Movie Review: The Orchard's Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers
SYNOPSIS: When his amputated leg is discovered in a grill sold at a North Carolina auction, John Wood finds himself at the center of a worldwide media frenzy. Believing the new-found attention to be his chance at doing some great things in an otherwise disappointing, wayward life, he's quickly swept up in the hysteria as the leg's enterprising buyer, Shannon Whisnant, then sues to regain its custody. But the stranger-than-fiction chain of events, fueling John’s drug addiction and compounded by generations of his familial dysfunction,soon sets John on the streets and heading to his certain demise. Just in time, however, another twist in these fantastical occurrences gives John a final shot at becoming whole for the first time in his life.
Distributor: The Orchard
Release Date: September 25, 2015 in NY & LA; October 2, 2015 theatrical expansion and VOD
Directed by: Bryan Carberry, Clay Tweel Documentary Featuring: Shannon Whisnant, John Wood
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
FINDERS KEEPERS opens this Friday, October 2nd at Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park

When I sat down to watch this week’s Finders Keepers, I didn’t know anything about it. I hadn’t seen a trailer nor read any synopsis. That almost never happens. I sat down to watch it without any preconceived notions.

The first few minutes seemed interesting. It’s filmed documentary style. The back story seemed hilarious. A man has a leg amputated and he decides to keep the amputated leg as a memorial. But the memorial goes awry when the leg is sold at auction, inside of an outdoor grill.

Right after the back story was set-up, I realized Finders Keepers isn’t actually about an amputated leg. I’m not in for hilarity and hijinks's involving a leg. It’s a statement movie. It’s actually about the lengths that people will go to for fame. It’s really about self-destruction and addiction. It’s about strained family dynamics. And, in the end, Finders Keepers is about redemption, so I almost had to recommend that everyone rush out to see it. Almost.

I had more than a couple of issues with this film. If you decide to see it in a theater or on VOD, do so at your own risk. It would be best if you wait for this to pop-up on one of your subscription services, like Netflix, so that you’re not out anything for having watched it.

It bored me. After the first few minutes, the film shows a series of interviews. I listened to the same interview three times, from three different people. First, you hear someone say they have a drug issue. Then, someone else says that first person has a drug issue. Then, yet another person says the first person has a drug issue. The same thing happened with the leg as memorial segment. Two or three interviews all repeated the same story, using the same words.

And it depressed me. The greatest achievement of one of the players is to be the “foot man.” That’s it. And because being the foot man is his greatest accomplishment/claim to fame, he will go to great lengths to preserve his status as the foot man. Sad. Everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame, and some, like the foot man, can’t cope if they don’t get theirs.

I didn’t like the camera work. Finders Keepers looks out-dated. Felt like someone set-up the camera and walked away. It looked more like an old episode of a television news magazine than modern cinema art.

That said, it wasn’t all bad. If you can wade through all of my issues, the messages are very thought-provoking. I enjoyed the story of redemption; the feel that anyone can turn their life around at any point is great. It just took too much effort to get there. Don’t take my word on it. Make your own mind up about this one. Finders Keepers has a theatrical release on October 2nd and will soon be available in VOD.

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