Saturday, June 26, 2010

Movie Review: Half Nelson

Occasionally there comes a movie of such power, beauty, and meaning that it will be remembered for years as a masterpiece, a work of art, a triumph in the field of cinematography. Then there are movies like Half Nelson.

In a normal review, this is where I would start laying out the plot Half Nelson of the movie. However, in keeping with the spirit of the film, I'm going to dick around for a while doing nothing of particular importance to the blog for a good half hour.


Okay, now where was I? Oh yes, bad movies.

The biggest problem about Half Nelson is that it takes absolutely forever for it to actually get from point A to point B. It was released in theaters back in 2006, and was then put on DVD in late 2007. After that, it took TWO AND A HALF YEARS for it to actually reach mediums where it could be viewed, namely Netflix and Red Box. The movie has existed for 4 years, and only recently have people managed to actually notice that it does, in fact, exist.

After watching Half Nelson, however, the reasons for this were explained. My suspicion is that the US government was trying to contain this movie, like some film version of anthrax. It's one of the most inane, pointless films that I have seen in a very long time. The vast majority of the characters are unlikeable and impossible to relate to. Not to mention psychologically unstable - it's really not a good thing when the character who we find ourselves liking the most is the goddamn drug dealer. At least he TRIES to make up for his mistakes, even if you doubt his sincerity at times.

"Gee, sorry guys."

Half Nelson (most likely named after the wrestling move used to make people sit through this thing) is about a teacher with a drug problem. Then he befriends a student. Then... well, actually, that's pretty much it BUT IT TAKES NEARLY TWO HOURS FOR THIS TO BE EXPLAINED! Along the way we see again and again that A: People are flawed, and B: Life sucks sometimes. This is the only message that the movie really has to offer, and it does so like a depressed man with Tourettes. Most of the time it mutters to itself incoherently, but occasionally shouts out "PEOPLE SUCK!" or "LIFE IS COMPLICATED!"

And... that's really pretty much it. This whole affair takes a whopping 105 minutes, but it feels more like 30 years of boredom drilled directly into the skull by a drunk surgeon. This is a woefully poor movie, and is a disastrous waste of time.

Final Grade: D-

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