I got a screener of Uptown by Brian Ackley.
I can't say I'm enthusiastic to review it.
It's not a very well made movie, which I suspect even the most enthusiastic supporters of the movie would acknowledge. The sound is abysmal throughout. The cinematography is spotty, but generally weak.
Frankly, if the movie had been trying to be a visual or aural masterpiece, I'd enthusiastically jump forth and trash it in every manner I could imagine in my deep, dark head.
But this is one of those movies that's supposed to be about two characters and how they relate. It's a movie for the kind of people who really loved Before Sunrise.
I did not care for that Before Sunrise or anything like it. At least, I'm hard pressed to think of one.
For what it's worth, I think the dialogue here is more realistic, although that's not necessarily better. The acting is better in Uptown, however I didn't find the chemistry between the characters quite as striking.
As far as my sympathy goes, I should note that early in the movie, when the lead male character is trying awkwardly to make conversation with the lead female character, he suggests that he was involved with something that resembles the Bang Bus series of pornographic videos. This eliminated much possibility that I would follow the character sympathetically. It may have been intended that he was attempting a joke and failing, but I can't say for sure.
Ultimately, I'd bet the moviemakers would happily concede the failure of - or at least their disinterest in - the elements that I feel qualified to judge, in hopes of having done well enough at the elements I feel entirely unqualified to judge...
I really admired and was engaged by Once. It was beautiful and I fully understood and empathized with the characters.
With Uptown, I didn't. In terms of the screenplay and actors, I'm not sure if that is that's because the movie doesn't do them well or if I'm just out of my world of experience trying to relate to them.
I don't feel qualified to speak to the subject.