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Wooden, pretentious, excruciating, rote, feebly written, incompetently plotted.
I should say right away that I checked the spoilers box only because I'm giving this comment the amount of thought proportional to what this mess of a movie deserves, and don't want to be held responsible for some plot point incidentally slipping out.
This comment will take the form of a tirade for the simple reason that I am still under the influence of this movie, having just watched it, and the unique effect this has renders one incapable of the sort of forethought and paragraph structure required for coherent, reasoned criticism. That is not a compliment. It isn't the narcotic effect of a truly hypnotic or thought provoking movie. The feelings it stirs up combine like some uncomfortable emotional Voltron, composed of a confusing mix of some form of rage, the vague desire to take a shower, the rudderless, sinking feeling of true betrayal one gets when they realize they have given 109 minutes of their lives into the hands of someone who would not only squander it, but do so in such a pompous, artless way. And I probably wouldn't have done anything super productive with that 109 minutes anyway! But even if I'd spent it on something trivial, like a power block of masturbation and online poker, I would have felt more fulfilled when all was said and done.
The problems with this movie are myriad, and in better times I'd articulate exactly what they were in a semi-adult fashion. But in keeping with what this movie deserves, I think I'll most likely stick to the realm of masturbation jokes and cartoon references.
The most irritating and terminal flaw is that while watching this movie one is keenly aware that the makers and participants think they are making a much smarter movie than they are. Demonstrating the depth of knowledge one could pick up in a one semester survey of Western art history at a community college or trade school, the art-jargon is piled on thick and from all directions, with much of it supplied by talk between our hero, the tortured detective Stan (Willem Dafoe, who I will forgive for this movie due to him being Willem Dafoe) and his accented antique dealer buddy Blair (Peter Stormare, taking a break from playing a sociopath for whom murder comes easy by playing a 2-dimensional plot device in a movie about a sociopath for whom murder comes easy). And talk they do. In fact, we are dropped into this story at a crime scene that may indicate the reemergence of a serial killer Stan thinks he killed years earlier, so all the back story is established partially through unclear flashback, but primarily through stilted conversations between Stan and his dealer, or Stan and his colleague, the unforgivably irritating Carl (Scott Speedman). And although I differentiate the character Carl (Scott Speedman) from the actor who plays him by using parentheses, I must admit that very early on in the film I despised this character so much that I actually found myself sincerely wishing harm on the actor portraying him (Scott Speedman). Not anything too fancy. Not death or paralysis, necessarily.. But maybe herpes? Or maybe a stage light could fall on him and crush his arm? This is a dangerous digression, but I'm not editing it out because I want to leave anyone reading this who's thinking about paying to see this train wreck of a movie with a clear impression of the horrible wishes and feelings it stirs in even the most peaceful man.
Well, I'm sort of running out of steam here.. over the course of writing this the sick feelings this movie brought up in a me have subsided, my head has cleared a bit. Realizing now that I'm still investing time in something related to this piece of sh!t is startlingly similar to waking up after a night of suicidally heavy drinking next to the heaving form of a still slumbering 200 pound college girl. Your first urge is a desperate desire to flee. This is natural.
Day Night Day Night (2006)
IAfter a lifetime of viewing turgid horse-$#%t, this is the first time I've been spurred to comment on one..
I've seen some real dogs in my life, and I'm not easily bored. Christ. I would rather watch Empire than this self important art school version of the Bratz movie.
We're meant to be bowled over by the banality leading up to the ultimate devotional act of mass homicide (not)committed by this cardboard, racially/nationally/faithfully indeterminate ideological stand-in. Unfortunately, we're treated to what could be generously described as a middle class fantasy of martyrdom. The filmmaker intentionally removes racial, locational and religious motivation from every.. Well, I'm loathe to even describe them as characters.. but every human being shoved artlessly into what would barely qualify as a visual graduate thesis paper.
So, yes. Our heroine is dedicated to cleanliness in the lead up to her promised terminal act. This is explored in the sort of plodding detail so common in independent, lousy film recently. Again, my complaint isn't that $#%$ wasn't exploding in every other frame, but that the creator's reaction to that sort of crudeness was not only as gauche, but also not stimulating mentally or visually.
Additionally, the terrorists she meets with are so unconvincing and self conscious - constantly readjusting the knit brims of their St. Marks Street wanna be Jihadi masks - That by the middle of the movie (which feels like the 5th hour) when she asks them to share her pizza with her, any mentally stable viewer is wishing for an orgy of art student actors in pretend terrorist masks to choke to death en masse on pizza crust.
I'm not sure if i should blame Wes Andersen or Sofia Coppola for this sort of twee garbage. To their credit, at least those hacks avoid tackling something as heavy as the motivations for suicide bombing. I name them because Andersen elevated a phony emphasis on cutesy detail and sentimentality, and Coppola feminized and trivialized the trivial even further. Either way, the stage was set by them for any halfwit with a camera to drain dry any thinking viewer with extended shots of day to day activities leading up to seemingly profound acts.
This movie is a meaningless waste of time, a retread of inferior student films exploring important themes with the clumsiness of a tip-toeing giant. The viewer doesn't anticipate the death of the main character with the sadistic glee of an adolescent. It's with the sense of justice that is never explained in even the most cursory sense for the supposedly righteous heroine of this mastubatory ferris wheels of a movie. And we don't even get the satisfaction of her elimination. This is a repetitive and mundane movie that trivializes something that, as a New Yorker, I should feel a little justified being frightened of. Self important and ultimately boring? Yes. Hypnotic? My ass.