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(Review originally written at 3 September 2008)

This is not necessarily a movie you would expect from director John Carpenter, who is of course still best known for his horror work. It's a dramatic, romantic, science-fiction movie with some comical touches to it. Still Carpenter's love for the horror genre also still shows in the movie at times, in the way some sequences are build up and due to its camera-work.

It's a movie about an alien who crashes on earth and starts to learn about life on earth and all of its earthly customs and humane emotions, such as foremost love (of course), when he takes over the form of the recently deceased husband of a young widow. No, not entirely original, since I mentioned before this movie is like The Day the Earth Stood Still ", meets "Solyaris", meets "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" done John Carpenter style. This however doesn't mean that this movie isn't good on its own right though. It's an effective movie with all of its themes, though it also needs to be said that the movie is also a bit of a lackluster and I wish some more was happening in this movie and it went just a bit further with its themes at times. The movie is just good as it is know but I couldn't help wondering how much better the movie actually could had been, especially also when you've seen all of the three previously mentioned before movies, that are like this one. The movie is also quite predictable with its story and the way it progresses.

Whatever went wrong with Charles Martin Smith's career? He starred in some great movies in the '80's but we haven't heard much of him ever-since that, except for some small cameos in big movies. The same of course somewhat goes for Karen Allen, who is mostly only known for her role in "Raiders of the Lost Ark", which gave her eternal fame. Earlier this year she repriced her role in the fourth Indiana Jones establishment "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". Jeff Bridges received his third Oscar nomination for this movie. I don't think many people know that Jeff Bridges is actually a four time Oscar nominee, as of yet.

A fine watchable, unexpected, different movie from John Carpenter.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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