Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Waking Life

Wow did I hate this movie.

I spend a lot of time reading about film, and I spend probably an equal amount of time reading about film criticism. As such, one of the things that I've heard a lot is that when writing about movies, you shouldn't be too quick to judge it harshly, or you may just come off like a bitter, fun-hating film critic to your readers. Well, readers, I'm sorry but this shit sucked and I hated it. Not only that, but it's the worst kind of hate, where I feel like I'm going to hate hating it.

For the sake of appearing unbiased though, I'm going to tell you that the animation style is really unique in a good way. I'm not quite sure I can place how they made it either; It appears to subtly change styles throughout the entire movie, usually for reasons I can't explain. I really liked this.

The plot of the movie is that a guy gets stuck in a dream and can't quite get out of it, but, there's not really any plot to this thing. He starts out by hitching a ride with a guy who drives a boat-car, who harangues him with philosophy. I really liked this part too. The boat guy comes off as this quirky character who may or may not figure into the plot, but I enjoyed the time he was on screen. The movie then quickly reproduces this formula roughly 100 more times.

This gets old real quick. Our protagonist meets the next philosophy-talking quirky guy in a college classroom, where he listens to the lecture, and then afterwords listens to him some more. This is the last time that the movie even attempts to create a reason for talking to these people, as the protagonist just starts bumping into random intellectuals, listening to them talk for five minutes, and then leaving again.

And I'm sure you must have figured out by now that I'm the type of guy who digs a lot of talking in my movies. Had the movie stuck to this formula with some decent speeches by intellectuals, I would have loved it. It would have been a touch repetitive, for sure, but I would have liked. As it turns out, instead of saying anything interesting with these monologues, they opt for the most pretentious bullshit they can.

Half of the monologues are like, yeah man, fuck society, oppressing us! With its abundant food and medicine and convenient technology! It's hard to just, live, ya know? Half of the monologues are philosophical nonsense. When the movie told me that we need to be "dreaming with our hands and dreaming with our minds" I have never rolled my eyes so hard in my life. "The worst mistake that you can make is to think you're alive when really you're asleep in life's waiting room." That's fucking amazing. Let me write it on my tumblr and I'll be the coolest 13-year-old ever.

This whole thing made me frustrated. I'm a big fan of strange animated movies, lots of dialogue in movies and especially Richard Linklater. I should have been this movie's target audience. But instead I hate it. Now, remember when I said that I hate hating it? That's because I know that if I make my hatred for this movie public, somebody somewhere is going to tell me that I didn't "get it". If that was the case, then the movie must not have been made very well then, huh? But no, I did get. I got every mind-numbing pseudo-intellectual bullshit point these assholes were trying to make. There just wasn't anything interesting there to get.

1) Well made? - It's hard to mess up an animation movie, isn't it? The sound and colors came out, so I guess it was well-made?
2) Contributed?  - Definitely yes. This is a unique art and film style.
3) Good time? - Definitely no. I wanted to cut my ears off.
4) Watch again? - Never ever ever.
5) Worth it?  - Ugh. Maybe if you watch...twenty minutes? Just until you get the idea.
6) Who should watch this? - Philosophy majors, douchebags, douchebag philosophy majors

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