DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD (director/writer: Werner Herzog; cinematographer: Peter Zeitlinger; editor: Marco Capalbo; music: Mark Degli Antoni; cast:  Joydeep Biswas, Shawn Carpenter, Hilarie Cash, Christina Catsouras, Christos Catsouras, Danielle Catsouras, Kira Catsouras, Leslie Catsouras, Sam Curry, Danny Hillis, Marcel Just, Robert Kahn, Leonard Kleinrock, Laurence M. Krauss, Felix Jay Lockman, Tom Mitchell, Kevin Mitnick, Elon Musk, Theodor Holm Nelson, Raj Rajkumar, Diane Schou, Sebastian Thrun, Adrien Treuille, J. Michael Vandeweghe, Lucianne Walkowicz, Jennifer Wood, Jonathan L. Zittrain; Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Rupert Maconick /Werner Herzog; Magnolia; 2016)

"The talking head presentation gets a bit much if trying to comprehend it all in one sitting."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

German documentarian Werner Herzog  ("Burden of Dreams"/"Salt and Fire") chronicles in a playful way the onset of the Internet in 1969, at UCLA, and further explores its revolutionary growth and potentials. He also points out several dangers, as he visits an Internet-addiction rehab center in Washington and a safe haven from radiation area (the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, whose electromagnetic sensitivity ensures that this small Appalachian community remains a cellular-free zone). We are further reassured to know how vital the Internet has come in modern times to our daily lives and that its potential is unlimited. In ten chapters, with titles such as "X: The Future") we go from its common uses to it being the catalyst for such things as AI robots competing with humans for space and glory.

Herzog leaves us wondering if computers can dream like humans of its own existence and will it have need for the love of another. We are also reminded that it raises concerns about its dark side, that there's a chance it might be more harmful than good.

The talky piece features Herzog interviewing dozens of scientists, a notorious hacker, computer pioneers, inventors, visionaries and several naysayers. Though filled with valuable info and provocative musings, it offers nothing new and the talking head presentation gets a bit much if trying to comprehend it all in one sitting.  

REVIEWED ON 11/7/2016       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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