1 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 75 minutes
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Okay. You ready for a joke? It’s gonna be funny! Alright, here we go….Who Needs Sleep?

I did while watching this movie!!! Ohohohohohoho!

Alright, so it wasn’t all that funny, but I do find it humorous that a film about the deadly effects of fatigue had the sleep inducing quality of a Thanksgiving turkey stuffed with roofies. The nod factor of this film is overwhelming.

But this film does fight for a good cause, however. You see, Hollywood production crews have been complaining for years about the sweatshop hours they have to put in at their job, often 15-18 hour work days, limiting their ability to have a life or be with their families. Several deaths have resulted from this Hollywood grind, as production crew members have fallen asleep behind the wheel due to major job related fatigue. And so, filmmaker Haskell Wexler is taking a stand. – For the past seven years he’s been working on this very documentary, a look at on the job fatigue and the dangers that it causes. In Wexler’s film, the elderly documentarian attempts to provide an examination of how job related fatigue is a deadly problem that needs to be remedied. In doing so, he pushes for a “12 on, 12 off” work schedule, a grass roots effort that has so far fallen on deaf ears. These efforts are documented as he tries to plead his case to the Occupational Safety and Health Association, but mostly, his film is comprised of woeful tales directly from the mouths of crew members from behind the scenes on various Hollywood productions. Many do complain that the hours are inhumane and that they have very little, if any at all, time for a life and family. And then, of course, there are the tragic tales of lives lost. Some will take take the side of these people, while others will see them as a bunch of whiners.

Me? I obviously think near 20 hour work days are ridiculous, nay, criminal, but, that’s how it goes in showbiz, don’t it? People bust their asses to get into the movie business, so I imagine they would have to expect to bust their asses even harder once they land their spot. I’m not trying to be a shithead here, and I do realize that these people are working so hard that they’re killing themselves, but nobody forced them to work in show business. It’s like that. It would be great if there really could be a 12 hour max work day, no matter what industry you were working in, I really do believe that. But show business rests for no one and I would hope that anybody aspiring to work within it would know this and accept it if they decided to proceed. So, all of these people moaning that they don’t have time for family, two words -– tough titties. It’s like that, too.

In the end, “”Who Needs Sleep”” is a great sleeping aid, but a horribly dull and uninspiring documentary.

Posted on January 25, 2006 in Reviews by

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