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Henry Poole Is Here

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A Surprising Movie

by D Price on 6/15/2011

"Henry Poole Is Here" is a surprising movie in that it is not the kind of movie one would expect to see coming out of Hollywood. In many ways, it is an independent ("indie") movie. The focus is on Henry Poole (played by Luke Wilson) who has been told he is going to die of an unnamed illness. (Aside from a cameo appearance by Richard Benjamin, most of the other actors are not as well known.) Henry goes back to his old neighborhood to eat junk food, get drunk and wait to die. Being denied the ability to buy his old childhood home, he buys a house in his old neighborhood. It needs some stucco work and in the stucco, some see the face of Jesus. It becomes a source for the religious and miracles. In the response to the face in the stucco--believing, doubting or denying--those who come in contact with it are changed. To give more would destroy the mood and the value of the movie. However, if you want a movie that focuses on character and humanity, I would recommend "Henry Poole Is Here." If you want explosions or CGI, sensationalism or political screeds, look elsewhere--this is not the movie for you.

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Product Overview

Henry poole abandons his fiancee and family business to spend what he believes are his remaining days alone. The discovery of a 'miracle' by a nosy neighbor ruptures his solitude and restores his faith in life.

Specifications

Studio Video Treasures
SKU 209686176
UPC 013138004499
UPC 14 00013138004499
Format DVD
Release Date 9/22/2009
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  2.35:1
Actors
Name Wilson,Luke
Link Search Link
Reviews
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review Faith is a funny thing. What other aspect of one's life demands so much and yet typically yields such fleeting pragmatic rewards? Conviction is usually couched in terms of a higher power but we also demand belief in ourselves and in our fellow man. In fact, what's clear about faith is that it penetrates far too many facets of our lives or at least that's what Mark Pellington wants us to see with his quirky character dramedy Henry Poole is Here. While our hero is having a hard time facing the realities of his fleeting existence, his neighbors are more than willing to throw aside common sense for a glimpse of God's hand...There are two different Mark Pellingtons on display in Henry Poole is Here. One is the MTV mastermind who brought Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" and Silverchair's "Tomorrow" to life. This Pellington plies his trade throughout this minor movie's frequently moody montages. Whenever our characters need to have a moment of contemplation, a track by The Eels comes pouring out of the speakers, accompanied by carefully photographed suburban vistas. This Pellington is purposefully oblique, leaving the viewer unable to make proper connections or figure out the meaning of things. The other Pellington is the man behind such films as Arlington Road and The Mothman Prophecies. This director deals in faces and facts, the camera closing in on his actors so they can deliver their big picture pronouncements while crying on cue...Truthfully, the best thing one can say about Henry Poole is Here is that it is a religious film where theology is barely recognizable. Some of the characters would call this a miracle. Audiences will find it slightly less extraordinary.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Bill Gibron
ReviewRating 6
ReviewSource The Onion A.V. Club
Review Luke Wilson sleepwalks through the early stages of Mark Pellington's portentous drama Henry Poole Is Here with a haunted, dead-eyed look he imagines sends the message, "Leave me alone." Instead it cries out, "Save me." Playing a man with a tragic, endlessly telegraphed secret, Wilson purchases an ugly house in a non-descript neighborhood he hopes will serve as his Fortress Of Solitude, a safe place to hide from a world he views with suspicion and distrust. Alas, he has the misfortune of moving into the block that Hope built: all his neighbors seem infinitely more invested in Wilson's happiness than Wilson himself, and it isn't long until they've burst through his formidable defenses with their religious faith, indefatigable optimism, and indie-film quirkiosity...Cast yet again as a soulful sad sack, Wilson plays a would-be recluse whose privacy is severely compromised by a water stain on his house that neighbor Adriana Barraza believes represents the magical, healing head of Jesus...Henry Poole cycles through so many indie film cliches--the dour, depressed loner nursing a dark secret, a motley group of outsiders that form an unlikely but loving surrogate family, a welcoming circle of mourning, a touch of twee magic realism, a tremblingly earnest alt-rock soundtrack--that it continually skirts self-parody. Wilson travels an achingly familiar arc from drunken, sour loneliness and alienation to healthy engagement with the outside world, but this leaden, sluggishly paced film takes forever to get to its pre-determined destination and boasts a tone that runs the gamut from mournful to sad to melancholy. The Lord may work in mysterious ways, but the filmmakers behind sensitive, life-affirming indie dramas about brooding young men stumbling towards redemption are an awfully predictable lot.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Nathan Rabin
ReviewRating 6
Features
DVD, Widescreen, English, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Quotes
Clint Morris, MovieHole One of the best films of the year. You'll laugh, you'll cry...you'll truly appreciate life!
Connie Ogle, Miami Herald A large part of the movie's appeal can be attributed to Wilson, more dour than he's been in ages and yet more interesting, too.
Reyhan Harmanci, San Francisco Chronicle A strange and thoughtful little movie.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times A spiritual and heartwarming love story that will lift you up.
William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer ...a fairly serious examination on the nature of, and necessity for, faith.

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A Surprising Movie by D Price on Jun 15, 2011

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