THE ANDY BAKER TAPE – found footage review

I have all the admiration in the world for folks that just DO IT when it comes to movies. They have a vision and they just see it through. This isn’t to say that’s necessarily the case – or not the case – with THE ANDY BAKER TAPE but with two cast members, that’s a heavy load for them to carry. With a larger cast the weight is spread out more and you can hide if one person is a lesser actor than another. Not so with two people, either both are on point, or you have a mess on your hands. 

In this case, the actors really do great work that I hope folks see, outside of this film because they deserve work. 

What we have with THE ANDY BAKER TAPE is another ‘found’ recording, or series of recordings that is discovered and tells the story of why there was footage to discover. It’s really a perfect way to tell such a contained story. 

THE ANDY BAKER TAPE takes us along with a foodie on the cusp of stardom. He has an online presence where he will go to food establishments and try their food and give his impressions. He aims for the rural, the out of the way, and the beloved. His looks and his charisma have gotten him the attention of a cable network who wants to see a tape of his best work to see what they think. The man heads out on the road to work on putting new footage together for this tape and along the way decides to do something a little daring – he’s going to meet up with a half-brother he’s never met before. It seems that dear old dad had hooked up with another woman and that had led to there being this second son. The boys didn’t know about one another until, well, now, and they are anxious to meet one another. There is an instant clash of personalities and everything is captured for the cameras. In this clash though there is chemistry between the two and they both have a love for food so the foodie decides to take his newfound brother to a local restaurant to try what they have. Slowly they get to know one another and find a connection more through their love of food than their blood, but it’s there. What is also there is a nest of secrets that slowly start to reveal themselves and as they do, what this trip began as and what it may become starts to be revealed. 

This is a very well made, well shot, and well acted film. They do a great job of sticking with the found footage constraints and the only music you hear is from a radio or during end credits. There is a reason that the camera is running and it’s believable. While this isn’t horror – it really is more thriller than anything else – there is a high creep factor here. The actors are fantastic and play off one another wonderfully. There are moments where it’s a bit dodgy, where one is going too far over the top, but it doesn’t harm things and just intensifies them. The movie also does a good job of not overstaying its welcome, and tells its story and moves on, which is admirable. 

While this is well made it is very broad in some parts and it stretches credulity as it gets deeper into the film. I think folks love movies where you can scream at the screen but you don’t want to consistently do it out of frustration. There are a lot of dumb decisions here. It reminds me of a film like CREEP where you say – come ON – but things still continue. 

This isn’t a bad film at all, it’s just not one that really moved me. As good as the performances are it felt a bit telegraphed and obvious as it reached its climax. For fans of the genre and for inspired acting, this is worth a look. I found it for free on the JoBlo Movies tab on YouTube – as of 8/22. 

2.75  out of

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