Sleepwalking review by Matt Fuerst


Watch enough movies and you'll probably come to the same conclusion I did last night: A good idea, heck even a good plot, is not enough to carry a film. As I sat on my couch thinking about Sleepwalking, I envisioned a large mythical movie making funnel. In the wide end, goes an idea. Then, in the early stages of movie making, an idea gets expanded into several important happenings: a plot. I imagine a lot of movies get greenlit at this stage. An intruiging idea and a good sounding plot, Mr. Executive says "Make that movie!" But really, us as the viewers would be much better off if that next stage of the funnel, where a plot is transformed into a fully fleshed out story, were used as a true funnel, rejecting some films from being made.

A movie idea is a one sentence deduction of the film. For Sleepwalking, this would be something along the lines of "A pair of siblings learn to deal with their life, while trying to keep the daughter of one of them from becoming as messed up as they are". You might be able to do a better job, but I think it's fair enough. The three or four sentence summary on the Netflix page also seemed plenty good enough. After watching the movie, the plot of the movie was plenty good enough as well...

Even reading these over again, I am reminded how relatively pleased I was with these elements of the film. What I absolutely despised was all the moments in between each of these events. We have long, painfully long moment of.... nothing. The brother riding his bike. The skeezy sister being skeezy, wishy washy, and a bad parent. The brother working at his job. The brother attending a party where people sit around and do nothing. Long bouts of monotony.

I have long bouts of monotony: it's called my life. I am fully aware that "normal people", people like me, also have long bouts of monotony. No need to buffer your movie with scenes from my daily life.

It's hard to genuinely hate the movie, because, as I've said time and again, the major elements of it are completely OK. Not great, not life altering, but everything is pleasant enough. There's plenty of plot and story here to make a wonderful short film, but we end up with a movie that is effectively tripled in it's neccessary runtime. Not that I can blame them, when's the last time you paid money to see a "short film"? Even one that won an Oscar? Yeah, me neither.

Still, if you watch Sleepwalkers I am pretty confident you're going to feel like you're paying 66% too much. You could have achieved the same level of emotional satisfaction in 1/3 of the time, but, just like the Obama administration, you gotta pay the tax.

3 out of 10 Jackasses
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