Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What the Bleep Do We Know

What the Bleep Do We Know is the title of this bizarre documentary/feature movie. It plays out like a documentary, yet to treat it as one would be an insult to other documentaries.

Marlee Matlin plays the main character: an anxiety-filled photographer. We follow her as she goes through the motions of her life and job. Each scene illustrates a radical new idea on how the world works, and how we interact with it.

For instance, one scene shows Matlin seeing her two other selves simultaneously, only in other situations. In another scene a kid in the playground shows her that "things" are solid, yet are mostly made out of nothingness. Then we digress to some animation illustrating some principles of "quantum physics" that supposedly supports the ideas of this movie. For example, we see a bouncing basketball, then go to a closeup to see that it is actually not touching the ground. Instead it is the magnetic forces between the ball and the ground that keeps it from coming in full contact.

Another scene shows several Native American Indians looking out to the ocean, but not seeing Columbus' ships sailing in. The reason is they have never seen a ship before and have no concept of what it is, hence they do not see it. Then the film relates it to how our brain processes so many kinds of input, but only 'sees' what we recognize. Sounds good? Well for me, this is where this movie loses all credibility. It seems so silly, even I couldn't recognize what a ship looks like, I still should be able to see the object on the horizon as it is sailing in.

We are also treated to several interviews by "experts" in the field. A few were knowledgable and I appreciated what they were saying. But, and I hate to say this, some of those interviewed I felt didn't know what they were talking about. In particular there was this woman who kept harping about how we can create stuff in our minds and eventually be 'Gods'. No offense, but she sounded crazy. What scared me was the thought that some people would actually take to heart and follow what they said, with disastrous results.

I hate the fact that this movie professes to be based on science yet there are hardly any hard facts presented. It is mostly pseudoscience and the opinions of a few confused individuals. It is supposed to be about science and not religion, yet in the second half of the movie it tries to be a new religion in itself. What makes me shudder is the thought that a lot of the viewers will be convinced by it's flimsy concepts and become instant followers.

But what really pisses me off is that this film takes some pretty good fundamental ideas, and twists it into something stupid. I've always been an avid fan of Napoleon Hill, James Allen, and Benjamin Franklin's writings. Now those are truly great ideas. The fact that you can use your thoughts to control your destiny. That you can harness the positive power of your mind to achieve truly great things for the common good. This movie bastardizes all of them into some second-rate pseudoscience new age psychobabble about nonsense and stupidity. It makes me angry thinking about it. Do yourself a favor and instead read a real science book such as The Elegant Universe, and avoid this trash.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars *
Pseudoscience and new age crap.


rmacapobre said...

hmm ... now id like to see this movie just because you gave it a one ^_^

rob said...

Max, don't do it! Quit while you're ahead, hehehe.

roehl said...

maybe i'm ignorant and not well-informed enough cause new age stuff tends to scare me.