Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Monday, 02.19.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3
 4  5  6  7  8  9  10
 11  12  13  14  15  16  17
 18  19  20  21  22  23  24
 25  26  27  28  29  30
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Nov 02,2007
Movie Review: 'Martian Child'
by David Elliott

When is John Cusack not credible? Never putting forward a foot wrong, even when a script goes squish, Cusack is one of the sure resources modern directors have learned to rely on.

'MARTIAN CHILD' - Amanda Peet, Bobby Coleman and John Cusack start to form a family connection in the intimately dramatized 'Martian Child.' CNS Photo by Alan Markfield. 


4 STARS - Excellent.

3 STARS - Worthy.

2 STARS - Mixed.

1 STAR - Poor.

0 - Forget It (a dog.) 
In "Martian Child" Cusack has an amiably engaging if not easy role, playing David Gordon. He's a fantasy novelist with a fine modernist house as proof of success, but also a widower who hopes adoption might fill the void.

He can tap into young imagination, but his fictions are not quite enough. It's the child within (backed by Cusack's looks, still boyish at 41) that make him open to adopting Dennis, not a menace but a "weirdo" to other kids at the orphanage.

Dennis has his own sci-fi slant. Parents gone, he believes he's from Mars. He has spaced lingo and his spacesuit is a large cardboard box. He looks upon the world through a slit, fearing sunlight and wearing a weighted belt to hold him down on Earth (never mind that Mars has less gravity).

As Dennis, Bobby Coleman doesn't reek cutely of "natural," which saves him from the niche of posing as the new Macaulay Culkin or Dakota Fanning prodigy. But his expressive face often has the aura of a serious, little old man (or, in white sunscreen, a little old mime). Since Cusack can still seem young, the two become a matched pair, bonding through situations devised by supple, not too corny writers.

Cusack's sister Joan, whose floppy-toy gestures and facial moves can make her seem from her own planet, plays David's sister. Amanda Peet also helps, Oliver Platt lends his benign bulk to being David's agent, and Anjelica Huston cameos as the big-deal editor who figures David might be the new J.K. Rowling; she may be spoofing Tina Brown.

Yes, product plugs for a top cereal are blatant, stuff with an old dog is a shade too darling, the ending is a lean offshoot of "Rebel Without a Cause." But kids from 7 to 12 get so few entertaining movies these days that it would be small-minded to quibble apart this honest and well-made charmer.

Director Menno Meyjes managed to balance Cusack with a Hitler figure in "Max." His planned films on bullfighter Manolete and photographer Robert Capa will surely have more weight, yet probably won't float with this Martian gravity.

A New Line Cinema release. Director: Menno Meyjes. Writers: Seth Bass, Jonathan Tolins. Cast: John Cusack, Bobby Coleman, Amanda Peet, Joan Cusack, Oliver Platt, Anjelica Huston. Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes. Rated PG. 3 stars.
2208 times read

Related news
Films In Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Nov 09,2007

Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Nov 16,2007

Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Nov 23,2007

Film Close-Up: John Cusack by Joey_Berlin posted on Jun 29,2007

Movie Review: 'The Ex' by David_Elliott posted on May 11,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 39 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?