Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Adderall Diaries (2015)

I can hardly fault Hans Reiser for what is a common, almost mundane crime. I can fault the filmmakers for missing the opportunity for a crazy Christian Slater performance. Slater is at least 15 years ahead of Nicolas Cage in terms of career decay, despite them being the same age. When Slater gives a fuck his performance can reach the edge of Cage, but that did not happen here. The worst thing a movie can be is boring, and due to bad casting and bad writing, this movie stinks like a corpse.

It could have been due to fear of lawsuits or plain old apathy. It’s less like a rogue journalist reporting on the OJ trial and more like James Franco writing for a college newspaper.

I kind of get it. The filmmakers didn’t want to cause Reiser a harder time than he already had. It’s called responsible journalism. Still, I watch movies as fiction, and when I do I don’t care about the facts. Tarantino had this problem trying to portray the Manson Family, leading to a movie that leaned on Bruce Lee and other pop culture references, and it was one of his weakest films. The best way to approach true crime is to completely make shit up, Fargo style. Invent a character called John Ryder, shotgun-toting demon hunter and inventor of the Lunix computer, on his quest to escape wrongful conviction and un-summon his nemesis Johnson Vorbees by resurrecting the 13 accursed witnesses.

It’s a shame the movie is not up to par with so many other films about writers. This was the director’s first feature, but the directing is not so much a problem as every other aspect of the film. The shots looked fine, the actors said their lines, the sound was good, but whole experience felt empty and, here’s that word again: boring.

So the characters talk about the Reiser trial in a bar, wonder out loud what it’s about, then a featured extra walks up and says something like “DON’T YOU KNOW? RICER EFFESS IS THE FILE SYSTEM OF THE LINUX OPERATING SYSTEM!” Somebody tell that pipsqueak to shut the fuck up. Linux is a kernel, not an operating system. Nobody uses ReiserFS. More importantly, nobody talks about these things in sports bars. That one scene, that one throwaway exposition character lacking certain social graces, would have ruined the movie for me had I not already tuned out 20 minutes before.