The Man from Earth (DVD, 2007) Reviews

The Man from Earth (DVD, 2007)

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Pure Science Fiction Wonderment. THE MAN FROM EARTH.

Jun 26, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Bright, intelligent and thought provoking.  Well acted, some times brilliantly.

Cons:There is no action, no explosions, no nothing.  A perfect two set stage play.

The Bottom Line: This is food for the brain.  I love this movie.  I hope you will too.


The Man From Earth (2007) Directed by Richard Schenkman Written by Jerome Bixby

Art: What you're saying, it offends common sense.
John Oldman: So does Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, that's the way nature works.

This is a true movie of purist Science Fiction.  Not Sci Fi action or Sci Fi horror.  The wonderful speculation of what might be, and what the consequences of the original premise might be.

Professor John Oldman (David Lee Smith) is leaving his post much to the confusion of his colleagues; he is well liked, well regarded, there is no scandal.  Why would he leave such a position?  John poses a question, and then all "action" is the reaction and discussion among his colleagues.  They include the calmly reflective Dan (Tony Todd) the delightfully inquisitive Harry (John Billingsley) the saucy old dame and Christian literalist Edith (Ellen Crawford) the poorly aging Art (William Katt) and his girlfriend, former student (still current for some of the teachers) Linda (Alexis Thorpe) and the quiet crush of John's tenure at the university, Sandy (Annika Peterson).  Joining them later is the psychologist Dr. Will Gruber (Richard Riehle).

The question his friends ask is "Why are you leaving?"  The one he counters with is the following; "What if a man from the Upper Paleolithic had survived until the present day?"
 
There is almost nothing to this movie, except the discussion of this concept; what if John had been alive for 140 centuries?  A Cro-Magnon who for whatever reason, simply failed to age; who would he be?  What would his life be like?

But more telling is how the discussion impacts on each person's life.  The older a person is, the less likely they are to accept the proposal gracefully.  Art is younger than some, but has issues about aging. (No one should have crow's feet and a soul patch.)  It is interesting how these scientists approach things as well; Harry, the biologist, who has a rather healthy self image, is delighted.  Dan, the anthropologist, is thoughtful, seeking deeper truths.  Art, the Archeologist, and the most tied to the topic of the subject, is very hostile, sure that some sort of joke is being played.  Ellen is oddly one of the most hostile.  Ellen is very comfortable in her world view, and doesn't want it mauled about.  The venom of the psychologist Gruber though, is surprising, though this minor mystery is in the course of things revealed.

What would it be like to be so old, to remember so much, but have so little context to put the earlier stuff into?  To live over a thousand lives, forced to move on after a decade, before people noticed you don't age?  To lose a hundred wives to childbirth and disease?  This movie studies it all in great detail, with the clear vision of academicians. And you get to see their reactions as their lives are uprooted.  Is John joking, crazy, or worse, telling the truth?  Whatever you decide, this one is worth the journey.


Recommend this product? Yes

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