Day Night Day Night
Review By: Joe

I guess I'm a sucker for worthless indie trash. So when I heard about this movie with what is quite frankly a pretty stupid title, Day Night Day Night, about a girl training to become a suicide bomber, I perked up like a dachshund with bad taste in movies.

The thing is this, okay? I don't generally give a shit about art that makes a deliberate and blatant statement about our current political state. The reason this movie sounded like it might be of merit to me is that it takes a decidedly odd approach to it by having the suicide bomber be a young girl of indeterminate nationality who speaks in English with no accent and does her bombing for an equally mysterious group with no clear motive. This premise sounded downright surreal to me and, on top of which, the film received overall positive reviews from (because of the film's rather limited release, an admittedly small number of) critics. WELL! TOO BAD THIS MOVIE WAS A BORING AND STUPID COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.

I went and saw this piece of dreck in the only place available to me, the IFC Theater in New York City (it just so happens to be an IFC Films production). Hilariously enough, I went with the friend with whom I saw the equally worthless Last Days. I mention this because these films are pretty much the exact same kind of nonsense.

I have to give it to my friend. He made two awesome calls. As follows:

One - In just reading the synopsis of the film, the whole thing already boils down to one question: does she do it (blow herself and other people up) or not?

Two - It's going to be just like Last Days.

With the first point, the film premise immediately became about ten times less cool to me. It made me realize just how gimmicky it was. I mean that really is the main thing you'd go into this wondering. Also, even though I rather liked the fact that the film was ambiguously poltical, it really is still just cashing in on post-9/11 fears. Simply put, this movie wouldn't have been made (her bombing is set to happen in Times Square, by the way) if the Twin Towers hadn't all fallen down and whatnot.

Regarding the second point, well, I suppose the gimmicky nature of the film wouldn't have been so bad if the content throughout was engaging enough, but, whaddaya know! IT'S JUST LIKE LAST DAYS. My friend prophesized this after we read some anonymous dork's description of the movie on IMDB in which he mentioned that the film was mostly told through the girl's facial expressions. Translation: NOTHING HAPPENS EVER.

Just like Gus Van Sant's lovely exercise in tedium, Stupid Movie Stupid Movie focuses entirely on the mundane. Watch the lead girl brush her teeth! Then watch her cut her toenails! Then her fingernails on one hand! THEN THE OTHER HAND!!! SUSPENSE!!!!!! Then watch her eat noisily while lying on a bed! Then she BRUSHES HER TEETH AGAIN!! OH MY GOD I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE A TERRORIST IN TRAINING (TIT).

Some of it, again like Mr. Van Sant's craptasterpiece, feels like the director playing a mean joke on the audience. For example, watching the terrorists go over the girl's new fake identity over and over till she has it memorized. "What's your name?" "Maria Cruz." "What's your birthday?" "Fuck if I remember this shit." "Spell your last name." "C-r-u-z." "Date of birth." "Blah blah blah." "What's your hometown?" "Some other shit." "Spell your last name." "C-r-u-z." Just like everything in this movie, this scene went on longer than anything should ever go on ever. Seriously, how the fuck hard is it to spell "Cruz?"

I think the dumbass buttmunchers behind this film would probably argue that they are putting you through the extraordinarily boring paces of what it might feel like (as though they really know) to go through this process. You're supposed to FEEL it along with the character. Well, I'm sorry, I didn't. It's fine to a point, but after awhile you need CONTENT. Taking a detached perspective is one thing. It's all right to leave things unexplained, so long as NEW things happen. That's the problem here. There's nothing to care about because there's just NOTHING THERE. A few hints of the character's personality are sprinkled in sporadically, but it's a case of too little, too late. The beginning is unexplained, the middle is montonous and without substance, and the ending is thouroughly worthless (but you can hardly expect anything else from something with basically no plot beforehand).

I will give the movie ONE kudo. That's right, not even a plural one. There are shots of crappy parts of NYC, most specifically the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Most movies that get made in NYC really glamorize the place and make it look a lot cooler and nicer than it really is. I like that this movie bothered to show the city in a realistic manner, full of shitty looking locales like the Port Authority. BUT THAT'S ALL YOU GET FROM ME, GAY NIGHT LAME NIGHT.

Now, not that anybody is actually going to go see this tripe, but I'm about to tell you something that will ruin the ending. I thought about this partway through the movie, as did my friend, and it made the overall main question, "Is this broad gonna blow up or what?" a lot easier to figure out.

The movie is from IFC Films. A lot of it is shot handheld. It has an extremely limited cast and crew. It has almost no budget to speak of.

Do you think they could afford to have her blow up??


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