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movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Gerry

Starring: Casey Affleck, Matt Damon
Director: Gus Van Sant
Rated: R
RunTime: 103 Minutes
Release Date: February 2003
Genre: Drama

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

Director Gus Van Sant, who recently gave us the ridiculously conceived shot-for-shot recreation of PSYCHO, is back with GERRY, a picture that's both pretty and pretty vacuous. If you've been needing to catch up on your sleep, a ticket to GERRY is just what you need. One could argue that the film has a certain tranquility to it, yielding the same hypnotic effect produced by staring for two hours at an aquarium.

The story concerns two guys named Gerry, played by Casey Affleck and Matt Damon, who foolishly decide to talk a walk off the beaten path in the desert. Carrying no food or water, they quickly get lost. Not only are the two Gerrys dumb, they are also singularly inarticulate. A high point of their conversations is a discussion about a really stupid "Wheel of Fortune" contestant. Most of the time, however, they are completely silent. Using long, uncut scenes of the guys walking and walking and walking, Van Sant appears to be attempting to wear us down by turning the movie into a torture chamber for viewers. A short movie might have been tolerable, but why in the world would Van Sant think we needed one-and-three-quarter hours of this abuse?

"This is going to take forever," Gerry says to Gerry at one point. And it does. On our honeymoon thirty-four years ago, my wife and I traveled through the desert for the first time. We took hundreds of pictures of the beautiful rocks we observed. When we looked at the slides later, we realized that a dozen pictures would have more than sufficed. Similarly, ten minutes of GERRY would be plenty.

GERRY runs an excruciatingly long 1:43. It is rated R for "language" and would be acceptable for kids around 11 and up.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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