The Uncertainty Principle (2001)

"OK"

The Uncertainty Principle (2001) Review


In this docu-oddity, Toni Sherwood turns her attentions to one Keith Schwab, a scientist doing basic research into the guts of quantum mechanics.

Try as she might, there's no way to make that subject come to vibrant life (though a 53-minute running time helps).

Schwab, as seen under the flourescent light of the lab and via an unflattering digital video camera, struggles with his experiments. He plows away for six years at Berkeley before getting a gyro-thingy to work. Then it's on to Cal Tech, where he attempts to directly measure a constant of quantum heat dissipation. (If that means something to you, congratulate yourself.) He cheats on his wife. He has a dozen hobbies to help get the mind working -- including biking, diving, and making his own ammunition -- none of which he seems very adept at.

In fact, a more cynical critic would say that Schwab's travails are indicative of someone who isn't adept at anything. Case in point: Eventually, when his second experiment works, he is invited to speak at JPL -- where he is practically heckled by a grating woman in the audience. Flustered, he almost forgets what he was saying.

While such vignettes are intriguing, they are few and far between. Much of The Uncertainty Principle is devoted to the uber-techie details of Schwab's experiments plus interviews with his brainiac colleagues. No one in the picture is terribly compelling, especially Schwab, who comes off as a midwestern buffoon, essentially clueless and certainly not worthy of having a movie made about him. (This, of course, is a common problem with documentaries about scientists; see also the recent W.I.S.O.R.)

As a treatise on the scientific method and the nature of experimentation, The Uncertainty Principle has a few thought-provoking moments. But really, the thought that comes to mind most during the viewing of this movie is: Why was this even made?

Experiment, meet nostrils.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.