More infomercial than movie, "People V. the State of Illusion" calls itself a documentary but is really a 90-minute PowerPoint presentation by motivational speaker Austin Vickers. Narrating directly to the camera, Vickers — a mild-mannered-looking guy with the calm speaking style of an instructional video host — has the answer to the stress that's limiting your potential.
Using a mushy mixture of scientific research about receptor walls and perception with therapy session jargon aimed at addressing self-created "prison walls," Vickers and credited director Scott Cervine — who mostly has to wrangle quick-change graphics, talking heads and a terribly acted dramatization about an inmate who turns his life around — keep up a steady empowerment spiel.
It might suitably serve those who don't want to shell out the hundreds or thousands of dollars for the programs available through Vickers' website. Or those who think self-help books would be so much more interesting if underscored by the type of overblown, battle-prepping music you'd find in a Michael Bay movie.
All others, scour the cable channels at 3 in the morning and you'll get the idea.
"People V. The State of Illusion." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes. At Landmark's Regent Theatre, Los Angeles.