I fell in love with movies for numerous different reasons. One of the biggest reasons I love movies is how creative a director can tell a story. Stories can leave such a lasting impact or even teach us meaningful new things about life. We have our beloved favorite movies for that very reason. It’s all about the stories that we can truly connect with or have a lasting experience with. The Beta Test directed by Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe tell such a story, that will forever reside in my head for countess years to come. I could even say that this has become one of my favorite movies, released this year thus far. It follows Jordan (Cummings), who is a married Hollywood agent, who receives a mysterious invitation to act on adultery, that soon makes his whole life flip upside down. A creative tale that has scares, comedic elements, suspense, parody and so much more. It dives deep into so many themes and social commentary that I was constantly being blown away on how it was delivered. This movie in itself, is a metaphorical letter, being delivered to us the viewer, as an invitation on the inside look of the dirtiness of Hollywood and society as a whole.
Start to finish this movie took me on a journey, that I never knew where I was going, or where I would end up. The opening scene sets the stage of what is yet to come, but also doesn’t share what is really going on. It was perfect. I loved this opening and how elegant even the opening credits were. The Beta Test sank its teeth into me immediately and I was already onboard to go on this crazy ride of a movie. There is so much intensity and playfulness that perfectly blends into a concoction I haven’t seen before, besides the previous Jim Cummings movie. Wolf of Snow Hollow, being his prior film, truly helped me get quickly accustomed to how this story is being told. I would say that if someone is not familiar of his work, the movie can maybe seem off. Without a doubt this movie is meta and very much in your face. The acting is phenomenal and there are some great monologues that had me with my eyes wide open and my jaw to the ground. Jim Cummings has so much personality and him playing Jordan couldn’t have been better with anyone else playing this character. He is a master in comedy, line delivery, enthusiasm, intensity, and overall a great storyteller. Following his character throughout the runtime never got boring or dull. He was one of the strongest elements of this movie and so many people will really enjoy what he brings to the table. His co-star and co-director, PJ McCabe also did an incredible job and he should not be overlooked. I’m very excited to see what other future projects he signs up for or creates. I want to see this power duo everywhere making these awesome type of movies.
One of the themes in The Beta Test, is how people connect with each other in this day and age. They showcase technology and social media apps in such a creative way, that I was actually concerned how much access we have to other people’s lives. That’s the great thing about this movie though, it truly highlights exactly what is going on in Hollywood and how people who work in the industry take advantage, get the edge on people and how they make connections to further their business. The movie oozes out the grimiest parts of the industry and all I can do as the viewer, is cringe and hope things will change. The fact that we have some filmmakers that are trying to make a difference within the same industry they work in, is astonishing to me. The Beta Test not only surfaces the dark secrets of Hollywood, but also talks about how society views these people. Once I started to get more information and really discover what is really going on, I was shocked by the ending regardless. As people, we often see these things going on, but overlook it. The Beta Test itself is almost a test for me, the viewer, of seeing what the big picture is. Once I saw the picture, it was a masterpiece.
I have to give a major shoutout to the cinematography, editing and score from this movie as well. There are a lot of different twist and turns this movie takes and it never felt out of place. All of the tones of this movie perfectly blended together flawlessly and told a complete story. There are moments where this was a full on horror movie, a drama, erotic soap opera and so much more. The Beta Test unlocked the secret of blending so many ingredients, serving me a meal from a five star restaurant. Every time Jordan found himself deeper in the rabbit hole of who sent this invitation and why, had me hooked in. What a truly great story that kept the pace going and never really stopped to relax. It never dragged nor did it ever feel like it was rushed. This was a steady ride with some fun dips.
The Beta Test is a triumphant win that will have people talking for awhile. Though it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it will for sure leave some amount of impact on its audience. Huge shoutout to both directors and all of the cast and crew. I highly recommend people to go check this one out when they can. Especially if you are already a fan of the filmmaker’s work. This is just another delightful film in the ever so great filmography of Jim Cummings and can’t wait to see more work from PJ McCabe. The Beta Test releases in theaters this Friday November 5th. You don’t want to miss this one!
Photos Provided By AMC Networks