Newest Review: ... death, even dictating it to his son while on his deathbed, though he first conceived the idea while working on Star Trek in the 60s (Bix... more
A World of Endless Possibilities...
The Man From Earth (DVD)
Member Name: GoFigure
The Man From Earth (DVD)
Advantages: Thought-provoking with extremely clever dialogue.
Director: Richard Schenkman
Writer: Jerome Bixby
Genre: Drama - Sci-Fi
Released: 7th July, 2008 (DVD)
David Lee Smith (John Oldman)
John Billingsley (Harry)
Ellen Crawford (Edith)
William Katt (Art)
Annika Peterson (Sandy)
Richard Riehle (Dr. Will Gruber)
University professor John Oldman has decided, after ten years, that it's time to move on. Sorry to see him leave, his friends arrive to give him a proper send-off... and take the opportunity to try and make him change his mind. After all, it isn't as though John has a destination in mind or even a job waiting for him - his friends can't understand his need to leave, and demand an explanation. Giving in to their demands, John tells them something he has never told anyone before - that he's actually immortal. John's colleagues are flummoxed...
'The Man From Earth' is a mind-boggling experience. It is the most interesting movie I have seen in years - it's incredibly entertaining and challenging on an intellectual level, and the clever dialogue simply boggles the mind and sends the spectator off on an incredible journey of endless possibilities.
The story is simple - John, a university professor, highly respected by his colleagues who are all brilliant in their own fields, be it psychology, archaeology, biology or whatever else, tells his colleagues that he is immortal - his colleagues, all prominent figures with PhD's and miscellaneous degrees, are totally taken aback by John's 'insane' confession. They don't know what to believe... they love John, respect him, but their own beliefs are challenged, put to the test - is John insane? If not, then everything they have always believed will be challenged, put to the test - can they live with the truth?
'The Man From Earth' does not possess special-effects or even the tiniest bit of action - the entire 87 minute runtime is taken up with dialogue and a single unchanging setting... John's home. Many out there will be thinking 'how boring'... WRONG! This movie is far from boring... it is sheer genius, intellectually demanding, and challenges not only the characters' beliefs, but the spectator's beliefs as well.
There are absolutely no holes in this movie, no writer or director lapses, no contextual or textual errors, nothing that can possibly distract the viewer. For the first time ever, someone has written the 'perfect' script, one that is extremely intelligent and takes for granted that the audience is intelligent too. Whatever questions pop into the viewer's mind also pop into the characters' minds - there are no questions left unasked, no possibilities that are not addressed - the impossible becomes possible.
This movie is definitely not for those with a short attention span, or for those whose notion of entertainment is high speed chases, comedy, romance, disasters, aliens, oodles of special-effects, monsters, blood or even violence - this movie is for those who love to have their intellect challenged, who love clever dialogue... and who love to dissect and evaluate life without ever once believing that life is unchangeable with set boundaries. This movie takes you beyond any and all boundaries... it takes you out of your 'comfort' zone, therefore those who have set views and are unable to question their beliefs should steer clear of this movie. 'The Man From Earth' might be fictional, but it opens up a world of possibilities that are extremely 'real'.
The late Jerome Bixby, who wrote 'The Man From Earth', also wrote 'The Fantastic Voyage', 'Rampage', 'Men Into Space', one episode of 'The Twilight Zone', four episodes of 'Star Trek', etc. Needless to say that there are references to 'Star Trek' in this movie, including a varied cast who have all, at one time or other in their lives, either played in episodes of 'Star Trek' or been great fans of the series.
The acting is sheer perfection - you get a sense of the camaraderie that the characters share, and their conflicting emotions, from disbelief to confusion and anger, are perfectly in tune with the situation. The viewer understands the conflicting emotions, shares them to a certain extent, and can relate to each and every one of the characters - there is a depth and a 'real' feel to it all that makes the viewer wish he/she were in that house, sharing in the discussion...
What more can I say that I haven't already said - this movie is thought-provoking and incredibly clever. A definite winner.
Summary: Don't be put off by a movie that revolves around dialogue... what a challenge this movie is!