What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole

Opens Fri., Feb. 3, at Neptune and Uptown

A seeming documentary that pointed suspiciously toward J.Z. Knight's School of Enlightenment, a New Age cult based in Yelm, Wash., 2004's What the Bleep Do We Know? lulled viewers into a state of open-mindedness with sound bites about the power of perception, loosely based in quantum physics and delivered by "scientists, mystics, and scholars." This follow-up just re-bakes the first film's doughy ideas and narrative (again with Marlee Matlin as a Portland photographer), then folds in 105 minutes of new interviews. Most are with familiar faces, like Knight, molecular biologist Candace Pert, and Miceal Ledwith, revealed last year by Salon's John Gorenfeld to be "a former priest who left the Catholic Church after allegations of sexual abuse." Co-directors William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, and Mark Vicente again refuse to identify the talking heads until the end, let them ramble vaguely until their questionable ideas clog up your brain, and interpolate condescending animated sequences. As this Bleep nears its conclusion, it cuts between broad diagnoses of our modern culture's woes—we're addicted to stress!—and Knight's self-help mantras ("The day becomes a fertilization of infinite tomorrows"). The first movie was packaged as a science documentary but turned out to be a recruitment tool for Knight; this one bills itself as a sequel, but it's really just the same old bleep. (PG-13)

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