My Review of "John Was Trying to Contact Aliens"
A short documentary about a man trying to communicate to aliens but the result was unexpected.
John Was Trying to Contact Aliens is a very unexpected documentary. It is extremely short so I thought it wouldn't hurt to watch it. From the description of the film it seemed as though there was going to be some sort of contact with something from space. I'm kind of a sucker for conspiracy films. What I got out of the film was entirely different. It almost seems as though this is one of the films that everyone jokes around online when they say Netflix will green light any proposal you give to them.
This movie starts off with the focus on the life of John Shepherd. He grew up out in the country with his grandparents. They talk about how he had a shocking past that had forced him to live with his grandparents. Fortunately his grandparents are very loving and supportive people. They have to be because John's passion is a little unorthodox.
He's always had a fascination with space and communicating with life in space. To do this he had created some huge transmitter in his grandparent's house to transmit sounds to space. Over the years the transmitters would get more elaborate and more sophisticated. The equipment would eventually take over the whole house and they even had to make additions to the house so that he could fit all of his equipment.
At this point, I'm all into this documentary but then I notice that the runtime of the film is only 16 minutes long. How could they possibly explain everything in 16 minutes with all of the video shots they keep interrupting the story with. They never truly focus too much attention on one thing.
Before long they start talking about his other situation that I won't tell you about so that I don't spoil the reveal. I was kind of pissed off with this reveal because the film goes into a totally different direction than I was expecting. It spent like 5 minutes of the film building the intrigue of the communication with aliens and then it was all for nothing. Well I guess they're talking about his passions in life.
The problem is that the alien thing doesn't really have too much to do with the end result of the movie and it's a 16 minute long film. They could have done two separate stories of this extremely short documentary. If they had done that they could have easily just made YouTube videos instead.
That's not to say that the film wasn't beautifully shot. The documentary was visually stunning at times but I didn't think that it warranted such a high production value. It really feels like one of those jokes that people make about Netflix. The running joke is that they're green lighting all of the proposals that come their way just to create content for their platform. This film was evidently an example of this.
I'm not saying it's a terrible film at all. I'm just saying that this film doesn't feel like it belongs in the Netflix catalog at all, let alone a Netflix exclusive. It really should have been a YouTube video rather than for a movie and television streaming network.
Maybe they're trying to venture off into doing shorter videos like this. I know that people's attention spans are shorter than ever so it does make a little sense. Perhaps it's an introduction to more artistic pieces that might be coming down the Netflix pipeline. Shorter videos means that there may be a chance that there are more art pieces that they're going to show on their platform.
Overall, there's not much to say about this 16 minute short documentary without giving the whole thing away to everyone. I respect the fact that the film was completed in such high quality productions. I'm sure that the makers of the film were quite proud about this film as they should be. For us viewers I think many of us will feel a little ripped off. I have to give this film a 4 out of 10. I gave it lower marks because I felt so deceived after watching this movie. I sort of wanted my 16 minutes back so I could utilize it a little better.