This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Friday, May 13, 2005


Remember way back two posts ago when I intended to see more bad movies? Well, I think I may have unintentionally spied one last night, and I don't know what to do about it. My wife and I watched Sideways -- you know, the award-winning dramady about whining and wine from last year. I won't say it totally sucked, but it wasn't quite the affecting drama or the screwball comedy the Academy promised it was. My wife didn't even make it to the end -- that's how much she cared about the characters. I ended up watching the whole thing, but that didn't really help. The ending is pretty good, but again about 1/8th as good as Sunshine.

Maybe I need to be a depressed divorcee' or a wrinkley frat boy to "get" it. I felt the same way about the Alexander Payne's previous movie, About Schmidt. The main problem with both movies for me was their protagonists, and the fact that I hated them. I could kind of empathize with the Paul Giamatti character (especially since he was a struggling writer) during those times when he wasn't being a totally pretentious wine nut -- so for like 3 minutes; I could never empathise with Lowell from Wings, however, and that's probably what kept me from laughing at anything he said that may or may not have been funny.

And what about the stupid girl who beats the crap out of him (which was quite a cathartic scene for me, actually)? The cause for whatever pain she experiences in life can be boiled down to the fact that she is unable to stop herself from sleeping with Lowell from Wings. Do you see why I don't care about these people? They're immoral wine freaks. What life lessons does Payne think he can tell me using these people? The only one I liked was Viginia Madsen, and again, wine freak. Poignancy requires the audience members relate to the characters, and I didn't. And without poignancy, all you have left with this movie is boredom. As my wife poignantly pointed out to me last night, it was like a Lifetime movie for guys.

Besides, it was supposed to be a comedy, and it wasn't that funny. It's impossible to be funny when you're worshipping wine (mocking it is funny, however, and provided Lowell's only funny lines). Remember the first rule of comedy, people -- if it isn't funny, it isn't good. 2 out of 5 overpriced popcorns.


  • At 10:22 AM, Blogger the professional said…

    i only made it 45 minutes into _sideways_. i just didn't see any reason to keep watching. and funny that it came from the same guy as _about schmidt_, because i didn't like that movie either. i liked one scene, and that just wasn't enough for me.

    my friend brent thought _sideways_ was brilliant. i'm wondering whether we can still be friends.

  • At 1:15 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    Andrew, I really think it's probably an old guy movie that young people like us don't understand. Is your friend 40 years old? Because that would explain his malaize.

  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    Y'know, funny thing for me is that everyone I was with was young and seemed to really like the movie a lot. I kept saying "look, it was fine. But the writing sucked" I knew going in it would be a sort of lifetime movie for guys, and that I'd have to hear them be all snotty about wine, which would be annoying. But every time the wine became a heavy-handed metaphor for something? That was unexcusable.

    That said, I did laugh out loud a lot at Paul GIamatti pouring backwash and wine out all over himself after snapping, and I did laugh a lot at the naked fat guy chasing the car.

    I think this is just a movie for people who obstensibly want to like wine or hip movies, but wouldn't necessarily know a good wine or hip movie if it was poured over their head or naked chasing their car.

    Okay, that might be too overreaching. How about, this was the movie that just happened to get picked this year to be "the thing to see" because it's, y'know, independent (or at least sorta) and up for best picture, and...I don't know. Whatever they were, a lot of things conspired to make people want to like the movie before it even came out in wide release. That's all. I'm having an immense amount of trouble articulating myself, so I'm gonna go make a sandwich. But I'm going to leave you with maybe the funniest gift set I've ever seen. Look right here.

  • At 6:09 AM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    What's even funnier is that it's a Wal-Mart exclusive. Lots of wine conniseurs shop there, apparently.

    Listening to wine people do a wine commentary over that film might just be the worst possible way to spend your time in life. I can't think of anything that would be more of a mental beating.

    And the naked guy was funny...too bad that scene was so far along in the movie. They could have created an actual funny tone.

  • At 11:20 PM, Blogger Danny said…

    I think that they should deal with this movie how true wine conneousiours deal with grapes (or at least how Aunt El Dora does): bury the crap in the ground in a mason jar with some sugar and maybe dig it up in a few years if you remember and get wasted on the cheap stuff. Or if you forget just let it eventually erode and run it over with the mower. Either way, it was trash. Straight trash. I am the same person that can sit through the Blade Trilogy in one day and say, "eh, it wasn't that bad." But I don't think that I could spend another 5 minutes on Sideways. Absolutely horrible. I saw it when I was trapped, literally, on a plane over Siberia and as I looked below I thought that it really wasn't that far down and that the locality looked quite pleasant; honestly though...trash.

    Sorry about that. Your post just happened to bring back some horribly repressed in-flight memories. The lady next to me smelt of smelt and cabbage. Horrible flight. Good talking to ya...sorry again.


Post a Comment

<< Home