** BM
Starring: Matt Damon, Casey Affleck


CriminyPete Awards

Good Movie Archive

Bad Movie Archive

The eGroup

Message Board


Normally, describing a film as feeling like a slow, painful death is a bad thing. But if that's the point of the movie, does that mean it's a good thing?

The entire plot of the film is that Matt Damon and Affleck Beta get lost in a desert-mountain wilderness and try to get un-lost for days without success. Director Gus Van Sant (of "Good Will Hunting" and Hanson video fame) tries to capture the feeling of being lost and alone with nothing remotely interesting around besides stunning landscapes by using maybe five pages of dialog maximum (in a 103 minute film, that is) and forcing ten-minute-long shots of the two of them walking around on us.

You may be thinking that ten minutes is an exaggerated length of time for one shot. True, I timed nothing and even a couple of minutes can seem like an eternity in film, but there is one excruciatingly long shot toward the end of the film that extends from pre-sunrise to full daylight. That takes a long time. I fell asleep three times during that shot and woke up to find it was STILL THE SAME SHOT. It was filled with stuff like this. I'll be first in line to decry the quick-cut no-attention-span bullshit that's popular these days, but it's just as troublesome to go to the opposite extreme and give us interminable shots of two movie stars walking silently.

It just feels like the standard "vanity project" you hear so much about. I respect what they were going for, I appreciate what they were doing, and I understand why these choices were made. I tried really hard to like it, and it does look beautiful. However, it's an arduous and forcefully boring film that requires a herculean effort to remain awake through.

It's more than fitting that the title of the film comes from the term the characters use to describe making a mistake.

Back to CriminyPete.Com Knee Jerk Spoilers