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Freddie Prinze Jr.,
Loosely based on the actual WWI Christmas cease fire between German and English troops. The two sides met halfway across the battlefield and sang silent night and played soccer. Each year the two countries re-enact the game in tribute.
A destitute 14-year-old struggles to keep his life together despite harsh abuse at his mother's hands, harsher abuse at his father's, and a growing separation from his slightly older brother. Petty thefts for food grow into more major takes until he steals a cash box from the diner where he works. Although Joe uses the money to pay off some of his father's debts and to replace his mother's records that his father smashed in a fit of temper, Joe gets no thanks. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
First I have to tell you that I am a big SciFi/Action film fan. This movie is so good it transcends your own personal tastes and glues you to your seat
you remain mesmerized until the end.
The only weak link in this movie is the choice of Val Kilmer as Joe's father. His performance is good, but it is weak compared to the incredible depth the other actors give their characters. Why? Val has to outperform his "baggage" which he almost does (in my opinion) but not effectively enough to make this movie a 10. (I voted 9)
"Joe the King" is a great movie. Perceptive accurate directing *and* writing by Mr. Frank Whaley. There is no screen. There is no you, only the characters you are watching - their lives flow past you like a melancholy melody leaving you alone as a spectator like the proverbial "fly on the wall." You disappear into the film - there is no higher praise.
Young Mr. Peter Tambakis does a stellar performance who is incredibly adept at acting beyond his age. He is the central character who must be good to pull off the whole movie. He does it so easily that you are amazed that he is only 14 and not an achieved experienced actor of 65.
Another amazing thing about this movie is that the bit players, e.g. the police, are utterly relaxed (not stiff) and perform as if this is just another day in their job. They leave you feeling that you are watching a documentary and not a fiction. This is a direct indication of the great directing.
Incredible movie, no - incredible film. It will leave you introspective about your own life. What a blessing. What a film.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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