I got to thinking movie reviews. Different reviewers have different scales – like Siskel and Ebert famously had their thumbs up/thumbs down scale. They actually used to have 2 thumbs up and 2 thumbs down which was more helpful because the movie being either “good” or “bad” is overly simplistic. Very good, “2 thumbs up” was much more helpful as it distinguished from pretty good, not great and awful. Rotten Tomatoes offers a helpful Tomatometer which offers a much more complex array of ratings.
This led me to think about the reaction made by a minority of radicals creating an enormously wide swath of chaos in reaction to a terrible film that nobody would willingly go to see. I took a look at the “film” on YouTube. Can I count the ways that this film is awful? I mean not to tip my hand what I thought about the movie or anything but man that gave new meaning to what I think of when I hear about bad film making.
The film was loosely based on the life of an Arabic leader who shall remain nameless. This leader in question, while married to his former employer, a traveling merchant, began to have visions and convinced those near him that those visions were revelations from God. Many of the revelations had fortunate results for this “prophet” and could be perceived by the skeptic as “self serving” as they led to more opportunities for financial gain and sexual conquest. Any resemblance to any Arab prophets living or dead is completely coincidental.
That being said, the short film obviously only told part of the story and was not meant to be historically authoritative but much like the South Park sendup on Mormonism this film took aim at lampooning a venerated religious figure. The response of the Mormons was to serve more lemonade and just go on being Mormon. This was starkly different than the treatment this movie got around the world.
From a film making standpoint, the movie was just as bad as bad can be. The filming was amateurish and the blue screen effect made it look like all the characters were kind of hovering slightly over the surface of the ground. The dialogue was stilted. The acting was wooden. It was a bad movie. Yuck. Can I make myself more clear? Two thumbs down. No tomatoes for you. What a waste of time.
But again, I think the reviews around the world are being overplayed a bit. If the radicals in question had a rating system, what do you think it would it be?