Digitally restored...An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues he has a longer and stranger past than they can imagine.
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Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2018
This movie starts with an interesting premise (see Highlander as well as Poul Anderson's the Boat of a Million Years) and turns it into a one set play. It actually starts off pretty good, but about half way through it gets bogged down as it turns into just another boring Hollywood bash on Christianity. From there, the movie dies a slow, painful death. The characters don't develop; they're like stickers pasted up on a story board, never evolving from start to finish. Occasionally, some new convenient information about a character is revealed, but only in the most ham-fisted, ex machina way possible. In the end you're left with a feeling of loss at the story that might have been if the anti-religious angle hadn't come barreling in like a pissed off hippo into a boat full of tourists. I would recommend it for the interesting story line, but in the end it was just too boring.
This is one of the best written, thought provoking films I have seen. Yes, it is broadly a sci-fi movie. It is also the lowest budget sci-fi movie you will ever see- absolutely no CGI or special effects. Yes, read that again. Rather the story is character driven. Centered around Professor Oldman who is packing up and moving on, a group of his fellow college professors gather to say goodbye. Oldman decides to tell a story. What starts as a simple fireside chat (in the living room), he opens up and begins to tell the story of his 14,000 year life. There are a couple of little twists, but the story, the characters, everything works great.
I cannot believe people gave this film four stars. Not only was it sophomoric, it was full of inaccuracies. For example, the Hebrew name Yeshua (Jesus) is a contraction of the name Yehoshua, English: Joshua. The Old Testament was written thousands of years ago, many centuries before the time of Jesus. (Verified in its amazing accuracy by the Dead Sea Scrolls, but no atheists or agnostics ever seem to want to talk about that.) Yehoshua was transliterated to the Greek Iesous by the translators of the Septuagint (Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures) a couple of hundred years before Christ. These names existed long before the lifetime of Jesus. Yehoshua means Yah is Salvation in Hebrew. Yeshua simply means Salvation in Hebrew. Iesous has no meaning in the Greek. Also, Yeshua's teachings very obviously came out of Judaism (the Torah), not Buddhism. The author denies that Yeshua said He was the son of God, yet affirms the Sermon on the Mount was accurately recorded. Either what the witnesses recorded in the gospels was true or false. How does one cherry pick which parts are true and which are not, unless it is based on one's own biases and preconceived notions? And among these and many other logical inconsistencies in this screenplay, is the fact that it is assumed Jesus was a fake, but Buddha was not. Very obvious anti-Christian agenda here, and not very well argued to boot. This is meant to fool the ignorant with a little bit of fact mixed with error.
Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2017
The Man From Earth is one of my favorite movies if not the favorite. It’s the type of movie that you will still be thinking about days after you’ve seen it. The writing was genius, the casting was perfect and the acting was exceptional. This is one of those films that will never get the formal recognition it deserves, but will be beloved by people who really understand the purpose of telling this story. Maybe that is the recognition it deserves. Do yourself a favor and see this film if you haven’t yet and if you have, buy this special edition release and watch it again. I am.
P.S: For those who haven’t seen it yet. Open a great bottle of wine, turn off the lights and experience this masterpiece. You owe it to yourself.
This is one of the best motion pictures that has reached 'the big screen' in a long time. The flick appeared in 2007 but is still an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys an intellectually challenging question into the queries of life and purpose. David Lee Smith portrays a man who has lived a life that defies a human's concept of time and lifespan. The movie is designed to portray an intellectual conversation among college professors from various departments discovering and questioning the life of Professor John Oldman who is leaving the college they all are professors at as he discloses to them that he has lived many lifetimes that span a 14,000 years. The supporting characters question his claim and react from every conceivable emotional response from disbelief to consideration of the validity of his claim. They question his sanity as well as motivation for boasting such a claim. This flick covers everything from psychological to physical possibilities as well as religious perspectives. The direction and production of this movie were of such a great caliber that the contemporary requirements of violent action and special effects were not needed. The writing was excellent as well as direction and the compelling actor's ability to compel viewers interest in the story. This production was completed and released in 2007 and was followed by a sequel in 2017. The cast kept the interest of viewers and certainly made everyone wanting to know how the story continues. This is a very well produced feature that definitely is a 'must watch'.
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2017
It was low budget and simple, but the story carried it. To imagine the possibility of immortal people walking around, without our being aware of them, was conceptually thrilling. I recently saw the movie Blessid, which had similar themes. "The Man from Earth" reminded me of the original Star Trek episode "Requiem for Methuselah," in which one extraordinarily long-lived man born in Mesopotamia lived many lives, including those of famous artists and composers. And who's to say that someone couldn't have done the same with Jesus Christ? Any movie that dares to approach the supernatural in such unusual ways is worth exploring, regardless of whether you're a person of faith.
5.0 out of 5 starswhat if your friend told you he was immortal?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2016
This is a movie that no doubt divides audiences. Some may view it as slow and uneventful, others as too low-budget. If you're after a fast-paced, action-packed film full of special effects then this isn't it. Instead, it's a drama - it's about a group of colleagues sharing an evening drink before one of them departs for the last time, as he's moving away. And it concerns the story that's told by this man, as his friends quiz him as to why he's moving. For this film, the tale that's told is all-important. And it's certainly a rather unique tale!
John Oldman (David Lee Smith) is leaving his job as a college professor, and moving away. A number of friends from work gather at his home, just as he's packing-up his belongings. Given that everyone gets on so well with John, they don't really want him to leave - and they ask him why he's going. After deliberating as to whether to 'open up' and tell his colleagues why, John explains the reason. He's immortal - and is many thousands of years old. As he doesn't age, it's impossible for him to stay too long in any one place - as people become suspicious. And so, after a decade of living at his present location, it's time to move on.
As you might imagine, his colleagues don't believe what he's saying. And the fact that they're educated, intelligent people means that they're able to question John - in an effort to find flaws in his story. Yet, as the evening of conversation unfolds, it becomes apparent that John's story cannot be so easily dismissed. This only serves to heighten tensions - and several people become concerned about John's state of mind. Seeing that they're obviously concerned, John says he's made the whole thing up - just to have some fun.
Fortunately, the film's ending is not ambiguous - but, instead, poignantly revealing. This is an imaginative story - and one that's well told. The life John has led, the experiences he describes, is nothing less than amazing. I was gripped from start to finish - and I wished that the film was longer. As such, I was pleased to hear that (as of 2016) a TV series is being produced which extends the story.
This is a masterpiece is sci-fi drama. I highly recommend it.
4.0 out of 5 starsUniversity professor, who claims to be a Cro-Magnon in origin
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2016
An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman, becomes an enigmatic cross-examination, and leads into an interrogation of sorts, after the retiring academic divulges to his colleagues that he has a lengthier life story to tell, and that his past is stranger than they can possibly imagine. This is a movie, which is a conversation that challenges mainstream beliefs. It is strongly appealing as dramas go that I have seen recently. The ensuing dialog makes the production work; as the sum of the ensemble performances creates a compelling, believably characters, each with their own shortcomings, personal ideology, and interests.
The movie is, in essence, is a conversation amongst college professors. Therefore, if you are looking for CGI effects, aliens from another world, or shoot-outs, you will not find it here. If you enjoy thought provoking trials and intelligent treatise; with speculative fictional stance, then this is a film that is worth seeing.
5.0 out of 5 starsInteresting and thought-provoking.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2019
Very interesting film. Low budget and limited sets don’t detract from what it is - a thought-provoking idea. “What if....?” Some of the negative reviews see the film as an attack on certain religions. They are missing the point. Which version of which religion is the film supposedly attacking? You can take this film on at a range of different levels. Friends concerned about a friend, or earth-shattering revelation. It’s what good sci-fi is about - expanding the mind. Definitely one to watch again.
It feels more like a tv series pilot than a movie at the beginning, and the low budget feel and slightly dodgy acting (from some) continues throughout.
As it progresses, it probably tries to do a bit too much... and maybe some of that could have been cut, especially the less significant meetings with famous people. The religion twist made me laugh and probably added to the movie for me, but it does bring another huge topic to an already full agenda.
The thing I disliked most was how it started, it felt really forced at the beginning. I felt like the characters needed fleshing out a bit more prior to the revelation.
I liked the fact that by the end we are no longer wondering what the truth is.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 19, 2017
My favourite Sci_fi film. Set in a Wooden shack in the USA it's a set piece with discussion rather than action. However this is a good film , for the most-part totally believable performances. Sort of leaves you uplifted & sad at the same time.
5.0 out of 5 starsIntelligent, original and thought provoking...recommended.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2019
Intelligent and intriguing. Feels like an intimate stage play rather a movie but non the worse for that. I expect it offends religious conservatives, particularly Christians which I can appreciate but that offense-taken is already accommodated as it's woven into the script. Thoroughly enjoyed it, wish there were more thought provoking movies out there targetting mature audiences. 5 Stars.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 6, 2013
The film looks like it is a made for tv movie, the type you see on channel 5 on an afternoon. Usually low budget shash, however this film is a gem. It is thought provoking and will leave christians scratching their heads a little. No action just a bunch of people listening and engaging with the main charachter who claims to be 14000 years old. This is a good watch but it could have been better in many departments, acting and production etc. still worth a viewing
5.0 out of 5 starsInteresting film you will want to rewatch
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2015
This is a great film. Although it clearly didn't have a big budget and much of the film is the cast members talking to each other in one location, what they have to say is so interesting and thought provoking that it doesn't matter. I have shared this film with many friends and had interesting discussions afterwards. It makes you think about life and the world from new perspectives and I enjoy watching it again from time to time.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 18, 2011
As a Buddhist and a film fan i can say in my veiw this is a great little film with very big ideas.This isnt a hollywood loads of money SFX film,insted its low budget but it dosnt matter.Theres no good v evil plot which is a good thing,if you like films that make you think then this is for you,it reminds me of K-Pax another underated gem.Shame no meaningfull extras,Directors commentary was a letdown,trying to be fun on a film like this wasnt wise.Film-5stars,extras-2stars.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 31, 2013
Tracked down this movie after reading that the writer Jerome Bixby, had previously written Star Trek and Twilight Zone episodes. Great characters, really interesting plot as you would expect and TV show acting which is ok. Found myself poring it over long after it had ended. Great quality, as new and well packaged, arrived very quickly too. Very pleased with this purchase.
4.0 out of 5 starsInteresting and surprisingly good.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 20, 2014
Bought this on a whim as I went through a spell of buying random films and giving them a go. I found this really interesting. Theres not many films out there that stay in one place, one setting and manage to keep you interested. The stories good and so is the script, I'd say its well worth a watch.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2012
I was irritated by the poor quality of the video production until the premise became clear. The script could quite easily be transformed into a great one man show on stage. This production worked for me as a play, but not as a film. The diaglogue was all "tell" and no "show". It would make a fantastic film if the "stories" were actually shown on screen rather than being related by the protagonist. As a play it gets five stars. As a film it gets two stars only because the premise is so wondeful.