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The Man from Earth (2007)
DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!
Maybe that statement is a little facetious, but I feel it is true. I read AMAZING reviews for this film. I went in with high hopes, expecting a well acted, thoughtful, existential and quiet science fiction film.
Instead I saw a film so poor I wondered what's the scam here? How could this film possibly have a score in the high 7s.
The premise is solid at first glance, but as the film moves along it delves deeper and deeper in to melodrama, and then eventually patronising and insulting trash. I am agnostic, but I found the religion bashing heavy handed and unnecessary.
Most of the actors were doing the best they could with the script, but everything comes across flat and lifeless. None of the characters rang true. None of the dialogue sounded like how real people actually talk. If you want to make a science fiction film that shies away from special effects, and instead relies on realism and storytelling, you had better make the dialogue realistic, and the storytelling compelling. Sadly neither are found here.
The look of the film, I get that it is a low budget film made on a single location, but the quality of the film stock! It may seem petty, but I could not get over the thought that I have seen better looking lifetime films. Honestly I have seen better looking daytime soaps from the 80s.
Basically I don't get why anyone would call this film good, let alone a masterpiece. I have read rave reviews, 10/10 reviews, gushing about how thought provoking and challenging this film was. My thoughts were ones of disdain. My challenge was to finish this abysmal film. Many of the reviews seem to fixate on the fact that the writer of this wrote for the original Star Trek series. That to me is not a good enough reason to rate this film highly.
I honestly felt ripped off by this film. I've been told I didn't get it, but sadly I did. I understood every scene, I understood the implications, I understood the moral dilemmas and deeper meaning of what was being said. It's just that the deeper meaning was shallow and unconvincing. I've been told maybe I should have watched Transformers instead. Just for the record, I was looking forward to a slow, intelligent film minus explosions. Instead I got, this.
3/10, avoid unless you have already drunk the kool-aid and are pre-conditioned to love the film because the writer worked on Star Trek.
Interesting, but not fully realized
The main thing that drew me to this movie, was the fact that it was directed by Anna Campion, Jane Campion's sister, one of my favourite New Zealand directors. It's a fairly solid effort, but it doesn't live up to her sister's reputation. The story is slow, and there isn't a lot of pay off, but I think that gives it a real life quality, even if some of the scenarios are a little bit hard to swallow.
The acting is solid. There is some beautiful camera work, the problem is that is all there is.
Loaded ambles along, with a couple of peaks, and then it just ends, leaving you feel like you saw half a good movie, that ran out of steam. It's like it has a thriller story, that is played out in a drama format. Maybe the script in someone else's hands might have worked, but it just seemed like there wasn't enough it.