Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Adam Resurrected |
Actors: Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Cristian Motiu, Derek Jacobi, Ayelet Zurer
Director: Paul Schrader
Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Fly) as Adam Stein delivers one of the most powerful performances of his career in this compelling, unforgettably moving film. Tormented in a World War II concentration death camp by a hig... more »
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As close to the horror as I've ever been
James N. Kraut | Coral Springs, FL United States | 01/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After a close friend "insisted" that I watch this film, I was absolutely torn apart by it, at times entertained by it and left with indelible images and feelings that may never leave me. It is a stunningly woven story of humanity at the peak of its potential for courage and resilience, as well as its unspeakable cruelty and taste for inflicting pain. I was startled, however, to discover that I was in the minority in my assessment. Most reviews, professional and otherwise, are either mixed or unfavorable. Is it too hard to take this film in? And if so, is it because of its intellectual or emotional demands - or both? As a psychologist and a Jew, let me say that I have never been made to feel the complex horrors of the holocaust on this level. Jeff Goldblum's performance is criminally unrecognized; it is the work of genius he has never before manifested. Perhaps the genius Goldblum found in the story itself, and in Paul Schrader's direction moved him to new heights. The rest of the cast is brilliant as well.
Adam Resurrected deals unflinchingly with the excruciating, bitterly ironic issues that Hitler's slaughterhouses have evoked in the area of faith and the Jewish attitude toward the God whose deliverance of their ancestors from slavery is celebrated year after year. The ironies and metaphors throughout the film involving men and dogs say more than any words of praise could possibly express.
Suffice it to say that this is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest films of the last decade, and perhaps the best work of art on the holocaust of all time. It is demanding, complex and disturbing, but highly worth your time and attention."
The images in this film stay with you long afterwards
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 09/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had to wait a few days in writing this review as I wanted to try and figure out everything I just saw, plus the special features take some patience.
Jeff Goldblum plays a death camp survivor that has been committed to an asylum (years after the war) for survivors in Israel. Willem Dafoe plays the Nazi officer who tortures him, with some excellent supporting performances by Ayelet Zurer and Derek Jacobi. The story spans 40 years and is told in a non-lineal format crossing between black and white and color. The Blu clarity is outstanding at times, grainy in others but those scenes are made to be that way, otherwise the entire production has a high budget feel but simple at the same time. The DTS is used very well, and gets utilized in ways one would not expect from a Holocaust film (the cabaret scenes, the echoing barks in the asylum halls, the narration, etc.). The special features are a long watch and include:
* Behind the scenes, 24 minutes: A thorough interview/film splice featurette that covers the entire production and the minds behind the film, if you have only a little time to watch everything this would be the extra to see.
* Deleted scenes, 9:30 minutes: The last half of these are more of a cutting room floor add-on and are dry. The only scene worth checking is the first one as it adds a whole other dynamic between Dafoe/Goldblum (post holocaust) that is never alluded to in the film.
* Haifa Film Festival Q&A, 72 minutes: Catered to the hardcore film fans that can sit through a hour+ of ESL participants, bad sound and garbled speeches. I tried to understand what was being said but it gets tedious, still some great inspiration and production info, but the making of covers it better.
By far, Goldblum's best performance to date - a pinnacle in his career. The imagery and disturbing asylum elements make for a difficult watch. I cannot be sure how to recommend this other than to say be prepared for an unusual character film on a solid BD. Region coded A, lasts 96 minutes and is a hard R for every theme listed."
Bunuel in the Negev
Peter A. Cohen | Washington, DC | 09/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This masterpiece by Paul Schrader (who is not Jewish, but Pennsylvania-Dutch in origin, though you would not
know it from this work of art) is subliminal and heartbreaking on so many levels. I won't say this is
Jeff Goldblum's best performance because he has had several poor peformances; thus, it is impossible to
compare his phenomenal metaphysical psychotic discourse in this film to all his other mundane (whether
good or not so good) performances. The rest of the cast is stellar. The young boy ('dog') in the film
is heartbreaking. This film is not for the lighthearted or the impatient, nor is it for those seeking
easy answers or quik Hollywood cliches and fixes as it provides none. This film is wretched and
beautiful, painful and sublime and corroborates (though I doubt it needed confirmation) Paul Schrader
as a masterful Director and artist for the thinking adult and the scared child within. The anticipated
Academy Award's avoidance of this film is the degree of measure by which to judge its artistry and
profoundity. If you could imagine a collaboration by Luis Bunuel, Federico Fellini, Joel and Ethan Coen
and David Cronenberg, it would like something like this, and that is NO small compliment to Schrader
and what he has done here."
Such a Disappointment
Melissa | 10/12/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Adam Stein (Jeff Goldblum) was the most celebrated clown in Germany. While in a concentration camp, a Nazi officer (William Defoe) decided to keep Adam for his own personal entertainment having him spend more than a year as his dog. Years after the war, Adam is in an institution for survivors of the Holocaust. One day he finds a young patient that believes he is dog.
It was told from the year 1961 and had flash backs over a period of twenty years. The flash backs to the concentration camps while, I'm sure were meant to be very moving could have been clips from just about WWII movie. I don't know if the emotion was left out of the writing or the acting, but scenes of this nature are inherently affecting. The only one that came close to being poignant was where Adam lost his family.
The `present' story was unbelievable; perhaps not so much the story, as the actions of most of the characters. Goldblum does an amazing job of acting, and there is no way to predict the psychological effects of everything his character endured. Also, with an asylum there is lots of room for varied and unusual personalities. One character that I think is amazing is that of "Wolfie". The problem I have is that almost all the doctors and staff cede authority to Adam. They let him have free run of the facility and organization of it. It seems as if he runs it, instead of the doctors. Don't even start me on what is wrong with the head nurse, who should be a patient herself instead of in charge of them. I found it very hard to believe that any type of facility would have a staff that would let the patients run the place. To add to the improbability of the movie the young boy makes this huge amazing break through just because Adam comes into his life.
I was really excited when I saw the trailer for this movie. It looked unbelievably moving, and the reviews were really strong. Then watching it, it fell really flat. I think the biggest problem this movie had was that it tried to tackle too much, and ended up skimming the surface of what would be several powerful possibilities for a movie. While it shows Adam interacting with the boy there is little focus on the bond that he could have formed with the boy and how he helps him. It spends a great part of the movie showing Adam spontaneously wounding himself with no physical explanation (internal bleeding, other forms of bleeding and wounds with no cause or explanation) that take movie time and are not explained in the movie. Maybe the DVD extras explain, but I wasn't interested enough to find out. I would have liked to see more of an attempt to explain or help the viewer understand Adam. The one scene that I felt really gave an insight was when he went to his daughter's grave. And the clips in the mental hospital are I believe meant to be dark humor, but just don't quite ring true. I already mentioned the shallow emotional depth of the camp flashbacks.
To sum it up, the movie was a disappointment. It looked like it would be a heartrending drama about a recovering Holocaust survivor. One who had been tortured in a most unusual way, because he had the unique ability to impersonate animals. This same survivor would latter find redemption and renovation in an institution years later by helping cure a young boy. In reality, it was a hot mess with some high and very low points in acting. It focused more on the randomness that was Adam's life and left the viewer feeling wanting.