James Murphy is a rugged cryptozoologist, who thirty years earlier, during a trip to Loch Ness, Scotland encountered the fabled "Nessie" creature that killed his father, and left James with... See full summary »
An increasing number of people are dying mysterious deaths in the dark waters of Loch Ness, victims of the famous monster. But what other mysteries does the Loch hold? What about the ... See full summary »
This is a mockumentary within a mockumentary. The ensemble cast is a Who's Who of modern filmmaking, from Werner Herzog, independent director (Nosferatu, Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn) playing himself directing a documentary, to cinematographer Gabriel Beristain (of the Blade movies) playing himself, to Sound Recorder/Mixer extraordinaire Russell Williams II (of Independent Lens, Moesha, Training Day) playing himself, to.. well you get the idea. Throw in the legend of Nessie and you've got a totally hilarious thriller mockumentary directed by Zak Penn, Make sure you watch the commentary with the Director and cast members, which continues the fiction of the movie. It's brilliant. Written by
Zak Penn and Werner Herzog perform the DVD commentary while still in character, trading insults frequently, scolding each other and referring to a fake legal agreement that presumably would have been reached after the events take of the film take place. Their argument gets so heated that Herzog 'leaves' and the commentary stops and then restarts, this time hosted by Penn and producer Jana Augsberger. See more »
I couldn't believe Zak stole the lifeboat. I had only one thought on my mind: if I survive this, I was gonna find Zak Penn, and I would hunt him down, and I would strangle him with my two hands.
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This has many things I seek: A faux documentary after the manner of "Lost Silver." Werner Herzog, who is sort of a touchstone for those interested in merged stylization and the documentary-like magic of discovered behavior.
It is a film about a film about a film about a film. It is an examination of truth and fiction merged. Sounds perfect, right?
Some elements are deft. Herzog really is great. I already saw him in a similar real-fiction role in a Harmony Korrine project (similar in spirit to this one). So he really wasn't a surprise. But one gets the impression that he really can live in merged real and fictional worlds. I suppose all great artists can do that.
But the whole thing falls flat, largely I think because the writer went the whole distance with himself. He is the writer/director and he plays that as well. But he doesn't have the oscillating realities that Herzog projects and that is required here. Let's call it the Woody Allen effect: a great idea that the writer had that the same person ruins in the form of an actor.
I have maintained for long that actors cannot understand movies. The interests of filmmakers and actors conflict. But it is also true that asking a filmmaker like Penn to be an actor is just as hard. And just as disappointing.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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