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The Postman (DVD, 2009)
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Top Ten Post-Apocalyptic Movies: Number Ten
Apr 8, 2012 (Updated Nov 2, 2012)
Review by James Lowenberg
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Good story, good acting, believable world after the apocalypse.
Cons:Some hokey scenes throw it off track on occasion.
The Bottom Line: It made my Top Ten for a reason.
Recommend this product?
For the longest time I have wanted to make a list of my favorite movies in my favorite genre of movies, which is easily the Post-Apocalypse genre. My approach for this list is going to be much different than my lists for Top SNES and Playstation games. For this list I will be reviewing my top ten Post-Apocalypse one at a time in descending order starting with number ten moving up to number one.
Also to note I eliminate a lot of movies from this genre for consideration by simply holding the genre to the purist meaning of its title. My first rule for this Top Ten list is that they have to be actual movies, not mini-series or television shows, which eliminates some excellent mini-series like The Stand and series The Walking Dead. My next rule for this Top Ten Post-Apocalypse Movies, and my biggest pet peeve about most Post-Apocalypse lists, is that the majority of the movie that I list must occur AFTER the apocalypse. By my definition that removes movies where the apocalypse is actually occurring, such as disaster porn like 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow, as well as any movie that shows civilization slowly dying like Children of Men and Soylent Green. So in short my definition of a Post-Apocalyptic movie is one that happens after at least half of the worlds’ population has died off and the survivors are now dealing with life after civilization that we know it has broken down.
Review of My Favorite Post-Apocalypse Movie #10: The Postman
Shortly after I got married and my wife hit me in the face with a hammer, forget you read that, after I had a bicycle accident which shattered my sinus and cheekbone I was left at home to recover from reconstructive surgery while my abuser er.. my wife was busy working two jobs I had lots of time to watch every post-apocalypse movie that I could get my hands on. One movie that was listed several times online as a quality post-apocalypse movie was The Postman. Much like everyone else in the world I was told by all of the media outlets and reviewers that this movie may well be one of the worst movies of all time, and in essence knocked Kevin Costner off of the A-List due to this movie following up another post-apocalypse film Waterworld (which is legitimately bad). However to my surprise after watching The Postman it appears that Kevin Costner got undue scorn for what is in fact a very good Post-Apocalypse movie. When I went into watching this movie I was fully expecting a complete piece of trash, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The movie starts off following a drifter and his mule “Bill” as they travel across the wasteland looking for food and supplies after civilization has collapsed from nuclear war. Our hero (who never says his real name) is making a ‘living’ by traveling from small settlement to small settlement performing Shakespeare plays with his mule Bill for food and supplies. It is in one of these small settlements that the nomad gets caught during a raid by a neo-fascist army led by General Bethlehem who leads his army by fear. During this raid Bethlehem takes supplies and prisoners who will forcibly join his army, and needless to say Bethlehem chooses the nomad to join his army. Bethlehem comes to respect and realize the danger of the nomad due to his obvious intelligence and names him Shakespeare due to his ability to quote Shakespeare. Shakespeare wants nothing to do with joining his army and eventually makes his escape when the opportunity arises. During the escape Shakespeare gets caught up in a thunderstorm and stumbles upon an old postal service van that still has the clothed skeleton and undelivered mail of the mail carrier, Shakespeare takes the clothes to warm up and reads some mail that night.
The next day Shakespeare ventures out in the Postman’s uniform and satchel of the fifteen year old mail. When he comes across a fortified settlement that he wants into for food and supplies he ends up bluffing his way in by coming up with the lie that he is a Postman for the newly re-formed United States government based out of Minneapolis (the movie takes place in Oregon) by the dumb luck that one of the letters was addressed to a citizen of that settlement from her sister in Denver. While Shakespeare clearly just wanted a warm bed, food, and supplies for the night his story inspires the people who set up a post office for delivery of mail based upon his fabricated story.
Shakespeare starts traveling from settlement to settlement running this scam that eventually becomes a legitimate movement when others (mostly teens) start volunteering and building a postal network in the name of the United States government. All is going well until General Bethlehem catches wind of this renewed US government and takes it as a danger to his growing army, and what results is a small scale war between Bethlehem’s well supplied and well trained army verses Shakespeare’s under-armed, untrained, and very young army of mail carriers.
Without completely telling you the entire story I will say that The Postman does have a solid war story, led by a reluctant liar now left in charge. The Postman does include a love story between Shakespeare and a woman he impregnated in the first settlement that he did his scam in, which for me the love story in this movie is forgettable. The movie does have some excellent scenes however of the American landscape after civilization has fallen apart, along with some plausible scenarios of what would happen after most of the world is dead. People join together to try to make a living in small settlements while others use this as their opportunity to grab power. The acting and directing are both top notch and show the budget that was allowed for a movie that ended up being Kevin Costner’s last big-budget headline film. I will admit there are definitely some hokey scenes in the movie that just made me roll my eyes as they tried to make delivering mail appear to be a valiant and heroic activity. Overall I would say that The Postman does not deserve the wretched reputation and is actually worth watching if you believe, like I do, that many of the best stories can be told after life as we know it teeters on extinction.
Other Reviews of My Top Ten Post-Apocaplytic List
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