One can always tell how good an argument for some political viewpoint in cinema is by how it treats opposition to its viewpoints. The Age of Stupid uses global warming hysteria to demonize anyone opposed to its viewpoint that anyone opposed to the theory of “global warming” is “stupid” and doesn’t want to “save” ourselves from its “effects.” It wouldn’t be bothersome if it wasn’t put together with all the artistic talent of a high school a/v student with no talent but a large budget.
A faux documentary, the film follows an unnamed archivist (Pete Postlethwaite) as he looks back on a ruined Earth because of global warming. Highlighting six different stories about our world right now, and blending fact with fiction, this is a more somber version of The Day After Tomorrow but without all the cool special effects simulating the apocalypse. That would’ve made this much more of an interesting film than news pieces alone.
And that’s the film’s problem; it’s preaching to a certain audience and demonizing anyone who doesn’t agree with its viewpoints. It doesn’t even pay lip service to an argument not its own; if you believed every word of An Inconvenient Truth this is your type of film. It’s not even trying to convince the non-believers, it’s merely there to further the cause.
The problem is that it’s not entertaining at all. If you’re going to preach to the choir at least do so in a way that’s entertaining. The film would’ve been better off if Postlethwaite would’ve just given a lecture ala Al Gore for 90 minutes of the subject as opposed to the way it came off. It’s one thing to lecture; it’s another to be dull and/or pretentious while doing so.
And that’s the problem with The Age of Stupid. It preaches to the choir but days in a dull (but well-crafted) manner.
Presented in a widescreen format with a Dolby Digital surround, the film has a great a/v presentation. Subtitled in 11 different languages, with versions with and without profanity, the film looks terrific. This is a film that used every penny wisely as it has a distinctive look and feel outside the archival footage.
There’s a relatively in depth Making of Documentary about the film’s production. Crowd funded, with 223 individuals and groups making contributions for the film’s budget, the piece goes into a lot of detail into how the film was made and funded.
Deleted Scenes and Extended Interviews are included and don’t add much back into the film.
A segment of ambush journalism from Pete is included as he ambushes Britain’s Climate Minister.
There’s a Commentary track from members of the cast and crew, as well as Trailers for this film as well as McLibel, Drowned Out, The Yes Men Fix the World, Heavy Load, Black Gold and The End of the Line.
With a DVD case that’s environmentally friendly, at least The Age of Stupid is watching its carbon footprint unlike An Inconvenient Truth and other similarly themed DVDs.
New Video Group presents The Age of Stupid . Written and Directed by Franny Armstrong. Starring Pete Postlethwaite. Running time 89 minutes. Not Rated. Released on DVD August 24, 2010.
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Scott Sawitz is an Inside Pulse original. He's also been featured on The Ultimate Fighter.com, Fox Sports.com, Nerdcore Movement.com, CagePotato.com, Inside Fights.com and Film Arcade.net (among others). When Scott isn't writing about film he's making his own. Check out Drunk Justice Productions right here.