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Screener Squad: Bliss (2021)

Bliss Movie Review


And now for something like the 5th or 6th film named Bliss to come out in the last decade! This Bliss, directed by Mike Cahill (“Another Earth”), stars Owen Wilson as Greg Wittle, a guy getting fired due to job apathy. However, he very quickly suspects that something is wrong with his world as objects digitally flicker, people duplicate in the background, and other weird stuff happens that suggests he is in a computer simulation. Which is exactly what a woman named Isabel (Salma Hayek) convinces him of by showing how they can manipulate the world through extraordinary means (and some drugs). She leads him on a journey across town to help get them back to the ‘real world’ to escape their current bleak one. However, Greg’s daughter Emily (Nesta Cooper) continues to search for him as she is convinced Greg is actually going through a drug addled mental breakdown. Which one of them is right? What will that mean for their future? And what is Bill Nye the Science Guy doing here?

The movie has a lot of heady ideas it wishes to address, often asking the audience to do the heavy lifting with the narrative’s subtext and rules. Unfortunately, its method in doing so seemed to have divided Justin, Jena, Melina, and Mark in their overall consensus. Did the movie deliver emotionally profound points concerning addiction, homelessness, mental dissociation, and the illusions of utopia? Or did it pretentiously use sci-fi to distract from its disorganized mishmash of ideas and world building? A lot of it depends on what the viewer sees in the story, so listen here to find out who felt one way or the other.

WATCH HERE (Starting February 5, 2021)

DIRECTED BY: Mike Cahill

STARRING: Owen Wilson, Salma Hayek, Nesta Cooper, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Ronny Chieng, Steve Zissis, Joshua Leonard, Madeline Zima, Bill Nye, Slavoj Zizek, DeRon Horton, Eugene Young, Dayne Catalano, Adam William Zastrow, Lora Lee




Justin Zarian (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub, Assistant Site Manager)

Justin’s fate as a movie fanatic was written in the stars when his birth forced his parents to cancel their planned Oscar viewing party. While growing up in California, he was often seen in front of the television watching and re-watching Star WarsJurassic Park, classic Disney movies and a steady stream of animated shows. This eventually led to a B.A. in Film at Brigham Young University and an Outstanding Student Teacher Award for displaying a level of film knowledge so insane that even his fellow film students couldn’t compete. He received his M.A. from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a teaching certificate, but still volunteers at One of Us every so often for the fun of it. His hobbies include non-stop film conversations, wondering how Mass Effect 3’s ending went so wrong, espousing the joys of shooting guns (but not hunting, as he’s quick to note), writing the next great American television show in his head, and anything else entertainment related. You can find him on Facebook once in a blue moon.


” width=Jena Perry (Screener Squad)

Jena Perry. Aka Luna. Aka Dion. Aka Memori. Aka Dog whisperer. Aka whiskey connoisseur. As you can see, depending on when you met this Oakland, California native, you have experienced a completely different person, each time. After finally deciding on a 13+year career choice as a Videographer and Radio Personality, Jena balances her time between pursuing her Doctorate in Philosophy, providing insightful and funny critiques on films and Television, raising her daughter and dog in Ohio, and constantly fighting off the existential dread that is being a dope black woman in America in the 20th century.


” width=Mark Prince (Screener Squad)

Mark Prince is a lifelong nerd so old he remembers the first edition of Dungeons and Dragons, the original Star Wars in the theater, and comics that cost a quarter and could be found on racks in the local apothecary. By day, a mere human services worker, by night he emerges to combat boredom, master the vagaries of the B grade television serial, the C grade cinematic release, and to ever assist his fellow man, as well as to master, once and for all, the Shoryuken Dragon Punch with ever stiffening thumbs.


Melina Eames (Screener Squad)

Melina first discovered that she carried the nerd gene at the tender age of four following her exposure to a little film called A New Hope. In the twenty-some years that followed, Melina continued to grow into her geek identity through the discovery of Batman, Mst3k, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Mandalorian. But perhaps her most significant discovery came at the age of fourteen when a night of YouTube mining led her to the review site of Melina became a devoted follower whose fandom did not end with the site’s demise. By then, it had worked its dark magic and left her with a love and appreciation for film criticism that she has yet to shrug.



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