Saturday, October 30, 2004

films Criminal and What The Bleep Do We Know!?

Criminal 3/5

This film is a remake of the 2002 film Nine Queens by Argentinean director Fabian Bielinsky and it is similar to the 2003 Ridley Scott film, Matchstick Men.

John C. Reilly plays a conman who chances upon a young conman in a hotel casino. Under the guise of being a police officer, Reilly’s character arrests the young man and offers him a chance to work together. The young man accepts. They spend the day learning trying out new schemes.

The acting is well done by everyone. The story is familiar, so there is no knockout surprise, unless you were totally taken in by the script. You’re on the lookout for a double cross, but just when you think you know what it is, you realize that there’s another twist and turn to the film. Too bad there were less than 20 people in the theatre to see this otherwise entertaining film.

What The Bleep Do We Know!? 1/5

This is a pseudo-science spirituality film for the masses. There is a small drama with Marlee Matlin playing the role of a divorced photographer sent on assignment to a wedding in the same church where she was married. She hates weddings due to the breakup of her marriage by her cheating spouse.

In documentary style, the film utilizes commentary by experts who gush forth with their theories about quantum mechanics, addition to chemical reactions, synapse, cells, proteins and the like. We only find out who they are at the end of the film when they introduce themselves. This may have been done to help keep people from walking out since the film starts out slowly with too much mumbo-jumbo dialogue.

Throughout the film, there’s a lot of animation like what you might see on quality science shows like Nova or The Nature of Things. You see brain cells in action chemically responding to one another or disassociating themselves from one another. There is much talk of neural networks.

There are some interesting parts in the film. There is display of a Japanese photographer who photographed chilled water after exposing the water to thoughts. The water crystals take on attractive but distinctive shapes. The idea that if our thoughts can affect water, imagine how our thoughts can affect people is repeated throughout the film.

It’s may be very impressive to the unwashed masses, but there is a hidden agenda. Most of the people in the film are actually associated with a cult, whose leader, J.Z. Knight, channels a 35,000 year-old warrior named Ramath.

Without a doubt, there are many Stuart Smalley-like moments in the film that make it unintentionally funny. By attempting to wrap up their bizarre beliefs under the blanket of science, the filmmakers have attempted to deceive the audience. This film feels overly long. In fact, I couldn’t wait for it to end. I was also bit put off by what seemed like a few false endings.

website page counter