Once in a while, not often, but once in a blue moon, there is a movie with a less than stellar Netflix-rating that could have become cult-classics, had its budget just been a smidgen higher.
Because let’s be honest here: Most movies featured on this site are deeply loved by us, yet are often skipped past by most on the Netflix-recommendation screen. Then there's Mr Jones.
This is a good movie. I don't care what IMDb and its 4.6 stars say: This. Is. A. Good. Nay. Great. Possibly. Stellar. Movie! World, you're wrong, and you should all go revisit (or visit, as the case might be) Mr Jones and understand how glorious this thing is.
It might seem like just another “found footage” movie, but even that aspect has somewhat of an original twist here: The camera films both directions, so you can also see the person filming. That means it’s double good!
The premise, too, is interesting-ish. The protagonists accidentally track down Mr Jones–a Banksy type artist–and start secretly filming him and his odd wood-figure artworks. As the documentary about him starts coming together, things start going… weird. I mean David Lynch-weird. Surreal.
And if there's one thing the Remi likes, it's the surreal.
Before long, you don’t know who’s filming what, who Mr Jones actually is, why he makes his crazy figures, and who is who and what is what and where is where and my god it gets gloriously weird…
That might all sound a bit disconcerting to some, and it probably is. In fact, even if the movie had been perfectly executed, it would not have been something for everyone. It’s the sad truth–surreal movies aren’t that popular, and I give the general population a big :( for that.
Even for those who do like the genre, though, I can see why Mr Jones hasn’t become a classic. It’s obvious that the budget wasn’t there to fulfill the promise of the original premise, and some of the acting suffers from that. That can break a movie like this–less than stellar performances in front of the camera often falter found-footage movies into something a drunk college kid could put together.
Mr Jones doesn’t hit that low, but it feels sorta sub-Blair Witch at times. I don’t really blame the actors–more money would have meant more takes would have meant higher quality.
But! For those of us who are just a little more forgiving than what we should be, Mr Jones is a true classic. It’s strange and dark and crazy and if you close your eyes at the right time, it’s a very well put-together movie.
I love this movie. Love. (Love!) And I will defend it until my death. It might not be something for everyone, but if you do like the surreal, you really should give it a shot. If nothing else, the wooden figures will remind you of Pinocchio’s Revenge, and that is at least something.
Letterboxd summary: Scott (Jon Foster) is a filmmaker in need of inspiration. He and his girlfriend Penny (Sarah Jones) move into a desolate house hoping to make a breakthrough. Then they discover their neighbor, the elusive Mr. Jones. Famous for his haunting sculptures, Mr. Jones has remained a mystery to the world. Scott and Penny, convinced that they have found the perfect film subject, sneak into his workshop and realize that their curiosity may have chilling consequences. Who is Mr. Jones?
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||4/6|