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Directed by Gus Van Sant.
Written by Gus Van Sant, Matt Damon and Casey Affleck. 
Starring Matt Damon and Casey Affleck.
Release Year:  2002 
Review Date:  3/3/03 


In the same weekend where it was confirmed that the University of Virginia men’s basketball team is total and complete horseshit, I saw the worst fucking piece of shit fucking fuck-fuck I have seen in quite some time--“Gerry.”

In fact, I have been struggling for the last two hours over whether to change the “Hard Vice” category to “Gerry”, the first such instance since the two-hour period after my friend Brian and I saw the dogshit known as “The 13th Warrior.”

You may not have heard much about “Gerry” because it debuted at Sundance LAST year and even though it stars Matt Damon and Casey Affleck and is directed by Gus Van Sant (“Good Will Hunting”), the film struggled to find a distributor.  That should tell you something, as it is making a run right now at the local arthouse theater downtown and I had not heard a single thing about this film prior to its release.  The film is a 100-minute snorefest that stars Damon and Affleck as two guys that go hiking, get lost, and walk a lot.  Now, when I tell you that this is ALL THE FILM REALLY IS, you would be apt to not believe me...but, trust me, that is all that happens for 100 of the most boring minutes ever filmed.  Why?  Because Van Sant tried to play “artiste” here and he extends all of his shots to the point where they are full-reel shots; I think I read somewhere that a reel is something like six or seven minutes’ worth of celluloid, and that is what “Gerry” is for the whole damned time.

So, we get to watch Damon and Affleck walk up a hill.  FOR SEVEN STRAIGHT MINUTES, in real time.  Then, one of them says something like “Man, we’re fucking lost.”  The other agrees.  Then, we cut to a shot of the two guys from behind, walking through a desert.  FOR SEVEN MINUTES.  Cut.  A two-minute shot of the twosome walking at night.  Cut.  Damon looks tired.  The camera swivels around him in a 360...FOR FIVE MINUTES.  Bad piano chords cover the scene.  Cut.  The same shot of a tired-looking Affleck.  FOR FIVE MINUTES.

If I had not gone to see this film with my Sunday night film club, I would have walked out after the first half-hour.  That would have marked the first time I have ever walked out of a theater before a film finished.  But, I didn’t want to shame the other members, so I sat through all of this.  Much like Jim Mora’s final speech as coach of the New Orleans Saints, where he chastised all aspects of his football team (“The offense sucked!  The defense sucked!  The coaching sucked!  The special teams sucked!), “Gerry” sucks at everything that can be sucked at.  Rarely do I waste time and money on something this atrocious.  Oh, and I can’t even tell you how angry I am that Affleck, Damon and Van Sant got a writing credit for a film that has about 8 lines of dialogue, no common sense and a lot of footage of Death Valley.  Rat bastards.

Rating:  Hard Vice


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09