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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 17.36%
Average: 1.39%
Pretty Bad: 15.97%
Total Crap: 25%

7 reviews, 102 user ratings

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Waking Life
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by Chris Parry

"Mind-numbingly crap. Linklater shoots himself in the foot... again."
1 stars

Holy mother of sadism, this is the most painful experience I've been through since circumcision. How a director like Richard Linklater could make such a hokey, arty, boring piece of drek is beyond me. I've chewed snot that left me with a better aftertaste (although, not since I was four, thanks for asking) and quite frankly, I've never seen so many people walk out of a press screening in my life. Not even Raw Deal, with it's plentiful footage of an alleged rape, had as many people leave as this one.

But that's not to say that I have eighty-five others from that audience cheering me on as I write this review. In fact, some have gone as far as to claim it's the best of the fest. These are clearly people who spent hours talking Satre with their philosophy major friends in too-dark coffee shops over the course of their youth. These are people who will tell their friends, "Hey, let's smoke a bowl and throw on Linklater's Waking Life and Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer video! We'll spin out, dude!"

Waking Life is an animated... I don't even know. A guy is in a dream and he keeps meeting people who talk like a philosophy professor when they get way too drunk and just don't know when to stop. The talk goes on and on and on and, yes, there's a point but it's really well obscured and not that pointy.

So what is the point? It seems to be to either show off a funky new animation technique (which, credit where it's due, is rather impressive) or send the audience into the very dream-like state the hero of the show takes on. It worked for me on both counts. I mentally applauded the animation for fifteen seconds, then nodded off at least four times. In the end I only stayed because my escape was blocked on both sides by neighbouring overweight film critics.

I don't know if Linklater was setting out to make a short film with a long running time, but if he had shot this as a short, it would have been very impressive and easier to watch. But he didn't, and it wasn't. It's Slacker Redux. I could have done without it.

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originally posted: 02/03/01 03:26:12
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User Comments

7/13/09 Roland this is a great movie not for everybody but i love it. 5 stars
6/03/09 Jinxed Cheese I disagreed with the film many times but I can't say it wasn't interesting. Poetic ideas. 4 stars
9/21/08 Man Out 6 Bucks The real joke is physics is ruled by the mind, but many minds decide to be ruled by physics 4 stars
5/29/08 vicky It was truly great, with philosophycal discussion 5 stars
4/07/08 Anonymous A tiresome, pseudodocumentary whose only moderately redeeming value is its visual style 1 stars
12/04/07 Angel Waking Life was excellent. i think some ppl just dont know what art is. 5 stars
11/01/07 Total Crap Philosophy and acid trips. What if death is an everlasting dream? Strange, but worth a look 4 stars
10/21/07 Andrew Bizzare and Trite while simultaneously captivating thought provoking. 4 stars
9/16/07 Derek Anderson duuuuhhhhh me sooo stoopid 2 stars
7/21/07 Bitchflaps Irretrievably lodged up its own fundament, but there are some fun ideas here. 2 stars
7/04/07 Max M I had to stop this after 20 mins. The pretentiousness was unbearable. 2 stars
6/14/07 pat mustard will please pretentious types who think they are above others. fun & well made though 4 stars
6/12/07 Geo Fernandes for the unimagionative, it will quickly get boring. sorry stupid, no explosions. 5 stars
6/03/07 scutter28 i dont understand what thr big deal is. meaning to life? work/pay bills/put up with crap!!! 2 stars
5/28/07 Glenn Truly awesome, and a slight introducer to Lucid Dreaming as well, can't get any better. 5 stars
5/25/07 fools♫gold Everyone speaks the same things, and everyone's a hypocrite. But people grow. 5 stars
5/15/07 Hate hate hate hated hated this film Only made it through first half hour - so awful - like a bad day at the coffee shop 1 stars
5/01/07 Cor Tonsoris Awful. Had a devoted philosophy class struggling to maintain consciousness within 20 mins. 1 stars
3/16/07 obese beats this review was ponderously your mind android 5 stars
2/02/07 X Way to miss the entire point of the movie you dipshit. 5 stars
1/23/07 thekidyoupickedon so parts were belabored...who cares? the MUSIC...the SOUL...only the arrogant stay annoyed 5 stars
1/23/07 sdf the movie is deff only for smart ppl 1 stars
11/04/06 Matt a movie to make stupid people feel smart. 1 stars
10/02/06 GnarMilla this movie can make an open minded person curiously content. look too hard and your done 4 4 stars
9/26/06 w not everybody needs to love it, it's actually a pretty nice experience if you get into it 5 stars
7/13/06 Agent Sands The most arrogant movie I've ever seen. In every way. Really. 3 stars
5/02/06 Dane Angotti So talk about things that suck....Waking Iife is among the firsts things that comes to mind 1 stars
2/28/06 sarah a good film to refresh our motives, look away from catagorizing this movie. 4 stars
12/15/05 Thom B Never been so captivated! Occasionally irritating, but flows so soothly. Very funny, too. 5 stars
12/02/05 Adam Good film should be an EXPERIENCE, as this definitly is. 5 stars
10/13/05 K. Sear Super pretentious but entertaining never the less. 4 stars
8/08/05 yuko i loved it! 5 stars
3/28/05 indrid cold The definition of "worth a look" while not really being great by any standard. 4 stars
3/06/05 Josh Bizarre, trippy, intelligent, banal, tedious, mesmerizing, brilliant, visually amazing! 4 stars
2/09/05 Dr Hock existential euphoria- film, not a movie. 5 stars
12/10/04 jeff there is a plot idiot : the guy died, he's getting prepared for the other world, its amazin 5 stars
12/09/04 bigdick suck balls 5 stars
10/11/04 Jen this movie gives u a great insight on philosiphical terms 4 stars
9/01/04 drfardook a pathetic ripoff of linklater's own film. slacker didn't need to be remade. 1 stars
8/08/04 robby if you didn't like this movie, stop having sex. we do not need your type to breed anymore. 5 stars
6/04/04 MyGreenBed Despite being more visually arresting, it was better the first time "Slacker". 2 stars
5/20/04 FLB All the characters and their philosophical ramblings were truly irratating 1 stars
4/24/04 star overwhelming at first 5 stars
4/14/04 Zach This film isn't for everyone, it's a very individual film. Highly reccomended. 5 stars
2/17/04 Mauricio Vaca Amazing 5 stars
11/01/03 Ingo A must. To be seen more then once. 5 stars
10/15/03 Suzanne Vogt amazing 5 stars
10/01/03 Me Contradictory to the title, it was yawn-inducing 2 stars
8/31/03 Arch-vile I wanna drive and spend all day in coffee bars quoting philosophers at random too, cool! 1 stars
8/27/03 Tristan Superb medely of perspective driven conversation 5 stars
4/12/03 John Pure drek. Fore pseudo-intellectuals only! 2 stars
4/08/03 James Bull Only people that use their brains will understand this movie. Simply brilliant! 5 stars
3/11/03 .Choadushouse. Most visually amazing & confusing thing I've ever seen. Plot can be boring, but INTERESTING 4 stars
1/30/03 pomba even if disagree w/ back &forth rambling (it's a dream) it's beautiful 4 stars
1/21/03 Wake up Wow, this reivew is one of the worst. Guess you only like dumbed down hollywood crap. 5 stars
12/25/02 elroy Beautiful. But you have to actually know the truth to appreciate this film. 5 stars
12/22/02 Monster W. Kung Great visual impact, poor story with a lot of tired wannabe-philosophical mumbo-jumbo. 2 stars
12/11/02 jmyles I can see how you wouldn't like this. If you can't fucking think. Without drugs, too. 5 stars
10/09/02 Peter Lovisek many boring parts, but many very interesting things too 3 stars
9/21/02 Kelly Painfully tedious rambilings 1 stars
9/19/02 Cuisinarthatrack how can a movie with an obtuse point inflict so much damage? ExquisiteExcruciatingBoredo 1 stars
8/03/02 Dr. Fardook All the overblown bullshit of a college lunchroom after philosophy 101 gets out 1 stars
7/08/02 zeitgeist "Slacker" with a brain 5 stars
7/02/02 Phil M. Aficionado A weird excursion into psycobabble and mind-bending contradictions. Alas, little substance 2 stars
5/26/02 ssvenn Well-animated and intelligent 5 stars
5/22/02 officer 412/l a big puddle of wank fluid 1 stars
5/20/02 The Bomb 69 animation was great, story was ??????????? 1 stars
5/15/02 SIGB I guess you need some brains to enjoy this movie... but it's also an awesome piece of art. 5 stars
5/15/02 RobMur Excellent! 5 stars
5/10/02 spyguy2 Loved it. Ambitious attempt to cause the viewer to question their world perspective. 5 stars
4/26/02 ^Elendil^ A hit and miss affair. 4 stars
4/23/02 Danielle Ophelia Different. Experimental. A few hiccups pertaining to incidentals, but nowhere near vile. 4 stars
4/07/02 natasha art in motion 5 stars
4/01/02 Elsie Dee It's about time someone made a movie like this! More, please... 5 stars
3/07/02 ZenMasterFlash Fine if you enjoy listening to pretentious college students vomit up their philosophy texts 1 stars
2/21/02 luda hoe it's different, for those of you who said it sucked all ass, you suck all ass 4 stars
1/24/02 Paco Pedantic and boring. Go find some stoned college students instead 1 stars
1/15/02 Clive Hampton Like being beaten over the head with a 1st year psychology textbook. Basic and boring. 2 stars
12/30/01 sarafina Its sad that people are so close minded 5 stars
12/22/01 emiliano visually, intellectually, and conceptually stimulating 5 stars
12/15/01 Mr Math Painful. Pretty, but then... so is Gretchen Mol. That don't make a movie. 1 stars
12/13/01 M. Brenna Great experimental flick. Lighten up, assholes. 5 stars
12/12/01 Anne Donaldson ouch 1 stars
12/06/01 Timothy R. Britt, Fellow of American Film Institute Warning: Intellect required to enjoy this film. If you are a dumb-ass please do not watch. 5 stars
12/04/01 hexenhaus Sucked the ass of the ass! Sophmoric pilosophy combined with gimmick "animation" horror 1 stars
12/04/01 David Blanton mesmerizing, creative road trip into the soul 5 stars
12/04/01 slappy jacks YOU must BE A DREAMER TO ENJOY IT! 4 stars
12/02/01 Chris Mandel Best movie I'v encountered since 'The Wall' 5 stars
11/15/01 john bedolla pretntious, boring, empty, devoid of an animating principle 1 stars
11/13/01 liz i was quite impressed -- full review at 4 stars
11/12/01 Mr. Shmegma In 20 years everyone is going to claimed they loved it, too. 5 stars
11/11/01 John If you've ever spent a little too much time thinking about life, this is the movie for you. 5 stars
11/10/01 Artist Freak This movie was incredible. Every shot, every word. If you don't like it go watch Titanic... 5 stars
11/10/01 daniboy pretencious and boring (great animation though) 2 stars
11/08/01 The Alter Ego Except for the art direction, this movie truly does suck all ass. 1 stars
11/05/01 Kevin Kraus Requires concentration... but worth the effort. Fantastic amination. 5 stars
11/03/01 Paco I could've just gotten a philosophy student drunk. It would've been the same thing. 1 stars
10/23/01 Movie Freak I've shared this same dream. The right film at the right time for me. Oz, chill, man! 5 stars
10/21/01 Senor Pescolido Requires thought? It's Slacker with funky animation. Gee, groundbreaking... 1 stars
9/16/01 coryboyd i thought this movie was provocative and beautiful. 4 stars
4/10/01 Jake Daily Actually really outstanding. Maybe you guys were hoping for more tits or explosions? 5 stars
2/16/01 Klute Bleargh 1 stars
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  17-Oct-2001 (PG-13)



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