The practice of adapting plays to cinema is as old as cinema, itself. In fact, many of the earliest narrative films were nothing more than existing plays, which were staged in front of a stationary camera. Aside from the fact that these films weren't much to look at, the absence of sound in cinema's first thirty years made for an awkward marriage between the silent pictures and plays, which typically feature a lot of dialogue. Fortunately the adaptations got better, not just because of the addition of a soundtrack, but mostly because filmmakers learned to open them up to the scope that cinema allows for. After a century, we've come a long way from those first moving dioramas that were passed off as a new medium, enough that we can even forgive all the talky, visually static films of the '90s. So, when a movie comes along that bears more resemblance to a filmed play than to a film version of a play, I feel that I must call it out as being format-inappropriate.

Such is the case with my feelings on Jailbait, a mostly inactive, primarily single-scene waste of film (or, actually, digital memory, as it was shot on video) written and directed by the playwright Brett C. Leonard. Although not actually based on one of Leonard's plays, or on a play at all, Jailbait stinks of the theater, and would most certainly work better on the stage rather than on the big screen.