10 March, 2009

Jathia's Wager - Don't Bother

I just finished watching an open source movie - and it was awful.

Now I like open source software. I use it all the time. It's great. So it seemed worth a look to see what an open source movie was like - especially since this one is a sci-fi movie called 'Jathia's Wager'. Go and see it at the Moviepals site if you have 20 minutes to spare.

I suppose it's early days and open source movies might get better, but this one was very badly written. (The filming, directing and acting looked pretty ordinary too but what do I know from making movies?) There were tedious passages with no dialogue where almost nothing happened. There were tedious passages of pure exposition where absolutely nothing happened. Oh, and did I mention it was tedious? Don't waste your time looking for realistic dialogue or any hint of humour, either.

[WARNING: Spoiler.]

As for the plot, I have no idea what happened. It's a mystery. There was a guy running around a lot. He seemed to be one of some humans left behind when others went transhuman. Although most of the future humans were religious nuts and liked being ignorant (so no change there, then) our hero had the option to join the post-humans , which, after one of the tedious exposition segments I mentioned earlier, he took. Then he came back for his sister, who either went with him and came back again, or had a dream about it and then ran into the hills screaming. Don't ask me which, or why. As for the 'wager' in the title, maybe I missed something...

In places the film had that quirky, amateurish quality that made 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' so charming. In other places it was just amateurish. Parts were even (unintentionally) comical.

I imagine it took the people involved lots of time and effort to put this together, so it is sad that they wasted their opportunity to do something interesting and good. There must be hundreds of excellent writers out there who could have written a script a thousand times better than 'Jathia's Wager'. Maybe the up-side of this is that, having set the ball rolling, the next open-source movie project will attract better writers.

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