REVIEW: MARTIAN CHILD
This is the story
of star-crossed souls that were meant to be together. Iím
not talking about a couple, Iím talking about a man who
needed a boy like this to be his son and a boy who needed a
man like this to be his father. This unusual child, Dennis
(Bobby Coleman), who claims to be from Mars has encountered
an unusual parent, David (John Cusack), that is just right
for him. This touching tale will reel you in to the lives of
David and Dennis as they struggle to determine their purpose
in the otherís life. At times the movie is dramatic, fun,
bizarre, and tear-generating. The acting is its specialty.
Excellent performances from the whole cast give this movie a
stronger edge, with extra recognition going to John, Joan,
and Bobby. Iím not sure how well this will take with the
younger moviegoers, but for those of you who are
grandparents, or have been parents for a while, or are
recent parents, or have plans of becoming a parent at any
point in time, this movie is worth it.
So why did the forces of the universe bring these two
together? The initial attraction is due to what they have in
common. David had a childhood that was very similar to
Dennisí. As a child, he was picked on and alienated to the
point that he would escape to his fantasy world full of
fictitious characters and monsters as if he were at a
different planet. He was so good with his imagination that
he became a very successful science fiction author. His
recently departed wife had brought up the idea of adopting a
child. The idea was discarded with her passing until now.
David actually entertains the thought of fulfilling his late
wifeís wishes. His sister Liz (Joan Cusack), being a parent
herself and the voice of practicality, tries to discourage
David knowing full well the challenge of taking on the
responsibility of raising a child, especially alone. When it
comes to Dennis, however, the voice of practicality is
ignored. ďI don't want to bring another kid into this world.
But how do you argue against loving one that's already
here?Ē Davidís life would never be the same again.
Throughout this whole ordeal the question remains, is Dennis
really from Mars?
David: Why did they send you here? You know, the Martians?
Dennis: To join a family and to learn human beingness.
Bobbyís role as Dennis is the most impressive young male
performance Iíve seen since Haley Joel Osment in Sixth Sense
(or at least that I can remember). I need to specify male
because there are two very talented young female actresses
that take the cake, Dakota Fanning and Abigail Breslin.
These kids are better than quite a few adults. Where do they
come from? In my review of Heartbreak Kid, I mentioned how
special it was to watch Ben Stiller and his father Jerry
play father and son in the movie. Well, the Cusacks playing
siblings in this picture totally topped that. It was more
dramatic and natural. At moments it was so realistic that it
seemed like they werenít even acting. Overall the characters
are pretty standard with the exception of Dennis of course.
This movie parallels K-Pax in many ways but K-Pax focuses
more on the Mars issue where this film focuses more on the
father/son relationship. This does not diminish the Dennis
character however, as he still manages to put doubt in your
mind. Dennis also manages to bring new life to what would be
a typical storyline. The script also helped keep the movie
interesting without turning it into a science fiction story.
Director Menno Meyjes has had success as a writer for such
projects as The Color Purple, Indiana Jones and the Last
Crusade, and The Siege. He is transferring his success to
direction. With this project he tackles a few major themes
in one swoop: acceptance vs. alienation, single parenting,
adoption, and individuality. Nowadays parenting is tough.
Single parenting is even tougher. Single parenting a
ďspecialĒ child is the toughest but it doesnít mean that it
canít be done. The individuality and acceptance themes are
summarized by this question given in the movie: ďWhy canít
you just be what we want you to be?Ē Pressures from society
have helped create this kind of question.
Review By Cine Marcos
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People Movie Review
The world needs more
films like this. I am nearing 60 and
took two 10-year-old girls to see the
film; it was their choice. All of us
enjoyed it. I attended to their body
language during the film. They were
engrossed. Of course, with the Cusacks
and a splended cast, the acting was
fantastic. The directing and so on were
wonderful, too. But, the story line was
more compelling than I could have
imagined. Although on one level deeply
philosophical, it is also something even
young people can enjoy. This film made
me proud of our cinematic industry.
Often, overseas, I am ashamed of the
violence portrayed in our movies. This
one is a winner from start to finish. It
takes time to develop characters,
something often lacking in our film
cuture. If you see one film this year,
this one would be a good investment of
your time. Enjoy!!
Most beautiful movie this
year. so touching just bring kleenexs my
wife and i were bawlin
When the movie started it
took me in a different direction, guess
that was my exictment for the end.
Perhaps i was expecting too much. To
rate it, well just what the doctor
My wife enjoyed it much
much more then i did. Good movie too
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Director: Menno Meyjes
Writer: Seth Bass
Duration: 1hr 46mins
PG for thematic elements and mild
Release Date: November 2, 2007
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