We are planning on keeping you up past your bedtime tonight. Not only are we airing Vin Diesel’s sci fi action thriller “Pitch Black,” but afterwards we’re showing “Blindness,” The film is a Fernando Meirelles’ adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s novel. While you may be shocked to learn that “Pitch Black” was not written by a Nobel Prize winner, the films do have something in common. Specifically, they are both based in dystopian futures where things aren’t going so well. However instead of fighting prehistoric blood-thirsty creatures like in “Pitch Black”, the characters in “Blindness” are fittingly fighting an epidemic of blindness. Mark Ruffalo stars as an eye doctor who awakens one morning to find that he suffers from the unexplained disorder. He, along with other victims, is sent to a government detention center so that they can be quarantined. His wife (Julianne Moore) pretends to be blind so that she can be with him inside the institution. Their time in the center grows more and more desperate as food and supplies dwindle, and one of the other citizens (Gael García Bernal) exercises dictatorial control over the others after he acquires a weapon.
As usual, the YouTube comments on the trailer are fantastically helpful in describing the brilliance of the film: “A brilliant film, truly scary, gives an insight to how fragile we really are if we just lose one thing about us.” And, of course, “Do not watch this movie if you are an idiot who does not know what a metaphor is. The entire movie is a metaphor.” Got that? That said, the frailty of the human condition, metaphorically or physically, that the film attempts to capture, would be for nothing if it wasn’t for the subtle and masterful acting by the wildly skilled cast. Of course this is another area where “Blindness” and “Pitch Black” overlap. You can’t argue with the fact that Vin Diesel carried the wait of “Pitch Black” in his bare chest and icy eyes. Similarly, Mark Ruffalo manages to stand out in “Blindness” despite being in a cast so full of amazing actors it would make James Lipton kick over a chair in the Actor’s Studio. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from Ruffalo. Be it in “Windtalkers” or “Reservation Road” or “In the Cut,” he consistently delivers brilliant, understated and natural performances. We also hear he’s great in “My Life Without Me,” but we’ve never been able to tell due to all the crying.
Here are five of our favorite Mark Ruffalo roles:
1. The Hulk in “The Avengers”
2. Terry Prescott in “You Can Count On Me”
3. Paul in “The Kids Are All Right”
4. Inspector David Toschi in “Zodiac”
5. Chuck Aule in “Shutter Island”
Here’s the trailer for “Blindness”:
“Blindness” airs tonight at 12:30 AM ET/11:30 p.m. CT and again at 3 a.m. ET/ 2 a.m.CT