Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World Reviews

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June 26, 2018
interesting look at the world and the good vs. bad of new technology and how it impacts peoples lives
½ June 4, 2018
The Werner Herzog documentary has certain well-known features: importantly, the director narrates these films in his inimitable German accent, often appearing or at least conducting interviews from an offscreen space (as he does here). His early docos often focused on visionary (or slightly cracked) individuals single-mindedly pursuing their dreams but since Encounters at the End of the World (2007), he has often cast his net more widely, choosing topics because of their intrinsic interest and then riffing on them. He likes to go beyond the accountant's truth to get at something more "ecstatic" which might sometimes be more poetic than strictly-speaking truthful. That may have been the aim here in this wide-ranging review of the effects of the internet on human life, but things feel a bit looser and less focused (even for Herzog). The film is broken into ten parts that use interviews with different people (some, like Elon Musk, may fit the mold of Herzog's earlier protagonists) who have something to do with the cause and effects of the internet. We are treated to brief but often stimulating discussions of: the start of the internet; the negative effects of trolling; the ways that the internet could still allow us to communicate on Mars (cue Musk); the future of artificial intelligence (and robot soccer teams); driverless cars; what would happen if solar flares disrupted the internet; the negative impact of hackers; the possible use of internet disruption and hacking in warfare (cold or otherwise); gamifying the cure for cancer; and so on. Directly after the film, I felt it was a bit of a mess - but a lot of the content has stuck with me and generated new and different thoughts about the world and its fragility (mostly). So, it must be a success, and particularly by Herzog's standards. But I also felt rather depressed about just how little I know about the world and the way that the internet has grown fundamental to it. I'm not a luddite but I had hoped somehow that trying to keep things simple would mean keeping them safer and easier for me and my family. But things have just moved too far and too fast in recent years. Hell, I'm old.
January 14, 2018
A fun collection of items, but there's no storyline. Although it is at some times thought-provoking, overall there was not as much for me to learn or think about as the movie claims there would be. Overall, I did not feel like I learned or felt something while watching it.
½ September 4, 2017
The good parts are extremely compelling, but it's not always good.
½ May 14, 2017
There is something so inspiring and thought-provoking when the best minds in the world examine the important questions about the Internet and our connectivity.

"I deeply regret the fact that deep critical thinking ... creative thinking is lost.

In my opinion, computers and in some sense the Internet are the worst enemy of deep critical thinking.

Our youth of today are using machines to replace their examination of the things they are observing ... they rely on the internet to decipher ... they fail to understand concepts."
April 20, 2017
If you know of (and like) Werner Herzog's work, then you will find this to be just as brilliant as all. If not, I can understand how this might be off-putting for a fair few. It's as equally as brash and confronting as any documentary you'll watch, even to the point of discomfort and oftentimes, hopelessness - and then some more. But such is Herzog, and this rawness is his signature. If you don't like this, you will likely not like anything by him. But if you want to try, I'd recommend trying for something that requires a bit less of a temporal (it's 98min) and emotional investment, such as Plastic Bag (only 18min); but even then you're not getting the full brunt of his documentary prowess (it's much more an abstraction, but equally as bleak and hopeless, yet somehow enriching all the same). There's no doubting one thing at the least: Herzog is a master of his craft. But like all crafts, sometimes he's just "not for everyone."
½ April 14, 2017
This thought provoking meditation on contemporary technology is a biting satire from Werner Herzog.
March 15, 2017
Interesting trek through the invention and rise of the interwebs. It so would have been better if they had called it the interwebs.
½ February 25, 2017
Organized, thorough, and topical, Werner Herzog analyzes the pros, cons, and histories of the internet in a way that anyone can connect with.
February 24, 2017
Everyone Should Watch
It isn't perfect by any means. But people should watch it.
½ February 22, 2017
Interesting, but scary too. For geeks only
February 15, 2017
Every time Werner Herzog releases a documentary it gets these glowing reviews and I feel like I need to give him another shot and every time I regret it. Herzog is a terrible documentarian. His fictional films, on the other hand, can be brilliant. But my god, these documentaries are bloated, disorganized, poorly filmed studies of obsessives by an obsessive. This one is particularly bad. You get the impression Herzog one day had the epiphany, "Ah, ze technologies are important. My next film shall be on ze topic of ze technologies." And he never narrowed it down any further than that. Sorry Werner, but the internet is too big a topic for one documentary. This film jumps from the birth of the internet to MOOCs on Udacity to some kind of self-driving car rally. Any one of these is topic enough for a documentary. Linking them together as just "stuff the internet can do" doesn't make for a coherent viewing experience. Then we get some dude who seems to have made some game wherein people online fold RNA molecules in different ways. We are given the broad sense that this has some real world consequences and that it is valuable crowd-sourcing, but how is never made clear. Write another script, Werner.
February 11, 2017
What if the internet is already dreaming about itself? Enough said!
½ February 9, 2017
Werner Herzog has become one of my favorite directors. I could name four or five great documentaries and some great films as well - with more on my watchlist. He is very original and he's style of presenting documentaries is accurate, fun and always on point.

This time he takes a step into the world of technology - the mighty Internet. Usually he does more nature-themed films, but this one is something we all know lots about, but never enough. It's parted into nine or ten pieces, from the beginning to the future. From the pros to the cons. Most of the parts are great, some are OK. It's very informinative, still speculating and fresh. The score is swell too.

The problem is that there is not much new here. Well, you don't know half of it in forehand, but the things they go through is never mindbending. Maybe it is, but we know it is. It's no shockers. Still, a great film that I feard would be a lot worse.

7 out of 10 bits.
February 8, 2017
Werner Herzog looking at the internet. Some interesting discussion about the future and some pontificating about society. Worth a watch.
February 4, 2017
Fascinating documentary where the first 20 mins or so are incredibly captivating and the rest fails to live up to the expectations set by the first couple of segments.
January 31, 2017
Absolutely fantastic. I love the way that the Internet was deconstructed and then analyzed through different perspectives.
½ January 16, 2017
The documentary was well structured, intelligent and informative but I feel it could have been shortened and it didn't have too much information that, let's say, wasn't already known. It did not have enough of the wow factor. But for people who aren't into this field or don't know much about it, it is a great film.
January 15, 2017
Wanted to like it but couldn't despite a few enjoyable spots.
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