good = The premise The bad = The execution, the 80's aesthetic, the cast, the narrator, not a single likeable character, scenes dragged on for far too long, man claiming to be 30 looking nearer 50, girl claiming to be 16 looking nearer her mid-20's, the 'Stepford wife', the lead character's annoying 'C-3P0' voice, the lack of direction, the list goes on. This could of been so much better if they'd made some simple adjustments to what they already had, for example: in the 'comedic' scenes (most of which fall flat), the lead says "AB"...but if he had said "ABC" instead, it would of been funnier. It's like they start to go somewhere with an idea, but only go halfway and stop...leaving the viewer unsatisfied and unfulfilled. They same applies to the 'action' scenes...characters do 'XY', but if they had done 'XYZ' instead, the scene would of been better. Some might say that would make the film too predictable, but I'd much rather watch a predictable film that I enjoy, than an unpredictable one that I don't. Maybe I'm missing the whole point of the movie, but the purpose of leaving a review, is to let others know what 'MY EXPERIENCE' of the film was. That is what I've done. Summary: Interesting idea, poorly executed. Just about watchable, wouldn't recommend.

Reviewed by sachaput50 10 / 10 / 10

What is real?

This film begins as a spoof of training videos on VHS. The movie uses this device quite well, including rewinds, freeze frames and fast forward. You can also see the degeneration of the tape throughout. We start with Jim on his first day as a police officer, as he taught the basic principles of his job. When an early assignment gets him involved in a domestic dispute, Jim finds himself becoming too involved. What begins as a light-hearted satire of the training films we've all seen, begins to turn dark as Jim finds himself going seriously off script. What is real and what is part of the video become blurred. Stacy Keech is the on-screen and off-screen narrator of this story, gradually becoming more involved and aware.

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 10 / 10 / 10

Blown away

Talk about being knocked for a loop. Who knew that the movie that I think had the biggest impact on me in 2020 would be a film that for all intents and purposes looks like a training film from the 1980's? Survival Skills begins as an unearthed police educational film narrated by Stacy Keach and turns into something much different, a film that plays with the very media that it has been created within, turning the characterless characters of these videos - I'm a huge fan of stuff like Grill Skill and McC: Inside and Outside Custodial Duties - and discover what their real lives were like, if they ever had them. Who are the side characters in their lives and what is life like for them? And what happens in the cheery reality of these unliving beings when real life rudely intrudes? Jim Williams (Vayu O'Donnell) is someone you may know, a cop who is just starting on the job, who must confront the harsh realities that the police academy never prepared him for. In the wake of calls to defund the police and a look at the way the men and women wearing the badge must protect and serve a public that has come to hate and fear them, this movie takes a stark look at the training and videos that prepared them, including Dave Grossman and his killology philosophy, which teaches "officers to be less hesitant to use lethal force, urge them to be willing to do it more quickly and teach them how to adopt the mentality of a warrior," according to the Washington Post. But what happens when a cop like Jim just wants to help a victim of abuse that can't seem to break from the cycle? Surely society has ways to help people in that situation. You'd think so. But this film shows that the truth is quite darker. Jim also grows darker in this story, going from the by the book example from every one of those fake educational videos into a haunted soul who has turned to his original shell of a personality to hide from the anguish that being a real person involves. Every positive step he's tried to make is a failure; people won't or can't help the abused woman who he just wants to save. Even the film stock itself has meaning here. Unlike so many movies that believe being 80's influenced means just having vague allusions to John Carpenter-esque synth background music and bad takes on fashion, this film uses the tracking and hum and hiss of videotape to pile on the slowing growing current of hopelessness. Keach shines brightly as the narrator, going from telling the story to commanding parts of it, even able to snap his fingers and take us from his reality to the reality of Jim, changing the look from drabness to high def and back again. And unlike so many of the faux 80's films that litter the landscape, this one gets one thing right: the spectre of Reagan hung heavy over everything. There's also a moment of Satanic Panic in here that I don't want to ruin, but only want to say that it does the best job I've seen a film do in translating the strangeness of that era, a time when police would come to your school or church to warn you of the dangers of demons hiding throughout popular culture. Quinn Armstrong, who wrote and directed this, has made a movie that does exactly what great films should: I'm still thinking about this movie hours after watching it, wondering how the characters have moved on, as if they were real people. It's an astounding film that tells a story perfect for our time and has my highest recommendation.

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