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Meet Joe Black (DVD)

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    43 Reviews
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      03.08.2011 23:48
      Very helpful



      It is a tale of love, trust and truely inspires you to think differently about death and love

      How many people can truely say that they have experienced love at first sight? How many people spend so much of their life fearing how it will end that they forget to enjoy each day to its full?

      Meet Joe Black is a beautifully sculpted movie that will jerk tears from even the dryest of eyes. I can honestly say that after watching this film tonight, I feel good about life, and I believe that I am better for it.

      Anthony Hopkins plays a very successful businessman who strikes a deal with death (Brad Pitt) to give him some extra time on earth with his family.

      You see as he slowly comes to terms with his fate, and stresses begin to fade away. Once burned bridges are rebuilt, sins forgotten and a love story rolling along in the background.

      It is a tale of love, trust and truely inspires you to think differently about death.

      Meet Joe Black is a long film, but worth it.

      Only tip I would say is to watch it early evening. Too many distractions in the daytime and too tiring at night! It does require a considerable amount of concentration.. Oh, and definately one to watch on a date... 100% guarantee of a cuddle!


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      25.06.2011 02:05
      Very helpful



      The best romantic movie of its time

      This film is one of my favourite films of all time. Yes it may have critical views from that of film critics and other people, but these are far and few between. I have seen that more people that I have shown this movie to have been overwhelmed and moved by the performances than any other movie they have seen. When I first watched it, I was not expecting to be so moved by everything however I found myself in tears completely overwhelmed. For anyone who thought this movie was rubbish - they did not understand the message of the movie.

      The primary character is a multi millionare whom clutches his chest (presumed heart attack) - however he lives and all of a sudden he hears a voice, the voice of death. In the sides his daughter meets an attractive man at a coffee shop and she is woed by him, but he unfortunately dies and death takes over his body. Death is here for the millionare - he is here on borrowed time, and it is completely up to death as to when he will now die. He is coming up to his 65th birthday and his business is turning on him ever so slowly and now his daughter is falling in love with death (whom she thinks to be the man from the coffee shop). Altogether this mixture of stories all coincide into one for a magical conclusion which would overwhelm even the hardest of men to cry.

      This is perhaps not for any average film watcher however, and do not take this film lightly as this has a lot of background meanings and if you do not understand the film then you will more than likely not understand how well designed it is and how amazing the overall performance is.

      Overall the performances of the cast show some of the best acting I have ever seen, it truly tugged onto my heart strings. This film is for those whom have experience love, father/mother/child/husband/wife, and whom really understand it.


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      08.08.2010 19:42
      Very helpful





      Director: Martin Brest
      Category: Fantasy / Romantic drama
      Release date: November 13th 1998
      Writer: Bo Goldman, Kevin Wade
      Running time: 173 minutes
      Producer: Martin Brest
      Rating: 12
      Distribution: Universal Pictures
      Screen: Widescreen 2.40:1 Anamorphic
      Languages: English - Dolby Digital ( 5.1 ) German ( 2.0 surround )
      Subtitles: English, Dutch, Polish, Hebrew, Danish, Finnish, Czech, Norwegian, Swedish, German.
      Region: Region 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.



      A young Brad Pitt plays two roles in the film, firstly a young man in a Coffee shop, then he later appears as Joe Black! The young man in the Coffee shop is everything you would want to be, attractive, vibrant, honourable but ultimately seductive...charming his pray within minutes of meeting! Joe Black on the other hand could not be any different, but yet seemingly the same person, but are they? Joe Black is cautious, almost shy, and extremely naïve, slow to grasp things and almost looking ponderous at any given opportunity. I'm not a fan or Brad Pitt, but think he works his two characters well-ish, his subtle gentle perplexed role as Joe Black is calculating and efficient, his eyes do all the talking, but often lacks any passion or sensual hunger.

      Anthony Hopkins plays William "Bill" Parrish, a wealthy ageing businessman seemingly with the world at his feet, Hopkins is his cool, calm efficient self, a steal glare here, and an authoritarian attitude there, faultless in everything he does, passive, elegant and someone to look up to.

      Claire Forlani plays Susan Parrish, Bill's youngest daughter, Vulnerable Susan, is mild mannered, loyal, the type that would do anything for anyone. Seemingly lost but happy to settle for mediocrity, mildly shy and quiet Susan seems empty. An elegant character not only in looks but in style, she is selfless and charming. Claire Forlani, is one of my favourite actresses she is simply stunning as Susan, you feel her pain and anxieties throughout, fantastic.

      The rest of the supporting cast are Jake Weber who plays corrupt Drew, Susan's fiancé. Not a very likeable man, greed is his motive and nothing else drives him forward, using Susan as his weapon rather than lover. Marcia Gay Harden plays elder sister Allison Parrish, she is the total opposite of the elegant Susan, she is the loving, motherly type that would do anything to please her father. She isn't sophisticated like her young sibling, but she is as likeable. Her husband Quince is played by Jeffrey Tambor, Quince is also Bill's best friend and second in command. Quince is a lovable fellow, a bit of a bumbling fool, but his heart is most defiantly always in the right place, very charming, and leads the supporting cast well.

      Bill Parrish has it all, wealth, success and two loving daughters ..... reaching his 65th birthday, what surprises could be in store for him? .....
      We awake to find Bill Parrish in some discomfort with overriding atmospheric music to give an eerie outlook, and some ghostly whisperings in the background, is it some kind of dream? What are these hallucinations? It seems to give him a sense of perspective, and the insight to pressure his daughter into following her dreams and passions.

      Breakfast at Tiffany's? Well maybe just a coffee then, as we meet Susan Parrish, the younger Parrish daughter at a local coffee shop, where she is instantly smitten by a young gentleman who befriends her! This brief encounter, I think Is poignant and really endearing, as the two are both so taken aback by one another, but yet not at ease to fall into one another's arms, or at least exchange numbers, how annoying!
      Moments after the encounter, the lives of both will change forever, but why?

      Bill Is a widely respected businessman, and takes no prisoners as the big cheese of his company Parrish Communications, so when Joe Black turns up to the Board of Directors meeting in toe, it has a negative impact to some of the associates, who cannot understand why this guy is sitting in, and seemingly taking control of Bill's work and home issues.

      Joe, seeks to investigate Bill's life but for what reason? What Joe didn't take into account was the fact his own feelings would be challenged, and possibly something he had never come across before. Thus becoming the major twist in the film. Joe explores the families day to day lifestyles as though a novice to it all, but he is stylish and helpful to many that come across him.

      Drew seeking to take over Bill's empire, is angry by Joe's presence and feels threatened, urging Bill to not trust this stranger. But who should be trusted, and who his is wielding the knife in to ones back? Bill and Joe both have such integrity and seem to warm to one another, but only Joe can see what's really going on around him, but can he help, will he help? Or will Drew capitalize on Bill's unfortunate dilemma?

      In effect Joe has a lasting gift for Bill, and can choose when he delivers it, but with many twist and turns, and unforeseen feelings that Joe has encountered, this heart wrenching love story gets ever so complicated and Joe receives feelings he never thought possible. Will he have the integrity to seek out his mission or will his emotion override what he has set out to do?

      Bill's 65th birthday party closes out the film, with some fireworks, many loose ends are tied up, but ultimately Susan gets to find out the truth in a mesmerizing finale.

      Spotlight on Location - ( 9.54 ) Director Martin Brest, talks about the message of the film, what he was trying to do, and why he choose the actors and actresses. The rest of the main starts also talk about there parts and how they approached playing them, and what endeared them to the movie script.

      Theatrical Trailer - ( 2.20 ) Obviously what it says on the tin, the theatrical trailer showcasing the best parts of the movie before its release.

      Production Notes - This is just scriptures of writing, explaining that Meet Joe Black was inspired by 1920s stage play adapted for the screens 1934s Death Takes A Holiday.

      Cast and Filmmakers notes - Again shorts scripts about the main protagonists of the film inclusive with director Martin Brest, a brief explanation of previous roles, and other useless information.
      To be honest the extras are not worthy of finding the menu button, I guess as it's a 1998 movie, its what you would expect. Move on nothing to see here - Hardly a bonus!!

      Rotten Tomatoes gave this 50% / 50% rating success. After 34 reviews were counted, the scores were even, with an average score of 5.8 out of 10, and the major consensus being that Meet Joe Black is glacially slow and uneventful. However other critics added that the film was long but never boring, spiritual but never soggy, this is the brand of big entertainment Hollywood is best at but so rarely does right these days.

      *Tiny spoiler alerts*
      Meet Joe Black is one of my favourite films, I think it's ever so powerful and emotional but in order to understand or appreciate you have to believe in true love or a soul mate exists, as second best is nowhere. Why because the story develops remotely around this theory.

      How can a film with so many flaws be so perfect? I'm not really sure, to be honest I've watched it a few times, and only until now whilst focusing on the main issues does it become apparent the negatives, but yet it seems not matter.

      What are the negatives? Well firstly, Brad Pitt, never fails to deliver, as he is as wooden as you would expect, in fact he only really turns up for a cup of coffee, then disappears? Which seemingly you would think ruins the film been the main character, but yet not, indeed mostly lacklustre with a charismatic bypass, but still fairly endearing as that's kind of what the role entails, a look of empty solitude.

      The Length of the film is questionable, nearly three hours long, now to me the longer the better ( apparently women feel this way too ), and the more detail is crucial, but it can linger in scenes that don't warrant it, but it does kind of set the precedent, and is not a problem for me, but others I feel would not appreciate.

      But the biggest gripe is why would this be the first time death have taken over a body? Obviously this is in context to the film, not in normality, but the way death is played is though he has never looked down on earth or even had the slightest urge to come down and have a play before? It seems weird to me, I suppose it's hard to know how to play the role, but it seems a bit disingenuous. Maybe, you should overlook this fact as after all it's only a movie and like this could happen anyway.

      Lastly, why would a lovely young lady succumb to or fall in love with a mere blank canvas? Surely if its true love then silence or looks of bewilderment would be met with contempt or anger? How can you find perfection in nothing? Smouldering good lucks works for some, but aside that there is not much left behind the looking glass.

      Positives, well Anthony Hopkins is different grade, his acceptance of what's around him and the intelligence he plays his role is without question tremendous. Each scene no matter how jaded or drawn out, is met with sincerity and sharpness. Claire Forlani succeeds where Pitt fails, she is passionate, touching and all you could want from a leading lady. Also a cameo appearance in the hospital by an old black lady, is totally endearing and gives substance to Pitt's changing persona.

      The script is well written, for large parts the conversations are thought provoking, and intelligent, some exquisite lineage and dry wit from Hopkins are a delight. What's more is the misleading and in directional nature of Pitt's spiel, it almost keeps you guessing, well us and Susan, which I think is important.

      The setting and scenery are all perfect nothing is out of place, lavish and fancy, kind of gives you a fairytale theme, which in truth is kind of what the film is about.

      The finale is of epic proportions, filled with emotion, reflection and confession, everything that you would expect is delivered, and more surprises are along the way. Personally the way it lingers just adds scope to the whole event, which I find as dramatic and tearful as the first time I watched it.

      Fair enough this film would be directed at the fairer sex for the content it upholds, as in truth its a love story and all its connotations. However anyone with a heart or soul must find this slightly endearing. Apart from the two toned theme to the feel, there is little in the way of sub plots, so unless you like Romantic drama's then this wont be for you. Having said that I don't normally, so what this says about me is anyone guess.


      Amazon Price: Meet Joe Black ( DVD ) £3.93


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        07.04.2010 18:39
        Very helpful



        Original idea and very entertaining

        Meet Joe Black starring Brad Pitt is a romantic/drama movie that was first released in 1999. I watched it then and more recently on DVD and have to admit loved it and thought it was a great film. I'm quite a big fan of Brad Pitt in alot of the things he does so that helped things too.

        The story is essentially about Death himself who is played by Brad Pitt, almost like the grim reaper. However, he does not look like the grim reaper as you would imagine with a cloack and a large machette. He is fed up of just claming lives and wants to experience life for himself. He is supposed to take the life of some corporate big player, but instead decides he will try and make a deal instead. The man in question is Bill and if he will show Death the ropes and how to live, then he will allow him to live a big longer. Sounds like a fair exchange. So it's quite an original movie idea too.

        There is of course a catch in the story and a complication when Death falls in love with Bill's daughter, Susan. Death has taken the body of some guy and takes the name Joe Black, hence the title of the movie.

        Brad Pitt is fantastic for this role and plays it very well. Anthony Hopkins plays Bill who is the man he has to take the life of. He equally backs up Brad Pitt very well indeed and puts in a great performance.

        I highly recommend this movie to anyone, whether you are a Brad Pitt fan or not, as it's very entertaining and will keep you riveted throughout to see what happens. It's a love story with a difference, a bit difference. Well worth watching if you can get hold of a copy of the DVD.


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        22.02.2010 10:57
        Very helpful



        Give it a go!

        Meet Joe Black is a romantic drama directed by Martin Brest (and Alan Smithee). Martin Brest is an American screenplay writer and film director who directed Beverly Hills Cop, Scent of a Woman and Gigli just to mention a few. (Alan Smithee is an official pseudonym of film directors who don't want to appear in the project any more.)

        The film was released in November 1998. The running time is 181 minutes (the Alan Smithee cut is 129 minutes long). The classification is 12 years and over. The film is a remake of the Death Takes a Holiday (1934).

        Main cast
        Anthony Hopkins - William Parrish "Bill"
        Brad Pitt - Joe Black "Death"/Young man in the coffee shop
        Claire Forlani - Susan Parrish (Bill's younger daughter)
        Marcia Gay Harden - Allison Parrish (Bill's elder daughter)
        Jake Weber - Drew (Susan's fiancé)
        Jeffrey Tambor - Quince (Allison's husband)

        The film starts by presenting Bill Parrish the successful businessman sleeping in his bed when he hears a sound saying yes. He does his everyday routine and from time to time he hears the voice whisper yes to him. Nobody else hears the sound.
        Later Bill meets his younger daughter Susan and they talk about her relationship with Drew. Bill is not convinced that Susan is really passionately in love with her fiancé so suggests her to stay open.
        Susan is a doctor and before she goes to the hospital she enters the coffee shop to drink a coffee. She meets a young man with whom she has a very interesting conversation. Susan falls in love with this young man. They say goodbye to each other in front of the coffee shop and they leave in opposite directions. Both of them look back to the other. The young man dies in a collision with two cars at the end of the street. Susan doesn't know about the accident.
        Death visits Bill in his house in form of the young man from the coffee shop. He asks Bill to be his guide here on Earth. Bill meets Death in his library while his daughters and their partners are in the dining room having dinner. Death makes Bill invite him for dinner. Bill can hardly find words how to present Death to his family, so he calls him Joe.
        Joe Black accompanies Bill everywhere even to Board Meetings. He is curious and behaves like a little kid in the body of an adult. His behaviour and constant presence makes Drew angry.
        The Board Meeting is about Parrish Communications union with a larger company. Bill refuses the offer while Drew really wants this merger. Joe's presence at the family dinners and on Board Meetings generates loads of changes in relations and emotions. What happens to Bill? How Susan reacts when she meets the young man from the coffee shop? Watch the film and you will know the answers.

        My opinion
        I have to admit that I haven't realised that this film was about 3 hours long. Naturally I have seen the longer version as I watched it on DVD. The shorter version is for the TV and mostly Bill's things are shortened as I read somewhere.

        So I think this film was really engaging and very catching. I really liked the outstanding performance of the actors. I like this kind of drama that makes me think about it for days. I read the critics that there are scenes that seem slow and they really were. Mostly the conversations between Joe and Susan and Joe and Bill were really slow.

        I liked the performance of Brad Pitt. Not because he is a handsome and really sexy actor I liked his expressing eyes and face. He behaved very naïve and there were loads of scenes where the camera focused on his face. I rarely see such expressing and talking eyes. I loved that the chemistry between him and Susan worked really well. I liked also his relationship with Bill. They had very interesting conversations.

        I was fond of Anthony Hopkins. He is a brilliant actor. He was a perfect match for the role of Bill. He was very natural and believable. I liked how he loved his daughters although he loved Susan more than Allison.

        I think both the actresses playing Bill's daughters were really good. Both of them were very natural and believable in their role. The chemistry between Susan and his father worked very well. Susan was treated like daddy's little princess and Allison had to prove a lot to feel his father's love.

        The soundtrack of the film was really outstanding too. It appeared on a CD as well. The film was nominated for the following awards: Saturn Award in Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Music categories and Razzie Awards for the Worst Remake of Sequel category.

        I think it was a really catching and engaging film I would watch again in the future. You can buy it on DVD for 3.98 pounds which is a very reasonable price for it I think.


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          08.02.2010 22:36
          Very helpful



          First Class Performances From All Involved.

          Reasons For Purchasing Meet Joe Black:
          I remember watching "Meet Joe Black" at the Movie House around twelve years ago. I was quite looking forward to seeing it at the time as I do love Brad Pit as an actor and also admire Anthony Hopkins who was staring in it. Well I was rather surprised actually to find out that the film was nearly three hours long, which nearly put me off going in to watch it that night at the Pictures, 'but I did' and was rather surprised that those three hours went in quite quickly while watching it also.

          Well a few years after Meet Joe Blacks release, I decided to purchase it for my DVD collection and also because my Husband had not seen this film himself. I really had enjoyed watching this Movie a lot and I knew my Husband would like this type of film also and of course 'I was right' as he said he thoroughly enjoyed it after he saw it. He has since watched it several times with me and it is still as good a watch as the first time around I find. You always seem to pick up on a little bit more of something you missed each time you watch it also.

          A Little Bit About The Film:
          Meet Joe Black was released in November 1998. It is classed as a Romantic Drama, but it does have a little bit of mystery, fantasy and humour to it also. In runs for 181 minutes, was produced by Martin Brest and also was Directed by Brest and Alan Smithee. Apparently Meet Joe Black is based on the 1934 film "Death Takes a Holiday" which I have not seen myself to compare it with. Meet Joe Black had a very good budget of $90 million to help make it also. The film was also edited in length to a two hour version for Television, but Martin Brest was really annoyed about this happening, so he now has totally disowned the Directors credit.

          Meet Joe Black received some criticism on its release and was said that the running time of it was far too long and that it was quite boring 'which I personally think it was none of myself'. It did get equal amounts of praise though and was nominated for five awards, but only managed to received two of them and one of those was in "The Worst Movie" category. Well I personally believe it to be a great entertaining film and it certainly gets far more reviews from viewers praising it than ones which say anything bad about it. I really think the critics where far too harsh on this film in my opinion.

          The Cast:
          Brad Pitt ~ Joe Black.
          Anthony Hopkins ~ William "Bill" Parrish.
          Claire Forlani ~ Susan Parrish.
          Jake Weber ~ Drew.
          Marcia Gay Harden ~ Allison Parrish.
          Jeffrey Tambor ~ Quince.

          The Plot:
          The Film begins with New York media tycoon William Parrish. William is nearing his 65th Birthday in this film. He suddenly starts to get chest pains in the first scene and he knows inside 'and upon hearing voices' that his death is fast approaching, but not quite on that day. Susan Parrish is soon introduced as Williams daughter. She is a Doctor and is going out with Drew, her Fathers second in command. Susan is at a Coffee Shop alone at the same time her father had his chest pains and she meets 'by chance' a beautiful young man who she talks to briefly for a few minutes. As they depart and Susan Walks off down the street, unknowingly to her, the handsome young stranger she just met is hit by a car.

          Well, later at Dinner Susan's Father William introduces her to his new business associate "Joe Black" and to her surprise he is that dashing young stranger she meet earlier that day in the Coffee Shop. Joe does not seem to recognise Susan though. Well Joe Black needs Williams help really and in return he helps him also buy some time in this world. Well the story slowly unfolds from here with a few twists and turns. A love story also develops nicely along the way.

          Introduction To The Main Characters And Their Performances:
          William Parish is a very strong character. He is a powerful man and a President of his firm. He also is a very likable character in Meet Joe Black and he really grows on you quite quickly. I noticed also he is without flaws. He is the perfect Father and is still devoted to his dead wife dearly. He is played by Anthony Hopkins and what a performance he gives in this film. He really is at his best in this and plays his character with such energy and enthusiasm.

          Joe Black is an excellent, mysterious character in this film. I certainly loved him from the very first scene as he suddenly changes from one role to another really. Well Joe is very polite, very good looking and very romantic, but comes across to Susan as a very different guy from the one she first meet at the Coffee Shop. Joe is 'well' quite zombie like at times and certainly gets noticed wherever he goes. Joe is played very well by Brad Pitt. I think the producer certainly choose the right guy for this role. He is great at acting his part, is quite funny and very witty at times also. He is quite the star in this film really.

          Susan Parish comes across as a strong, but quietly spoken girl. She is quite good looking and is devoted to her job as a Doctor. I really liked her character from the word go in this film and wanted her to get everything she deserved. Susan really loves her Father a lot also. Susan Parish is played by Claire Forlani and she really is a great actress. Her performance in Meet Joe Black is excellent and it really was a pleasure watching her.

          Drew is Susan Parish's boyfriend in the movie. He is smart, quite straight faced, very ambitious and helps William run his Firm. He turns out though not to be a very nice character in the film and one I want to see uncovered for what he really is. Drew is played exceptionally well by Joe Weber who also is a great actor.

          Allison Parrish is the elder daughter of William Parish. She is a strong character also, but is a little eager to please at times. It is obvious that she is loved a little bit less and is slightly neglected by her Father William. She is very likable and is played by Marcia Gay Harden very well. Some of her scenes are very touching really. Allison is married to the character Quince in Meet Joe Black and he comes across as a 'not to bright a husband really'. Well he is quite witty at times, but often 'very dim'.

          Of course there is plenty more enjoyable characters introduced at times throughout the movie and I find together with the main cast, the supporting cast all did a great job also. Meet Joe Black really has excellent characters and first class actors all on board it.

          My Thoughts On Meet Joe Black:
          Well, Meet Joe Black certainly is a great film. Yes! It is quite long and having three hours to spare can be off putting sometimes to sit down and watch a film for, but honestly it really is worth it. This film is a little bit different really from others I have watched. It takes on a storyline to no other film I have seen before so this was great. It really is a very relaxing, romantic film from the start, but it is not all about love and romance either as another great story develops equally along the way. It is half chick flick and half a mysterious type of storyline I would say. It is dark in plot also, but is brightened up a lot by its production. It certainly can be enjoyed equally by both men and women.

          The whole Plot of Meet Joe Black was certainly very interesting and you are introduced to the Parish family and their relationships. We also do get to 'Meet Joe Black', watch him learn, get a little bit educated about Death and how we deal with it. We also learn quite a lot more, as it teaches us about love and hope also, which makes it a little bit easier dealing with Death really when it finally arrives. The film also shows us that even though the Parish family are quite wealthy, they really enjoy the simpler things in life a lot. It is also good to see a lovely Father and Daughter relationship highlighted also.

          I found the film well directed and very well acted out. It is quite heart warning and emotional in places, but it certainly teaches us that anyone can have a heart if they really want to. It also does show us the value of a human life and about fearing death also. There was well directed scenes on honesty and power and it really did make me feel for the characters involved in them. It certainly had me involved a lot and I certainly did get to Meet the character Joe Black.

          Meet Joe Black moves along at one continuous pace really. It certainly is not too slow like a few critics have said. It does quicken up a little towards the end, but at no time did I feel bored or lose a seconds interest in the storyline. There is enough going on in it to keep you guessing and very interested in what will happen next. I really feel it is a very relaxing film, an enjoyable storyline, funny at times and very romantic. The music played throughout it is incredible and had the hairs standing up on my arms in certain scenes. It really was very appropriate to the whole theme and fitted in beautifully.

          Joe Blacks arrival into the Parish household certainly seems to disrupt it. He certainly loves to see how people really tick in the world. It is fun to watch his character unfold, is really interesting to watch what he discovers next and how he reacts to it. Joe Black really is a very odd character most of the time though, but he is lovable, funny and a pleasure to watch. In some scenes he really has not a clue about what to say in some circumstances. The things he does say are funny and don't make sense at times. At other times in this film though he really is away ahead of what is going on from everyone else. I think Brad Pitts acting is better in his serious scenes with William and he is great in the romantic ones with Susan also 'although in his comedy scenes, he does make me laugh out loud'.

          Susan Parish really does not know what to think or make of Joe Black at times I found. It really is as if the romantic stranger in the Coffee Shop does not recognise her when he arrives at her home. This really is quite funny to watch from Joe's character, but annoying and frustrating for Susan's.

          Meet Joe Black has quite a lot of large conversations throughout it which really are written very well and are excellent when William Parish is involved in them. He really is well spoken, intelligent and is great to listen to. I think Meet Joe Black was a success because of its intelligence and unforgettable performances.

          Well I found Meet Joe Black a very intriguing film and I thoroughly enjoyed its adventure. I really enjoyed it more than I thought I would as I was a bit weary about it lasting for three hours, but It honesty did not seem like it. I remember watching this film open minded and with little enthusiasm when I found out the running time, but I should not have worried as it did not drag out. It is one paced and this is deliberately done to give the movie a certain feel. It moves along well in my opinion and is strung together very nicely.

          The Music Throughout The Film:
          This certainly is a film that you will notice the music score in. The main theme tune is played beautifully throughout it and gives it the overall feeling to this story. It is quite haunting and builds up loudly in certain scenes. It really is first class piano and orchestra music that is emotional and quite uplifting. It really helps to make the film I find. I actually bought the soundtrack to Meet Joe Black as it is excellent. If you do watch this film you will certainly see 'or hear' what I mean.

          Scenes, Acting And Special Effects:
          Meet Joe Black is set mostly in and around the Parish household in New York which is a high class society. It certainly is done very well and filmed in a very grand luxurious estate. Everything looks clean and perfect also. No expensive seems spared really. The furniture, clothes and lavish lifestyle is covered well and we clearly see the Parish family as millionaires. The lighting is very good I find also as the whole film and each scene inside and out of the Parish home seems to really shine out at you.

          The camera also captures great facial expressions a lot from Joe Black which do take a little bit of a different approach and more so in a certain love scene. Instead of capturing body shots in this scene, they focus a lot on Joes facial ones and it is all done without nudity really.

          There is not a lot of special effects in Meet Joe Black for the budget spent on it, but at the beginning of the film there is a great scene of Joe getting hit by a car (which is very unexpected) This looks very realistic and is well captured. I personally do not like a film with too many special effects as there is so many these days with no storylines to them.

          My Favourite Quotes:
          William Parish ~ "65 years. Don't they go by in a blink?"
          William Parish ~ When I introduce you, and I tell them who you are, I don't think anyone will be staying for dinner.

          DVD Extras:
          The DVD I own has only got a theatrical trailer, production notes and filmmakers notes. There is now a new DVD ultimate edition available which includes the original 1934 film "Death Takes A Holiday", so this might be worth buying . A short featurette on the production of Meet Joe Black is also included on this newer DVD along with interviews from the cast and film makers and also photographs.

          My Overall Opinion:
          Well Meet Joe Black was an outstanding film in my opinion and I really feel that it was underrated. The performances by all the cast members is excellent and they do put in some of their 'best ever' in this film. The performances from Brad Pitt, Claire Forlani and Anthony Hopkins make Meet Joe Black all worthwhile. This really is a romantic epic, a fantastic drama story and a comedy, all mixed into one. It does not fit exactly into any genre really. It is quite a serious film also, but it does allow the comedy elements to it. You will not feel the time going in at all watching it. This really is a feel good movie about being in love and being thankful for being alive, although it did bring a tear to my eyes at times.

          Well I think you will either absolutely love Meet Joe Black or hate it. I would say not to let the romance side of the film put you off it as it really is not all about that. It is more about death and being prepared for it and also shows how important life really is. The plot is in-dept and unique. The film shows greed in a sub plot and this is a good enjoyable storyline with most of the supporting actors involved. I honestly found enough going on in it this film to keep me very interested for the whole three hours.

          To me, Meet Joe Back is one of the better films I have seen. I could watch it over and over again and still thoroughly enjoy it each time. It has great character development and is superbly constructed. I think it is quite a classic film now and should be seen. I really do highly recommend watching it as it certainly makes a great evenings entertainment. If you love Brad Pitt or Anthony Hopkins, you certainly will love Meet Joe Black also.

          I really do have to award Meet Joe Black a full 5/5. It really is a very complex, heart-warming story, a very emotional plot and has an all star cast. Give it a go if you have never seen it before. I really enjoyed it and you never know, you might also. Meet Joe Black is also rated 12, which is appropriate in my opinion as there is no swear words, although it is a little complex at times. I think younger viewers will enjoy Brad Pitts good looks and also watching him perform in his comedy scenes.

          Meet Joe Black has been shorted in length for television to two hours. It does cut out quite a lot of Anthony Hopkins character by doing so I found. I really do recommend buying it on DVD or even renting it out. It is for sale on Amazon at the moment for £2.98, so it certainly is worth buying if you are interested.



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            29.09.2009 23:57
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            Give this one a miss

            After reading several very positive reviews of 'Meet Joe Black' I decided to watch a film which I had deliberately ignored when it first showed ten years ago on the basis of some fairly harsh criticism from film critics. Although it was praised at the time for an unusual story and inventive characters, many critics felt that its three hour running time was excessive and that the pace was too slow and boring. I was not expecting anything too deep - a basic rom com with a very unusual plot, but even with my fairly low expectations, I was disappointed.

            The idea behind this film is interesting, and one with huge potenial. It is the story of Death - an endearing character with very human weakenesses. After thousands of years plodding on at the same old job, Death develops a curiosity about the mortal world, and makes good use of the body of an anonymous young man (Brad Pitt) who has recently been knocked over and killed by a taxi. Before he made this huge decision, Death was in the middle of a job - the job in question being Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) who is in the early stages of a fatal heart attack. Death decides to grant Bill a little more time, in return for becoming part of his family, and allowing Bill to teach him about the pleasures and sadnesses of the world. Taking the name Joe Black, Death proceeds to join Bill at work and at home, eventually and inevitably falling in love with his favourite, and most beautiful daughter Susan, played by Claire Fiorani.

            'Meet Joe Black' is a remake of the virtually unknown 1934 film 'Death takes a Holiday' - a far better film in many respects. Death in the original film is played by Fredric March, who gave the role the real charisma and depth that Bradd Pitt is unable to bestow, and 'Death Takes a Holliday' has both more substance and edge than its modern remake.

            It would seem that I am one of the very few people who did not enjoy 'Meet Joe Black'. There were certain elements of enjoyment; a muscular young Brad Pitt is very easy on the eye; some of the settings and props (such as the mystical beauty of Bill's Hudson River mansion)are magnificent ; the camera work is professional and creates some very atmospheric scenes. Unfortunately all of this is negated by what is some really uninspired acting. Brad Pitt desperately tries to show some emotion, but fails miserably. After a scene where he makes love to Susan, the camera lingers lovingly in a close up of his face; lower lip vibrating like a tuning fork and eyes very watery, he tries to let the audience know that he is in the throes of a great emotion - but what? It is genuinely very difficult to tell. The usually great Anthony Hopkins has some fantastic scenes, where his love for his daughters shines through and the class of his acting ability dominates - but it sometimes feels as if he has lost faith in the film, as he delivers some of his lines at great speed and with little emotion, as if wanting to get the whole experience over and done.

            The film is very ambitious - it tries to show the reaction of somebody who has never experienced life to such sensual pleasures as taste, love, sex and beauty. The film had 4 screenwriters, and this is perhaps the clue to the inconsistencies in Brad Pitt's performance - Death is not humorous, he is not awesome (in the traditional sense of the word), and although he has been around for centuries, he seems to have gained no deep wisdom or sense of justice and evil. He appears in his newly acquired body and behaves like a newborn, innocent about the machinations of sex, unaware of the evils of the business world, and ignorant about all forms of human emotion. The creation of a Death who had seen the extremes of fear, anger and regret - the complex emotions of a human at the end of life - would perhaps be seen by some to be too intense for such a lighthearted film, but in my opinion would have added immensely to the performances.

            The film was not a box office success in the US, but did much better elsewhere in the world. Unsurprisingly it has not been nominated for any major awards, but it did have the dubious honour of being nominated in the Worst Remake or Sequel category at the Razzie Awards.

            A nomination that reflects my opinion entirely.


            Meet Joe Black was first released in 1999.

            It has been given a 12 rating. There are some sex scenes, but no nudity. There is no swearing or violence.


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              24.08.2009 17:16
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              Romantic drama based on a bold, strange idea, directed by Martin Brest and Alan Smithee.

              Long, strange film, that gets very romantic, especially towards the end. Not many guys would enjoy it all the way through because of its emotional tinge, and halting, slowly developing style. Still, it is worth watching once, because it is thought-provoking, and the cast is really good.
              The film begins with Bill Parish (Anthony Hopkins) having a conversation with Death, that he considers hallucinations. Death indicating the fact that Bill soon will be escorted to the afterlife.
              After the shock, Bill gives his favourite, younger daughter, Susan (Claire Forlani) the advice of living her life with passion. Bill is not very impressed with her current relationship, since her fiancée, Drew (Jake Weber) is not very affectionate, in fact, he is more passionate about business and Bill's corporation, than Susan.
              Shortly after her father's advice, Susan happens to meet a young man (Brad Pitt), who she immediately falls in love with. It seems that the feeling is mutual, but right after their parting the young man dies. Death takes over the young man's body to discover the world and gather experiences. In order to do so, he returns to Bill's home first, to make a deal with Bill, asking him to be his guide on Earth, in return for a delay.
              Death moves in the house, and soon enough, Bill's family-, and business-life will be upside down...
              There are interesting, unexpected turns in the film, and the idea that the story is based on is quite unusual itself.
              I think it is a good film, however, ladies will probably enjoy it more.
              Marcia Gay Harden and Jeffrey Tambor also star as Bill's older daughter, Allison, and her husband.


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                24.06.2009 00:16
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                Decent movie

                This film stars Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins. Pitt takes on the role of Death who assumes the identity of a recently deceased man and visits Hopkins character Bill to take him to the afterlife however he persuades Death to give him a couple of extra weeks so that he can sort out some loose ends in his life and agrees to show Death around a bit and gives him the name of Joe Black.

                The other part of the storyline focuses on Susan who is played by Clare Forlani, she had seen the live version of Pitts body before he died and felt an attraction to him and now she comes into contact with him again.

                At first I thought I would not enjoy this film as it was a bit slow to get started but after a while I enjoyed the excellent performances from the three leads and this quirky storyline really worked well.

                The storyline is this film is well constructed and the ending for me was a bit of surprise and it is an enjoyable bit of film making.


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                  19.06.2009 11:39
                  Very helpful



                  Death certainly does move in mysterious ways! (plus he is very sexy!)

                  I have had this sitting in my 'to watch' pile for a few months now but the thing which was putting me off was the length of the film. Finally to get a break from all the John Wayne films I told hubby to stick this one on and I am so glad I did.

                  At the very start of the film we meet Susan who is having a break n a café before going to work when she meets a very handsome stranger and they get talking but as they both leave and she turns the corner he is run over and killed.

                  We then meet Bill who is a very rich business man but he is ill and he keeps hearing a voice. The voice then reveals itself as death. Death has taken the form of a recently deceased man, yes the man from the café who Susan met and has come to take Bill with him. Bill asks death if he can have more time as he wants to be able to go to his 65th birthday party which is only 2 weeks away. I exchange for this extra time Bill agrees to be deaths guide on Earth and show him what it is like.

                  When Bill introduces death to his family he calls him Joe Black but Susan still feels the chemistry between herself and the man she believes was the one she met before. Will Bill be able to cheat death and what will happen with the chemistry between Joe and Susan?

                  I really am pleased that I finally sat and watched this film. I did find that it was slightly slow to start with but after the first hour it did start to pick up so do try and stick with it if you too find you are loosing interest.

                  Anthony Hopkins takes the role of Bill and I thought he really did a great job of playing a man facing death and he did deal with it in a wonderful way. I thought he put across his feelings and emotions extremely well and I really did warm to his character. Brad Pitt plays the role of Joe Black who is death and he was also excellent. I liked how he managed to keep an air of mystery in his character and how he pout across what he was experiencing and how strange the feelings were to him. The role of Susan was played by Claire Forlani, I admit that I don't think I have seen her in any other films but she did a great job and I think she worked extremely well with both Hopkins and Pitt and they all had a great on screen chemistry.

                  There were a lot of other supporting actors in the film and I think each and every one gave a wonderful performance and all bought something different to the film which did give it a bit of depth.

                  The story was very good, I was unsure about the subject of the film being death and thought that it might be a bit morbid but I have to say it was far from it. The way the writer handled the subject shows us all that it is nothing to be afraid of. I will say that if this s what death looks like that I certainly will be willing to go! The length of the film did enable the writer to explore the subject more and make me and my hubby both stop and think about what was happening instead of rushing through and not really having chance to take the subject in or reflect on what we personally would do or feel.

                  The setting for the film was the present time so not much attention was needed to costumes and settings but they were all very good and looked great. The one problem which I found with the film was that there was a lot of quiet talking which would at times be overpowered and hard to hear due to the back ground music and at times I really did have to turn the volume right up to hear what the characters were saying toe ach other. I don't know if this is the same on all DVD's but it certainly was on mine. The music in the film was all very good and suitable for the parts which it was used and I did find that it helped to set the tone and emotions of the scenes which it was used for.

                  The DVD which I have does have some bonus material which includes:-

                  Spotlight on Location
                  Theatrical Trailer
                  Production Notes
                  Cast and Filmmakers Notes

                  The length of the film was enough for me so I did not watch any of these plus I don't really have any interest in them so I cannot give any comment on them.

                  As I said before this is a long film and the running time is a whopping 173 minutes but I did find this was Ok as the time was needed for the viewer to reflect on what was happing and I personally think that if you can persevere past the first hour then you will soon forget the time and enjoy this film. The certificate for the film is a 12 and I do tend to agree with this.

                  The ending of the film was wonderful and I have to say it was nothing like I predicted would happen and I liked how they left us hanging on right up to the very end. I am definitely going to recommend this film as the story is like no other I have seen and the actors are all wonderful in their roles. This gets 5 stars from both me and hubby.


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                    11.06.2009 13:22
                    Very helpful



                    A good overall film

                    I recently bought this film on dvd and enjoyed it a lot. The story is pretty unique and the performances from all are very solid. Basically the story revolves around an extremely wealthy business man (played by the brilliant Anthony Hopkins) who receives a visit from death, as his time is up. In exchange for more time on earth, Hopkins must show death how he lives his life and the ways of the world in general. Coincidentally the body that death takes and inhabits during his time on earth is the body of a man that Hopkins' daughter had met and fallen for earlier in the day.

                    I will not ruin the plot with further information but needless to say the cinematography is excellent, as is the acting and soundtrack. It also raises very interesting questions about death and how we approach it and our attitudes to it, and how we seem to try and fight the inevitable. The film is very touching and romantic even, although I have to admit sometimes it does boarder on the over-sentimental. Another problem with this film is that it is quite simply too long at pretty much three hours. This is despite its subject matter a very enjoyable film and at times very humorous.

                    In terms of the DVD itself the highlight on disc two includes the 1934 film Death takes a Holiday, on which this film was based. Whether you like this film or not it is well worth a watch.

                    Overall this is a very good, well acted, scripted and shot film, that despite its overt sentimentality and great length is well worth owning.


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                      20.05.2009 14:32
                      Very helpful



                      Hopkins and Pitt together make another classic.

                      I can't believe that this film is 10 years old. Having found the DVD in my collection over the weekend I thought I'd watch it again. There is something about this film that I love, I have watched it a number of times and know exactly what is going to be said but it still brings back to wanting to watch it.

                      It stars two of my favourite actors Brad Pitt and the legend that is Anthony Hopkins. You won't believe that this film clocks in at around three hours when you watch it. It is so fluid in its story and every scene is set out well. It doesn't' feel rushed and the director Martin Brest did a great job in not trying to cram too much into a short film like many others do.

                      I won't go into the plot because I don't want to ruin it for first time viewers. I'll just mention a few of the things that I loved. To start off with I have to say Brad Pitt, wow, if you were unsure of his acting abilities then this film will set you straight. Simply amazing, and the way he acts opposite Hopkins shows he is a natural. The chemistry between the two fascinates me, there is a certain charm to they way they approach their role that leaves a happy feeling.

                      Just thinking about the film makes me feel happy as I can relate to 'those moments' that we have experienced ourselves. Even though it isn't a comedy there are many moments that will bring out a smile, it has to be one of the best romantic films I have ever watched.

                      I won't say any more other than to click 'buy it'. You won't regret it. Watch it with your loved one or with the family, it will make you appreciate what you have in your life.

                      5 out of 5.


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                      15.04.2009 19:47
                      Very helpful



                      A modern classic!

                      Meet Joe Black is one of those movies that you will either switch off from after 30 minutes or will love it from the start and will go on to watch it all the way to the end. I am the latter, but was very nearly the former. Don't get me wrong, the movie does turn out to be one of the best I have seen for a long time, but wow what a slow start. I am convinced that a few thousand people will never see the end after the dull and uninspiring beginning, but if you are one of those, I emplore you to take another look.

                      The movie centres around Joe Black, played by Brad Pitt. Joe is an unusual character in the fact that he may not be all he seems. Joe has a dark secret that only he and Bill (Anthony Hopkins) share. The could quite literally lead to death without a blink of the eye lids. Brand and Anthony play superb roles and help to make the already unique storyline stand out from the crowd.

                      There are a number of sub plots going on alongside the main storyline. These help to keep the interest going as the death story has to be delivered at a slow pace, thus leading to the perhaps too lengthy 180 minutes of film.

                      There is ofcourse a bit of romance in there that plays an integral part of the main plot and this is also well thought out and leaves you guessing at all time. All of this leads you to a twist at the end that I certainly did not see coming. Many will not see this as a twist but it certainly had my husband and I fooled.

                      The DVD extras are the standard kind of commentary and nehind the scenes sort of thing, nothing to write home about.

                      I advise you to take a look, if you haven't already, as this is a modern classic in my view.


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                        20.09.2008 19:01



                        A good film if you've got the time to watch it all

                        Anthony Hopkins plays an aging, successful man who one day meets with a personified Death, played by Brad Pitt. Death was meant to take the man with him but a problem arises when he falls for the man's daughter. He exchanges death for a tour of life and the film follows this. The film is sightly too long at three hours but it is good nonetheless. This is a wonderful film and I would recommend it to everyone. The set and design are amazing and the soundtrack is good as well. The film is really moving and purely captivating and you will be swept up into the ride throughout. The end of the film is truly moving and really touches you. I would most definitely recommend Meet Joe Black, it is the perfect film to sit down and watch for a good night in on the sofa if you're wanting a more serious film.


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                        02.09.2008 13:42
                        Very helpful



                        A brilliant atmospheric film about not realsiing what we have until it is too late to do so.

                        Meet Joe Black is in my opinion a very strange film. It's rather long at nearly 3 hours in length yet the storyline is very simple. The way in which it is constructed however and because of the nature of the story itself makes the film a rather pensive one and so the 3 hour length gives the audience time to think and reflect on what the story is trying to tell you.

                        The film begins with a chance meeting between Claire, a millionaire's daughter and a charming young man in a coffee shop. From the start there is definitely an air of romance within the air. Could this be the man her dad was always telling her to find. Unfortunately as the pair leave the coffee shop in opposite directions a car hits the young man.

                        The millionaire, Bill, himself at this point is due to turn 65 in a few weeks and after hearing a voice he believes to be in his head he finally gives into it and asks his housekeeper to open the door just as the voice requests. The voice turns out to belong to a man who introduces himself as Death; the man's body is that of the charming young man from the coffee shop.

                        Death is fed up of simply meeting souls on the other side and choosing Bill as his earthly guide, has decided he would like a tour of real life. In return for this Bill will receive a little longer in the land of the living and so Bill agrees.

                        Obviously Bill can't introduce the man to his family as Death and so does so as Mr Joe Black. Things however don't go as smoothly as planned when his daughter Claire continues to feel a spark for the person within the body of the man she felt so fondly for and things get even worse when Joe himself starts to feel the spark back. But how can something from one plain of the world love someone from another and what does this mean for Bill?

                        This may sound rather morbid what with the idea of knowing that death is waiting for you and that whatever you do you cannot escape it but the way in which the film deals with the topic completely removes this idea of morbidity and in a way turns the film into one about rejoicing about what life has blessed you with.

                        Anthony Hopkins as Bill really plays his part perfectly and grasps the concept of how someone knowing their ultimate fate can continue with their life as normal for the sake of all those around him in a way that is really remarkable. He plays Bill with a delicacy that helps to signify how the situation is hard for him but doesn't let the character become bogged down by what is to come and really plays up the idea of making the most of what you have.

                        Brad Pitt plays the part of death personified in a way I don't think anyone else could. Being from a completely different place Death is like a fish out of water in 'life' and so has no idea how to function correctly but more importantly how to feel especially when it comes to emotions such as Love. Pitt played this brilliantly portraying death as a person with an adult outlook and knowledge of the world but a childlike perspective. The way he manages to look completely blank and innocence at moments when men of Joe's age would have been confident and charismatic is brilliant.

                        Not only does the film have a great set of lead actors that really capture the moment of the film and allow the audience to watch this unique philosophical outlook on life in way that is not only ultimately absorbing but also rewarding but it also has a great soundtrack that really boosts the atmospheric nature of the film.

                        The music coupled with some fantastic camera work that ensures the 3 hour duration of the film remains fresh and new without really helps the film to progress. It lets the audience know what is happening in a way that words couldn't and because of the nature of the film I think that this is the most important factor. Words simply couldn't portray some of the emotions and ideas that the music within this film does and so for me this is certainly an integral part of the whole story.

                        As you can see I am highly fond of this film and totally disagree with the common conception that Meet Joe Black is a train-wreck of a film. It simple isn't. Ok it is long and with no real action in terms of battles or major suspense scenes this may be a tad too long but in my opinion I think that this film is trying to make a statement about life and about death and does so in a way that makes one simple the continuation of the other.

                        I would therefore highly recommend this film to anyone who fancies seeing a more sedate film than normal. If you simple enjoy action then this is certainly not the film for you but if you feel in a more quiet and thoughtful mood then this is definitely something you should give a watch, as it will almost certainly make you think and possibly even cry. Meet Joe Black is for me a film that, although I couldn't watch it time and time again. I will certainly reach for again some time in the future.


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                      • Product Details

                        Meet Joe Black seemed almost fated to fail when it was released in 1998, but this romantic fantasy--a remake of 1934's Death Takes a Holiday--deserves a chance at life after box-office death. Although many moviegoers were turned off by director Martin Brest's overindulgent three-hour running time, those who gear into its deliberate pace will find that Meet Joe Black offers ample reward for your attention. Brad Pitt plays Death with a capital D, enjoying some time on Earth by inhabiting the body of a young man who'd been killed in a shockingly sudden pedestrian-auto impact. Before long, Death has ingratiated himself with a wealthy industrialist (Anthony Hopkins) and pursues romance with the man's beautiful daughter (newcomer Claire Forlani), whom he'd briefly encountered while still an earthbound human. Under the assumed identity of "Joe Black", he samples all the pleasures that corporeal life has to offer--power, romance, sex and such enticing pleasures as peanut butter by the spoonful. But Death has a job to do, and Meet Joe Black addresses the heart-wrenching dilemma that arises when either father or daughter (the plot keeps us guessing) must confront his or her inevitable demise. The film takes its own sweet time to establish this emotional crisis and the love that binds Hopkins's semi-dysfunctional family so closely together. But if you've stuck with the story this far, you may find yourself surprisingly affected. And if Meet Joe Black has really won you over, you'll more than appreciate the care and affection that gives the film a depth and richness that so many critics chose to ignore. --Jeff Shannon

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