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The 11th Hour
DVD disk
Apr 29, 2008 By: Jason Adams
The 11th Hour order
Director:
Nadia Connors, Leila Conners Petersen

Actors:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Stephen Hawking
Mikhail Gorbachev

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Leonardo DiCaprio explains why you will soon be extinct. And he's super, super serial.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Is the Earth getting warmer? Sure, I can read a thermometer. Might it be caused by human activity? Duh. We have six billion people; our body heat alone probably affects the climate. Does THE 11th HOUR have anything worthwhile to say other than to scold you for those two things? Basically, no. They do present a handful of possible solutions, the most reasonable of which is to "reinvent the industrial system." Okay, you do that. I'll be over here you know, in reality.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a great actor and Im glad he cares about our planet. The problem with this, as with most "message" documentaries like it, is that he went out and found fifty talking heads that agree with hima technique only effective in preaching to the choir. (I could find 15 nuts who think the Earth is flat, show damning footage out of context and achieve similar results.) Thats why THE 11th HOUR only works to scare, not inspire you. The filmmakers throw in a kitchen sink of overwhelming topics politics, globalization, overpopulation, autism, pesticides, consumerism, social class and race, endangered species, Alzheimers, entertainment and advertising, narcissismin the hopes youll associate all their negative aspects with global warming. However, with no real story or narrative arc, THE 11th HOUR instead comes off as random people overreacting (We're committing suicide!") for 1.5 painfully boring hours.

Actually thats not completely true. After they get done trying to frighten you in to communes, the experts begin to offer some potential solutions, most of which are gloriously ridiculous. Here are some of my favorite things presented in THE 11th HOUR:
  • The overall suggestion: We have to remake and redesign everything and completely change the world. Sounds easy!

  • One guy says, Hey, don't get up every morning and think about traffic on the way to work or doing well in school or what you'll eat for lunch. You really need to just worry about Planet Earth all day. Yes that's possible for actors and rich people who have nothing but time and money on their hands. But for the average schmoesorry, I have rent to pay.

  • Another uses the reasonable metaphor of the planet being sick,, but then suggests that the lights of Earth as seen from space are an infection. Because we obviously need to go back to the Dark Ages, Snake Plissken-style.

  • Soon we can live in photosynthetic buildings like treescombining housing, energy generation, waste treatment and food production in one structure. Finally, a real reason to crap where I eat and sleep!

  • One expert, who shockingly does not have a medical degree, suggests that up to 60% of kids today have asthma. A quick Google search says the number is closer to 10%.

  • Man made products like Kevlar are wasteful and unnecessary. Spiders make a web that's stronger than steel! Tell that to the soldiers in Iraqwhile you wear a spider web in combat.

  • All of these ideas can be done quickly because, as one expert says, We mobilized really fast after Pearl Harbor, why cant we do it now?!

  • And youre left with one final hippie-like thought: The bottom line is LOVE, the force that makes us fully human! Then THE 11th HOUR finishes with a nameless Indian pleading for peace and greenness. They might as well have had him shed a single solitary tear (since Ill be littering the ground with this eco-friendly DVD case.)

THE EXTRAS
A series of Solutions (1:29:39), which are pretty much deleted scenes featuring the same experts and snooze-worthy style. They cover fun topics from Our Reactions in the Face of Environmental Collapse to Religious Perspective.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Its not that I dont care about things like the environment or politics or religion. I'm just not interested in pushing my beliefs on others or vice versa. There are maybe two celebrities whose opinion I care about and that's South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Even if I disagree with them, at least they present their point of view with reason, common sense and, most importantly, in an entertaining fashion. Thats the exact opposite of THE 11th HOUR.

Extra Tidbit: Even the founder of Greenpeace didnt like this movie.
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