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A Million in the Morning
As someone who watches an unholy amount of movies, I can attest that all-night viewing marathons are a better idea than they are a reality. My butt numbs and my mind gets soggy after five or six flicks, so I can't imagine the brain damage endured by the contestants attempting to set the continuous movie-watching world record in this wickedly amusing little doc.
What begins as an attempt to document a goofy Netflix promotional contest slowly becomes a descent into sleep-deprived madness and controlled anarchy. Sequestered in a comfy Plexiglas cube in Times Square, the oddball contestants, a mix of amateurs and serious competitors, get 10-minute breaks between each movie, but otherwise have to keep their eyeballs glued to the screen.
Knowing that this makes for a lousy spectator sport, the camera crew starts roving the streets as the event drags on. Times Square can be disorienting under the best circumstances, but in the throes of sleep deprivation it becomes a demented dreamscape.
Host Gavin McInnes has a touch of a Tom Green pest in him, engaging in shouting matches with cabbies, badgering crowds outside the Today Show and chatting up infamous New York City luminary the Naked Cowboy. There's also a heartwarming encounter with a pack of girls who just got swindled out of $800 buying fake Madonna tickets, which will surely delight Mayor Bloomberg's flunkies in the tourism bureau.
This stuff mostly works due to McInnes' sharp wit, as when he describes one of the contest's geekier hopefuls: "Jerry was a fastidious little nerd who reminded me of a beaver with a cocaine problem, though I got the feeling he hasn't tried either of those things."
Another bleary-eyed challenger is distraught that he simply couldn't endure all of West Side Story in order to get to his beloved Fletch. It's clear here you'd have to be a bit crazy to even try a stunt like this, as proven by a professional record setter named Suresh, a Sri Lankan-Canadian and complete lunatic.
A Million in the Morning is short on relevance or deep meaning, despite McInnes' tweaked out insights after three days awake. None of this amounts to much in the long view, but it may make a perfect pairing with a bout of the late night munchies, and it is, funny enough, a blessedly quick watch.