Silent J’s review:
Best of 2011 they said! A masterpiece they said! A classic in the making they said! BULLSHIT! This is the type of film that critics love to praise because of the "talent" behind it and they're afraid to say how shitty it is because they don't want to sound like assholes! Well allow me to be that asshole...
This film moves like a slow moving wagon on the Oregon Trail. Now I don't mind a slow moving film as long as there is something that can sustain my interest, like an interesting conversation or something small that brings a character's internal conflicts to light. The sad fact about this is NOTHING HAPPENS! Seriously! There are tons of overlong scenes where characters walk, walk, and walk again. They do absolutely nothing for this whole two hours and it's fucking unbearable. Not only did this film piss me off in the first 30 minutes, but I wanted to pull my fucking hair out at the fucking screeching sound of that fucking wagon in the first fucking 20 minutes!
On top of the poor script, the editing is piss poor. The sound and dialogue is muffled and the screen is too oftenly too dark to see shit. If I have to turn my volume up as high as I can and STILL can't hear shit, you did a bad job editing. If I have to brigten my screen and STILL can's see shit, you did a really bad job editing. It's like they just slapped some shit on film and called it a film, if even that. The title describe's the ending perfectly in that (I'll try to say this without spoiling) it cuts off! Literally. If you were disappointed with the ending of No Country For Old Men because it felt like the film just stopped, that is a stroke of genius compared to this film's ending. Not only does it just stop, it feels like the camera just ran out of film so they director thought "Hey let's keep it like that! Art house moviegoer's love that type of shit!" And some of you wonder why I hate art house...
It's films like THIS that make me hate art house. Art house is so pretentious in that it provides the audience with no damn plot and says "This is amazing! It's not a story; it's an experience to amaze you! You just have to find deeper meaning!" There is no deep meaning! It's just a bunch of character's in the desert doing jack shit for two hours. I use the term "characters" very loosely I might add. Many of these characters lack depth, lack character development, and have no character. If I can quote The Wolfe in Pulp Fiction (a much better film I would rather be watching) "Just because you are a character does'nt mean you have character." Wise words that summarize art house flicks like these to a tee.
Now I know what you're going to say..."Dude, it's so slow moving because it's a real life western and what might be boring to you was how life was back then" and I understand that but first of all, just because a film feels real, that does'nt make it good. There are plenty of films that feel like real life that are pretty terrible. Second, just because these dull people suffered, why should I have to suffer just as much.
Now I thought about being nice enough to give this film one star instead of the half I'm gonna give it because of the talent behind the cast that includes Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, and the always excellent Michelle Williams, but you can't say much about them in this film. They can't really showcase their talents here because their characters do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and why is that you may ask? NOTHING HAPPENS! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
I'm baffled that people actually walked out loving anything. There is nothing remotely satisfying that I found in this film. If I never see this film again, It'll be too soon. If I hear another wagon again, I'm punching somebody in the damn face!