Why can't Hollywood make a single "man versus nature" movie that is actually interesting to watch?
The sad thing about crazy is that if your parents were born crazy, or went crazy, or did crazy shit in a cabin in the woods that you were forced to witness as a child, then chances are you'll end up crazy too. It's just a matter of time. This is the concept explored at-fucking-tedium by the film "Take Shelter," which is about a dude losing his mind and digging a big hole in the ground to compensate.
Hole-therapy is an accepted psychological treatment that also doubles as a great way to alienate yourself from your best friend, your wife (who is too hot for you anyway) and your deaf daughter, whose disability will probably condemn her to working the hottest and noisiest of jobs as soon as she is old enough to lift a hammer. Telling everyone that a huge storm is coming and that they are all going to die, and that your hole in the ground is the only safe place in the world is another great way to accelerate your separation from the rest of society.
"Take Shelter" attempts to walk the line with a "is he crazy or is he having visions from God" plot, but the problem with that line of reasoning is, anyone who is having visions from God HAS TO BE CRAZY TO BEGIN WITH. So really, a movie that could have been an awesomely scary battle between a single man and a pack of killer tornados actually ends up being an excessively dull choice between two types of crazy, neither of which is all that interesting and both of which can be experienced simply by going to any 24-hour Wal-Mart at 2:30 in the morning.
Why can't Hollywood make a single "man versus nature" movie that is actually interesting to watch? Why couldn't the protagonist in "Take Shelter" have invested in building some kind of home-made nuclear weapon to take out the upcoming tornado before it got the chance to do the same to him and his wife? Why couldn't his crazy mom have foreseen that he would have turned out equally insane as a boy and smothered him with a pillow, saving us all in the collective audience from the guilt of realizing that this dude actually talks to his batshit schizo mother more than we do our own?
"Take Shelter" poses a lot of questions that are frankly too boring to answer. Think of it as the S.A.T. of tornado movies. No Helen Hunt, no Bill Pullman and no nudity = lots of staring off into space and wondering how much of what you see in front of you is actually real. Or as I call it, people watching at the Salvation Army.
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