Where do these good reviews come from? With words and phrases like "accomplished," "mesmerizing," "visually stunning," "reminds me of the best moments from Blade runner and 2001," "Astin acts his heart out." Sounds to me like some PR people are doing damage control on the old IMDb in the hopes they can salvage some kind of life for this film on DVD. "I can't believe it wasn't theatrically released." Well, I can, and we should thank the studio execs who decided to give this movie a basic cable burial. They did so to preserve social harmony. If the general public had paid box office price to watch Slipstream, riots would have surely ensued.
Make no mistake, people, this movie is BAD. The amazing directorial technique some seem to be so inexplicably impressed by is nothing but hack. Slow motion is used to signal the slowing down of time before a backwards trip, but it's also just used any old time to signify nothing other than the total running time needed to be longer to qualify as a feature-length film. Then there's the rotating camera. Why use the technique so much? Well they bought the rig, and darn it, they were going to use it. Stupid, horribly staged bank shootout? No worries, we've got a rotating camera. Stupid, horribly written and acted bus bathroom scene? No worries, we've got a rotating camera. And here's a dilemma, we've got two versions of a scene, one with the actors inside a car and one where they're outside, both are horribly written and acted, but we forgot to use the rotating camera. What do we do? No worries, we'll just inter-cut the two separate takes, and the lack of continuity will jar the stupider viewers into thinking that we "have a visual style." Yeah, that's right, I've been saying horribly acted. No one, in this movie is a great actor, by which I mean, has a great range. To the Astinites out there, sorry, but your boy is a serviceable actor at best. Without an extraordinary director and extraordinary writing, the mediocrity of Astin's performance is an unbearable distraction. He's had the good fortune to be in a few good movies in his career, but, left to his own devices, he will pick insipid little things like Slipstream simply because the script uses the phrase, "String Theory." This is a dangerous trait for a less-than amazing actor to possess. If he wises up, he will accept the role of supporting, character actor with grace. He cannot and should not attempt to carry a film.
To give a little credit to the actors, including Astin, there's not much you can do with writing as terrible as this. There are no character arcs to speak of, just starting points and end points. How did they get there? What's the motivation? Who could be that stupid? Who cares! Have you seen our rotating camera? And, to all you aspiring directors, when faced with a script with no feeling and actors phoning it in, don't forget to use slow-motion. It saves the writer from having to write something compelling and the actor from having to emote. The slower you get it, the more emotional weight a scene can carry. And if you manage to have a rotating camera with slow-motion, whoa boy! Oscar can't be far behind. Or at the very least, a BAFTA.
I've never, before watching Slipstream, felt it my duty to so harshly trash a film on the internet. I registered with IMDb because of it. Believe it or not, this is me at my most humanistic. Mankind should not have to watch this movie. If I can prevent one person, then I've done my part to make a better world.
For the love of all that is good, go rent Donny Darko and stay far away from the abomination known as Slipstream.