Slipstream (2007)

slipstream

Don’t let this guy near a razor

SLIPSTREAM was conceived, written, scored by and stars Anthony Hopkins. It snailed #302 among releases for the year 2007, with a (Worldwide) gross of exactly $27,769. This is not a case of a masterpiece being overlooked. With all due respect to one of our greatest actors (and seemingly a cool guy), this terrible movie is nearly unwatchable. OK, forget ‘nearly’.

Screenwriter ‘Felix Bonhoeffer’ (Hopkins) works on a murder mystery that’s being filmed. Not, um…well, his mind fragments into splinters of past, present and future as reality—or the lack of it—convulses and time vortex-warps the very meaning—if there is any—of his existence.

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Slater: out to lunch, chomping like a wolverine

You may well reconsider your own life slip-streaming away as you try to figure out just what in the hell you’re seeing. The nonsensical editing with its jarring, endless, hyper-quick cuts, a slew of idiotic monologues, pointless insertion of film clips (from historical events and movies, chiefly the 1956 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers), ranting anger, violence, numbing repetition of all the above: it’s like being visually and aurally waterboarded.  We borrow one comment from a flummoxed viewer who wrote on the Internet Movie DataBase “Every editing technique known to man is utilized in a short time.” Truly. Badly.  Another dubbed it “A movie version of Alzheimer’s Disease”.  Apart from one sliver of supporting performance, the only thing emerging from the hemorrhagic fever of Sir Tony’s self-inflicted ramblethon with any dignity is the lushly lit cinematography from Dante Spinotti (The Last Of The Mohicans, Heat, L.A. Confidential, Ant Man and the Wasp), but even so the damned angry-hornet editing fights it to the death.

Hopkins’ interviews on the slaphappy germination of his project (which was excoriated by reviewers and exterminated at the box-office), and its ‘meaning’ (good f–‘in luck) are much more entertaining and miles more bearable than his stream-of-fractured-consciousness opus, which has you wondering “Should I finish watching this, or just swallow turpentine?” *

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S.Epatha Merkerson: valiant college try

Hopkins wife Stella Arroyave is among the cast; she also co-produced. Talent signed up for the riches of embarrassment and mostly giving some outlandishly awful emoting: Christian Slater, John Turturro, Jeffrey Tambor, Camryn Manheim, S.Epatha Merkerson (easily the best performance in the clutch, to no avail), Fionulla Flanagan, Christopher Lawford, Michael Clarke Duncan, Lisa Pepper, Kevin McCarthy and Michael Lerner. Only 96 minutes go by, yet it feels like an eon.

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* Tony saw it like this: “It‘s about the strange nature of time, and how we can never grasp it. It‘s so inevitable, such an enigma. You cannot even grasp a microsecond of it because it‘s already flashed into the past.”  And  “…there is no message in the film. The other thing that I wanted to do was, I suppose, to annoy the audience. I wanted to provoke [them] by doing the opposite thing [expected in a film].”

Damn sure, he got the annoy part right. For less itchy fun, we direct you to the Internet Movie DataBase  listing for this film and the User Reviews section; you can tally how many call this “the worst movie I’ve ever seen”. One I especially enjoy does an inspired riff off the “Kurtz has gone insane” speech from Apocalypse Now.  God bless you, Sir Anthony Hopkins, really, but, Hannibal old pal, you came up with the Vietnam War of Bad Movies.

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