November 2, 2012
United States (English)
Directed by Barry Levinson
Written by Michael Wallach
Barry Levinson's (?!) The Bay is only admirable in its sheer amount of found-footage fodder. How can so much amount to so little?
The Bay begins with a sober woman sharing her account of the events of July 4, 2004 with a filmmaker over Skype. She was to be reporting the annual festivities of the township on Chesapeake Bay when all hell broke loose on the waterfront. The faux-filmmakers behind this found-footage document are never seen, but we learn a WikiLeaks-esque site has gathered and released a multitude of video recordings from and leading up to that fateful day. It's an impressive collection. Production must've been a headache.
The findings of two oceanographers who discover what's being dumped (everything from nuclear waste to chicken waste) are cut in-between various denizens of this unfortunate Maryland suburb puking their guts out and losing their flesh. It takes itself too serious to have enough fun with yet it's too artificial to be invested on any reasonable emotional level. It's a strange film for Barry Levinson to add to his portfolio this late in his career. Good Morning Vietnam, The Natural, Rain Man and... The Bay. If you're not into found-footage films to begin with I'd pass on this. If you, like me, are a found-footage junkie, you should test the waters but don't expect to be impressed.
"I'm gonna show the world what happened here."
CONTENT: disturbing and gory images, strong language