Thursday, May 29, 2014


While cleaning up my bedroom (I still have boxes all over the place from setting up my toy/guest room) I decided to watch some of my favorite movies. First was Willow, it's one of my all time favorite fantasy movies but the movie I really wanted to talk about is Powder.

Powder came out in 1995, I was 25 and saw it four or five times in the theater. I just recently got it on DVD (Christmas) and decided to put it on, I haven't seen it since I saw it in the theater, 19 years ago. OMG!!! I forgot how much I love this movie.

First here is a short synopsis of the movie if you haven't seen it: When sheriff Barnum investigates the death of an elderly rural resident, he discovers a teenage grandson living in the basement. Raised by his grandparents, he has experienced the world only through books, never leaving the family farm. He is sent to a state home for boys where he has trouble fitting in socially. His odd appearance and unusual abilities cause the small town residents to fear and ridicule him. However, not all are afraid. Some begin to view his potential and gifts with wonderment.

This is a very rare gem of a movie. In a time when movies have a lot of fx to cover up a weak story, to graphic unnecessary violence and sex. Powder basically shows a pure and unique individual that is not accepted in today's society that has become jaded with discrimination, and overall being afraid of someone who looks different.

There are several important elements in the movie. There is the paranormal factor that challenges what we know of science and the human mind can achieve, the extent of human cruelty, love and forgiveness, and a hope that one day that our humanity will advance beyond our technology. But most of all, raw emotion that reaches deep into the heart and leaves a impression that will stay with you forever.

The idea of being different because of looks or something that makes you stand out from the status quo, we can all relate to. This movie achieves this in a powerful, passionate and inspirational way. This movie makes you sit back and take in everything, showing us what the world may be if we stop judging one another and start to accept our uniqueness. What also is shown in this movie is just that just because someone may look different or how they act that they are some how weaker or a part of the undesirables. Time and again this movie shows us that perception needs to be changed. You have a movie that looks like it could be a Carrie type movie but ends up showing the sad inability to treat Powder with any sense of humanity and dignity. But no matter what, he stays his pure positive self. In some scenes showing the error of our ways and then in the end makes a final act that hopefully makes people want to change for the better.

Powder is one of the most powerful movies that I have seen in a long time. I remember loving it when it first come out but even after watching it again almost 20 years later it still has the same effect on me. It tugs at the heart and brings you to tears.

I'll be the first to admit that I cry fairly easy at movies/television, but there are those rare times when watching a movie and it feels as though someone has ripped out your heart. There is a physical pain from what is happening on screen, this is one of those movies. There are three or four scenes that the tears just flow uncontrollably.

Here are some of those scenes... (WARNING SPOILERS) The  scene that kills me every time is when Jeff Goldblum's character is talking to Powder and Powder says that after a while his grandparent were afraid to touch him. And Jeff's character says how wrong that is and gently touches the side of his face and as Powder begins to cry and lay his head down Jeff's character continues to lovenly rub the back of his head, it's beyond touching. Jeff's character is doing what the audience wants to do. To let him know he's perfect the way he is and no one deserves to be alone and unloved.

Another scene is where Powder helps the local sheriff understand what his dying wife wants, which is to just reconcile with his son. Again the acting is amazing and I'm getting chocked up just thinking about that scene.
Another good scene is where a hunter (racist Deputy) shoots a deer and Powder touches the deer and the hunter and shows him the pain the deer feels before it dies, which has a profound effect on the hunter, but he is still a ass afterwards.

There is this scene when Powder is talking to a girl that he likes and they touch hands and both start feeling each others emotions before they kiss.

I can go on and on with favorite scenes but I want to talk about the acting.

The main character Jeremy "Powder" (Sean Patrick Flanery) is so gentle, so kind hearted, so lonely you just want to wrap him up in a huge bear hug. Sean is amazing playing this shy, sensitive, awkward young man. He defiantly make this "fantastical" character believable.

The other main characters are portrayed by Mary Steenburgen, who I love and plays the mother figure for Powder. Lance Henriksen who is amazing and has some very emotional scenes and Jeff Goldblum, who once again shines as the loving and caring Science teacher. 

I just want to mention the music real quick... which was done by Jerry Goldsmith. It's AMAZING... haunting and chilling at times yet beautiful and fantastical. Very much what you would expect from the very talented Mr. Goldsmith 

Of course you can't talk about Powder without mentioning the writer and director of the film Victor Salva. Who was convicted a few years prior for molesting a 12-year-old child actor during the production of his previous film. When Powder was released, the victim came forward again in an attempt to get others to boycott the film in protest. It kind of put a black cloud over the release though the movie is still considered a sleeper hit grossing just over 30 million (costing only 10 million to make). It's unfortunate that such a beautiful movie has this horrible stain that will forever be associated with it.

The cynics will cry out the usual "manipulative!" and "sappy!" jibes but pay no attention. This is a beautifully shot film telling a moving, fascinating tale of a boy who happens to be different. I really love this film and think it was one of the unsung movies of the 90's. Highly recommended.

Already purchased this movie on DVD (still waiting a blu-ray release) and give Powder the highest rating I can... A+

No comments:

Post a Comment