It took me 9 years to catch up with this Van Sant and I'm glad I finally did. It's far funnier than any review I read indicated and far richer as well. Despite the serious long takes, I got the feeling that Damon and Affleck -- co-screenwriters and the two Gerrys -- were having a lot of fun. Van Sant makes the landscape movie he's always wanted to make and we get to mediate on the world's topography via Argentina, Salt Lake and Jordan. What are we supposed to think about? We're lost.
I was recommended this and the attempt to discuss my reaction to it nearly caused a family schism. I can see what Van Sant was attempting, but I think it just does not work. Nearly 5 minutes of a tramping through the middle of nowhere scene? This is stretching viewers to the limit of tolerance and, cynically, suggests sheer self-indulgence. If you want long slow takes filled with tension, I reckon "Elephant" makes much more effective use of the technique.
Really pretty images, great shot choices and dedication to the films mood make this a unique but surprisingly rewarding experience. The film summary basically describes the whole film, which has minimal dialogue or plot, but more than compensates with fantastic ambiance. Damon and Affleck do their job admirably with characters that almost anyone can project themselves onto without seeming paper thin.
If it wasn't for the long, slow scenes, it wouldn't be the same movie. Gus Van Sant really hammers in the tedium, the arduousness of their situation. He gives you time to soak it up, to feel every motion, hear every footfall, let your mind wander. It's like ambient music in a way (and it includes some nice ambient music, too). I find myself wishing there were more dialogue, but also aware of how that would spoil it.
Oh my Gus Van Sant. I understand that there is not a lot to focus on in a story about two men lost in the desert, but this film was just exhausting. I love Van Sant's ability behind the camera, but it just didn't work here. I felt like I was there with Damon and Affleck, but after that there was hardly anything going on plotwise. It's visually pleasant, but that is not enough to save it. If you want to see Van Sant's abilities on point, and not be bored out of your mind, see Elephant.
Gerry is a film that a large portion of the audience will dislike. It's boring for a large portion of its runtime, and there isn't a lot that happens. But it looks good, and the background is beautiful enough to keep you interested. If you need to see what getting lost in the desert would be really like, without the typical romanticizing that happens in movies, Gerry is what you'll want to watch. But you can put this movie on 1.5x speed and have exactly the same experience.
This was, ehm, shall we say.. deliberately paced. No no, that won't do. Very dull? Doesn't quite seem to cover the agony, either. What this film is is insanely booooring! I know, I know. As was pointed out in the recent Sight & Sound, comments like these are made at the risk of being called a philistine - but less simply will not do. I positively hate the film and, after sitting through this and 'Last Days', I will seriously consider never again watching anything by Sant. Unforgivably pointless!
Some of these long takes are incredible and I actually felt quite engaged at times (like figuring out how to get Gerry from off a boulder). I never wondered what it'd be like to be stuck miles away from all other human contact, but this film does a pretty good job at achieving that predicament.
Pretentious through its majority, but I liked it by the end. Peaceful landscape shots, pretty music = win. Unintelligible dialogue (mumbling), rediculous Affleck/Damon scenes = fail. Unintentional, no doubt, praise can be mustered for provoking thought into how I should approach a film. Gerry is self-flagellating in terms of inviting a philosophical mind-set, but a second viewing may remedy this. I would have rated it much higher had it been a short starting at the salt pans.
Damon strips away his celebrity aura, actually obscuring his face under his shirt for much of the film, and delivers one of his best performances. Gerry is a movie that you'll want to discuss for hours when it's over.
I felt like I wasn't supposed to enjoy it, but I was such a sucker for those landscape shots. The only detracting factor for me was that Casey Affleck wasn't quite as good as Matt Damon. Shame to see that Elephant didn't flow as wonderfully as this.
A confounding, irritating, boring piece of nothing that also manages to be one of the most stunning, existential, moving and bravura works in cinematic history. If you don't feel the plight of the characters, you should probably give up watching movies.
It's like a German Expressionist film, without the German, or the Expressionism. One of the most painful movie-going experiences of my life. I recall leaning over to my friend during the extended driving scene at the beginning, whispering, "Wouldn't it be awful if the whole movie were like this?" And so it was. I dunno. Maybe if I'd been warned beforehand how it would be I might have appreciated it more, but with an Oscar-winning screenwriter participating, I expected something different.
Haunting and uncomfortable. Minute-long shots of people walking sounds about as exciting as sorting out your taxes, but in the context of this movie it becomes a fascinating and even gripping viewing experience. If you're easily distracted you might fall asleep after about an hour though.