6 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
poetic and intelligent, brilliant in its simplicity
28 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Like all fans of classic science-fiction, I was familiar with Jerome Bixby's writing long before seeing this film. Like Asimov, Roddenberry, and Arthur C. Clarke, Mr. Bixby stands among the best of 20th century sci-fi visionaries. The Man From Earth, however, rises further perhaps than any science-fiction film has dared or even attempted since Clarke's 2001, challenging the viewer with an intellectual and historical road map of part-fact and part "what if", and accurately presenting much of what most people believe -- Christianity -- as hearsay and rumor and gossip, revised countless times by the churches who stand to profit from our very faith.

I, for one, am a Christian. I believe in God and I believe in Jesus Christ. Having said that, I believe a good percentage of what I have been taught from childhood to be false. Not God's word, but rather man's attempt to express God's word, distorting it over and over again throughout the past few thousand years. As stated in this film; the history of Jesus Christ parallels the life of Hercules, from mythical Pagan folklore. The similarities to their two lives are remarkable, so much so that had Johnnie Cochran been alive and well and practicing law so many thousand years ago, whoever wrote the first tails of Hercules would have had a dead bang case of plagiarism against whoever published the first Bible, with regard to the life and times of Jesus Christ.

But The Man From Earth is not about God-bashing, as some on this message board have claimed. It is about thinking, about ideas, about stretching not only the imagination, but looking beyond the furthest horizon and asking what if? Fundimentally, it's just a movie, intended to entertain us, the viewer. I personally doubt there are any 14,000 year old cavemen teaching History at Stanford. But unlike so many movies, The Man From Earth challenges the viewer to think. It has been nearly a month since my sister and I first watched it, and still we cannot stop debating and arguing. My husband has declared Friday to be Man From Earth Day, and the past two weeks we have had friends and family over for dinner and then we all watch the movie, and then we all talk about it, sometimes pretty loudly. Last Friday, we argued almost as much as the people in the movie, one couple didn't leave until two in the morning! Tonight my Father In-Law is coming over for dinner and a movie, and I am apprehensive to say the least, as he is a devout fundamentalist.

My highest praise to Mr. Bixby, and to everyone else responsible for making this wonderful wonderful film. I cannot remember the last time I wished to have been in the shoes of a character, to participate in the story I was watching. The Man From Earth certainly is not for everyone, as there are no special effects, no car chases, no explosions, no nudity and no big name stars, and considering the mentality of religion, people across the globe still killing each other to this day in the name of their Gods, The Man From Earth is not for self-righteous intolerant individuals too trapped by their own self-importance to simply open their minds and ask a question or two.

I still pray, I still believe. But not quite so blindly.
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The Keep (1983)
An interesting film, it stays with you
4 July 2006
This is one of those odd movies that you don't really think about while you're watching it, but stays with you for years afterword. I remember it had very good camera work, interesting if somewhat ugly characters, and pretty good sets. The direction was all right and the acting was good, but the script didn't really hold my attention. I have since watched this movie twice or three times, and I still cannot tell you how it ended. The last time I watched it, I had forgotten there was a monster.

Still if for no other reason, this is worth your time to see an early Michael Mann movie, years before Heat and Collateral. Also some of the actors went on to become pretty well known. I give it a 6 on a one to ten.
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Bees (1998)
Do we really need another killer bee movie?
6 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie reminded me of Piranha, only with killer bees instead of killer fish. Creatures bred to kill escape from a secret laboratory and go on a murder spree, and so a loner with a past reluctantly teams with a pretty scientist to save the day. Sound familiar? A few funny references to previous killer insect films, including numerous 1970's movies like the Swarm and the Savage Bees, but the special effects aren't all that special, and there's nothing scary or original. People talk, bees attack, people argue, bees attack, people have sex, bees attack, reluctant hero saves pretty scientist, scientists save the world... or do they? I left with a case of deja vu. There have been good killer insect movies, this isn't one of them. "Bees" lacks the budget of the Swarm, and certainly lacks the imagination of Piranha.
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perhaps the worst movie ever!
6 June 2006
I guess there isn't a lot I can say about this one that hasn't been said already, but oh my God it stank!!! Literally titled "Hands, the Hands of Fate," this movie belongs in the bottom echelon of forgettable tripe, worse than the worst of Ed Wood. The plot and acting are non-existent, typical of grade z films of its day, but the writing and direction are so inept, so painstakingly bad, one wonders how and why the person responsible was allow to remain at large. We can only be thankful he didn't go on to make more movies, thought he couldn't possibly have made any worse ones. I'm told this film was made on a dare, I believe it!
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Badlands (1973)
Malick's best film to date
2 June 2006
Long before The Thin Red Line and The New World, director Terrence Malick gave us this powerful and dramatic film in the tradition of Bonnie and Clyde, loosely based on Starkweathewr/Fugate murders. Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek are perfectly cast, and it's no wonder they went on to huge success. Lesser actors would have overplayed these roles, turning drama into exploitation. Not that there isn't blood galore, but it's not about the killings, it's about the people doing the killings. Warren Oates also delivers a strong supporting performance, and the camera-work is stunning. In all, Badlands is one of the most thought-provoking films of the '70's.
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The 'Burbs (1989)
Not worth your time
2 June 2006
An odd little film, possibly good enough for a thirty minute twilight zone episode, but not 100 minutes. Aside from a few recognizable regulars from previous Joe Dante films (Henry Gibson, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller, etc.,) there is nothing in this film to indicate that Dande directed it. None of the odd twisted humor he brought to Gremlins, none of the manic action he brought to Innerspace. Duds like the 'burbs and Small Soldiers are simply below Dante's comic talent, and what was the writer thinking? As to the cast; Tom Hanks looks lost, possibly imitating Chevy Chase, Carrie Fisher's depressing presence reminds one of how beautiful she was long, long ago, and Bruce Dern, an actor who often goes from over-the-top loony performances to interesting thought provoking performances with surprising ease, appears to be sleep walking through every scene. The only standout performance here is Henry Gibson, but he's not worth the price of admission.
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