Meet Joe Black
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Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) has it all - success, wealth and power. Days before his 65th birthday, he receives a visit from a mysterious stranger, Joe Black (Brad Pitt), who soon reveals himself as Death. In exchange for extra time, Bill agrees to serve as Joe's earthly guide. But will he regret his choice when Joe unexpectedly falls in love with Bill's beautiful daughter Susan (Claire Forlani).
Meet Joe Black seemed almost fated to fail when it was released in 1998, but this romantic fantasy--a remake of 1934's Death Takes a Holiday--deserves a chance at life after box-office death. Although many moviegoers were turned off by director Martin Brest's overindulgent three-hour running time, those who gear into its deliberate pace will find that Meet Joe Black offers ample reward for your attention.
Brad Pitt plays Death with a capital D, enjoying some time on Earth by inhabiting the body of a young man who'd been killed in a shockingly sudden pedestrian-auto impact. Before long, Death has ingratiated himself with a wealthy industrialist (Anthony Hopkins) and pursues romance with the man's beautiful daughter (newcomer Claire Forlani), whom he'd briefly encountered while still an earthbound human. Under the assumed identity of "Joe Black," he samples all the pleasures that corporeal life has to offer--power, romance, sex, and such enticing pleasures as peanut butter by the spoonful.
But Death has a job to do, and Meet Joe Black addresses the heart-wrenching dilemma that arises when either father or daughter (the plot keeps us guessing) must confront his or her inevitable demise. The film takes its own sweet time to establish this emotional crisis and the love that binds Hopkins's semidysfunctional family so closely together. But if you've stuck with the story this far, you may find yourself surprisingly affected. And if Meet Joe Black has really won you over, you'll more than appreciate the care and affection that gives the film a depth and richness that so many critics chose to ignore. --Jeff Shannon
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Forlani, by the way, is not what I'd call a "supporting actress." She didn't upstage Hopkins and Pitt, but she definitely carried her own.
In reading the reviews, I'm blown away by those that gave it a low rating. Slow? Is life always packed full of high action? On the contrary, I was surprised when the movie ended. It sure didn't feel like three hours.
Boring? Not on your life. Anthony Hopkins wakes up and hears his own voice say, "Yeeesss" and I'm hooked. This was far from boring.
Bad acting? You have to be kidding me. Suspension of disbelief - that thing that all movie creators crave - wasn't hard at all. I was captivated by all the actors and actresses, from the big hitting stars to the island woman in the hospital. (who, by the way, is one of my favorite characters!)
There are so many favorite sayings and scenes.... but the one that sticks with me is "I wish you could have met my father."
Don't miss this great movie!
Wow this a a GREAT movie.
Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt both once again prove they are AWESOME actors.
Pitt plays a role of extreme innocence combined with extreme power and does so flawlessly.
Hopkins displayed such sensitivity and emotion. The scene where he describes his love for his wife was amazing.
The undertones of humor were amazing. The romance wonderful. The love of family and true friends wonderfully sensitive.
lt is extremely well written.
Great credit for the lack of language opportunities in the film (which were filled with nonverbal communication)
Very interesting story and it keeps you in the moment and wondering what is next despite the 3 hour length -- well worth it.
Not a slow movie.
Really taps into so many emotions.
Lots of attention to deal like antiques, scenery, etc.
Do not forget to have some tissues around in case you get emotional.
IMMEDIATELY CONTACT your father/dad/whoever if you are lucky enough to still have one and let them know the blessing they are to you.
Be honest and share the truth -- your truth -- with others and live life knowing it's hard to say goodbye.
Would that there were a higher score available, it would get even that from me. I'm not a Brad Pitt fan at all, but must admit he did a good job here. As for Anthony Hopkins, what can one say? You can only expect excellence from the man. Marcia Gay Hardin continues to prove herself as a very versatile actress. I've seen her in some very different roles and keep loving her performances. I totally agree that Claire Forlani makes the perfect Susan. Can't imagine anyone else giving that much life to the character.
As for the length, I say without reservation that you can get drawn in that you don't realize how long it is.
I love how it portrays love on so many levels and facets. Father for his daughter, Daughters for their father (differently), man for woman, husband for wife, wife for husband, entrepreneur for his business, man for ethics, I could go on. Bills helicopter narrative on Love and advise to Susan I think is apt for what we wish for when seeking love.
I would say though, that the end leaves a bit of a brain twist. was that Bills funeral party or his birthday party by the time Brad returns as coffee shop guy.
Glad I got a copy. I still watch the whole thing.
A must see in my opinion.