Slipstream

"Grim"

Slipstream Review


"It means everything and it means nothing at all. Life is so illusion-like, so dreamlike, that I think it's all a dream... a dream within a dream. What is real? What is fantasy? You grasp this moment and then, suddenly, it's gone. I was talking 10 minutes ago, but that's all gone..."

Isn't it funny that if a stockbroker said that, his friends and family would question his psychiatric health and advise him to find profession help, but when a 69-year-old Academy Award winner says that, he not only gets a movie made, but attracts a renowned cast and crew boasting a combined total of more than 250 awards, honors, and nominations?

Those words belong to Anthony Hopkins describing the nonlinear, absurdist Slipstream, which marks his third directorial attempt. In the press notes, Hopkins claims the film -- which he also wrote -- is about "the implosion of a man's mind," and that's a pretty accurate description.

The film unfolds in a stream-of-consciousness style as quirky Hollywood screenwriter Felix Bonhoeffer (Hopkins) works on a murder-mystery movie and becomes baffled as his characters start appearing in his actual life, and his life starts blending into his characters'.

Felix's movie within Slipsteam follows two mysterious bad guys (Christian Slater and Jeffrey Tambor) as they execute a burly bartender (Michael Clarke Duncan) and terrorize roadside diner patrons and employees in the middle of the Mojave Desert. On the set of the movie within the movie, there's a loudmouth producer (John Turturro), a script supervisor (Camryn Manheim), and a sheepish director (Gavin Grazer) who make Felix's life even more perplexing.

Non-linear filmmaking -- when written and directed effectively -- can make for a challenging and thought-provoking cinematic experience. In Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, and Twin Peaks, celebrated director David Lynch mutilates the traditional narrative through-line and creates wonderfully abstract films that have developed cult followings. Although his films are anything but obvious, Lynch clearly has something to say and demands his viewers watch a second or third time to understand it.

There's a difference, however, between nonlinear storytelling and schizophrenic storytelling, and Slipstream falls into the latter category. It doesn't pique our curiosity or demand additional viewings like Lynch's films, because the audience cannot attach themselves emotionally to anyone or anything; the confusing, scatterbrained writing and directing isn't challenging, it's frustrating.

That's because Slipstream's conclusive twist reveals that Anthony Hopkins didn't have deep, philosophical ideas to begin with; he just wanted to experiment with a familiar, overused concept. On a technical level, the film is an interesting exercise in experiential cinema. But Hopkins fails to give Slipstream commercial value. Instead, he's content with Slipstream going down in history as his personal vanity project.



Slipstream

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th April 2008

Box Office Worldwide: $27.8 thousand

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: Strand Releasing, Destination Films, Samson Films, Slipstream

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 23%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 31

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Felix Bonhoeffer, as Gina, Lana Antonova as Lily, Lindsay Barth as Shelly's Sister, as Mort / Phil Henderson / Patrolman, S. Epatha Merkerson as Bonnie, as Harvey Brickman, as Ray / Matt Dobbs / Patrolman #2, as Barbara, as Geek / Jeffrey / Dr. Geekman, as Bette Lustig, as Big Mikey, as Lars, Lisa Pepper as Tracy / Nurse, as Gavin / Ambulance Driver, Aaron Tucker as Chauffeur / Aaron

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.