Saturday, August 09, 2014

What the Bleep Do We Know!? (2004)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

There’s this one joke that I really like. I think most guys will identify with it.

This guy walks into a bar and sits down next to an empty seat. He orders two beers, places one in front of the empty seat next to him and proceeds to drink the other one. When he’s finished, he orders another drink and consumes that one, leaving the first alone. This continues for a while until he’s almost ready to leave. He then consumes that first beer and leaves. This goes on for a few weeks until one day when the bartender asks him what’s going on. Is he waiting for someone that never comes?

“No,” the guy says. “As you know by now, I’m a professor of quantum physics and according to quantum physics, it’s possible that matter continually appears and disappears. This means that it’s possible, even if remotely so, that a beautiful woman might randomly appear in this chair next to me. I want to have this other beer waiting for her.”

“Now, wait a minute,” the bartender says. “You’re obviously intelligent; you have a good, well-paying job and you also look like you keep in shape. There are plenty of real women that would love to talk to you. In fact, that woman sitting over at that booth would be a perfect match for you.”

The professor looks over at the woman that the bartender indicated, looks back at the bartender and says, “Yeah, right. What are the odds of that happening?”

That joke basically describes this movie. I discovered it while looking on Netflix. If I recall, I was looking for movies that Armin Shimerman had been in. (He plays Quark of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fame.) I also saw Marlee Matlin, who viewers of The West Wing might recognize. I saw that it was about quantum physics, which I have an interest in, and figured that it couldn’t hurt. After all, Netflix charges by the month. Boy, what a waste of a position in my rental queue.

The movie takes a little physics, a little basic biology and a big help of mysticism and puts it all together in a PBS-like special that calls itself a movie. There’s a story of Amanda, a photographer played by Matlin. The story is basically used to illustrate the various things that the interviewees are saying. The thing that gets me is that none of those that are interviewed are identified during the movies. Usually, when you have someone interviewed, you get a little caption saying something like, “Bob Smith/Professor of Physics, Cornell”. The people here could all have Ph.D.s from Harvard or they could be a few random people that the producers pulled off the street. You just don’t know.

Judging by the way they presented themselves, it looks like you get the full spectrum out of the four or five people being interviewed. The thing is that eventually, you realize that many of them are probably full of [bleep]. The basic premise of the movie is that reality and perception don’t work like we think they do. Instead of reality determining perception, perception determines reality. Thus, everything you see is a result of you perceiving it.

There’s even a story about a Caribbean tribe that isn’t able to see Columbus’s ships because they can’t perceive anything like it until the shaman notices ripples caused by the ships and figures out what’s going on. One of the men being interviewed even says that the camera recording him is there only because he wills it to be so. Someone else says that crime in D.C. went down by 25% because 4,000 people willed it to be so. Fine, then. When everything is tallied on Epinions for the month of March, I’ll earn $1,000. I will it to be. Maybe if I get enough people to help me out, it will happen.

There is some truth to the movie. Some of the science is accurate, even if it is misused. They also mention the idea of an ‘ultimate observer’ out there observing the universe. If you accept that the universe is dependent on a user, then who observed the universe before anyone came along? However, there’s too much in the movie that goes against what I believe to be true. I look at what a lot of the ‘experts’ are saying and think to myself that it’s just a big pile of [bleep]. The shame of it is that this was actually shown in theaters as an actual movie. If I had seen this in a theater, I think that I would have walked out and asked for my money back.


Lunkhead McGrath said...

This is the worst movie ever made. That scene with the pink cartoon blobs "dying" could have been made by pod people from Mars who had just figured out about human emotion. What bilge. It's all an ad for a smelly New Age cult, one of the people in the movie is some housewife claiming to channel the spirit of a 30,000 year old Inca warrior named Ramtha.

This is the worst movie of all time. Yes, worse than "Surf Nazis Must Die."

Brian Kuhl said...

I agree. I wonder if some of the actors lost a bet or needed a paycheck or something.