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Sleepwalking
0 Waffles!

This is the closest I have ever come to walking out of movie. When Dennis Hopper showed up, I should have let my feet save me.

Charlize Theron stars as Joleen – a down and out single mother whose latest boyfriend has been jailed on many different drug charges. With the cops ripping her house apart looking for cash and drugs, which means she could lose custody of her kid, Tara (AnnaSophia Robb), Joleen moves in with her brother, James (Nick Stahl), but quickly disappears with the promise of returning. Now, James needs to take care of Tara, keep her out of the foster system and find a new job as well as apartment after losing both.

What will James do?

This entire movie is a country music song, and not one of the classics by Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson. Joleen ditches her kid. The brother can’t pay his rent. He loses his job. The kid has no idea who her father is. I was waiting for them to get a pet dog, but be forced to give him the Old Yeller treatment! And, just when you think it can’t possibly get more depressing and horrific, Dennis Hopper shows up like some sort of harbinger of impending disaster.

Writer Zac Stanford and director Bill Maher join forces to produce a movie that is flat, meaningless, and pointless. Scenes don’t really go together to build the story. You can’t tell if one big scene in the movie is supposed to be a fantasy sequence, or if it supposed to be happening for us to understand more about the character’s dreams and desires. Then, after trying to insert some comic relief early on, the story takes a hugely violent turn towards the end that almost comes out of nowhere. It took every ounce of energy in my body to stay awake, and it looks like the actors had the same problem.

Sleepwalking is supposed to be a quiet movie about characters who are emotionally stunted, but it becomes mindnumbingly dull as Stahl and Robb sleepwalk through it. Each one is overly mopey beyond belief especially when they shouldn’t be, yet, Hopper comes into the movie like a wild stallion let out of the barn, but destroys the film like a bull in a china shop.

Even Stanford and Maher's attempts at providing redemption for some characters fail miserably.

Sleepwalking is rated R for language and a scene of violence.


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