All That I Need

All That I Need is James Hergott's first film. He wrote, directed, and stars in it. And his biography on the website claims that he has an IQ of 164. Not a good sign. All That I Need is a vanity project deeply in need of some outside guidance. It is obvious that Hergott is not a filmmaker; the story is pretty lame, the dialogue is trite, and the acting is pretty amateurish. If you want to see something really funny, take a look at the Rotten Tomatoes User Forum for this film. As of this review, there are ten fantastic user reviews for All That I Need. If you look at the users, they all joined the day they posted, and have not posted since. The User Comments from the IMDB tell a similar story. This is similar to what the filmmakers of Gabriela (our favorite punching bag) did; basically padded websites with fake reviews. This is a digital film and has a one week run, so it's almost assured at disappearing after that. It's profile is too low, and regardless of its quality, a film like this barely has a chance. The fact that it stinks will not help.

The subject of the film is a pyramid scheme. Or, a modified one. James (Hergott), a Canadian emigre, lands in Newport Beach, CA. He's an aspiring filmmaker, and brings a crew with him everywhere. He discovered a way to make tons of money. It's like the standard pyramid scheme where the people at the bottom pay money to the people on top. However, to ensure that nobody cheats, as soon as the person on top receives his/her money, he goes back to the bottom of the pyramid, and pays the person at the top. It is in everybody's interest to recruit more people, so the pyramids can "turn" faster, thus ensuring more money. James says it's legit, and gathers a core group of people to begin the scheme.

Hergott wanted to explore the concept of groupthink, and how quickly things can go awry. He never says if James knows this is a scam or not, and by doing so, weakens his character. If he didn't know, he's an idiot. If he did, he is still an idiot for doing such a bad job of scamming people. Hergott's script calls for his character to be smart, slick, and well spoken (hmm...vanity?). James is none of these. He does not come across as very convincing, yet all these people fall over themselves to invest with him. The laughable premise of All That I Need is that this is a true story. Most of the actors use their real first names. The camera goes wherever James goes, typically following him to the various group meetings, and the concept doesn't work that well. There is an incredibly dumb scene where the crew follows him back to his place where he's about to make out with his new internet porno star girlfriend (Audra J. Morgan).

It's hard to believe that judges and investment bankers could fall for something like this. Especially somewhere like Newport Beach, where people would have their lawyers check things out like crazy or already have something to make them money. Greed is bad, and his newfound cash flow begins to affect James. He has a new girlfriend, a new car, and brand new designer clothes. The concept spreads, and the meetings soon overflow with people. To keep the cinema verite feel, the camera captures the chaotic nature of the meetings. People argue and hit on each other, and some of these scenes last far too long. Even at eighty minutes, All That I Need feels padded. The worst comes at the end, when everything comes crashing down. There is some truly awful dialogue that ties in with the whole "documentary" concept. Hergott wants it to be touching and heartfelt, but it's hard to feel that way when I'm laughing.

Gerf Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 20 minutes, Rated R for language and some sexual content.
And here's what writer/director James Hergott had to say about the review...
Dear Gerf,

My name is James Hergott; I am the director, writer and actor in the feature film "All That I Need" which you reviewed. Let me start by saying that I am fully aware that this is a free country and people can say what they want. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, and I can accept if you think my movie is very bad.

However, there are a couple of things with your review that I feel are inaccurate and unfair that I wanted to bring them to your attention.

- You state in your review, and I quote "And his biography on the website claims that he has an IQ of 164." (I don't have any IQ posted on the official website for the movie and never have, all the website states is that as a child I had a learning disability, but still tested that I had a high IQ, and I have been able to overcome that
disability) Source:

-It's "rolling" not "turning" when the person from the top of the pyramid goes back to the bottom.

-The movie is based on several true stories, so his assertion that the story is unrealistic or would not happen in wealthy or suburban communities is not accurate. Also not all scam artists are slick and well spoken, some are just unsuspecting in real life. Source:

-Your assertion that because a movie is digital or limited in its release that it barely has a chance regardless of quality is not fair. Even movies that are filmed low budget, are digital and panned by critics such as "Date With Drew" have done well since then. And while you extremely dislike the movie there are reviewers who do like it such as:

-I think it is unfair to state that I am not a filmmaker. You may think that I am a very bad filmmaker, but I did make a movie, and get it into theatres. There are literally thousands of independent movies made in a year; VERY few of them get a national theatrical release. Even movies with major names in them sometimes go straight to video. I may not think you are a very good critic, but it would be unfair for me to say that it is clear that you are not a critic. Plus, personal
attacks only weaken your arguments. The first paragraph you wrote simply trashes me, rather than being insightful about the movie. Before directing this movie I have had a great deal of experience in the entertainment business, and I was recently hired as president of a publicly traded entertainment company. I do not believe it is fair to
say that I am not a filmmaker.

-Your assertion that the positive reviews are phony because the people who have posted them have not posted other reviews is baseless. Not only is it not true, but also like I provided in a link there are people out there who like the movie. I am sure that you will agree that the positive reviews from newspaper critics are not plants by us.
Even if you are suspicious about that some reviews are phony, how can you state it as a fact? You outright state "This is similar to what the filmmakers of Gabriela (our favorite punching bag) did; basically padded websites with fake reviews." Which is slanderous because there is no proof to state it as a fact other than your personal

The bottom line is that I wrote and directed this movie for $40,000 and got it into theatres. And that on it's own is an accomplishment. Considering that the typical Hollywood movie has a $30 million budget, it is unfair to personally attack me and say, "It is obvious that Hergott is not a filmmaker". How many major directors these days, without using their name, would be able to make a feature film for 40K and get it into theatres? Even Steven Soderbergh's "Full Frontal"
extreme low budget costs $2 million to make.

You are fully entitled to say my movie is crap, but it is not fair to say that I have no talent as if it is an absolute truth.

Thank you for your time,

James Hergott

Back to Movies