movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Jesse recommended this, and we watched it in 1080p HD.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Husband fails at saving wife from brian tumor.

PEOPLE: From director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For A Dream, Pi). Starring Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Rachel Weisz (Evelyn from The Mummy movies, Envy), Ellen Burstyn (Requiem For A Dream, Providence, The Exorcist).

QUIRKS: Reincarnation(?). Brain tumors. Biblical trees. Based on a graphic novel.

VISUALS: An incredibly visual movie at certain points. Aronofsky knows how to make films look neat! I’d call this a visual masterpiece — though it’s not like that 100% of the time, like in fantasy movies or animation. Current day events still look boring — just like current day in real life.

CONCLUSION: This review, while being more passionate than I feel, pretty much describes a lot of my problems with this movie. And more. I probably would like the graphic novel better — but it would be less memorable. He’s taking a lot of flak for it on the IMDB forum where he linked to his post as well.

I already knew that people die, and that it may be better to live life now than trying to avoid death. Live on forever through a tree. Yes, yes. Problem is, I don’t believe in any of that spiritual bullshit. I don’t think you really live forever just because your molecules and atoms will later be in a tree. It’s the type of baseless comfort afforded to the spiritual. Spirituality is swallowed up so rabidly because people are looking for meaning where there actually is none. Which is why the Holy Bible is the most-sold book ever made. But at least the Holy Bible wasn’t deliberately confusing.

Anyway, this movie just came off as trying to have some deep meaning, but ultimately it was only a deep meaning to people who already believe in its message. This movie is also BORING, and quite depressing and tragic at points. If they had stuck to telling the story a bit better, it would have been much more enjoyable.

If I am ever persuaded to watch it again, I might enjoy it more my 2nd time. Or it may just bore the hell out of me. Maybe I should try the director’s downloadable audiocommentary. But it’s doubtful I’d ever go through such a bother again.

There’s certainly a lot of insight at IMDB threads such as this one, but the absolute best is this definitive explanation post. I’ve read it; I get it. I got some of it while I was watching; and I didn’t get other parts. I tend to think the parts that I missed were due to bad storytelling. The main point of the movie would have been supported much more had I understood all the constructs being used. But I still wouldn’t have agreed with it. BUT OH! BOTH POSTS ARE NOW REMOVED! WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, IMDB? Did people flag it as spam or abuse because they didn’t like the explanation? Maybe the link moved. Ahh, it moved. Here it is:

In the end, I just don’t think they were very clear at delivering a message that I don’t agree with in the first place, and were boring to boot. Which means I ultimately did enjoy the experience of watching this movie, because it’s points were completely missed.

I didn’t really catch on to the fact that this movie actually “took place” in the future. Neither of us realized that 2 out of 3 of the stories had “already happened” in a sense. This confusion, among other confusions, just made it harder to digest. It felt like mysticism through obsfucation, even if that may not have been the case. What appeared to be a bubble of spirituality is actually a futuristic spaceship; this is confirmed by the director in downloadable audiocommentary tracks. I personally think if things had been presented in a clearer manner, it would have increased the value of the movie to me.

But since it is so open to interpretation, that does make me feel better about it than I did right after it was over. And it speaks well for the film, even if I didn’t particularly enjoy watching it.

Clint: Netflix: 2/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. Rated that high due to a +1 visual bonus score, and a +1 open-to-interpretation score. If I had to rate it on my enjoyment, it would be more like 4/10. And I’d almost definitely like it better a 2nd time around — it’s just going to be hard to ever convince myself to do that.

Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. She definitely saw a lot more in it than me. But she is also more spiritual than me (like almost everybody).

The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 2.9/5 stars (but 3.7 for people who “rate like me”), IMDB 7.5/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you can swallow spiritual bullshit, you’ll love this. In fact, a lot of people really like this, because the majority of people are spiritual — even those who are not in a particular religion. I, however, am not. Someone said this movie was more like a poem, and not everyone goes to the movies looking for poetry.

It might be advisable to read the graphic novel first, honestly. Watching this was a lot like watching Watchmen … Separate plots, excellent cinematography, and lots of confusion. If you can link it all together the first time through, you’ll enjoy this more.

MOVIE QUOTE: “this movie makes donnie darko look like a riddle you find on a popcicle stick after you’ve eaten the popcicle. ” -IMDB user invertedme

“the movie is about a man in the future coming to grips with the loss of his wife in the past”. -director, in graphic novel afterward

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christian loved it. Parthena, Glen, and Benj really liked it. Ian liked it. My dad & L Dubs didn’t like it. Metinee hated it.

Mood: ready as hell to do absolutely nothing
Music: Rocky Horror – Rose Tint My World / Floor Show / Fanfare / Don’t Dream It / Wild & Untamed Thing