Martin Scorsese in Campus Life

Under most circumstances, a Martin Scorsese / Ray Liotta reunion would be cause for celebration. In the case of Campus Life, however, their team-up is more puzzling than enticing.

Jesse McCartney leads the cast of the indie thriller, about a group of college kids trying to uncover a supernatural secret. But based on the trailer, the bigger question may be what Scorsese and Liotta are doing in this seemingly low-rent Chronicle imitation. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

To be sure, Scorsese and Liotta’s roles don’t seem to amount to much more than cameos — Scorsese as a doctor, and Liotta as a bartender. Hollywood.com has found some indication that Catherine Scorsese is involved in Campus Life, so maybe her dad showed up as a familial favor. But her connection to the film, if it even exists, is unclear, so the pair’s appearance remains a mystery.

Whatever their reasoning, Scorsese and Liotta are far and away the most recognizable talents in the film, so of course they’re being used to sell it. Their less famous co-stars include McCartney, Hannah Hodson, Alice Kremelberg, Conor Leslie, and Ritesh Rajan. Kenneth M. Waddell directs.

The premise has some potential to it, I guess, but the execution looks amateurish. The effects look fake, the dialogue is stilted, and the entire universe looks utterly generic. The next X-Men, this isn’t.

Aside from Scorsese and Liotta, the most interesting thing about Campus Life is its origin. It’s the first original feature from JumpView, a new platform that lets viewers choose how they watch a particular film or TV series. Users first watch a scene, then jump back and forth through the story depending on which (main) character they feel like following.

Theoretically, JumpView gives people greater control over the movie-watching process, allowing them to focus on the characters and scenes that interest them most. I think it sounds like an unwieldy way to watch a movie — particularly ones that were conceived as traditional, chronologically ordered narratives — but I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say for certain.

If you’d like to test it out, or if you’re interested in seeing the rest of Campus Life, click over to JumpView to learn more.

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