Startup.com (USA; 103min.)


directed by: Chris Hegedus; Jehane Noujaim
documentary
Startup.com
 
Ellen says: "I enjoyed this documentary and thought the filmmakers did a great job of showing the story of two high school friends who start an internet company. The filmmakers probably had to film a lot of events over a long period and the film was well edited to make the necessary points. Unfortunately, the whole story is so familiar to me that it didn't have the impact that it might have on someone unfamiliar with these stories of potential fame and fortune." 3 1/2 cats
 
Laura says: "As much the story of the rise and fall of a dot.com as of the unravelling of a lifelong friendship, STARTUP.COM focusses on govWorks cofounders Kaleil Tuzman and Tom Herman. Friends since childhood, Kaleil is the darkly exotic, charismatic money man who convinced multiple venture capitalists to invest millions of dollars in govWorks.com while Tom is the all American kid who stayed in the background guiding development. Kaleil's ruthless, workaholic drive contrasts so sharply with Tom's laid back, trusting nature we know we're in for major conflicts. The cracks begin to show early on, when Tom's enthusiasm for the technology during an investment meeting causes Kaleil to accuse him of being unfocussed. On the flip side, Tom makes design decisions without waiting for Kaleil to return from one of his countless business trips." 3 cats

For Laura's complete review: "http://www.reelingreviews.com/startupcom.htm"
 
Michael says: "The documentary team who created THE WAR ROOM, have returned with STARTUP.COM, a timely look at the rise and fall of a dot.com business. Wisely chosing to focus on the interpersonal relationship between the two high school friends who follow-through with their idea to start a dot.com, STARTUP.COM is a fun, exasperating, quick moving, revelatory film. Kaleil and Tom have an idea on how to use the web to make dealing with local goverment easier. The documentary follows their idea from the decision about the name (govworks.com) and the search for venture capital, to the public unveiling of their site, through the life of their company. On the way, see people let go, panel discussions with high public officials, and words of wisdom from Mom.

My companions and I found ourselves laughing almost uporoariously at points... although most of the rest of the audience was not... or at least not at the same time as we were. I was incredulous at the way some of these people were presented, but thoroughly enjoyed the film. A few small complaints, most notably that the film focused so fixedly on Kaleil and Tom that other key members of the organization remained cyphers, with barely even a name to attach to them. Highly recommended.." 3 1/2 cats
 
Robin says: "STARTUP.COM is a sometimes-interesting document that suffers from a major problem - none of the individuals being followed are likable and, with their arrogance, bickering and techno-automaton behavior, create no empathy from the viewer. The makers do a decent job of capturing all aspects of the making of a startup company but they, unfortunately for the viewer, picked the wrong subjects. There is an attempt to introduce humanity into the mix by showing Thomas taking care of his young daughter and Kaleil having girlfriend troubles, but these are mere distractions and only serve to make an overly long film even longer. Perhaps some judicious editing would help, but the subjects, themselves, are the real problem." 2 cats

For Robin's complete review: "http://www.reelingreviews.com/startupcom.htm"