"What the bleep do we know" promises to be an enlightening exploration of the latest in quantum physics and brain science and how they relate to everyday life. What you actually get is a movie that is so bad that as physicist Wolfgang Pauli once said "its not even wrong". This is a laugh out loud bad movie that uses cheesy TV advertising style graphics and terrible logic to justify pop mysticism, in a way that everyone will find offensive.
They've written a boring plot about a photographer who is assigned to a Polish wedding. Amanda suffers from clinical depression and she takes anti-anxiety pills. She spends the movie lurching around, having anxiety attacks and psychedelic hallucinations that illustrate the movie's message of positive thinking.
Her adventures are frequently interrupted by people talking to camera, in what was intended to be a "greek chorus" of commentary, but which frequently had little to do with anything.
Fred Alan Wolf author of "Taking the Quantum Leap"
They would say a cool quantum physics fact like "nothing touches anything" and then show you some graphics showing the electrostatic repulsion between atoms. This is interesting, but its hardly new science, and they don't go anywhere with it.
Jeffrey Satinover author of "The Quantum Brain
A boy in a park appears to take her backwards in time with the line "time is an illusion". Alas, he didn't add "and lunchtime doubly so", and as a result, Amanda is late for her train.
The talking heads sometimes talked about physics, and sometimes about metaphysics and philosophy.
Amanda has a dream about native Americans and Columbus. The tall sailing ships are literally invisible to all the native americans, except for the shamans. The shamans were able to use their gift to notice "ripples on the water", and after several weeks of watching the ripples their brain's neural networks were finally able to give them a shape that they could see.
The narrator tells us that when the shamans told the common people, the ships appeared to them suddenly.
A talking head tells us that this is because human brains can't see new things, only things that their neural networks have already recognized. If this were true, all anyone would have to do to become invisible would be to disguise yourself as a sailing ship, and people wouldn't see you.
Douglas Adams joked about a similar idea he called the "somebody else's problem field".
Australian Aboriginal people painted sailing ships on cave walls.
You don't get to find out the names and qualifications of the talking heads until the end of the movie. THEN you discover that the blonde american woman who has spouted the greatest nonsense during the whole film is "JZ Knight channelling Ramtha". Ramtha if you look him up on the internet, is a thirty-five thousand year old warrior spirit from Atlantis. Knight has been making millions of dollars from channelling his spirit for the last twenty years. All the film producers are disciples of Knight's cult.
John Haeglan comes on screen and tells us how Transcendental Meditation caused crime rates to fall in a city. It turns out he was awarded an IGnoble prize for this work in 1994 because the murder rate actually rose, and all the scrutineers were Natural Law party followers.
We are shown the art of Masura Emoto, who tapes words to water bottles and freezes the water. The crystal photos appear appropriate for the message, as if the water could read the words - literate water!
What the movie doesn't tell you is that he searches for pretty crystals - this is found art, he doesn't get appropriate ones every time as the movie says he does.
The blonde american woman makes the logical leap that as your body is mostly water, so your body changes in reacton to your thoughts and you have only to think well to be well. Perhaps not the most sensitive message to have a disabled actress protray.
Ms Knight pretending to be Ramtha tells us that "you are a God responsible for the reality your thoughts bring"
A talking head says there are no bad thoughts. No god to read them and keep score.
Ms Knight pretending to be "Ramtha" says don't be arrogant about undestanding God - you are an emotion addict.
Then there is a wedding party scene with silly graphics about teenagers searching for sexual partners or "foxes who put out", as the screen says.
Ms Knight pretending to be "Ramtha" tells us that everything known in ancient times was wrong so everything known now is also wrong.
That certainly applies to the factoids in the film, like "peptides are the basic unit of conscioussness'
One talking head creates his day by magical thinking. He turns out to be a chiropractor.
Ms Knight pretending to be "Ramtha" takes most of the screen time, as you'd expect for a cult propaganda piece.
David Albert from Columbia University was unhappy with the quotes from him, as they were edited out of context and missed out that he disagreed with the film. He says that if he'd realized how he'd be used, he would never have agreed to be filmed.
"What the Bleep" reminds me of the kind of a cult bad movie classic like Ed Wood's "The ghoul goes west", where Ed Wood used famous Hollywood horror actor Bela Lugosi because the actor was so down on his luck that he had no other work. The Ramtha school of enlightenment have Marlee Matlin, the Oscar award winning deaf actress who played Joey Lucas in the West Wing. At the end of the film she throws away her prescription pills because she has "created a reality where she doesn't need them". An irresponsible message that is the whole point of the film. This would be my nomination for the IgNoble Awards.
1 star. Worthy of mocking
Oscar-award winning actress Marlee Matlin