Archive for Movies
For those who have read my previous movie reviews of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Meet John Doe,” I should warn you that this is less of a review and more of an analysis. Spoilers are included, but I don’t believe I’ll ruin the movie for those who haven’t seen it, but if you are worried, watch the movie first, then come back and read this article. I will tell you up-front that this movie may not be your cup of tea. If you are not into science fiction or self-examination or movies that make you think, you may want to skip this one. Although it might sound narcissistic, www.paultarver.com was created to give me a place to write about the things that I like and that might interest readers as well. And I like this movie. A lot.
Now that the obligatory disclaimer out of the way, let me tell you about a movie named “Blade Runner” (1982).
I love really good science fiction. I’m generally not into fantasy science fiction, but rather prefer science fiction firmly rooted in the reality of human relationships. For example, while “Star Trek” takes place in the future, the stories’ foundations are the inter-personal relationships of the crew and the entities they encounter. “Star Wars” is at its heart an ancient hero myth set in a different time and place all wrapped up in family tragedy and tied with the ribbon of redemption. “The Robot Series” of books by Isaac Asimov spend a great deal of time examining the relationship between a human detective named Elijah Baley and a robot assistant named R. Daneel Olivaw as they solve mysteries. In my opinion, at it’s best, science fiction should be free to examine very human issues in a non-threatening way.
Ok, I’m a sap, I admit it. I can’t help it. A really good movie or tv show can put a lump in my throat pretty quickly. I tell my wife I’m in touch with my feelings because we watch a lot of the Lifetime channel. But in reality it’s always been this way. I’m thinking it is genetic.
I remember watching The Waltons with my parents the night the show paid tribute to Grandpa Walton (after Will Geer died) and I happened to see my father wipe away a tear. He tried to hide it, but I saw it and it helped me realize that it was ok for guys to have emotions even if only occasionally. “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946) is the only movie that gets to me everytime I watch it. I don’t even have to watch the whole movie, just the last 9 minutes or so can do it. (more…)
In 1941, Frank Capra directed what I believe to be his second best movie, “Meet John Doe” only bested by “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Frank Capra was a genius at combining a great script, serious themes, spiritual beliefs and wonderful actors to produce movies with value greater than the sum of its parts.
Watching this year’s political campaigns with characters such as Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder, I can’t help but be reminded of “Meet John Doe” and the more I think about it, the more I believe we need filmmakers like Frank Capra again. Capra’s movies often dealt with the plight of the common man and the resilience of the human spirit. Capra lived through the Great Depression and while he often shows the pain felt by regular people during this time, he also never gives up on the ability of the common man to overcome situations that he or she can’t understand or control. (more…)