Mumbo jumbo

Arizona Daily Star/February 22, 2006
By Phil Villarreal

You'd think that, after 35,000 years, a warrior spirit would learn to give an interesting interview.

Not so with Ramtha, the ancient spirit channeled by a woman named JZ Knight and featured in "What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole."

Ramtha, grinding the already-tepid film to a halt whenever he and JZ hit the screen, speaks in a droning monotone about how traditional science and religion don't provide the answers we're all looking for. It's all about oneness and knowing we're all interconnected and have the ability to use our minds to shape our worlds.

The spirit receives much more airtime than he did in the original "What the #$*! Do We Know?!" _ known for short as "What the (bleep)." The film hit theaters in 2004 and became an indie sensation, playing for several months at theaters around the country and sparking clubs and discussion groups devoted to its themes.

Billed on its Web site as an extended director's cut, "What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole" reworks the original film, adding 105 minutes of interviews and animation. What was once a sleek, intriguingly vague rumination on philosophy and metaphysics has been bloated into a shameless infomercial for the Ramtha New Age movement. The movie was directed by students of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment in Yelm, Wash.

Back is the original storyline, intercut with the interviews, in which a distressed photographer named Amanda (Marlee Matlin) struggles through a rough day. She discovers, ever so slowly, that depression, poor luck and frustration are propagated by her own ignorance and negativity. Through positive thinking, understanding principles of quantum physics and freeing her mind of predisposed religious constraints, Amanda learns she can will her way to the good life.

A mod squad of various scientists, philosophers and mystics delivers various thoughts on quantum physics and asks the audience to question everything they see. Many of them are sitting at computers or in front of blackboards with equations on them.

Cartoon character Dr. Quantum pops in to guide us through some illustrative science experiments. Like everyone else in the film, he's condescending and one-dimensional.

Pseudo-scientific and psychological mumbo jumbo that was interesting or at least tolerable in the first film is repellent in this Super Sized form. If it's true that the human mind can alter reality, displeased viewers might well wish the movie out of their lives.

1.5 stars out of 4

Rated: Not rated

Cast: Marlee Matlin

Directors: William Arntz, Betsy Chasse and Mark Vicente

Family call: It's mind-numbingly boring for all ages.

Running time: 156 minutes.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.