What the Bleep!? / Down the Rabbit Hole, Quantum Edition (2006)

by | Aug 7, 2006 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

What the Bleep!? / Down the Rabbit Hole, Quantum Edition (2006)

Starring: Marlee Matlin and some of the world’s top scientists, engineers, biologist and mystics
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Video: 1.78:1 widescreen, color
Audio: English, DD 5.1 (Theatrical version); DD 2.0 (Quantum version)
Subtitles: English, Spanish & Captioned in English
Extras: 3 double-sided DVD set includes Extended Director’s Cut of What the Bleep Do We Know!?, Almost 6 hours of additional interviews, Filmmakers’ Q & A section, Quantum Viewing Mode with hours of new randomized clips thruout the film to five a different experience every time it is viewed!
Length: 152 minutes (Theatrical); anywhere from 15 to 300 minutes (Quantum Viewing Mode)
Rating: *****

The current positive climate for documentaries surely aided the success of What the Bleep!? – which opened at only one theater in the whole U.S. – the colorful Bagdad in Portland – and was soon in wide national distribution due to overwhelming public support for its fascinating message of scientific explanations for spirituality and mystical concepts. Fans had long discussions of the points made in the film and saw it again and again since it was so packed with information to absorb. It’s the perfect film to provide on DVD with all the format’s advantages for really getting into a film in depth.

The theatrical version, which is slightly expanded on the first of the three DVDs, has as a central character Academy Award winner Matlin as a photographer learning firsthand about the metaphysical world of quantum mechanics and mind-boggling phenomena.  The filmmakers are not afraid of talking heads – in fact the film is brimming over with them.  It is what they are saying that is not the usual sort of information one hears in an interview.  Plus the cinematography is very skillful, with striking backgrounds that support the subjects’ expertise without distracting overmuch.

The simple storyline involving Matlin adds some form and interest to the theatrical film. There are also special effects to illustrate many of the points, plus some animation. The original film was shot in Portland.  It opens and closes at the Bagdad Theater where it was premiered, and the scenes of Portland thruout the film are beautifully photographed, presenting our lovely city in the best possible light.

The Rabbit Hole portion gets into some super-navigating – interactive programming that is being tried for the first time in a standard theatrical DVD. If you choose Play starting with Side 1 of Disc 2 (and later going to Side 1 of Disc 3) you will see all the sequence in their preset order, including more extensive interview segments than in the original film. In addition to that, the second side of both Discs 2 & 3 contain many more complete interviews, with six or seven different people on each disc. If you select Drama Off on the on-screen menu, you will eliminate most of the scenes involving Marlee Matlin and just see the documentary material and interviews. If you select Total Randomness the various sections will be played without any regard for order or appropriateness to what came before or after. There is also the option of Rabbit Hole Quantum Randomness, which is not quite as random. It will play interviews on a related topic, but in a random order. A Rabbit Hole Depth Control limits the number of interviews you are shown.  Setting a high number will play all of them and a low one will only play one or two. Side B of all three discs contain some further special features. Whew!  This is an unbelievably dense resource of information.

Here’s just a sample of some of the scenes/topics: Big Bang, Time Reversal Symmetry, Entanglement, Imprinting Intention, What is Consciousness?, The Private Life of Particles, God Within, What is Reality?, Intent and the World, Mind Over Matter, Unending Possibilities.  You can go down the rabbit hole just as far as you are comfortable going, or have time to do.  Since you can vary the experience every time you visit it, you certainly won’t get bored. And no matter how far you go you will come away with some new understandings of the links between science and spirituality in our lives.

 
— John Sunier