Friday, November 14, 2014

The Unbelievers (2013)

Some movies are so great, you could spend hours extolling their virtues.  There are some so bad, you could spend days picking them apart and still not be satisfied that you found everything wrong with it.  Then, there are some that are neutral.  Somehow, you manage to watch the whole thing, but you’re left wondering why.  I came into The Unbelievers thinking it would be some sort of documentary or something on Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss.

Instead, it came across like Chariots of the Gods in that it was just a bunch of random footage strung together.  We get to see one of them talking on a radio show.  Next, we have someone giving a telephone interview.  (We only get to see their side of it.)  We get to see Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame and Penn Jillette, among others, speaking at a rally that Dawkins and Krauss also spoke at.  It’s almost like someone had a bunch of really great footage from other projects, but they didn’t know what to do with it.  Instead of throwing it all out, they gave it to someone to edit together.

This is where it’s going to be difficult to recommend watching this.  There’s no real plot and there isn’t enough of anything for it to be interesting.  I’m not even sure what the context was for each situation.  It’s almost like a best-of album or highlight reel.  It would have been nice if we had been able to see maybe one or two full interviews or lectures.  Instead, we’re off to the next engagement before we can form any interest in what’s going on.

I found this movie on Netflix through their streaming service.  I’m not sure if the DVD comes with any special features, but it would have been interesting to watch the movie with some sort of commentary track from either Dawkins or Krauss (or, preferably, both) explaining what was going on.  There’s so much potential here.  I thought this was going to be something about the advantage of science, as both men are advocates of reason.

This is something you’d probably watch out of desperation after you’ve gone through most of your other streaming options.  In this regard, I’m not entirely upset that I watched it.  At least I didn’t have to wait for it to be mailed to me.  As for my recommendation, It’s kind of like what the police might say in a move crime scene.  Move along.  Nothing to see here.

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