The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

I'm going to hypnotize you now.

Sit back. Close your eyes.

OK, open your eyes, cause you need to be able to read this, but squint them so they're almost closed.

Imagine, in your head, that you're sitting in front of a computer. In a dark room. Really dark. The walls are black. The chair is black. Your squishy ball that you got at Internet World '97 is black. You're alone in front of your computer.

This should not be turning you on.

Look at the computer screen in your mind. Imagine that it is completely white. Now there are words appearing on the screen. They're trying to tell you something. They're telling you that this is a really good review of the latest installment of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, Stir of Echoes.

You are now completely hypnotized, and under my control. You will remain so until I wake you up from your zombified state. Now then, let's discus the movie.

First of all, this is not a remake of The Sixth Sense. Although it has some very similar elements. Let's just say, instead of "I see dead people," this movie has "I see a dead person."

Now, just to show that you are indeed still hypnotized, I'm going to shove this seven-inch nail through your arm. You won't feel a thing.

OK, back to the movie. Here's the story: Kevin Bacon is hypnotized and given a post-hypnotic suggestion to open his mind. So he opens his mind and some really, really weird stuff starts to happen. Let that be a lesson to us all that there's something to be said for closed-minded people!

OK, now I'm going to saw off one of your toes. Again, because you're hypnotized, you shouldn't feel a thing.

Anyway, the movie is pretty good. And if no one had ever heard of The Sixth Sense, it'd be a really big hit. But let's face it, what's so exciting about seeing one dead person when we've already been scared by a whole busload of corpses? Stir of Echoes eventually becomes something entirely different, but far more mundane. Where we spent the entire first 2/3 of Sixth Sense waiting for everyone to catch a clue about the dead people, this movie plays its trump card way to early, and then turns into a run-of-the-mill murder mystery.

Me, I say stick with the dead people. They're big business. Everybody loves a dead person. Can't go wrong.

By the way, I'd like you to stand on one leg and bark like a Chihuahua. Again. Yup, still hypnotized.

Bacon is really quite good in this film. Sometimes it's hard to remember that he's more than the centerpiece of his own internet-spawned party game. He also acts, and in this movie, he does it pretty well with his shirt off. And for my money, you can never have too much of Illeana Douglas, who plays the wacko who hypnotizes Bacon. Kevin Bacon, not the food. Yeah, that'd be a good trick, "I will now hypnotize this slab of center cut bacon! Watch!"

All told, I'm gonna give Stir of Echoes 3 1/2 Babylons. I'd probably give it 4 if I'd never seen The Sixth Sense. But there ya go.

OK, I'm gonna bring you out of your trance now. I'm gonna count backwards from three to one and when I hit one, you will awaken and remember nothing of this except that Stir of Echoes got 3 1/2 Babylons. Also, you'll have this odd, yet uncontrollable need to send me, The Self-Made Critic, a great deal of money.

Three. Two. One.


Editor's Note:

I hypnotized the SMC this week and gave him a post hypnotic suggestion to write a good review this week. I think it worked.


Rated: R
Directed By: David Koepp
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Illeana Douglas, Kathryn Erbe, Kevin Dunn and some outtakes from The Sixth Sense.

Join the Self-Made Critic Mailing List Back to The Shuttlecocks Homepage