Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The Hour is near
An inconvenient truth about Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary is that it's not much of a movie; I made it through a cable airing only with several pauses, to return to the parts that made me dozy. The 11th Hour, Leonardo DiCaprio's contribution to the eco-doc genre, is slightly more cinematic and engaging, but not so much that I can recommend it anyone with a basic grounding in the subject, which amounts to, we're all toast if we don't shape up and take better care of our global village. Point taken; after a tornado thundered through Brooklyn last week, the sort of thing that happens when a supervillain is warming up in a spy or superhero movie like Our Man Flint, you damned well better believe I took better care in separating my trash, however tenuous the cause-and-effect of that and weather systems gone wild.
As a city resident who doesn't own a car and takes his life in his own hands every day by riding an increasingly dilapidated subway system, I think I already do enough to keep green; my boot is as off the planet as can be, if you looked at the heavy-handed (or -footed) poster art from the film. The value of The 11th Hour is that it suggests more ways that you can do more to help Mother Earth in her declining years, at least so far as sustaining human life. (Remember, folks, the planet is indifferent to our passing; goodbye and good riddance, I can hear the trees and chipmunks saying.) The drawback, however, is that velvet-gloved guilt-tripping isn't the best way to bring about change, causing as much resistance as transformation, and there are always smart alecks like me who say they already do enough, so reserve me a spot in the igloo when The Day After Tomorrow comes down.
Anyway...The 11th Hour, filled with talking heads and talking points, has some value as a primer on the subject, and is not at all hysterical but for the converted will be about as interesting as remembering to eat your greens and veggies at suppertime. DiCaprio is a concerned, congenial host, circumnavigating the globe like Waldo, and co-directors Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen do what they can can to maintain some sort of pace. Good intentions, however, don't make for good cinema, and the hep will probably absorb more from the environmentally barbed The Simpsons Movie. Warner Independent opens the film on August 17.