Monday, August 18, 2008

Movie Review: The Man From Earth; Richard Schenkman, dir; 2007

The Man from Earth has achieved something of cult status among, well, I'm not sure whom. This is not a film that would appear to appeal to any easily imaginable cult-like demographic. Classic Star Trek fans showed some interest, as the film's writer also scripted a couple of episodes back in the 1960's. After the film flopped commercially, it got a new lease on life through P2P networks; the director even issued a statement thanking file sharers for helping rescue the film from obscurity.

After watching it, you might wish it had never been rescued.

At a farewell party for one of their colleagues, a group of academics learn that the departing professor is 14,000 years old. They sit around and talk about this for an hour and a half, about the places he's been, the people he's seen, the things he's done. The acting is dreadful, as you might expect from a cast that performs mostly in local theater or as television extras, and the script something that might have been penned by a first-time writer. The dialog is lifeless and humorless, and the surprise endings are silly contrivances like those in old episodes of the Twilight Zone, the ones you thought were cool when you were twelve years old but which now seem hopelessly trite.

This is a movie that deserved its obscurity.



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