by Francis Friel, The Projectionist
Let me cut right to the chase for you. This movie is bad. Like, surreally, disastrously, embarrassingly bad. It’s awful. It’s the worst pile I’ve seen all year. It’s worse than The Lovers. It’s worse than The Fate of the Furious. It’s worse than The Emoji Movie. Wish Upon. This movie is fucking shit. God fucking dammit, I hated this movie. What the hell is Lake Bell thinking? That I’m stupid? That I have all the time in the world to sit for almost two hours while she rambles on about fucking NOTHING, never even hinting that she has a point let alone making one?
I seriously cannot fathom for even a second that this story was somehow pumping blood to her, that she just couldn’t wait to get this all out into the world. Something stinks here. She was put up to this. She owes somebody money. Maybe the mob. She got in deep with the sharks. Can barely stay afloat. Trying to keep her head above water. Too bad for her, this movie is a flaming asteroid made of a thousand black holes and it’s about to crash land right on top of her directing career, annihilating it, sending it ripping through the fabric of reality to where she never even had a career to begin with. We’ll have never heard of her. And not just her. We’ll lose more, Lacuna Inc.-style. Wet Hot American Summer now no longer exists. Childrens Hospital: gone. ER, and therefore the entire presence of George Clooney on the pop culture landscape has now been voided, blotted out, it’s down the memory hole. Think about this while you can, while your memories of that other, brighter timeline are still intact. We may only have minutes, seconds left. Hold those films close to you. Maybe forget about Syriana. But cling to the rest. Hold on tight. It’ll all be gone. You’ll feel a longing, some weird pang every once in awhile. But you won’t know how to place it. Maybe a ringing in your ears. But it’ll be too little, too late.
Wait, what was I even talking about? A movie? Was there a movie? I have vague impressions, hard to pin down. Was there some kind of lazy lighting involved, like someone didn’t know how to properly color correct for RED files? I want to say it was all a dream, but my dreams are usually funny, or weird, or scary, or have some kind of intense emotional resonance, I wake up shaking, or crying, or screaming. Couldn’t have been a dream. I feel like maybe I saw Mary Steenburgen. Wasn’t she on Curb? Is that possible? Can barely remember now.
Okay, okay. Trying to hold on. Getting weaker every second, these images in my head. Was Ed Helms a terrible husband who was actually a great husband? Was it all a big misunderstanding? Was someone selling motorcycle sidecars? Did that person have a completely random encounter with Paul Reiser? Did that then lead to some story somehow pulling itself together at the last possible second before I was about to fall asleep from boredom? Was I falling asleep while already dreaming? Am I losing my mind? I’m off my meds. I should get back on my meds. I don’t usually have dreams like this. I should call my doctor. But I can’t afford new meds right now. Will have to get a new prescription card. Does Walgreen’s still offer that sweet deal on mood stabilizers? So many generic brands. Such colorful packaging. I’ll get a Red Bull while I’m there. Maybe some chips. A bag of chips. A small bag, one of those 99 cent kettle bags. Maybe I’ll check out the electronics aisle. I always need new earbuds. Does everyone else have this same always-needing-new-earbuds problem? What am I doing to my earbuds? Is it because I fall asleep with them in? That’s definitely bad for you. For your ears. And for your earbuds. Was there something about Lake Bell giving Paul Reiser a handjob with a pair of tongs? Where did the tongs even come from? Did she have them on her when she walked into the room? Was there several mentions of Widespread Panic? Is that a band that existed? Do they still exist? Can anything be said to actually exist? I’ve read that it’s all in our perception, that there is no empirically recognized reality that any of us can put our hands to, that it’s all floating on a breeze, already past, there is no Now, only our memories can guide us, that memories are non-local, that we can never say without absolute surety that any given molecule in the universe will behave in a predictable manner, that we can only observe what has happened in the past, but that may not be evidence enough to predict future behaviors on anything even approaching any plane above the sub-atomic scale.
I was Ant-Man, falling into the endless emptiness of the shrinking universe, I was so afraid. I mourned for the loss of creation. Could not hold back the tears. But there was no Ant-Man movie, Paul Rudd’s career never took off. He’s gone too. But there I was, drifting. Blackness, like the warm-blooded pool of water filling the raft as I floated along a river of death. I felt that sadness. Emptiness. I was stone. I was a broken, twisted redwood tree, hundreds of thousands of years in the future, left alone with only my blank unconsciousness, no thoughts, not even awareness of my lack of mental clarity. I was an ocean stupidly throwing new life up onto an uncaring shore, new lifeforms stabbing at a bright horizon, plucked from the beach by hungry birds. There was no malice, just nature, just the law of the jungle. Not the jungle. The air. The law of the air. The air that carries the breeze that my mind centuries ago was blown away with, I am nothing. I do not exist. There is no life left in this. The thresher. The grind. We are all here and we were never one or many or any measurable matter at all. We were a blip. The blink of an eye, the eye of the bird that plucks the creature and suspends the evolution of a new age. We can give the earth back to them. We don’t deserve it. Not if all we’re gonna do is making movies this bad.
A few quick thoughts before the lights go out:
Lake Bell looks like Brit Marling in this movie, but only sort-of.
I have no idea who the main character was supposed to be.
The ladies at the massage parlor were funny.
The documentary itself should’ve been the actual gimmick of the film.
I’m glad my theatre isn’t opening this movie. I don’t think my mind could handle the people who walk out raving about it. They’re the same ones who called A Ghost Story, the best film of the year, “not a movie.”
Don’t talk to me anymore.
Don’t look at me.
You can’t see me.
It’s all gone.