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Powder (1995)

Mary Steenburgen , Jeff Goldblum , Jerzy Zielinski , Victor Salva  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (332 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mary Steenburgen, Jeff Goldblum, Sean Patrick Flanery, Lance Henriksen, Missy Crider
  • Directors: Jerzy Zielinski, Victor Salva
  • Writers: Victor Salva
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Hollywood Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 10, 1999
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (332 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630542845X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,420 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Powder" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

You've never experienced anything quite like POWDER -- the uplifting, must-see hit that audiences and critics loved! Harassed by classmates who won't accept his shocking appearance, a shy young man known as Powder struggles to fit in. But the cruel taunts stop when Powder displays a mysterious power that allows him to do extraordinary things. This phenomenon changes the lives of all those around him ... in ways they never could have imagined. Hollywood stars Jeff Goldblum (JURASSIC PARK) and Mary Steenburgen (PHILADELPHIA) lead a top-notch cast in this unforgettable story of hope and wonder.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, deeply moving parable July 20, 2001

(USA - 1995)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Digital

Every so often, a movie comes out of nowhere which touches you so deeply, on so many levels, that it stays in your heart forever. POWDER is such a movie.

The premise is deceptively simple: Following the death of his last remaining adult guardian on their isolated farm, a young albino man nicknamed 'Powder' (Sean Patrick Flanery) is taken into the custody of local authorities. But his genius IQ and ability to harness electricity - leading to spectacular displays of apparently 'magical' behavior - arouses the suspicions of frightened townsfolk, and while he's able to change some people's lives for the better (and how!), others are too consumed by hatred to accept this strange, unique outsider. Thus, the stage is set for potential tragedy...

Writer-director Victor Salva (also responsible for the superb RITES OF PASSAGE, 1998) has constructed a modern parable which works both as a simple entertainment and as a powerful meditation on the nature of Good and Evil. Episodic in structure, the narrative pitches Powder's strange appearance and gentle manner against some of the worst aspects of the human condition - bigotry, mistrust, cruelty - and though Salva makes a brave attempt to portray these shameful characteristics in various shades of grey, his script acknowledges that some people are defined by their hatred and cannot easily be changed. That said, whilst the film doesn't flinch from the rough stuff, it's ultimately a joyous celebration of the human spirit: Though evil flourishes, goodness prevails.
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79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Misunderstood Film January 2, 2000
The first time I saw this movie I was really moved by it. It seemed the kind of thing I wish I had written as a story, or the kind of movie I would like to make.
After reading the reviews, most of which were negative, I almost wondered if I had seen a different movie. Yes, there were flaws. Perhaps, many, and reference to a Michael Jackson look-a-like might apply in some eyes.
However, what I saw was a view of the best and worst of humanity. Yes, it has been done before and perhaps better. But I felt it was one of the few times when science and religion were tied to a common ground.
Many laughed at this movie, especially the end and I wonder why, unless I am wrong in it's overall interpretation.
To me, what it was saying is that humanity is special in that we can know that we are part of everything around us, and all is part of us. We can most of all touch each other in powerful life giving ways. To feel each others pain, and even the pain of everything around us that lives.
To me the ending was a self-sacrifice. He was giving, in a special way, his energy, love and understanding, which was the best part of himself, to the universe and to others. He knew that he was going to be limited in living a free life. People would not ever leave him alone, and he could never be alone again, now that he had been out in society.
Some have said that the other characters in the movie were overdone. Perhaps, they were just uncomfortable at seeing parts of themselves. Having been a victim of prejudice and hatred myself, I have lived among some of these people, and some of them are as close as next door to me, and I do not see anything overdone about them at all.
Mankind can be very cruel. Killing is cruel when it is done for the pure sport of it.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Victor Salva's POWDER fuses science with religion perhaps even better than Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, because it goes to the heart of what life may be all about - that every living thing is actually an indestructible bundle of living energy, a belief held by Albert Einstein.

As Jeff Goldblum's character in the movie eloquently says to Sean Patrick Flanery's, the movie's title character a/k/a Jeremy, this was also the basis for Einstein's belief in life after death. Goldblum's monologue goes on to suggest that the almost perfect human - possibly represented by "Powder" (Jeremy) himself - would evolve through eons of love, understanding, and the 100% use of his or her brain (as opposed to the apparently less than 10% most of us are using now) to the point that he or she would no longer require the human body and would literally become the purest form of that human energy - as "Conversations with God" author Neale Donald Walsch might call it, a living flame finally prepared to interact lovingly with other living flames (not to mention God) without fear.

Goldblum further quotes Einstein later in the movie even more poignantly: "It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity." However, with its heartfelt direction by Victor Salva, superb acting by Goldblum, Flanery, Mary Steenburgen and Lance Henriksen, other-worldly photography by Jerry Zielinski, and J.S. Bach-level score by the late great Jerry Goldsmith, POWDER is proof positive that sometimes our humanity DOES surpass our technology, even in Hollywood.
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