Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 122 minutes
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You know what I like to see in independent movies? Ideas. Normally, the Hollywood sausage factories don’t like to put too many ideas into their product lest their target audience gets too confused and angry and tries to set the theater on fire like they used to seventy years ago during Artaud plays. Still, if you don’t have the cash to blow up a car, it’s much cheaper to explode a viewer’s head, instead.
Anyway, this brings us the subject of “Noon Blue Apples”. What the hell does that title mean? Good question. Overly serious graduate student Eris (Lauren Fox) asks the same thing when she runs across the reference in three wildly different places while doing research for her new term paper on social phobias. Little does she know that this forbidden fruit will cast her out of the Garden of Comfortable (and rational) Ignorance into a cold, desperate world of duplicity and conspiracy theories. And by that I mean all conspiracy theories, or at least enough to fill five seasons of The X-Files (you know, just the relatively good years). Her tour guide on this journey into madness is Zeus (Thomas Jay Ryan) the propriety of a (quite literally) underground bookstore. He tries to help her sort out the kind of crazy ideas (primitive societies with impossible scientific knowledge) from the truly insane ones (behold, Scott Baio: Anti-Christ). Still, why is he helping her? What does he want? Is he working for them? Is somebody watching her? Is this the New World Order? WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON?!?!? Only the Freemasons know for sure.
Writer/director Jay Lee has crafted quite the psychological thriller with the emphasis on the mind-fuck. Maybe Zeus is only talking to Eris because she’s really hot (kind of like a redheaded Fiona Apple), but like charity, paranoia should begin at home. Lee makes the fine point that if you walk around always worried that Big Brother will steal your head, you’re never going to catch little brother when he goes for your kneecaps. It doesn’t quite pack the punch of last year’s Memento, but it’s enough for me. As much as a cavalcade of lunacy as this movie seems at times, in the end it, too, is a taught little piece of work. Though it is most definitely not to everyone’s taste, your average over-caffeinated liberal arts major will lose his fucking mind.
Posted on January 28, 2002 in Reviews by Ron Wells
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