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The Salton Sea (2002)
Ridiculous, completely illogical, waste of time
This review will gloss over the basic plot to show just how ridiculously illogical it is. The only reason that this movie is considered "clever" is because the main character's background/circumstances are slowly fed to us during the movie; however, I'm going to give it to you in chronological order. I recommend that you read this review and then decide whether you really want to see this film. If you do choose to go ahead and watch it, keep these points in mind...
1) Clean, average-Joe, main character takes his wife to a meth lab for no reason indicated, where she is killed in a police raid/robbery shoot-out.
2) Main character comes up with a revenge plan which requires himself to become a hardcore drug addict so that he can pose as an informant to the police who conducted the raid.
3) The FBI works with our hardcore drug addict hero to assist him in his revenge on the police -- because making such wise decisions as becoming a drug addict wouldn't lessen your credibility with the FBI one bit.
The meth cook is a nose-less redneck freak who lives out in the desert and spends his free time recreating the Kennedy assassination with pigeons and toy cars, when he isn't feeding people's genitals to his pet badger.
Other reviewers say that this film accurately portrays the lives of meth addicts and meth cooks. I think they are on meth if they believe that. 1/10 Just plain bad!
Science fiction or incoherent garbage?
This review is for those of you who are fans of science fiction, who are sitting on the fence, deciding whether or not to view this film after hearing such great reviews for it. If you are in this category, please read! Do not make the same mistake that I did. I purchased Pi and Requiem for a Dream (the director's next film), solely based on the ratings they received here.
Director Darren Aronofsky is not interested in telling a story. There is indeed a silly plot; however, it is more of a concept, a framework for the director to shape his "cinematic modern art" around. I have no problem with the fact that the idea of finding a universal constant is ludicrous; such outlandish ideas are often the back-bone of sci-fi classics. In fact, had the director made an honest attempt to tell a story, the film could have been quite captivating. Instead we are left with a mess that will literally assault the viewer and make them nauseous.
We are treated to close-up after close-up of the protagonist popping pills, seemingly one of the director's trademark effects. Chase sequences in which the camera shakes violently; when combined with the ultra-contrasting black and white nature of the film, it has a strobe light effect. In addition we are subjected to high-pitched, ear-piercing pitches and tones (much like that of a modem or fax machine) which signify his insanity, and a telephone that will not stop ringing.
Discussing the plot beyond this is pointless. The math is secondary at best. The real focus here is that the main character is going insane and this gives the director the opportunity to portray that insanity through art-full direction.
Example: Several times during this film the main character is working at his computer, entering data. He states that he must now hit the "Enter" key to see the results. If successful, the computer will display this magic number. *Each time* his finger hovers over the "Enter" key for a long length of time but he does not press it, *each time* he goes into psychopathic fits. The viewer sits thinking "just push the damn button already!!!"
Conclusion? This is an obscure, sophomoric, amateur, style over substance film. THE single worst film that I have ever seen. 1 out of 10 and that's being kind! You have been warned.